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Solo In Chicago

...empowering the Second City's entrepreneurial legal community

Monday, April 30, 2007

Law firm Websites

Saw this brief report from eLawmarketing about law firm Websites. What's the cutting edge of law firm Websites? Our static Website is average for sure. Despite differing levels of cool graphics or whatever it sure seems like nearly all lawyer Websites are the same...essentially they provide biographies of lawyers and some overview regarding practice areas.

What should be included with an effective law firm's Website? We're going to add our quarterly newsletters to the site and I want to start including podcasts. Also, who manages a firm's site? This is too important to be left to me (I think). Is this a person inside or outside your firm? I don't know...just curious about others' experiences.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Is this why I went to law school?

There are some poignant comments in this month's Chicago Lawyer about change in the legal field. The lead story is sort of a roundtable interview regarding mega-firms, law as business, technology, white collar defense and diversity. It's almost a sad read when you see the comments that these law firm leaders make regarding the legal industry.

Here's an example from Bryan Schwartz:

From a psychological standpoint, is this why I went to law school? People have a need for affiliation, power over their careers, and the need to feel that their desire for achievement is being met. The only one being met with the large firm is achievement--there's been a loss of affiliation and power/influence. As you move from a partnership to a corporation, you become a widget...People are so focused on money they forget to live their life, their life is defined by money really. People feel trapped by the firm dictating their life.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I got tagged...get gotta get goals!

Sheryl Sisk Schelin over at The Inspired Solo "tagged me." And we haven't even met before...but that's the joy of blogging right.

Alex Shalman created a meme - “Gotta Get Goals” - and after Sheryl got tagged, she in turn passed the goodness to me and some others. Here are the instructions:

In a new blog post, list and write about the top 5 to 10 goals that you gotta’ get so that you can truly say you have achieved your wildest dreams in life. These have to be your best, most exclusive, and over-the-top goals that you can pick off your goals list.

Here's my list...off-the-cuff (what's the terminology, including but not limited too and in no particular order):

1. Financial freedom. Re-shape my mindset on this...I think I have too much of the "middle class" value phenomenum..."I need my benefits...make $50k to $100k and you're doing well." I need residual income and more people other than myself earning income for my businesses.

2. Be elected Governor of IL. If you're in IL, tell me, I need your help and vote! I think I have a strong background and support base statewide. Plus I'm above corruption.

3. Earn a PHD in History. I'm a history nut and would really like to have more professional research skills with an eye towards higher education going forward.

4. Be an Olympic Triathlete. 2012 or 2016 in Chicago! Let's go.

5. Have a remote cabin on a body of water. Not sure if this will be primary residence or secondary. But I hate having to drive somewhere to get to the "outdoors." I want to live there...being right across from the Des Plaines river doesn't quite cut it currently.

6. Create a charitable trust. I want that consistent income set aside to support scholarships and Christian outreach.

7. Be trilingual. At least Chinese and Spanish...I'm okay, but certainly not fluent yet.

8. Write a book. This should be multiple books...one of my goals for 2007 is to have the first book outlined...that's in-process as we speak. See item #3.


In fact, a single lawyer who bills at $200 per hour, has a minimum billing increment of .2 hours, and forgets to bill for 1 phone call and 1 email per day loses $20,000 in revenue every year!

Shocking isn't it. One missed email and one missed phone call per day. $20,000!

New lawyer blogging report

Here's a new report regarding blogging for laywers from www.elawmarketing.com.

The ease of going paperless...

Saw this nugget from Friday's Technolawyer ezine from Attorney Thomas F. McDow:

I am not searching for the paperless office. I have it. When we receive paper from someone other than a client, we scan it and send it to the client. When we receive paper from the client, we scan it and shred it. If the original of the document must be retained, we have the client retain it. The only exception is the original discovery that the court requires us to keep.

We scan invoices, bills, and statements we receive. We scan continuing legal education materials. We enter into Time Matters all notes and comments that would have been recorded on sticky notes or a legal pad in an earlier age. All notes at trial are taken on a computer.Our paperless office works so well that I am incapable of understanding the debate.

Seriously, if it's that simple, why are we not doing this??