Who do applicants want to impress with their performance?

Law firm employmentWhen a law firm is interviewing applicants, these applicants are interested are likely in a job from the law firm.  They are likely looking to get opportunities, a paycheck, benefits and are looking to advance their career in some way.  In some ways, many of these applicants may be screening the law firm to see if it is a good fit for them.

On the flip-end, a law firm is looking for prospective applicants individuals who can make a contribution to the organization.  Whether it’s an attorney, paralegal, or other administrative staff, the law firm is likely looking for an applicant that can help.

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The dilemma of escalating law firm costs

Law firm increasing costs

One of the hardest parts of law firm practice management is the dilemma of escalating costs.  No matter the budgetary area within a law firm, on a yearly basis, costs generally creep up.

This annual escalation of increasing costs can be a real problem for most law firms.  How can a law firm cover the annual increase in costs?  Are there places where costs can be cut?  These are questions a law firms has to ask.

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The dilemmas of law firm pay-per-click advertising

PPC advertising for law firmsIn a previous blog article, we talked about whether or not pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is an instant jolt for law firms.  After all, many marketing companies are pushing PPC advertising on law firms.  Some of these same marketing companies literally work with multiple law firms that practice in the same area of law — in the same market — with their PPC advertising.

This is an interesting dynamic because these companies literally have multiple clients that they are working with who are bidding against each other online.  In legal land, this would be a conflict of interest that would be prohibited.  But in marketing land, this is apparently acceptable.  And, quite ironically, many law firms are glad to hire the same company that is doing PPC for their top competitors.

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Having a no solicitation policy at your law firm

Law firm solicitationsWhen you own a law firm, or are in management at a law firm, solicitations can end up taking a lot of your time.  You cannot blame individuals and companies for wanting to solicit and generate business.  For many individuals and companies, they are working off commissions/sales.  This makes soliciting business essential for their livelihood.

But if you do not enunciate and enforce a no solicitation time at your law firm, or have other appropriate procedures, a lot of your time will end up being lost.  Instead of working on your clients’ cases, and dealing with essential day-to-day responsibilities of running a law firm, you can end up spending a lot of time with salespeople.

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Unrealistic lawyer salary expectations

Law firm salary expectationsMany lawyers come out of law school with lofty expectations about starting salary.  For all of their hard work and efforts in law school, many new lawyers think that their life will be immediately profitable.

Sometimes, law school career services data can lead them to believe this will be the case.  And, sometimes, the overall stigma of being a lawyer may have been glamorized to them.

Even if they do not think they will be immediately doing well, they might not realize how it is for many new lawyers.  To their chagrin, some new lawyers struggle just to make their student loan payments, maintain housing, make the automobile payments, etc., out of the gates

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New attorney wardrobe for about $1,000

Attorney wardrobeIn the mind of clients and potential clients, you are likely the attorney in which you appear.  If you are dressed for success, the client or potential client will likely assume the best about you.  If you are not dressed for success, the client or potential client may not assume the best about you.

Ultimately, if clients assume the best about you, this can result in you getting quality clients.  If clients do not assume the best about you, it can result in you not getting quality clients.

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The importance of balancing professional and personal

Personal or professional in law firmsFor those of you who are law firm partners, managers or supervisors, balancing the professional and personal in the workplace can oftentimes be difficult and blurry.  On one hand, you need your employees to respect you as a law firm partner, manager or supervisor.  On the other hand, many law firm partners, manager or supervisors feel as if they can perform their job better if they are liked and have a personal relationship with those who work under them.

For many, this is a real quandary trying to find the right balance.  Is one more important than the other?  Can a law firm partner, manager or supervisor have both a professional and a personal relationship with those whom they work?  This is a question many ask.

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Radio advertising considerations for law firms

Law firm radio advertisingMany law firms have advertised on the radio for a long time.  Radio advertising, like television advertising in many respects, was a way in which many law firms were able to make a name for themselves quickly.

Obviously, radio advertising can be expensive in terms of airing and producing these advertisements.  Historically, picking and selecting the right station to the air these advertisements was often a difficult decision.  Coming up with the right theme or advertising approach also required a lot of thought.

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Should you implement a bonus system in your law firm?

Bonus systems and law firmsIncentivizing law firm employees is something most law firms should at least consider.  Should employees be paid a straight salary without the opportunity for bonuses?  Or, should law firms make the pay largely incentive based, especially as it relates to the lawyers?  These are questions many law firms struggle with as they consider the pay structure in their law firm.

In the end, every law firm is different and the dynamics are also different.  Thus, every law firm will have to make the call on their own.  But the idea of bonus systems (and other incentives) is at least worthy of long consideration.

Bonus systems can have the distinct advantage of encouraging employees to be productive.  No matter what metrics are important in your law firm, a bonus system can allow you to reward employees who meet those specific metrics.

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Have you thought about a virtual receptionist?

Law firm virtual receptionistWhen the phones ring at your law firm, who is picking up?  Do you a receptionist at your law firm?  Do individuals simply hit an auto attendant at your law firm and then select an extension?  This decision can have an important impact on your law firm.

Most clients and potential clients still like having the phone answered by a live person when they are calling.  The live person can add a sense of calm.  It can help show that your law firm is well-run.  It can help give your law firm a sense of legitimacy.  You really cannot underestimate this personal touch.

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