Lawyers and the Cloud: Better Check Your Internet Connection!

Part II in a continuing series on adoption of cloud-based systems by law firms.
Part I: 5 Things to Consider

English : An icon from icon theme Crystal ClearWhether your firm is going to be fully automated, with cloud-based practice management software and full paperless implementation, or if you’re just checking out the option of storing your electronic documents with a third-party service such as Dropbox, the VERY first thing you need to do is make sure that your office’s internet infrastructure can handle it.

Most people know that they need to have WiFi routers or sufficient ethernet connections to plug in to. However, neither will matter much without sufficient internet service from your ISP. If you don’t check your internet connection, your transition to the cloud could bring the operation of your firm to a screeching halt. (more…)

Can a Law Firm Become a Social Media Rock Star?

social media rock star 1Yesterday, I happened to come upon an article in Forbes by Christine Comaford titled “Become a Social Media Rock Star in Four Easy Steps.” Intrigued by the title, which was worded perfectly to catch the eyes of people like me, I read it. Essentially, the article discusses a four-step process, as described by social media guru Vala Afshar, to get the most out of prospective social media.

The steps, which can apply to all types of social media – from Twitter user to full-time blogger, are designed to help anyone make their social media presence into a powerhouse tool of influence and client recruitment. However, after reading them, I wondered whether the tools could really help law firms, particularly those firms who tend to be averse to social media engagement. After some deliberation, here are 4 steps to becoming a social media rock star… for law firms! (more…)

Astroturfing: Fake Online Reviews are Bad News For Law Firms!

new york atty general astroturfingIf you’re anything like me, whenever you buy or research a product online, you automatically disregard any review that gives the product/service the top available rating. I always look for the lowest reviews for two reasons. First, I’d like to know if there are people who are complaining about flaws in something that might bother me in a similar way. Second, and more importantly, I expect that at least a few of the highest ratings were written by, or on behalf of, the person selling the product.

Given the opportunity, who wouldn’t endorse themselves, particularly when it improves the chances that someone will buy whatever you’re selling? Well, there is a name for posting false reviews to make a product or service look better: “astroturfing.” The Urban Dictionary defines astroturfing as “the act of trying to boost one’s image online with fake comments, paid-for reviews, made-up claims and testimonials.”

Well, recently, the pervasive nature of astroturfing for law firms has drawn the attention of the authorities (most notably the New York Attorney General’s office), and the results aren’t pretty! (more…)

Review: Jury Selection for iPad

jury selection for ipad 1Fresh off my recent list of jury selection apps that left me a little bit underwhelmed, I stumbled across a brand new one in the Apple App Store: Jury Selection for iPad. Offering a free 10-day trial, I figured it was worthwhile to take a look and see if this new app offered solutions to any of the problems I identified with the other available selections.

Jury Selection for iPad bills itself as being able to make jury selection “more efficient and effective!” Unfortunately, although it certainly possesses a handsome main screen of a courtroom, with several open seats, Jury Selection for iPad falls short of its claims. (more…)

A Better Firm Website: 4 Reasons You Should Blog!

Part IV in a continuing series on improving your firm’s website
Part I: 7 Tips to Improve Your Bio Page
Part II: 5 Best Practices for your Practice Areas
Part III: Video is a Game Changer
Part IV: 4 Reasons You Should Blog
Part V: 3 Videos You Need to Have
Part VI: 4 Reasons to Ignore SEO
Part VII: 4 Steps to Know (and Track) Your Audience

aba blawgObviously, I like blogs. I would think that it would be quite difficult to go out and actually find blog posts by writers who were anti-blogging. So, no surprise then that I would endorse the idea of adding a blog to your firm website. Now that we’ve gotten past my obvious bias on the issue, let me tell you why I’m right.

You’ve taken all the advice that I’ve given you so far. Your website is sleek and elegant, with the right types of pages, the right type of language, and all of it backed up by interesting and engaging videos. Time to rest on your laurels? I think not! In today’s world, your online marketing presence requires engagement and must be constantly updated. One of the best ways to make sure that happens is to include a blog as a part of your firm’s website.

Skeptical? Here are 4 Reasons You Should Blog on your firm’s website: (more…)

7 Tips to Enhance Social Media Engagement Using Hashtags

HashtagHashtags. They’ve become ubiquitous in our national culture. Everything, it seems, has a hashtag. Turn on the TV on Sunday and you’re likely to see “#foxsports” somewhere on the screen. Amazingly, at least to my knowledge (and given that I’m 33, I’ve probably already started missing out on some of the newest trends), we have yet to convert the hashtag into a spoken word or catch-phrase, unlike “smileyface!” Give it time.

Popularized by Twitter, hashtags are now the unofficial organizational tool of social media. You find them on a significant amount of the posts on sites like Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Vine. Last, but certainly not least, Facebook announced this past summer that hashtags (and, more importantly for our discussion, the ability to search hashtags) are now a feature for Facebook users. Hashtags are even gaining considerable influence as general search tools. 9 billion searches are performed on Twitter each month. Yahoo! and Bing can’t match that total combined. (For the uninitiated, a primer)

Hashtags allow you to engage online users, target your audience, and promote awareness of your firm. So here are my 7 Tips to Enhance Social Media Engagement Using Hashtags. (more…)

Lawyers and The Cloud: 5 Things to Consider

(Part I in a continuing series on adoption of cloud-based services by law firms.)

You hear about it everywhere. All of your tech-savvy friends talk about it with giddy excitement. Your office manager is constantly urging you to employ it in your practice. Your younger associates split time between telling you how great it would be and grumbling about the fact that you don’t have it.

Yes, I’m talking about “The Cloud.” A few years ago, you may have initially thought I was talking about a comic book villain. Not anymore. We all know what “The Cloud” is, or at least we know it’s related to computers… And the Internet…

Okay, we AT LEAST know that it is used in business, and that over 30% of attorneys reported using some type of cloud-based service in a recent ABA survey. Any responsible business owner should always be open to adopting new systems or practices that can increase profitability and long-term stability. So you’ve decided to investigate what The Cloud can do for your firm. However, here are 5 Things to Consider before you move your practice to The Cloud: (more…)

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