Presentation on theme: "How to Grow Your Litigation Practice in 2010 Speaker Name Please your filled in PowerPoint to by 12:00 EST (9:00 AM PST) at."— Presentation transcript:
How to Grow Your Litigation Practice in 2010 Speaker Name Please your filled in PowerPoint to by 12:00 EST (9:00 AM PST) at least two full business days prior to the scheduled webinar time. No changes are to be made after this point as we will be sending it to attendees the night before your webinar (we will format the PowerPoint on our end and remove anything that should not be in it). Your presentation should last about 60 minutes (the longer the better) and there may be a few questions at the end based on attendee responses. Please note that marketing has already been done for the webinar and it is a live event so the date/time can not be changed at this point. Please add graphics and web screen shots when possible to improve look and feel of PowerPoint. Thank you! The audience for this webinar is litigators. Please spend the most time on slides Material in this seminar is for reference purposes only. This seminar is sold with the understanding that neither any of the authors nor the publisher are engaged in rendering legal, accounting, investment, or any other professional service directly through. this seminar. Neither the publisher nor the authors assume any liability for any errors or omissions, or for how this seminar or its contents are used or interpreted, or for any consequences resulting directly or indirectly from the use of this seminar. For legal, financial, strategic or any other type of advice, please personally consult the appropriate professional
Charles Dickens: "The Law is"--and by implication Litigators are--"a ass". Charles Dickens is one of history's great doubters regarding the possibility of achieving justice through litigation. Although Dickens won his copyright cases in the 1840's, the costs of litigation exceeded the damages recovered, leading him to conclude that "it is better to suffer a great wrong than to have recourse to the much greater wrong of the law." And, "I was treated as if I were the robber instead of the robbed." These bitter experiences ultimately inspired his great 1852 novel Bleak House and its excoriation of the English civil justice system. The novel begins with a description of the suffering of the parties in the fictional (but based on several actual and notorious cases of the time) probate action Jarndyce and Jarndyce and his opinion regarding the appropriate fate of the English Court of Chancery:
Charles Dickens – Cont. "If all the injustice it [the Court of Chancery] has committed, and all the misery it has caused, could only be locked up with it, and the whole burnt away in a great funeral pyre-- why so much the better for other parties than the parties in Jarndyce and Jarndyce!"
The Marketing/BusDev Plan o Everyone should have one, litigators included. o Management should make sure that the plan has goals and deadlines, and the firm should encourage (i.e., reward) the achievement of the goals set out in the plan.
Terry Graham is a Bay Area business development consultant that we use who is a big fan of business plans, time lines, and deliverables. Her January, 2010 article "Rainmakers, Mistmakers & Wet Blankets" is an excellent summary of the problems lawyers, litigators, and law firms encounter in attempting to become more entrepreneurial and sales driven. It can be seen at Marketing – Cont.
Social Media One of the smartest people around is Bob Johansen of the Institute of the Future, and he has this to say about advertising and social media: "... if leaders [read "lawyers"] advertise themselves and take credit for their own performance, they will become targets. British Petroleum learned this when the company changed its name to BP, for "Beyond Petroleum."... In fact, this self-promotion seemed to make people even harder on BP.... This example teaches us this: do the right thing and be transparent, but don't be self-promotional. Be willing to tell others what you are doing and why, but only when they ask.... There are no sure things, but quiet transparency makes it more likely that leaders will succeed. We will still have leaders who act like rock stars and they may gain fame, but they will also become big targets and are much more likely to come and go quickly. Those who try to advertise their own good works are putting themselves and their organizations at risk. Humble strength is a much better leadership quality for the future." Leaders Make the Future (Berrett-Koehler, 2009).
HOW TO DETERMINE THE NEED. Companies such as LexisNexis and Westlaw provide tools: Company Litigation and Transactional Activity – Detailed litigation activity by company and matter type. Tracks company transactional activity, including mergers & acquisitions, public offerings and IP filings. Prospect Filtering Tools – Lists prospects that meet specific criteria, such as growth rate, profitability, geographic focus. Automatic Alerts – alerts for companies you choose so you know when clients or prospects are sued. Industry Profiles – Industry reports identifying industry trends, players and competitors to help firms develop new client relationships.
ETHICAL RESTRICTIONS It is impracticable to summarize all of the various state laws, ABA ethical norms, etc., that govern attorney advertising, but in general, when soliciting clients a law firm must be cautious. Most states have some version of: ABA MODEL RULE 7.1, which prohibits Communications that Create False Expectations. ABA Model Rule 7.2, which requires that firms retain a copy of ads and or publications sent to prospective clients.
ETHICAL RESTRICTIONS –CONT. ABA Model Rule Requiring that solicitations be labeled as an advertisement in a minimum font size. ABA Model Rule 7.4 – Requiring standards or disclaimers regarding specialization. For a complete list of the differences between State Advertising and Solicitation Rules and the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, go to:
MEETING PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS If you're meeting prospective clients but not closing the deal, try some of the techniques from sales professionals. The following examples are taken from time honored treatises such as Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar (Berkley Publishing, 1985), and Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936): Direct or Presumptive Close: simply assume that you've got the assignment from the client. Repeat the assignment and when you are going to provide the product, and then terminate the meeting. Dissociative Close: "We can handle this one of two ways; which would you prefer? If clients remain hesitant, try a variant of the car sales pitch ("What will it take to put you in this car today?"). E.g., where price is the issue, turn it from a negative into a positive: "Sure we're more expensive per hour, but we're so much better and more experienced than our competition that your cost per task will be less and your total bills will be less." Where the excuse is that the client has to check with a higher-up, suggest that you also meet with the higher-up and that you first undertake to handle a small matter for the client in order to show the higher-up the quality and efficiencies of your work product.