Bar News - June 15, 2012
Book Review: Law Practice Strategy By Donna Seyle
By: Reviewed by Michael G. Anderson
Donna Seyle’s Law Practice Strategy gives a great step-by-step plan on how to change your law office to incorporate new technologies. In a recessionary economy, where legal services have taken a big hit, this guide can help move your office into a new business plan, and hopefully assist in landing more clients and revenue.
Seyle writes about why it is so important to adapt law practices for the times. She analogizes the legal profession with others in that they need to embrace new economic models in order to remain profitable. She includes a whole chapter about containing costs, specifically why using automated systems to contain costs are beneficial.
She advocates that there is now no need for expensive physical law offices as there was in the past. Now we can create our own virtual law office. While this may seem intimidating, Seyle assures us that not only is it a good way to contain costs, but it is also how business is being done today. Seyle points out that the way people will find a lawyer is quite the same as they would find any other service today: Google.
Seyle’s book then focuses on content marketing, which is one of the most important lesson this book gives. The way we market has fundamentally changed, not only because of the Internet, but with social media and web 2.0. Seyle stresses the importance of having an active blog, and active Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn sites. These are now the ways that lawyers find clients (or better: how clients find lawyers). While it is important to have these sites, Seyle stresses that it is just as important to keep them active. It is no longer enough to have a static site with your name, a photo and your contact information. Now, we must be active to show our expertise. Only with this activity will a client have the confidence in us to hire us.
In the book’s last section, she points to how we bill as another way to keep clients in this time of recession. With discretionary spending down, the billable hour has come under attack. No longer do clients want to pay a lawyer on a per hour basis (mainly because there is too much risk and uncertainty on what they will be billed). This can create a great advantage for the solo or new lawyer. By being malleable to a client’s needs, you can attract better clients. There are many different types of billing that Seyle recommends, any of which can be implemented for a specific need.
This book is a great resource for any office, new or old. As a new attorney, I can use many of her tips to gain new clients. This will be how I and those lawyers of my generation start to build name recognition. Established attorneys, too, can gain a lot from this book. Using her advice, a firm can grow and find new clients. Some of the tips may be harder to implement than others, but if utilizing just one brings in a new client, it’s worthwhile. At just 160 pages, this book is an easy read and a great resource. It’s easy to use and flip through to find a specific topic of interest. It also includes a resource guide and cites other sources (mainly websites) that speak to the same ideas.
|Michael G. Anderson
Michael G. Anderson is a graduate of Syracuse University and of the University of Maine School of Law. He can be reached at email@example.com.