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Nailing the Fundamentals: The Value of Rehearsing

While in NY recently, I found myself outside Carnegie Hall. Whenever I find myself there, I often think of the old joke attributed to Jack Benny that goes “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” To which Jack replied “practice,...more

What Executives Want from Go-To Outside Counsel

Last week, a friend of mine here in New Orleans asked me for a referral for a good internal medicine physician. Being a corporate lawyer by training and practice, I don’t know which internal medicine physicians have the best...more

What to Tell Your Client When the Court Date’s Set

When a date is set for trial or a hearing at which your client needs to appear, don’t just pick up the phone—write your client a letter. This letter has two purposes: it informs your client of the date and it requests that he...more

“It’s just $10 an hour.” Not quite.

I was having lunch with a friend a few days ago and we started talking about the legal industry’s move to pay starting lawyers $180,000 a year. Plus benefits. To me, salaries of this kind are the product of the criminally...more

Are You Focusing Too Much On Your Diversity Program?

Diversity is a good thing. Actually it’s a great thing. It’s good for business in many ways. But the focus on diversity in the legal industry has become, for the most part, an exercise too tied to metrics and too formalized...more

Answer Your Phone

One of our more popular blog posts last year talked about the importance of actively listening to clients in a world of many distractions. We quoted author Sherry Turkle’s observations about putting away your cell phone to...more

5 Strategies to Grow Your Business – Action Items from the LSSO RainDance Conference

Sheenika Shah's recap in five lessons of the recent LSSO Raindance Conference in Chicago....more

Lack of Business Development Support May Be Just What You Need

I recently attended the Legal Sales and Service Organization’s Raindance Conference in Chicago, which, by the way, I highly recommend. The keynote speaker, Jeff Kaplan, PhD of the J. Alan Group, spoke about a growing trend in...more

Delight Your Clients with G.L.U.E.

At the recent Client Experience in Professional Services conference in Durham, North Carolina, Stan Phelps shared his insights about winning the hearts of customers and influencing positive word of mouth. Phelps is the author...more

Law Firm Business Development:  Don’t make this common mistake when following up with a prospective client

I chuckled as I read Jon Manley’s article, “Stop Touching Base with Your Prospects.” It might seem counterintuitive, but a closer look reveals a common trap many of us can fall into.  Consider the following email outreach...more

What to Say When a Client Lets You Go

A client may discharge you at any time and for any reason. When it happens to you, be ready to write a letter to the client confirming that the client wants no further services from you and you won’t be providing them....more

Law Firm Business Development: Nailing the Fundamentals

It is one of the simplest yet often hardest questions to answer— “What do you do?” Having a crisp answer can often be the difference between making a connection with a client to help them solve a problem, or a wasted...more

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Professional Trustee

Your client, as settlor, creates a special needs trust set up for a child or grandchild and needs a professional trustee to administer it. Before hiring a potential trustee, the client should determine whether he or she is...more

Headings Are Key to an Effective Document

Whatever document you’re drafting—from a memorandum for a partner to a brief for the court—using clear and concise headings and subheadings will take your reader by the hand and lead them smoothly through your document....more

Be the Effective Team Your Clients Need

“When I select attorneys to handle a matter, I really look for a team. I want the leader to be familiar with the case and giving people direction. I don’t expect him to get in the nitty-gritty from day one, but you do really...more

How to Deal with Feedback

The single greatest truth in any client feedback effort is simple: If you are not prepared to act on the feedback, don’t ask for it. In every client feedback program—whether we are conducting the interviews ourselves...more

A GC’s Guide to Winning (and Keeping) Business

In my career, I have had the opportunity to be general counsel for a bank holding company, a large state medical center and a state bar association. Each entity was different in terms of its leadership and operating...more

10 Tips to Score a Perfect “10” with your Corporate Clients

As outside litigation counsel, we are often brought in to represent new clients when they are on the receiving end of a fresh lawsuit. Jumping in to get a handle on the matter is key, but taking time to get to know your...more

Game On: A Fresh Take on Business Development Training

We play and watch games throughout our lives. Own a frequent flyer card? You qualify as a player. Buy an occasional lottery ticket? Play recreational sports or video games? Yep, you’re a player. Games are everywhere in our...more

Help Your Clients with Spring Cleaning

As the weather warms, I find myself wanting to do household spring-cleaning chores while also dreading the effort. I long for a day to pack away winter coats and make room for lighter, brighter clothes in the closet, to...more

The Crucial Difference in Real Deadlines and Perceived Ones

In a recent client feedback interview, a deputy general counsel told a common story. He had all but forgotten the Thursday deadline for a filing in a litigation matter of medium importance. His regular outside litigation...more

The Client Contact You Need to Know

Not long after I made the move from law firm practice to general counsel at a Texas financial institution, I observed that the senior executives at our holding company (the key decisionmakers) all had internal people within...more

Be a Resource—Not a Roadblock

In some businesses, clients view their lawyers as impediments to making things happen. Those clients often work with outside counsel who throw up roadblocks and tell them why something won’t work instead of seeking a solution...more

Bad News Doesn’t Get Better With Time

Not too long ago I interviewed the CFO of a Fortune 1000 company who told me, “You picked a bad day to come visit me.” My response: “Great, I am glad we have something to talk about!” He then explained the background. Outside...more

Law Firm Business Development: Share Insights

Many of our clients ask us to help them with presentation skills and we’re more than happy to comply because this is an important skill to develop. But, there is a time and a place for “presenting.” I contend that presenting...more

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