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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of February 12, 2013

LawBiz(r) newsletter

Is Now the Time to Sell your Practice?
I continue to get calls from lawyers who want to buy or sell a law practice. Three established practices that are available for purchase can be viewed on my website ( if you are so inclined: a practice in Bishop, CA; an estate planning practice in Northern California; and a statewide contingency fee consumer law practice in Ohio.

These practices were built by lawyers who have been very successful in their careers. They have now reached the conclusion that it is time to sell their practices – to convert the goodwill in them for the benefit of their families and to move on to their second seasons.

Reaching such a decision is an important time in life and one to cherish. The considerations involved are different for ever lawyer, but they emphasize that making an endgame decision is an emotional process that you must be ready to undertake. Doing so successfully will require all the traits that defined success in your practice: motivation, acceptance of risk, resiliency, commitment. Our new book, Life After Law: What Will You Do with the Next 6000 Days? will be released in the next three weeks, and will give you excellent perspective if you are considering your own endgame decision. Read the book and call me if I can help.

Ed signature

The Wheel of Engagement

At first glance, online electronic media are rapidly becoming the new seductive tools for approaching clients - not just through websites and blogging, but all the new and constantly expanding social networking innovations. However, such media are "broadcasting" in the purest sense of that now quaint word. They may reach a few potential clients, but they also reach many more people who don't have the slightest interest in the law firm. And the firm is paying for all those disengaged listeners, in terms of the time that consistent online marketing requires. The far better alternative for any firm is to focus on existing clients. Bond with them, serve them in ways that create loyalty, and have these very same clients be your advocates with others. For such clients, you don't need the Internet. You need to visit and talk with them to learn what you can do to expand work with them, and get referrals from them to expand work with new clients.

There is a simple way to visualize this process. Draw two circles, a large one and in the center of it a small one. The center circle is you, the lawyer; the large outer circle is the whole of your client base. From the center circle draw a spoke to the outer circle rim, one spoke for each area of your practice: tax law, family law, real estate matters, whatever the case may be. Finally, on the outside of the bigger circle, draw lines adjacent to each of the practice spokes. On those lines put the names of the clients to whom you provide the given practice services.

This creates a wheel of engagement. These are the people who pay for the services you provide and who support your law firm. The arrangement of spokes and lines illustrates two mutually important concepts. First, it shows you the other practice services that you could be providing to your current clients - attaching their names to other spokes in the wheel. Second, it shows you the people from whom you can seek referrals for new clients who need same practice services - creating new lines attached to the same spoke.

Current clients do not need to be convinced of your or the firm's expertise – otherwise they would not have remained clients. What they want in order to give you more work is to feel comfortable with you as a professional. And that takes ongoing, constant communication with them. What kinds of information might you gather, informal and perhaps even unspoken, that would dramatically expand the work you do for them? Who are your clients' customers or contacts in trade or civic associations, who they might tell about you? A constant communication effort to answer these questions can start you on expanding the wheel of engagement.

Growing Your Practice
30% OFF - Special Price!

Growing Your Practice

Special Price:


until Feb 28

(reg. $129)

Four book package!

It's never been more challenging to succeed at The Business of Law®.

Get the information you need to not only survive but to grow your law practice. Discover the secrets that can help you be more efficient, more effective, and more profitable. Find out how you can and must adapt to meet clients' need and expectation in these rapidly changing times. Learn more.

To Order: 1-800-837-5880 or order online at

In this issue:

The Wheel of Engagement

Growing Your Practice... 30% OFF - Special price!

Video: Alternative Billing

Featured Video:
Ed Poll on YouTube video

YouTube LawBiz Forum
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What Clients Are Saying:

"Ed Poll created and present- ed your three-day workshop "Starting, Operating, Growing and Profiting from the Practice of Law" for our Law School, the Continuing Legal Educa- tion Committee and the Washington Law School Foundation. Ed's professional management skills and presentation talents provided our alumni and students with an outstanding program. The evaluations, both oral and written, were excellent and demonstrated that his audience agreed. One evaluator was particularly appreciative of the thought-provoking and interesting new concepts. Another said, "I have a much better understanding of what I'm to do -- I'm energized. Thank you!" Ed had a major impact on the future of our attendees; this is a unique quality and we are most appreciative of his efforts to create such an interesting and informative program. I enjoyed working with him and look forward to doing so again."

John F. Rapp
Director, CLE
University of Washington

"Ed Poll's efforts resulted in the success of our Mid Year CLE Program event. During the planning stages of this Mid Year Program, the Section's leadership indicated that if 75 lawyers attended the program, it would be considered a success. With our program attendance at over 100 attendees, the leadership clearly is very pleased with our efforts and want to continue bringing programs to the solo and small firm practitioner. We look forward to this challenge of making the Mid Year Program a regular event."

Lee S. Kolczun, Chair
Sole Practitioners and Small Firms Committee
American Bar Association

Ed Poll, LawBiz® Management   |   |   |
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