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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of April 8, 2014

LawBiz(r) newsletter

I'm getting more calls from lawyers who want to retire but don't know if they can. They inquire about selling their practice.

After talking to many, there are at least three reasons why a lawyer will not retire and continue to work long beyond when he/she might otherwise retire. The first reason is that the recent Depression (not "Great Recession") has caused the value of many retirement assets to plummet. The second reason is that most lawyers identify themselves as "lawyers" and don't know what to call themselves if not "lawyer." The third reason is that most of us fail to plan for our future. We don't know what we would do if we stopped being an active lawyer.

We have no vision of our future. Our book, Life After Law: What Will You Do With the Next 6,000 Days?, helps you take control of your own destiny.

Ed signature

Go on the Offensive and Win the Game

The 2014 Super Bowl was a great example of the power of the defense. However, in law, attorneys need to be offensive, not defensive. Offensive in the business of law means being proactive.

In particular, lawyers must be proactive in terms of client relations in order to develop effective client relations. What are some of the best practices that you might consider to win the "game"?

Manage Client Expectations
From the very first intake session throughout your entire representation of the client, manage client expectations. In the sales world, there is a popular and apt saying: "Under promise and over deliver."

Understand the Nature of the Matter
During the intake session, be sure to extract all of the information you can in order to understand the exact nature of the matter and what the client wants, not just what the client needs.

Prepare a Budget
During the first thirty to sixty days of engagement, prepare a budget of time, costs, and fees. Review this with the client, and have the client initial the budget.

Communicate Your Payment Expectations
Low realization results from not telling clients at the beginning of an engagement what is expected of them and from failure to follow through with the consequences of their failure to pay.

Develop a Team Approach
Discuss the concept of a team approach. This means that the client must timely respond to your requests for information; return your phone calls promptly; tell the truth so that surprises are minimized; and, of course, pay his bills.

Be Accessible
Do not fail to return phone calls and respond to letters or faxes. Clients don't want to feel ignored.

Visit the Client
What could be more natural-and effective-than dropping in on a friend?

Ask for Feedback
Not enough law firms ask their clients, "How are we doing?" Finding out what clients think is extremely important to maintaining the lawyer-client relationship. Asking for feedback makes the client feel appreciated.

NEW! Third Edition

Learn How to Plan and Operate for Survival and Growth

Attorney and Law Firm Guide to The Business of Law®, 3rd ed.

until May 1
(reg. $149.95)

Attorney and Law firm Guide to The Business of Law®, 3rd ed. - Available April 1, 2014

To Order:

or order online at

Ed Poll has simplified the mystical process of operating a law practice so that anyone can be more effective with his/her clients and become more profitable. Learn more.

"Your Guide to Biz of Law Book is like a Bible for my practice." - G. Gordillo


Go on the Offensive and Win the Game

NEW! Third Edition - Attorney & Law Firm Guide to The Business of Law - 25% OFF!

Video: Selling Your Practice in the Internet Age, Part 1

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Selling Your Practice in the Internet Age, Part 1 

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"I requested that (my partners) allow me to take on the management of the firm and suggested the creation of a business plan.... (Our practice) is a successful practice, but in dire need of a direction -- and a business plan. They agreed to give me a shot and entertain a rough outline of my ideas. I was shocked when they agreed, but then horrified at the task before me. However, sitting on my shelf is "The Business of Law" that I purchased from you a few years ago. I began to read it and a whole new world has opened up for me. I just wanted to express my gratitude to you for writing the book... I am excited about the opportunity I have and just wanted to let you know that I appreciate all you do for the field."

Pleasanton, CA

"I was an associate at a large national law firm and I felt "stuck," but I didn't know how to market myself to clients or to other firms. Ed's focus on the business side of the law firm provided a solid grounding for me to evaluate my current situation and a platform from which I could start growing my own practice. In many ways, working with Ed is like working with a therapist. Part of my coaching process with Ed has been getting to understand more thoroughly my strengths and weaknesses as both a marketer and as a lawyer. After working with Ed for six months, I was ready to market myself to other firms: I developed a clearly articulated set of objectives and Ed has gave me the tools that I needed to increase my exposure. Today, I am working for a law firm that provides better opportunities for my professional growth."

San Francisco, CA


Ed Poll, LawBiz® Management

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