Monthly Archives: June 2017

Beyoncé Has Reportedly Named Her Twins Rumi and Sir Carter

Beyoncé and Jay-Z welcomed their twin babies last week, and now it’s being reported the couple chose the unique names Rumi and Sir Carter.

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Law blog basics : Do not publicize launch of blog

You don’t publicize the launch of a law blog the way you may announce other law firm news.

Beginning a law blog is akin to beginning to network offline by going out and engaging your target audience to build a name and nurture relationships. You are just doing your networking on the Internet with a blog.

Imagine sending out a press release that a lawyer or group of lawyers in your firm were going to start networking to get work. You know, going to chamber of commerce and industry events.

We’re not sure if they’ll be any good at networking. We’re not sure they’ll continue the effort. But golly, they’re going to give it a whirl. You’d look like a darn fool.

That’s pretty close to what law firms are doing when they send out press releases announcing the launch of a blog.

And if press releases on blogs aren’t bad enough, the press releases often boast of the blog being a “go-to” or definitive resource on a subject.

Like a blog with three or four posts on anything is the definitive resource.

Great law blogs generating significant business are usually not “go-to” resources. Leave that to major publishers whose job it is to publish all the time, a blog is for networking and name recognition.

Emails to select clients are okay, but I’d wait three to six months to send them. Sophisticated clients will wonder if you’ll keep the blog up if you send them in the beginning.

When you announce the blog to these clients, let them know that you’re publishing the blog for them, not for the firm. That we know clients pay a fair amount in fees so we feel we have an obligation to share our insight on matters relevant to them that come across our desk.

Ask for their feedback on the blog. Is it helpful? What could we be doing better? Be real – let them know that you’re not doing the blog to get web traffic, we’re doing it to learn, grow our network and help you.

Don’t assume that because you’ve historically publicized blogs and that other law firms do so, that you should do so.

Ask your marcom and public relationships professionals if they have blogged (not written articles) to build their own name and relationships.

Have they engaged other bloggers, reporters, association leaders, industry leaders, conference coordinators and heads of organizations through blogging? Do they know that you can really turn these folks off by publicizing your blog? That your judgement may be called into question – not good for a business where good judgment means everything.

Blogging is a skill and an art that is picked up in time. Lawyers are not born great bloggers, and it shows when they begin blogging.

Why anyone would want to announce to the world to look at us when we aren’t very good at this, but we’ll get better, is beyond me. Especially in the case of lawyers and a law firm where clients would like to think their lawyers know what they are doing.

Again don’t size up your blogging by what you think looks good – know it’s good, as a blogger. Blog posts are not articles nor legal “memorandum-like.”

Blog posts are usually brief, concise, scannable, engaging via links to third party publications and conversational in tone, among other things. This is an acquired style.

Your blog will get picked up organically in the beginning and there are some good ways to market your blog to help it gain traction that do not include publicizing the blog early on.

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WRC Rally Poland: Thierry Neuville takes narrow lead over Ott Tanak

Thierry Neuville edged ahead of Ott Tanak and Jari-Matti Latvala to take a narrow Rally Poland lead at the end of Friday afternoon

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20 Free Lightweight Plugins for WordPress Slideshows and Galleries

Image slideshows and galleries are pretty much a necessity these days. Good thing there are a ton of powerful, yet free WordPress plugins to choose from that can get the job done for you.
Because there are so many plugins to

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Someone Actually Complimented Lily Collins on the Weight She Lost to Play an Anorexic Character

Someone complimented Lily Collins on the weight she lost to play an anorexic character. Details here.

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Circuit of Wales claims Welsh Government misunderstood risks

The Circuit of Wales developer has hit back at the Welsh Government after it elected not to part-fund the prospective MotoGP circuit, citing a “fundamental

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Malia Obama Wore the Best Summer Dress While on Vacation

Malia Obama was spotted wearing the perfect summer dress while on vacation with her family in Indonesia.

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State supreme courts and bar associatons are limiting access to legal services

Could state supreme courts and state bar associations be trying to limit the public’s access to legal services?

It sure seems that way when looking at how some of them prevent the use of innovation and technology to make lawyers relevant to the 85% of Americans who don’t think of using a lawyer when a legal need arises. Let alone providing access to justice to the poor in this country.

The latest comes from the New Jersey Supreme Court, the governing body for lawyer licensure in the state, which last week blacklisted services from Avvo, LegalZoom and RocketLawyer that match consumers with attorneys because of concerns over fee-sharing and referral fees.

Avvo allegedly facilitated improper fee-splitting, while LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer operated legal service plans that aren’t registered with the judiciary.

Being part of the solution that such services offer is now unethical for a New Jersey Lawyer.

New Jersey is not alone. The services from these and other companies have met resistance from any number of other states.

When these companies leveraged technology, innovation and efficiencies to bring access to legal services, something that bar associations, courts and law firms couldn’t dream of getting done themselves, states cut them off at the knee.

New Jersey State Bar President, Robert Hille, who represents health care institutions and insurance companies, seems a million miles away from the reality of average consumers in his comments about the court’s opinion.

The New Jersey State Bar Association has in recent years frequently expressed concern about the growing number of organizations that have sought to open the door to fee sharing, which could interfere with a lawyer’s independent professional judgment. The opinion provides clarity and practical guidance for New Jersey attorneys about whether and to what extent they can practice in such programs.

Through Avvo Advisers and Avvo Legal Services, Avvo enables a consumer to call a lawyer for forty dollars or to procure legal services at set fees, with Avvo being paid a marketing fee.

In addition to legal service products, LegalZoom offers a network of vetted lawyers as part of a service that receives a Net Promoter Score from its customers which rivals that of Amazon, Apple, and Southwest Airlines.

What does the New Jersey Supreme Court offer? An outdated Self-Help Resource Center web site with limited information. For further questions you call your “Local Ombudsman.” Get real.

People today expect to be able to do a quick Google search, find an app or a service and get what they need – even if it means paying a few hundred dollars. The court, by splitting hairs in their decision making to stop services they and other lawyers dislike, is ignoring reality.

Do they really think someone is going to call a law office, get vetted, be told they’ll get a call back later that day or tomorrow and then drive ten miles to sit in a waiting room before meeting a lawyer?

All this to pay many times more than they’d pay to get better service from innovative companies which have lawyers in their network (in states where they wouldnt be disbarred for participating) who actually “get it.”

Rather than dismiss services like Avvo, D.C. Attorney and long time champion for solo’s, Carolyn Elefant says:

…[Y]ou’d think that solos — who are often interrupted multiple times a day with clients who want a quick answer, and not a $175/hr consult would cheer for Avvo Advisor as well – because instead of having to act rudely or unresponsively towards these callers, lawyers can direct them to a place where they can have their question answered. Likewise, solos can also accept Avvo calls during downtime to earn lunch money and gain access to a new contact – without the hassle of performing intake, opening up a client file and then sending an invoice — because Avvo’s done all of the work for them.

The regulators’ decisions are so illogical Elefant says it’s hard to believe that they are are actually lawyers.

The percentage that Avvo retains from these transactions is no different from the service fees charged by credit card companies. Just as credit card companies collect a charge from each transaction to cover the cost of the service, Avvo’s percentage reflects the service that it provides to users – not just marketing, but also the convenience to lawyers of not having to perform intake or send out an invoice.

Lawyers, courts and bar associations talk a good game when it comes to public service and making legal services more accessible. But it’s not happening.

When businesses everywhere are seizing technology to reduce prices and improve services, bar associations and courts governing lawyers are sticking their heads in the sand and digging in their heels.

This is a real shame — for the public who don’t have access to the law and for lawyers who are increasingly becoming irrelevant to the average person in this country.

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Ben Hanley to replace Alex Lynn at G-Drive for Nurburgring WEC race

Ben Hanley will substitute for Alex Lynn at the G-Drive LMP2 squad in the Nurburgring round of the FIA World Endurance Championship

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10 Fantastic Email Newsletter Designs With Free Source Code

Designing a newsletter can be tough. Not only do you need knowledge and understanding of how users/readers expect content to be delivered to them, you also have the headache of making the layout compatible with all of the many emails

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