Articles for Lawyers

As a business coach, I've published a number of articles on topics that help professionals become more successful and satisfied with their work. If you want to learn more about me, my professional approach, and how coaching really works, read on.

Carrying Out Your Marketing Plan: How to Meet the Challenge
Actually carrying out a marketing plan is one of the biggest challenges many lawyers face in building their law practices. The following suggestions might help you win this challenge.

Lawyers who Practice Solo Value Freedom
The freedom to do what you want, make your own decisions, set your own billable hours target, take only matters you want, and work only with clients you like; it is a big draw for the majority of solo practitioners. This article might help you decide to become a solo law practitioner.

Advance Your Referral Development Program
Developing referral sources is a major part of any successful attorney's business development or marketing plan. To make expand the number of people who refer new, quality clients to you and your law firm, you need a referral development plan or program. Use the Referral Cycle actions to cultivate your referral sources.

Checklists: The Basis for Excellence
Checklists are the groundwork for an excellent, well-run practice that is mistake free and less stressful. Set up systems using checklists for every procedure you and your staff do to make sure that every time something is done, it is done consistently and nothing important is forgotten.

Avoid Overwhelm by saying "No"
To avoid being overwhelmed in your law practice set limits and say "no". This article will give you some ideas on what to say no to and how.

Start a Business Plan with the End in Mind
Being able to delegate well is one of those skills that makes a lawyer feel great about his or her practice. In my work, I've experienced time and time again lawyers wanting to blame the person to whom the task was delegated for poor results, rather than themselves. Learning the fine art of delegation includes taking responsibility for your delegation skills by becoming aware of the reasons a delegated task did not turn out well, so you can improve.

Take responsibility for your delegation
Being able to delegate well is one of those skills that makes a lawyer feel great about his or her practice. In my work, I've experienced time and time again lawyers wanting to blame the person to whom the task was delegated for poor results, rather than themselves. Learning the fine art of delegation includes taking responsibility for your delegation skills by becoming aware of the reasons a delegated task did not turn out well, so you can improve.

Great Service Leads to Client Loyalty
The best way to maintain and build your practice is by making sure that your existing clients are happy. Happy clients pay their bills, give you more work and refer you to others. Unhappy clients don't let you know they are unhappy; they just don't ask you to do any more work. They usually just quietly leave. This article is intended to give you some ideas that can help you keep your clients happy and loyal.

Coaching Skills To Manage Your Law practice
Coaching skills are an indispensable tool for managing your law practice. Whether you are a partner in a large firm or a lawyer practicing solo, coaching will help you manage your employees effectively. Coaching, done well, can improve employee performance. You'll succeed in helping the coachee (the person you are coaching) become more aware of their performance, identify problems and develop solutions. This article identifies some of the important coaching skills a manager should develop.

Seven Keys to Effective Communication
Improving your communication skills will let you express yourself with more confidence; more confidence will help you attract more clients and influence your peers and referral sources. Mastering these seven keys will allow you to connect with your clients in a more meaningful way and solve problems more effectively.

Lawyers with Emotional Intelligence Have an Edge
The lawyer who takes into account theirs and their clients' emotions will be the lawyer with the more successful and rewarding practice. Those lawyers that avoid dealing with their client's emotions are missing out on the important benefits that come from having a developed emotional intelligence (EI). They are not giving themselves the additional advantage in building a successful law practice that comes with a high Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ). This article will give you some pointers on how to develop your EI.

Best Practices for a safe and fulfilling law practice
Working as a business coach for lawyers for the past 11 years has given me an opportunity to learn what kinds of chances or risks lawyers might take when they get worried. One of the many benefits of working with a business coach is that bad decisions can be avoided, as you take time to talk through changes you're thinking of making to your practice before you make them, and to be ready to course correct afterward, if needed. This article covers best practices that work for my clients. Follow the guidelines and you will keep your risks to a minimum and make your practice more rewarding and profitable.

End the Aging Process: Control Your Account Receivables
Having a successful law practice includes getting paid promptly. There's little point in working hard, being good and enjoying what you do, if in the end you have cash flow problems because of aging account receivables. This article provides pointers on how on to create a collection policy which will lead to a 100% collection rate of your accounts.

Delegating: An Essential Skill to Lighten Your Load
The art of effective delegation is one of the most important skills a lawyer can learn and master to lighten their load and reduce feelings of being overwhelmed.

A Happy Lawyer Is a Professional Lawyer
The art of effective delegation is one of the most important skills a lawyer can learn and master to lighten their load and reduce feelings of being overwhelmed.

Personality Assessments: What About Them?
Understanding people through the use of personality assessments can be very useful in the management of your law practice. Imagine being able to influence everyone. Imagine being able to deal with difficult people better. Imagine understanding your partners, staff, clients better.

Imagine Having Enough Time
Use to-do lists, delegate early, say no, plan early and for the unexpected, and be realistic with your promises.

Resolve to Change Your Limiting Beliefs
When having a difficult time changing your actions or behaviors, it may be necessary to go further than just noticing your inability to perform the behavior and go deeper and focus on changing your thoughts. Habits and behaviors arise out of thoughts and feelings. Some thoughts are limiting, and until exposed, block actions.

When the Working Day is Done, How Much Fun Are You Having?
Attitude goes a long way to having more satisfaction and fun in your practice. You can decide the glass is either half empty or half full. You can decide that you're enjoying yourself and having fun or that what you do is drudgery. Shifting your attitude may be all you need to do to notice the pleasure or fun in what you're doing.

Make Communication Skills "PIVOTAL"
The practice of law is highly dependent on good communication skills, especially persuasive oral communication skills. This article will address seven key communication skills that are a must for lawyers to master.

Has the Billable Hour Made Fools of Us?

It's time to make some fundamental changes in how lawyers value their services. Just because the billable hour is easy is not a good enough reason to continue with it now that we are seeing the negative consequences. We need to find alternatives for the billable hour, alternatives that will acknowledge the increased efficiency and improved technical methods lawyers now use to deliver legal services.

Not Feeling Especially Thankful? Learn How to Stay in Practice and Enjoy it More

Book reviews of three books to help you enjoy the practice of law more: Transforming Practices: Finding Joy and Satisfaction in the Legal Life, Stress Management for Lawyers: How To Increase Personal & Professional Satisfaction in the Law and The Lawyer's Guide to Balancing Life and Work: Taking the Stress Out of Success.

Obstacles in Marketing: What? I Have to Make Time for That, Too?

Becoming aware of your particular obstacles to marketing can help you eliminate those obstacles. Some common reasons for not finding the time to market your professional law practice include: not having a clear plan, not knowing how to market, procrastinating, fear of doing something you've never done before and putting everything else first.

Lawyers And Leisure: An Oxymoron?

Leisure is in direct conflict with the business of law, which is based on billable hours. The high requirement of billable hours by most firms is in direct opposition to leisure time. In order to create more leisure it is necessary for lawyers to learn to say "no" to other things that take up their time.

Seven Reasons Why Lawyers Hire a Coach

There are seven reasons (at least!) why a lawyer might hire a lawyer coach. Many lawyers are hiring their own personal coach for one-on-one business and personal support because they like the idea of creating their own plan to reach their goals.

A lawyer coach works with the client to draw out the client's own ideas and inclinations to help design a plan based on what they are willing to do in the future to improve their situation.

The examples in this article are based on true coaching stories.

The #1 Way To Grow Your Practice: Work your existing clients and referral sources!

The #1 way to build your law practice is to develop the relationships you already have with your existing clients. This article includes ideas on how to expand and enhance your business relationships.

Personal Coaching: Achieve Performance Goals Quickly and Effectively

Working with a lawyer coach makes handling the changes in one's law practice easier and goals are achieved faster. The key to success while working with a coach is the lawyer's strong desire and willingness to achieve his or her business, career or practice goals.

Trained coaches assist professionals to optimize their performance and increase their satisfaction in life. Successful companies like Coca-Cola, IBM, Colgate and Citibank hire coaches to improve performance and management skills. It's time more lawyers took advantage of what the other businesses and corporations use for their best practices.