Why Should Lawyers Care About Apple Watch?

As it turns out, there are quite a few reasons. Today marked an impressive event – 200+ million Americans voluntarily arrived at work an hour earlier than the previous week. More impressive – anyone who only arrived 55 minutes early was punished for being late. Oh, and Apple held an event. I tease Apple, mostly because I love Apple. I’m not ashamed to consider myself one of those people who has a line of Apple products. I’m typing this on a MacBook Pro, I’ll research on my iPad Air, and I’ll use my phone to track how it’s doing once posted. I’m also a bit of a tech geek anyway, as you might have noticed. However, I’ve long been skeptical about the concept of smart watches. I set aside my skepticism, and watched Apple’s presentation of the Apple Watch wanting the answer to one question: why should lawyers care? The answer: An emphatic yes. As an aside, yes, I recognize that the Apple Watch isn’t the first smartwatch on the market. And unlike 2007, the Apple Watch isn’t a technological breakthrough like iPhone was. Is Apple Watch better than what’s out there? Early reviews have actually been better than expected, and most seem to put it at least on par with the best available right now. (Oh, and the consensus is that the best currently available isn’t Android either, but rather Pebble.) Yet it’s not the individual features of the Apple Watch that impressed me, but what those individual features mean now that Apple is on the case. Nobody can deny the power of Apples brand awareness, marketing capabilities, and... read more

6 Excellent Timekeeping Apps for Lawyers [Updated]

No one task is more essential for law firms, and yet more universally loathed among lawyers, than recording time. Writing down the value and effort that make up your legal advice, in six-minute increments, is an irritating experience shared by almost any lawyer in private practice. One attorney I know equated recording time to clicking on the meter in a taxi cab. Another attorney proudly announced that, as part of a switch to being a government attorney, she would never have to record time again. Basically, it sucks. Although alternative billing structures are out there, the bill-per-hour is still the most widely accepted way for an attorney to charge a client, especially when you include some of the hybrid models being used today. Therefore, it’s incredibly important that time is recorded accurately, and as soon after the task is completed as possible. Not the easiest of tasks while in the office. Much more difficult when you’re not. Here are 6 Excellent Timekeeping Apps for Lawyers, whether you use iOS or Android, to help you accurately track your time while you’re on the go. 1) iTimeKeep by Bellefield Systems, LLC (iOS, Android) I’ll admit right from the start that I’m a little biased on this one. iTimeKeep is the app I use most regularly, and it is my favorite of the timekeeping apps for lawyers. Offering two options for use, the free “stand-alone” time recording functions, or using the Bellefield Connect system to integrate with your firm’s billing or matter-management software, iTimeKeep works for anyone. Record your time on the go, and either enter the information manually when you return to... read more

Best New Apps for Lawyers – February 2015

Hopefully everyone was able to get through that miserable February weather… just in time for March to enter like a lion, or whatever that proverb says. We’re expecting both temperatures in the 70s and snow this week in North Carolina, so hopefully it’s crazy everywhere! Fortunately, February marked the second month in a row of some pretty excellent apps to talk about. So, without further ado… Here are my best new apps for lawyers released in February 2015: Multi-Platform: IF Do Button (iOS, Android), Do Camera (iOS, Android), Do Note (iOS, Android) by IFTTT, free. One of the best automation platforms available, IFTTT has been helping you organize your life for a while now – at least if you’re like me. Recently, they’ve decided to go through an entire re-branding of their system, taking the “If-This-Then=That” and making it into separate apps for convenience. Now, using three separate apps, the team at IF wants to make it a bit easier to operate some of the most frequently used functions. Using the Do Button, you’re able to trigger one of a significant number of actions based on a particular input, like controlling your smart light system at home. Do Camera, as should be painfully obvious, triggers events based on taking pictures on your phone. Do Note triggers many of the note-taking features, such as copying to Evernote or Pocket – a feature I use daily to collect my resources for these very monthly new app posts! It’s one of the best tools on the market, so if you’re not using it yet, you should really get to it! iOS: Teleprompter... read more

The Ultimate List of Social Media Tools and Apps

Here it is, the Ultimate List of Social Media Tools. No matter what type of an impact you want your company to have on Social Media, you’re only going to do so much on your own. The right tools can make sure your efforts are efficient, targeted, and, hopefully, profitable. Whether you’re looking for a dashboard that gives you total control of all your social media profiles, or just want a resource for images you can share, my ultimate guide has a tool for you!. Contents Ad Management Analytics Automation Relationship Management Follower Management Influencer Outreach Contact Management Market Research Marketing Personas Content Account Management Enterprise Dashboards Single-Network Dashboards Mobile Apps Chat Management Miscellaneous Monitoring Scheduling Visuals Image Sourcing Image Creation Image Editing Infographics Animated GIFs Video Ad Management These tools are designed for businesses looking to get a little more out of their advertising than the generic promotions the sites offer. From A/B testing, to hyper-narrow target audiences, these tools will help you reach the exact right audience with a message you’ve crafted just for them. Ad Espresso Combine different elements of your ad, like images, text, titles, headings, and get constant, real-time updates showing you what your proposed ad will look like. While most platforms allow for customization, few combine the ease-of-use and real-time display of Ad Espresso. The result – an intuitive system for even novice users that allows creativity to be efficient. The tool allows for detailed targeting, and the multiple-ad options allow for complex and in-depth A/B testing for those interested. Even if you’re not looking to perform comparison tests, Ad Espresso’s relatively inexpensive... read more

14 Simple Hacks to Boost Your Social Media Marketing

Most people think they’ve mastered the social media platforms they use. They’re happy knowing what they know, and they’re happy with the results they get. We’re not “most people.” We want an advantage. We’re not cheating, but we’re going to look high and low for the little tricks, the whispered tips… the simple hacks… that will put us over the top. We do so because we know that it’s in those simple things, the tiny overlooked tool, the slightly out-of-the-way feature, that’s where we’re going to set ourselves apart. Here are 14 Simple Hacks to Boost Your Social Media Marketing: 1) Send Followers to Your Website with a Call to Action. One of the interesting additions to your Facebook Company page is the ability for you to add a “Call to Action” in your banner image. Facebook is pitching this tool as a new way to connect with followers. Based on reports from Dollar Shave Club who performed a trial, it worked. Their conversion rate more than doubled. How do you do it. Well, right in your banner, you’ll see a little button right next to your “Share” button. Click on it and it opens this screen: There you have your (admittedly limited) options to give your followers: “Book Now,” “Contact Us,” “Use App,” “Play Game,” “Shop Now,” “Sign Up,” or “Watch Video.” Apparently a “Donate Now” is or will be available, but only to limited companies. It links directly to any website you enter, even allowing a separate site for mobile users. 2) Upload your marketing videos directly to Facebook. Do you use video in your social media marketing?... read more

How to Create a Social Media Strategy that Gets Results

What is your law firm’s social media strategy? It probably comes as no surprise to most of you that, for the majority of firms, the response is “I dunno.” Hell, 54% of attorneys apparently believe that using social media for marketing at all is just hype. If you’re here, you either think they’re (maybe) wrong, or you accidentally clicked on the wrong headline. Either way, if your law firm uses social media to market your firm in any way, you really need a written social media strategy. A written strategy will ensure that your social media stays focused on accomplishing the firm’s goals, ensuring everyone is on the same page. Moreover, it provides a valuable blueprint that helps you make important decisions, and establishes workflows to make you more efficient. Ok, you agree, you probably need a social media strategy. But who has the time? You do. Here’s How to Create a Social Media Strategy that Gets Results: 1) Determine Your General Goal What are you trying to accomplish? First and foremost, your social media strategy doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s a part of your overall marketing program. So look at your overall marketing goals and determine how social media fits in. To get the most out of social media, though, it’s best to narrow its focus to a particular goal. The goal of your marketing campaign is to make a prospective client more likely to choose you over another attorney. Traditional advertising attempts to influence a client’s decision directly – stating a value proposition in a (usually) unambiguous sales pitch. Social media marketing, at its best, does the... read more

9 Essential Skills of a Law Firm Social Media Manager

To a lot of attorneys, the idea of spending any significant time on social media is ridiculous. For them, the idea that someone would have “Social Media Manager” as a title is likely even more ridiculous. Thing is, those attorneys are dropping fast, and they’ll soon be left in the dust. Social media is no longer optional for marketing your law firm. Only the extent of your engagement is really in question. For some firms, very limited engagement is appropriate. For others, an entire team needs to be hired just to tend to the social networks. Regardless, you need someone in your firm whose job it is to oversee your social media. Whether it’s part-time, full-time, or a full division of your company, you need a social media manager. And it can’t be just anybody. Here are 9 Essential Skills for a Law Firm Social Media Manager: 1) Compliance with Ethical Rules “Ethics first, ethics last, ethics always,” says attorney and marketing consultant Stacey Burke Why? Because if your social media manager isn’t able to comply with ethical rules, you may as well just give up your law license. It’s not enough to know the rules, your social media manager has to be able to comply with them while maintaining your firm’s social media. There are a lot of potential ethical pitfalls. While I may hold the belief that social media does not constitute a marketing platform, per se, the ethical rules still apply. Your social media manager will need to put in appropriate disclaimers and be careful not to violate ethical rules concerning prior results. Most importantly, your social... read more

5 Ways Lawyers Can Make More Money Using Social Media

The biggest problem with attorneys using social media to market their law firms is that social media is not a marketing platform. Traditional marketing involves a brief statement offering legal services, and it ends. The prospective client either calls or doesn’t, and that’s it. Social media just isn’t the same thing. Traditional advertising is a pitch, the lawyer speaking and the prospective client silent. Social media, on the other hand, is a conversation. Attorneys who treat social media like a billboard or a TV ad just end up looking stupid, like this: What might look normal on a billboard just ends up looking like spam on social media. However, just because social media can’t be used like traditional marketing channels doesn’t mean social media can’t be part of your marketing strategy. In fact, used properly, social media can help you generate leads. A lot of leads. More leads, more clients, more money. Three Drivers of Lead Generation In order to understand how social media can help you generate leads, we need to understand what influences a potential client to choose you over another firm. What motivates them to take their legal problems to you? I’ve found that there are three different but interconnected reasons someone chooses a particular law firm: 1) familiarity with the firm or an attorney in the firm, 2) the authority of the firm or attorney in a particular area, and 3) referral recommendations from a trusted source. Familiarity Absent any other factors, a potential client is much more likely to hire the firm he feels like he knows. Whether it’s by reputation, through advertising, or... read more

Florida Bar: Destroying Relevant Evidence is A-OK!

“A lawyer… may advise that a client remove information relevant to the foreseeable proceeding from social media pages.” That’s right, the Florida bar just decided it’s okay to destroy evidence. Evidence the attorney knows will be relevant. Before an opposing party is even on notice of a claim. And that’s not all! Before I get to the Florida bar’s inexplicably stupid and ignorant opinion, a little background: The Florida bar got an ethics inquiry from a local attorney. It asks whether it is permissible to instruct his or her client concerning two specific actions: 1) advising a client to remove posts, photos, videos, etc. from a personal social media account, and 2) advising a client to adjust the privacy settings to remove posts and accounts from public view. Both ask about pre-litigation situations, but with litigation certainly expected. Here’s what the Florida Bar concluded: 1) “[A] lawyer may advise a client to use the highest level of privacy setting (sic) on the client’s social media pages.” 2) “[A] lawyer may advise the client pre-litigation to remove information from a social media page, regardless of its relevance to a reasonably foreseeable proceeding,” provided the lawyer keeps an “appropriate record” of the deleted posts. (No further advice on what would constitute an “appropriate record.”) 3) Telling your clients not to remove relevant information from the client’s social media pages is, for all intents and purposes, optional. Conceal evidence? Check. Destroy evidence? Check. Plausible deniability? Check mate. And for good measure, to support its conclusions, the drafters completely misrepresent other ethics opinions they cite for support. And a lot of commentators have too. This opinion... read more

6 Simple Tools to Create the Ultimate LinkedIn Profile

Ask any lawyer about social networking, and you’ll hear the same thing: “LinkedIn.” Hell, ask pretty much anyone working as a professional or anyone in corporate America, LinkedIn is the place to be. Why? Because LinkedIn has made itself a wonderful combination of Facebook and Twitter – for business hours and serious business people. The stats are insane: 2 new members per second; 100 million users in the U.S.; 40% of users check the site daily; 3 million business pages; 2.1 million groups; 34% annual web traffic growth. It’s where you want to be for business-to-business (“B2B”) communication. Wow, suddenly you realize that you’ve been using LinkedIn to stand out as a professional. Using your LinkedIn Profile. Among 100 million people. Turns out, you’re gonna need a bigger boat! Fortunately, there’s help! Here are 6 Simple Tools to help Create the Ultimate LinkedIn Profile: 1) On-the-fly editing of all major elements of your profile. This may seem small. It’s not. In fact, one commentator described it as the biggest update LinkedIn has announced in the past year. Why is it such a big deal? It’s all about ease of use, combined with speed. Oh, and it turns out it used to be really hard to make any edits on a mobile device! Before, to modify your LinkedIn profile, you had to open the “edit profile” box, go to a different screen, and make your edits. Now, you can update any element of your LinkedIn profile by hovering your cursor over it. Changes can be made easily, wherever you are.  If you’re having trouble visualizing, I’ve sacrificed my LinkedIn profile page to demonstrate: Any of those spots you... read more
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