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Book review: ‘How to Capture and Keep Clients’

Stacked3This week's Daily Record column is entitled "Book review: ‘How to Capture and Keep Clients’."  My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here.

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Book review: ‘How to Capture and Keep Clients’  

After three long years of law school, you’ve finally graduated and are, at long last, handed a piece of paper that indicates that you’ve obtained your Juris Doctor. It’s official! You’re now a lawyer and can head out into the world and make a living practicing law. Or can you?

Unfortunately the truth of the matter is you can’t practice law without clients. That’s where legal marketing comes in. Marketing your law firm has always been necessary, but these days, with the rise of online marketing, understanding how to use the Internet to gain exposure for your law firm is more important than ever. This is especially so since web-based marketing is often more economical, effective, and less time consuming than traditional marketing such as costly yellow page ads, print advertising and in-person networking.

But with so many options and so little time, what’s a busy lawyer to do? The short answer: Educate yourself. The good news is that the recently published Second Edition of “How to Capture and Keep Clients: Marketing Strategies for Lawyers,” (ABA 2015) written by attorney Jennifer J. Rose, is exactly what the doctor ordered.*

The book starts off with this timeless piece of advice in the introduction: “What’s hot today may be tomorrow’s toast. Some constants remain just as true and reliable about capturing and keeping clients for today’s lawyers as they did for their grandfathers. Be the best lawyer you can. Understand your client. Meet your clients’ needs. The same building blocks remain: identity, conversations, sharing, presence, relationships, reputation, and groups. A decade or two from now, LinkedIn and Twitter may be entirely different beasts, but the core principles will remain unchanged.”

This incredibly useful book includes chapters on all aspects of legal marketing written by 27+ lawyers and legal marketing experts. Whether you’re a new lawyer seeking to obtain your first client or a seasoned attorney interested in learning about new ways to reach potential clients, this book is for you.

It begins with a section on asking for business and covers the basics concepts of marketing. It includes tips to help you land your first client and rainmaking is discussed in depth over the next few sections of the book. Topics covered include: 1) strategies you can implement to make the most of your current and past client relationships, 2) rainmaking with your law firm’s particular geographic region and areas of practices in mind, 3) how to use traditional marketing means, such as business cards, and more recent trends, such as social media, effectively, and 4) ways to fit marketing into your practice, even if it’s just small steps taken each day.

There is also a chapter devoted entirely to the many important ethical considerations that lawyers must keep in mind when marketing their practice. This chapter addresses the top 10 ethical mistakes lawyers make when engaging in rainmaking activities.

The last two chapters stray off the beaten path a bit, but nevertheless focus on important topics. Chapter 7 covers tax-related issues that many law firms encounter. It provides a quick and dirty overview of many important tax considerations, with tips on how to ensure that you avoid any missteps.

Finally, the last chapter addresses the always-important issue of mental health. Lawyers have incredibly high rates of depression, substance abuse, and suicide, so taking steps to reduce these risks is always a good idea. In this chapter, one way of doing that, mindfulness, is covered, including ways to incorporate it into your day-to-day life and practice.

This book is ideal for all lawyers seeking to add tools to their marketing arsenal. Since law schools fail to teach lawyers about the ins and outs of marketing their practices, this knowledge needs to be obtained elsewhere. This book is a great place to start.

*(Disclaimer: I wrote one of the newly added chapters on Twitter for lawyers and was provided with a complimentary review copy of this book).

Nicole Black is a Rochester, New York attorney and the Legal Technology Evangelist at MyCase, intuitive web-based law practice management software for the modern law firm. She is also the author of the ABA book Cloud Computing for Lawyers, co-authors the ABA book Social Media for Lawyers: the Next Frontier, and co-authors Criminal Law in New York, a West-Thomson treatise. She is the founder of lawtechTalk.com and speaks regularly at conferences regarding the intersection of law and technology. She publishes four legal blogs and can be reached at niki@mycase.com.