Archive for May, 2007

Technology that enables small firms to match big firms

May 31, 2007

Fred Faulkner has identified a common scenario:
You have worked for a large firm for many years and you have made the decision to either go solo or start a small firm. You were used to having access to all your information via an Intranet, file server, and your desktop. You could practice law and let the IT department worry about when the printer jammed or if you got a virus. Now that you are solo, you are the one that has to deal with all those problems as well as practice law.

In his article Are you ready for the web-based office? he suggests alternatives that enable solos to  have all the applications big firms offer.

From my point of view, the latest offerings mean I can work effectively anywhere  without big firm IT department restrictions.

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Are big law firms facing extinction?

May 30, 2007

According to the GC for Sun, the days of the one-stop shop are over:

“This structure previously made sense. If you were an individual or business with a legal problem, it wasn’t efficient nor effective to try to identify an individual attorney with the technical skills that you required. So, you would turn to a law firm and rely on them to direct you to the appropriate attorney within their firm to solve your issue. The problem is that this model relies on growth (the need to add additional attorneys) to maintain profitability rather than focusing on efficiency gains. ..

“the epoch of the current law firm model – which derives its profitability from growing scale and raising hourly rates – will soon be over. The firms that will survive and thrive are those that recognize this change and focus on how to maintain margins by focusing on efficiency. .. we recently selected a small number of law firms to support us as “preferred partners” during the next fiscal year. We believe that these firms “get it” and are receptive to looking at new ways to drive down their (and our) cost structure. “

Is “free “, good marketing?

May 23, 2007

Most professionals understand that you need to gain credibility with potential clients before they sign up and you typically do that by “educating” them ie giving away information that shows your expertise.

How far do you go with giving away information for free?

David Brown, an insolvency lawyer in Sydney, provides a free online debt collection service for matters that are not cost-effective for a lawyer to do.

Family Court Forms offers free online divorce applications.

Is there a service you can reasonably provide for free which  will attract potential clients?