Who are you? Who is your organization?
I am a former law firm partner with over 12 years of full time litigation experience. During that time, I became very interested in management and business development – topics most lawyers aren’t focused on. I realized that good systems, practice management strategies and effective business development methods can make all the difference in a successful, productive and enjoyable law practice. I started Legal Ease Consulting to prevent the defection of good lawyers from the profession and to help them rediscover the reasons they chose law in the first place; just because law is a serious profession doesn’t mean lawyers can’t enjoy themselves too.
Where does your organization fit in the legal industry?
As a former law firm partner and entrepreneur, I’m aware of the burdens involved in dealing with the ‘three headed monster’ of the competing demands of administrative, marketing, and client tasks that require a lawyer’s attention. Often, the problem isn't knowing what needs to be done - it's actually getting it done. I’ve see firm struggle with practice management and business development implementation due to a failure to plan strategically or a lack of accountability. I help lawyers to create a vision for their firm, and then strategize about how to reach that vision by creating plans, action steps and accountability that actually help them to get things done.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the legal industry now and in the upcoming year?
The legal industry is at a cross-roads which has been building over time, but has been accelerated by the economic crisis. Unfortunately, the current state of the legal profession – the billable hour model, pressure to work ever longer and harder, increased competition - works against the best interests of lawyers and their clients. Lawyers have even more pressure to become more efficient and effective, to establish and articulate the value of their services to their clients, and to develop alternative fee structures. Clients will continue to be vigilant in reviewing bills and challenging lawyers to provide services in ways that suit the clients – and that includes the ways in which legal fees are charged, as well as the way the work is performed (and by whom).
How can law firms work with you?
Legal Ease Consulting, Inc. offers a variety of coaching and consulting services and products. Services are offered either on a project basis with a defined scope or through ongoing monthly retainers, based upon the individual client’s needs, resources, budget and goals.
I work with clients in four crucial areas: Planning and Strategy, Procedures and Systems, Business Development/Client Experience and Culture and Professional Development. I help lawyers create a vision for their practice and develop plans to reach that vision; improve productivity; set goals; develop more effective office procedures; and create alternative fee structures and refine billing and collections. I work with clients to identify and attract their ideal clients; manage client expectations; enhance client experience and increase referrals; build client and employee satisfaction surveys and policies; revise compensation plans; and improve firm communication.
How can the legal vendor community work with you?
I can work with legal vendors by writing white papers and presenting teleseminars, webinars or live speaking engagements. I can also work with legal vendors on projects with their lawyer-clients. As a lawyer and former law firm partner, I have experience working in both small and mid-sized law firms, and I know the unique challenges faced by lawyers in managing and marketing their practices, and the restrictions they face, which aren’t always present in other businesses.
How can you help legal technology vendors be more successful?
Lawyers and law firms are notoriously slow to adapt to new technologies, and they are naturally skeptical of being ‘sold’ anything – especially technology. They have concerns about privacy, security and their ethical responsibilities to clients, and they are reluctant to spend time on anything ‘non-billable.’ All of these factors combine to make lawyers difficult to convince about the virtues of technology and how they can be used in their practice. As a former practicing lawyer, I can help legal technology vendors be more successful by helping to identify some of the challenges faced by lawyers and identifying the benefits of technology and how technology can improve the lawyer-client relationship and the lawyer’s bottom line.