Can you think of a “catch point” in your flow of new prospects on their way to becoming new clients. One catch point might be the lack of testimonials on your web site.

The problem: Most legal web sites lack an abundance of client reviews.  
I know of one lawyer with 139 web site testimonials (surprise the lawyer is incidentally associated with a legal marketing company).  Don’t you think all the good words from all the satisfied clients will result in more business and faster decisions.

The phrase catch point describes a method to safely manage an out of control vehicle like side-railing a runaway railroad car, or a truck using a run away truck stop. As potential clients travel across your web site, an abundance of good client reviews will help keep and guide them and favorably influence their decision to use your services.

How to be smart and practical obtaining and posting client reviews?
Be sure to use a Client Satisfaction Survey after each matter/file/case/project is closed to gain feedback, good or bad, from your clients. Certain survey questions will let the client provide permission to be a reference and also approve your sharing of their comments. When you receive a glowing testimonial, do your self a favor by thanking your client and at the same time provide a link to a client review button on your lawyer page on AVVO.com  and Lawyers.com.

To find the link to a client review page try, for example, visit  AVVO.com at http://www.avvo.com/find-a-lawyer by searching for your own name. Find the ‘Write a Review’ button and copy the link.  Send that link to your client to facilitate writing your client review.

NEWS:  Premier is the proud creator and sponsor of the www.5at55.com 5@55 New BookCover smallerwebsite.  Created by estate planning attorneys, the 5@55 campaign is here to support 55 year old Americans to get your legal house in order.”

Leading Estate and Elder Law lawyers are becoming affiliated. Visit www.5at55.com to learn more.

One of the most desirable feautures from any practice management system, including Time Matters, is an automated reporting module.  Unfortunalely that doesn’t exist.
However, we think it is a great idea – so we created it.

Announcing
– TM Reporter –logo premier

Automated Reporting Module for Time Matters

Your Reports,
When You Want Them,
Emailed Automatically to Whomever You Designate
You can not manage effectively if you don’t have reports.

Reports enable you to measure your progress against your objectives
Actual Billable Hours vs Targeted Bllable Hours
Actual Matters Opened by Type vs Targeted Matters Opened by Type
Cash Flow – Events by Date and Time of day with Fee Totals

Reports enable you to manage by exception
Aged Accounts Receivable – Unpaid Bills Over 30, 60, 90 days
Past Due Todo’s – Tasks Past their Taget Completion date

TM Reporter Reporting Features:

Frequency
Select when – Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Daily,  All, or  ## (Day of Month)

Record Type – Chose your existing reports or select from our library of reports for managing Events, Todos, Contacts and Matters

Record Filter  – Identifies the filter of records selected for the report, Such as Open Todo’s – Due in Next 7 Days

Email Recipient – One or many recipients for Each Report – Includes path to saved report pdf file (plus option toinclude pdf report as attachment)

Contact us to learn more.

LPM wordleI recommend lawyers, who are looking at estate practice management systems, look for the following functionality and offer several resources to maximize your time and effectiveness.

A good law practice management (LPM) program for any practice, including estate planning, will enable you to capture and organize all the data you deem relevant. It will use that data in support of merging to document templates, and for generating records automatically under certain conditions and further it will incorporate the data in a set of useful reports that help you manage your calendar, contacts and matters. Your reports should include a quick matter management summary view as well as a more detailed view of all outstanding todo/tasks for each active matter.

Starting with data capture -beyond the basic fields you would benefit by having fields for contact records (prospect/client, advisors, organizations) for mail list management, referral source analysis, prospect tracking and seminar/workshops etc.  Also relevant data fields for Matters (estate planning, probate, estate administration, business, guardianships, real estate, charitable trust or organization, life care planning, VA benefits, tax, Medicaid, Special Needs Planning etc.).

Next your LPM should organize all of the related records both by Contact and by Matter. These records include Calendar Events and Todo/Tasks, plus Notes, Email, Phone, Documents and Billing.  Some systems can even include other records such as Assets, especially if you intend to do funding.

Next LPM should handle Document Management (automatic folder and file naming), full text indexing for full text searching of all of your files ( doc, pdf, xls, etc .) and Document Assembly – short routine letters and longer advanced merge type documents (check out WealthCounsel and Elder Counsel).  You should be able to go paperless with features for scanning to pdf and saving into your LPM programs document management system

Next LPM will support automatic workflow to auto generate one or more records automatically under certain conditions.  Generally when you add a record or change a field in a record you should be able to define what records pop-up automatically – think appointment confirmation letter or email, referral thank you letter or email, or a chain of all of the estate admin deadlines over the next year or so for certain an estate admin matters.

Next you should have reports to measure and manage by objective and to manage by exception. Reports that track actual activity against your objectives include  ‘calls to consults’ and ‘consults to new retainers’,  also a ‘cash flow’ report for future and past activity on events with the number $meetings total of fees; also track monthly new matters by type and compare this year to last year to identify trends. Management by exception might include something like a list of ‘Past due Todo’s’.

In addition to the core features listed above the LPM system should link, synch and integrate ‘seamlessly’ with other programs and devices such as your  word processing, email, pdf programs, scanners, smart phones and other devices.

Just because a particular system has added a feature doesn’t necessarily mean that they have implemented that feature well.  For example, a system may allow adding your own data fields, but if data fields for one matter type appear along with all the other fields from other matter types then it may be cumbersome and won’t be used.   Or if a system has document management, but requires too many steps to name, save and maybe upload the document or scanned file, than again it won’t be useful.

Take a long term view and know that your needs will change.  Be careful not to get locked in to a system that might be hard to get your documents and other records exported out of should need to change in the future.   The best and cheapest solution is to do it right the first time. Be sure to do your homework and get an external  advisor to guide you thru the process. Some systems may be easy to start but may be less than ideal as a long term solution.   Finally, be aware that many older yet proven LPM systems (traditionally existing in a Windows based onsite network) are now available in a hosted/cloud environment accessed easily from any MAC or Windows based device. Someof these systems have tools that allow features to be transferred so that you don’t have to re-invent the wheel.

Other Recommended Resources for an Estate Planning practice:

Organizations to investigate NAELA, Elderlaw Answers, Special Needs Alliance , in support of your firms estate planning services .

A great audio on managing your estate planning practice from the leader of one of the most successful firms
http://premiersoftware.com/resources/keys-to-profitable-law-firm-management/

A dated but timeless article for annuitizing your estate planning services by Victor Medina
http://apps.americanbar.org/lpm/lpt/articles/pdf/ftr07102.pdf

As a an external guide of a lawyer/law firm that is great example of a successful refugee from  Biglaw

(left a 2,800 lawyer firm) I offer Ben Neiberger’s firm http://www.generationlaw.com/

Finally -line up your experienced trail guide for your journey. (aka Premier Software)

All the best,

Tom Caffrey
President
Premier Software
http://www.premiersoftware.com

If there are any trusts and estates practitioners out there who use <system name> with your practice, would be interested in learning how you use it.

I see the applicability to litigation, but am interested to see whether it can significantly help with workflow for drafting plans, trust administration, probate, etc.

Coming from BigLaw, we used no case management software or CRM software at all (I kid you not – DMS only), so I’m struggling a little bit with the “what would I actually use it for” question.

So, do you use it, and what do you use it for and how does that help?

Hello from Raleigh, NC.  This week is the 2015 Certified Partner Conference where we learn the latest from Lexis for their plans for their law practice management product portfolio – Time Matters, PCLaw, Juris and Firm Manager.  Look for an update soon.

Tom Caffrey with 20 from managemet team of Lexis and 100+ fellow consultants

Tom Caffrey with 20 from managemet team of Lexis and 100+ fellow consultants

(PS – It was 72 degrees when I arrived yesterday- nice.)

What you need to know about law firm branded, sponsored emergency id cards and online access to essential data and healthcare documents

  1. It is faster and easier to set-up online than to complete and submit application forms, and faster to select files than to print and mail or fax to a 3rd party.
  2. Print client emergency ID cards in your office in a few minutes – no need to wait up to two weeks to receive an ID card
  3. Print multiple cards per client to share with immediate family or physicians
  4. Newer systems,like SafelyMD are 5x times less expensive than many older, popular systems (see cost analysis in attached file)
  5. Newer systems also support easy file selection, even drag and drop to a client account
  6. Newer system provide the means to set automatic email and sms text message reminders    “It’s time to review your emergency ID health care data and possibly time update your healthcare documents.”
  7. Family plans are private client family accounts – high capacity file storage and emergency id cards for all family members
  8. Security  at the folder or file level with full control of  view, print, download
  9. Files are encrypted from end to end, both in transit and at rest. Single and dual factor authentication. Complete auditing of all activity.
  10. Fast access thru a login/password or thru use of a Smartphone to scan of a QR code.
    Use a Smartphone to scan the QR code to show fast easy access to your client at signing.

Premier Software is an authorized provider for SafelyFiled, in our opinion the best system available. SafelyFiled includes SafelyMD and SafelyFiled Family. We are happy to host an online meeting whenever your schedule permits. For a limited time we have a special offer with even better pricing than that specified on the attached pdf.

Contact us today.
Tel. (856) 429-3010
Email: support@premiersoftware.com
http://premiersoftware.com/dashboard/contact-usask-a-question/http://premiersoftware.com/dashboard/contact-usask-a-question/

See Our Cost Comparison –> Cost Comparison SafelyFiled/SafelyMD vs Other SystemsSafelyFiled_LogoSafelyMD

Premier Software Tele 856 429-3010

  1. Please join my meeting, Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 4:00 PM Eastern = Standard Time.

https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/470736269

  1. Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) – a headset is recommended. Or= , call in using your telephone.

Dial +1 (872) 240-3312

Access Code: 470-736-269
Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting

Meeting ID: 470-736-269

Management by Crisis:  Yesterday, I received an email with a subject “I need You”
We all can recall the famous crisis situations when we read:
“Houston, we have a problem” or  “I think we’re going to need a bigger boat”
So today’s Latin Lesson is: ‘praemonitus, praemunitus’  Forwarned is Forarmed

Case in Point:
The email with the a subject “I need You” involved a rather large large law office that we hadn’t heard from for quite some time… seems their server had run out of system capacity.
An ounce of prevention, (about an hour or two of an experts time) would have precluded the entire issue. The good news is 24 hourslater the firm now has 100GB of free space that they did not have yesterday. They also have a new configuration that will preclude that particular issue.

In every area of specialization there are many simple solutions available provided you are dealing with an experienced specialist. That is why lawyers offer annual retainer or maintenance programs for their clients and that is why no law firm should go along in a DIY fashion. You need a well defined protocol – a structured relationship with a specialist.

If you don’t have a personal relationship with an expert in any given critical area of your practice you are going to have a problem, and you may need a bigger boat.

 

 

 

Legal Tech 2015  I spent today in NYC speaking with Technolawyer publisher Neil Squillante; visiting with LexisNeixs – Amy McArthur, Kendra Gebhart, Jonah Paransky, Susan Harmon (re Firm Manager), and Deane,  fellow consultants – Bill Dertinger, Jeff Levine, David Michael, Seth Rowland; Spent time with Dan Berlin TABS3 (asked Brian Dickey 50 questions and received 50 great answers about practice Master);
Also today in NYC at Legal Tech I explored vendors – Hot Docs (checking out the new Hot Docs Market); Legal Workspace; Citrix (Share File); Microsoft Office 365 exhibit with their new ‘Matter Center’ app;
 name comName.com a company that is the new registrar for new top level domains for .lawyer .attorney


Finally I spoke to of Daren Davis of Drive Savers – they rescue data from damaged disk drives (including fire damaged PC in attached photo)
fire damaged pcIMG_2401

 

I deliberately skipped the other 80+% of the exhibitors offering eDiscovery

Thanks to all who visited with us in Newport Beach during the NAELA Summit.
Joan and I certainly enjoyed speaking with you.

The LCPLFA members were hosts for a great party Friday evening on the bay across from Balboa Island. You and the So. Cal community certainly know how to live large.NAELA Summit - Balboa Island - Newport Beach CA

Michael J Millonig, CELA, Dayton, Ohio was the winner of Premier’s full sponsorship to the next NAELA conference.

To Recap:  

Premier featured Wealthdata, our Estates and Elder Law Practice System for Time Matters. This is now used nationally by several hundred leading law firms.

New at the Summit was our SafelyFiled/SafelyMD offering. Safely Filed is a secure, online file storage and sharing system.  Safely/MD  is an extremely cost effective, law firm branded, client emergency ID card with online access to emergency data and healthcare documents.

Premier has offered SOS for the five over years, a managed Small Office Server.  Premier is Now also offering SOS virtually.  We call this SOS-Cloud.  It may include all of your essential applications – Time Matters, MS Office, PCLaw, Adobe Acrobat/Reader, Hot Docs, and more.

MTM is Managing with Time Matters, our training forum with four live training classes every month for a flat charge per user or per firm.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any question you may have.

Tom Caffrey
Premier Software

www.premiersoftware.com

Webinars:

Monday, Feb 9th  Noon ET  Getting the Most from Time Matters;  Plus 30 Tips in 30 Minutes

Thursday Feb 12th 4pm ET   SafelyFiled/SafelyMD                                                                                                               

To Register:
Tel  (856) 429-3010
Email tcaffrey@premiersoftware.com
Web form. http://premiersoftware.com/dashboard/contact-usask-a-question/