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How to Master Time Management as a Lawyer

Time management is a critical skill but there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. It boils down to what works for you and how you’re able to maneuver through your personal and professional affairs. Try incorporating these 4 behaviors into your routine and watch how they transform your life:

 

Make a to-do List

Planning out your days by writing them out in advance can make all the difference. Try it out and see if it benefits your productivity. Invest in a daily planner to keep your schedule at your fingertips. This will help you to buckle down and get your tasks in order which will only help prevent stress, over-booking and potential client disappointment.

Utilize Your Smartphone

Technology has come a long way, and there are millions of apps for Apple and Android that specifically target lawyers. These apps were created to assist people in the law business with their time, money, productivity and clientele satisfaction. Some apps worth trying include: MyCase, Practice Panther, LogMeIn, and FastCase.

Keep Your Workspace Clutter-Free

Nobody likes a cluttered desk, much less a cluttered life. And in so many ways, your workspace is a reflection of your life.  Taking the necessary steps to get your desk or office organized will ensure a neat, orderly and efficient space to make for clear thinking.  Doing this will also make it much easier for you to easily access papers, invitations and announcements that could have otherwise been misplaced. Do yourself the favor and organize your area­­­­—you’ll thank yourself later.

Sort Out Your Tasks

It is imperative to understand the difference between tasks that require your immediate attention and tasks that can wait—so make sure you learn to prioritize. Tasks that are critical to respond quickly to include: meeting important deadlines, responding to emails, answering calls, being physically present for court hearings, depositions or business meetings. Whereas important but less demanding tasks may include: writing weekly blogs for your firm, following up with clients and evaluating case files.

How to Maintain Relationships with Journalists as a Practicing PR Professional

Help them with their stories.

Your job as a PR professional is to make journalists’ jobs easier, not harder. Foster your relationships with journalists by supplying them with the information they need to formulate their stories accurately. Journalists will remember that you gave them information in the past and will find you more reliable to work with in the future.

Work with them, not against them.

While they have different goals in mind, journalists and PR professionals bring their best work to the table when they are working together. You both have different agendas to fill but your work and information can benefit one another. Ask how you could be of use to each other to improve your chances of both being successful.

Treat them with courtesy and respect.

Journalists receive hundreds of pitches a week, so they have many different story options to choose from to cover. Refrain from giving a negative attitude if they are too busy to respond right away. Have empathy for their work and how busy they are. They can’t say no to every single pitch, so if they choose to cover your story or even respond to your inquiry, show gratitude and be thankful for their time.

Don’t act like they work for you.

Some PR professionals just expect that journalists help them out with their own work. Many journalists have different niches that they tend to write about, and not every pitch is going to be a match for them. It is your job as a PR professional to find the right journalist to send your potential story ideas to. It is not their job to fix your errors; make sure you are proofreading and factchecking your work prior to sending it.

How to Sustain your Mental Health as a Law Professional

Having a career in law can be gratifying yet overwhelmingly stressful. Here are some ways to nurture your mental physical and emotional well-being to ensure that you deliver your best self to clients.

Sweat it Out

Regardless if you get a workout before or after work, make sure you are helping your body out in the healthiest way possible by getting out and active. Exercise is more important than you may think. Getting your blood flowing improves your mood and focus while increasing your energy levels for the day or day to come. By working out at least a few times a week, you will decrease your chances of feeling sluggish or unmotivated.  Not only that, but exercise is said to release serotonin and endorphins which aid in your body having the ability to wind down after a busy or stressful work day and avoid feelings of depression.

Sleep

It can take some time for your brain to shut down from a long day’s work. It’s important, however, to make sure you get enough hours of proper rest and allow your brain to rest and your thoughts to rejuvenate. The mental focus and energy that clients, partners, colleagues, opposing counsels, judges, can demand from you can cause you to feel burnt out at work. you can bet that you will arrive to work refreshed and ready to take on any stresses the day may present to you.

Put Aside Some “You” Time

Have an outlet outside of work that you can use to release emotions that negatively impact your mental health. While it is understandable that you may be limited on the number of hours you have in a day for recreational activities, take some time for yourself. Do something you genuinely enjoy. Read a book, start painting classes, join a sports club or take that trip you’ve been thinking about.  Taking on a hobby and doing activities you enjoy create more room for mental happiness and help with your work-life balance.

Separate Work from Personal Life

Many law professionals bring their work home mentally. In order to preserve your mental well-being, it’s essential to separate your work life from your personal life. If a day didn’t go as planned or if you didn’t win that case you’ve been working on, have the ability to separate those work emotions from the ones affecting your personal life and connections. This will help keep your mental health in check, which will then benefit you when it’s time for you to focus on your work and clients.

4 Bad Writing Habits and How to Break Them

It’s shown that the best way to break a bad habit is to replace it with a new and better one. In this digital age, there are some essential habits that all public relations professionals should implement in their business communication.

Ignoring your audience.

Communication is now a two-way connection, meaning your audience isn’t just reading your content anymore. They have thoughts and opinions that should be addressed and taken into consideration when writing for your business. Just because your company has a job to do and an agenda to adhere to, you still want to make sure that your content is what your readers want to hear. Think of your audience before you begin writing and make sure it is something that they will find beneficial to their own lives.

Burying the lead.

Your audience can’t read your mind. When writing content that will be read by audience members, an important rule is to put the most important information first. Online viewers especially don’t normally read through the whole content, especially when the main idea is buried somewhere in the middle. Convey the most important and relevant information first to increase the chances that your audience will want to continue reading your content.

Leaning on “crutch” phrases.

It’s common for writers to use vague phrases to convey messages or connect two thoughts. Delete phrases such as “as many of you know” or “it is worth noting.” The words are meaningless in front of the important information. Just say what the message is and try to transition your sentences and thoughts in more thought-provoking and specific ways.

Overusing complex words.

Just because a word is more complex does not mean that your message has any more conviction. In fact, many audience members will often overlook words that they don’t understand, which can hurt your chances of properly conveying the message that you want. Use clear and concise words that are easy for your audience members to understand that won’t require them to whip out a dictionary.

4 Ways to Enhance Your Client Experience

When it comes to the profession of law, it is crucial to possess strong characteristics that will help boost your standing within the field and what you are known for as a law professional.

Implementing these 4 characteristics will turn you from a good lawyer to a great lawyer:

Interpersonal Skills

Great lawyers have excellent interpersonal skills when interacting with their clients. Being a great lawyer means maintaining the ability to communicate effectively while displaying a strong level of commitment to your work. By practicing this skill, you will develop trusting relationships with everyone you encounter in the professional world, making it appear effortless.

Analytical Skills

No situation or client situation will be the exact same as the one before it. Therefore, it is crucial as a law professional to possess excellent analytical skills when interacting with clients­­­—specifically when it comes to defending them. Lawyers are often given large volumes of information and are required to readily make sense and solve complex issues. Be able to visualize, analyze, problem solve, and gather information effectively.

Logical Thinking

The word logic comes from the Greek word “reason.” To think reasonably means to observe and analyze logically.  This step is crucial within the legal world. In doing this, one is able to gather their thoughts and facts correctly, resulting in reasonable judgements and assumptions based on the information presented. This results in an effective and enriching experience for your clientele.

Maintaining Perseverance

In the legal world, it is crucial to maintain a steadfast mentality. The best law professional possess perseverance and work until the best situation is available. Client cases require many hours of work with heavy research and lots of writing. A great lawyer must be willing to put in the time it takes to get the job done right, regardless of the obstacles or issues he or she may face.

Social Media Strategies to Promote Your Nonprofit

Tell Stories.

People relate to other people. This concept can be used to draw people to your nonprofit by showcasing or discussing the people behind the organization and how society is benefiting. You want to tell stories that evoke an emotional response from your audience and draw out their sense of empathy. Viewers will be enticed to donate and follow the organization if they see that their donations are going directly toward helping the nonprofit’s mission.

Set Goals and then Strategies.

Before you start deciding how to promote your nonprofit on social media platforms, have steady goals already in place. Have a plan to reach “X” number of followers in “Y” amount of time. By having your goals in mind already, it will be easier to think of strategies of how to accomplish those goals on your social media channels.

Use Video to Your Advantage.

Video is a great resource for your social media toolkit. In this digital era, the use of multimedia content and video is becoming more and more essential in promoting your organization and conveying messages online. Optimal length for videos on social media should be between 30 and 60 seconds, according to eMarketer. Give viewers enough information to entice them to keep watching. However, don’t make videos so long to the point where viewers won’t finish watching and could risk losing the meaning of the message.

Add a “Donate Now” Button

Nonprofits rely on donations from people who want to further the organization’s cause. It’s not a bad thing to ask for help. Avoid being flashy about donation needs but don’t make it difficult for viewers to find out how they can help your organization. Instead, tell your stories to them and then give them an easy and direct way that they could give to your organization.

Monitor and Measure.

A big part of PR is measuring how effectively your information is coming across to viewers. This can be tracked with social media analytics to measure the number of website viewers, searches, clicks and donations. Regularly check that your strategies are working to grow your social media presence and make adjustments accordingly.

4 Ways to Ensure You Deliver Reciprocity to Your Networks

When it comes to building lasting relationships, it is imperative that you help those who take the time to help you.

Here are 4 small ways to ensure you keep things mutual:

Buy them lunch.

When the tab comes, grab the check. This behavior builds immediate kudos for you and makes it appear as though you truly do appreciate someone taking the time to meet with you. Offering to pay for something as simple as lunch is the easiest and one of the most effective ways to show reciprocation.

Show a genuine interest.

When meeting with your networks, be sure to show a sincere interest in getting involved in what they are involved in. Whether it is a non-profit organization or an independent business—be engaged and eager to help. Also be sure to ask questions about their cause and find out exactly what you can do to help.

Put them in contact with other networks.

Once you find out what interests them and what categories they can identify with, place them in touch with a network of their interest. By offering a potential business relationship, it heightens the possibility that they will one day do the same for you, creating a strong chain of networks.

Provide free legal advice ethically.

To build lasting networks, you have got to be willing to help someone who seeks your advice. Do this by answering questions they have or offer to help them find the answers they need.  Providing free legal advice is a great way to reciprocate back to your networks. Do this ethically, and be careful to follow your moral responsibilities as a lawyer.  Also be cautious on the answers you provide, making sure to follow your firm’s policies.

4 Steps to Creating Stellar Events for Your Organization

Live events are a useful and critical tool in building a close following and personal connections. According to the Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks and Trends report, 80 percent of marketers believe live events are critical to their company’s success.

Know the “why” behind your event.

Before planning an event, you need to know what you want to accomplish and convey before you decide what elements your event needs. It’s important for you to know what the purpose of your event is in your organization’s overarching goals. Make it clear to your audience and participants what the event’s purpose is and how it could be beneficial to them. Provide a call-to-action that your audience can follow up with.

Align your event with your overreaching mission.

Take your goals and grow the event around them. The event you put on should fit into the broader context of your goals and what you do as an organization. How can you make your event promote your brand in a positive light? Stay consistent with your brand promotion. Be purposeful and mindful about the types of events you put on and how they are perceived to your audience.

Have your most enthusiastic staff and consumers present.

Your organization can have the most caring staff out there. Your business could foster great personal relationships with each of its clients. However, people will always look to other consumers to validate that your organization is trustworthy and that your products and services high-quality and consistent. Eighty-two percent of consumers will proactively seek referrals before making a purchase, according to Business to Community’s website. Trust in positive word-of-mouth to promote your brand and allow your consumers to engage with one another.

Know your three key words.

Can you summarize the purpose of your event in three words? Let people know early on what the purpose of the event is in short. People lose focus when bombarded with information that they find is seemingly irrelevant. Have your three key words tell a story about what your organization does and can do for its consumers, versus what the consumers can do for you.

 

 

How to Remain Authentic in Your Practice

Credibility (Words)  

Credibility means never being dishonest. Regardless of how experienced you are, where you went to law school, or where you have worked-if you make a mistake with credibility in the legal profession your career can, without a doubt, suffer. When it comes to being credible, the words we speak have an everlasting impact. How knowledgeable are you in the content that you are delivering, and can you follow through with what you say?   Do what you say you are going to do and do not cut corners. This will only result in credibility lapses while building a bad reputation for yourself.

Reliability (Actions)

The key is to remember that being dependable and consistent are major factors in building your customer clientele and making a reputable brand for you.  Show up, be punctual, and be readily available to serve your clients.  Being punctual will show others that you are a person of your word. Keep your word and allow your actions to rise above your excuses.  It all boils down to whether or not you can be taken seriously.

Understanding (Emotions)

Become an engaged listener. Instead of focusing on what you should say, listen to what your client is saying. When it comes to listening to the needs of others, it is important to understand the emotions in which they are also trying to convey. Sympathize with your clients.  Allow them to feel secure and reassure them that they can put their trust in you.

Self-Orientation (Motives)

Are you focused on your self- interest or the best interest of your client? Making your client the focal point and working to become “client-centric” is of the utmost importance.  Their concerns should be your first priority. Pay close attention to the needs of your client and give a strong consideration to whatever is going to help them and their case succeed.  Fill them with constant positive reinforcement- show them that they made a good choice when selecting you as their lawyer.

How to Build Trust in Your Law Firm’s Online Brand

Be specific with your values.

Many times, potential clients can’t tell exactly what your firm values or specializes in solely by the main page of your site. Be specific with the wording on your website and keep it consistent with your legal brand’s image. Emphasize what you stand for!

Use visuals and videos.

In this visual era, online consumers often glaze over large bulks of text. Add multimedia elements and content to break up large areas of text that will entice viewers to continue searching your website. This could include images, videos, or infographics.

Put a face to the name.

Clients want to talk to people, not computers. Give your online viewers a personal sense of who you are by adding photos or videos of yourself, your employees, and what you do. Using professional photography of you and your team is a great way to elevate your website, and increase your credibility. Be transparent about your work environment to gain trust of clients and potential ones.

Be responsive and receptive online.

Online consumers are impatient and approach online brands with skepticism. If your consumers don’t trust your brand, they will swiftly move on to one that they can trust. Treat each potential client how you would your current clients. Oftentimes, potential clients will choose the attorney that contacts them the quickest. Respond with swiftness and purpose to ensure they know they are cared about and appreciated.

Create custom landing pages.

Viewers may end up leaving your site if they don’t find immediately what they are searching for. Your website should have custom tags and keywords for each area of expertise that your firm specializes in. Lay your website out in a way that is user-friendly and easy to navigate.