Law Firm Business Development: Building a Sales Team

Posted on February 26, 2020 by Silvia Coulter

With some exceptions, lawyers hate or at least dislike selling. And, they are generally not as good at it as a sales professional with a successful track record. Some firms are realizing the enormous benefits of hiring salespeople and building a sales team. While there may be some initial backlash against management for heading in this direction, strong sales professionals can quickly change partner thinking.

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Posted on January 7, 2020 by Bill Lipner

Service qualityReaders of The LAD know that “quality of service” is a hot button topic for me – because the quality-of-service (QOS or SERVQUAL ) a firm delivers is essential to its success – whether it’s a real estate practice that repeats the same process over and over, or a bespoke litigation firm that is confronted with a new set of variables with every matter.   

QOS is a subset of a “Service Delivery System” (SDS) – the term I suggest using if you’re embarking on a study of the topic.  This article discusses a useful service delivery framework which divides service into Service Culture, Employee Engagement, Service Quality, and Customer Experience.  I am focusing on Service Quality which seeks to define how quality is defined, delivered, and measured.   This is an interesting article on The Impact of Service Delivery System Effectiveness on Service Quality.  If you want the real research on the topic – start with this Wiki article on ServQual.    The wiki mentions 3 researchers in the area of Quality of Service whose teachings are worth exploring if you wish to become an expert on the topic.

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Most Popular Stories of 2019 

Posted on January 5, 2020 by

Top Ten ListTo know where we’re going first we must know where we have been. So here is our list of the ten most popular stories that appeared in Legal Administrator in 2019 -- a mix of practical and professional advice that should help you prepare for another year that promises to bring even more momentous market change.

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The Roaring 20s 

Posted on December 24, 2019 by Bill Lipner

Predictions for the coming decadeWe’re on the eve of a new decade – and I’m truly excited to welcome it to our world.  I am excited about the changes we can expect to see in the next 10 years that will touch every aspect of our lives.  The impact on business – and in particular – the business of law – will be far ranging.  Old practice areas will die while new practice areas will be birthed to grow into essential practices in the firm of the future.  

Humans will harness information as a tool like never before – the importance of which can be compared to the first stone hammer fashioned by early man.  The distance between us – client and attorney, parent and child, partners or spouse – will shrink to zero as new technologies make new kinds of connections possible – transforming “social media” into “human media”. 

I am not a professional prognosticator although I have been known to procrastinate.   However, I am an observer of trends and see several which are evolving to form a new horizon for us all.  Without further ado – these trends are discussed below.


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Hitting the Sweet Spot for Law Firm Management with Zola Suite 

Posted on December 5, 2019 by Joseph Lamport

In the first part of this series, I wrote about how the platform business model is one of the defining features of our current state of technological and economic development, evident in such business success stories as Uber and Airbnb.  A platform business is one that creates value by facilitating exchanges, of either information, good or services, among otherwise independent groups and individuals via the platform it creates.  I also explained how the platform business model is of growing importance in the legal market, not so much for connecting lawyers to clients but as a means of more effectively connecting the lawyers within a firm and thereby enabling a much more efficient and far more integrated work-flow.

In this second part of the series I’m going to take a closer look at Zola Suite, part of the new generation of cloud-based law practice platforms now available on the market.   Zola Suite formally launched in 2015, after a few years in development, but in fairly short order it has emerged as a market leading solution for mid-sized and larger law firms. This positions Zola in notable contrast to its better-known cloud-based provider, Clio, which has attracted a large number of solos and small firm clients to its platform.

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Welcome to PinHawk's Legal Administrator Microsite 

Posted on November 21, 2019 by Bill Lipner

spinning platesThe responsibilities of my first job as legal administrator was that of Human Resources.  Creating an employee handbooks, looking after insurance benefits and claims, time and attendance and similar tasks were the bread and butter of the position.  Along the way, I moved this 12-attorney firm from Lanier stand-along word processors to Kaypro Computers running WordPerfect.  All very tactical work.   My second job as an administrator was similar in nature, although I was elevated to preparing bi-monthly meeting books for the partners meetings.  And I organized the food and drink for the Friday afternoon client-social-hour.   Those were the days.  

Welcome to the Legal Administrator Micro-site.   This site is less news, and more opinion or discussion.  You are invited to send in articles or suggestions for articles.  The site is here to spur discussion and perhaps – if we’re doing our jobs – new insights. 

But I digress. 

I marvel at how the arc of time has transformed the job of legal administrator – no matter what size firm.  I am firmly convinced that the “business of law” is in a transition: we’re in the “industrialization’ of the business of law, moving from guild to business process and business practice.  And along the way these things are happening:

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The Law Practice Platform 

Posted on November 12, 2019 by Joseph Lamport

In the past, law firms were held together primarily by their partnership agreements, which laid out the rules for how firm-wide decisions got made and how the spoils of collective labor would be divvied up.  Law firms of the future – whether they are organized as partnerships, LLCs or some other alternative business structure – will most certainly be far more dependent on whatever practice platform they choose to adopt.  It will be the practice platform, much more than the partnership agreement, that provides the insight, controls and coherence that holds the firm together.  

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Parsons Behle Lab: Ringing the Bell for Market Innovation 

Posted on October 15, 2019 by Joseph Lamport

Parsons Behle Lab has embarked on an ambitious tech development effort, which represents a striking departure from the way most law firms have approached similar innovation and tech development initiatives. They are in the process of building a new type of law practice platform, which is open for other law firms and lawyers to use, and which enables participating firms to expand the services they offer to their own clients.  It's a platform that seems laden with opportunity for all those who choose to get involved. 

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Most Recent Issue

LAD Microsite

Its a finale-Friday and we're across the line!

What does Artificial Intelligence mean in practice? Pinhawk has a special section discussing the day-to-day practical implications of AI in the practice of law. Essential reading.


Have you seen the new Legal Administrator Microsite ? We have just added a new article - thanks to Sylvia Coulter - on law firm Biz-Dev and how to build a sales team. Wait.. a Sales Team for a law firm? Yes fair reader .. modern firms today are very sales focused.


The Saturday LAD is coming to an in-box near you. Its the peer-powered edition of The LAD featuring the week's most-read articles.


---- Calendar ----

-------------- 2020 Events -------------

ABA Techshow - February 26 to 29, 2020 in Chicago

AIIM Conference - March 3-5, 2020 in Dallas TX.

Legal Malpractice and Risk Management Conference (LMRM) - March 3-5, 2020 in Chicago.

The Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference - March 25-27, 2020 in Denver Co.

ACC Legal Operations Exchange Conference - April 19-21, 2020 in Chicago.

Group Legal Services Association spring conference - April 30 to May 2, 2020 in San Juan

ALA Annual Conference - May 3-6 2020 at the Salt Palace, Utah.

Annual Corporate Legal Operations Institute CLOC Institute, May 12-14, 2020 in Las Vegas.

Managing Partner Forum - May 6-7, 2020 in Atlanta GA.

LSSO RainDance Conference - June 3-4, 2020 in Chicago

Legal Marketing Association P3 Conference - June 10-12 in Chicago.

ILTA LegalSEC Summit, June 15 to 17, 2020 in San Antonio

AALL Conference - July 11-14, 2020 in New Orleans

ILTACON - August 23-27, 2020 in Nashville

Choosing a legal-tech conference.


---- Must Read ----

  • TechLAW: AI M&A

    This article discusses the implications of the Docusign - Seal combination.. perhaps AI is growing up?

  • HR: Data for the Amatuer

    This article discusses data for the non-data-scientist..

  • BOL: Tracking Time

    This is an interesting article discussing 10 ways to record time in Clio.. in my book, this supports the discipline that time entry should be recorded as it occurs.. but there may tools to help the less disciplined among us.


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    Bill Lipner, Editor, writing to you from Asheville N.C., the garden of the Carolinas.

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