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Volume 166, 2020 $6.95

Seller Myths vs. Market Truths

Mike O’Horo

Leaders as Coaches

Jeff Wolf

Increasing Diversity in Law

Julie Savarino

12 Easy Ways to Be More Successful with Your Content Marketing Efforts

Stefanie Marrone Structuring Attorney Fees

Patrick C. Farber

Lawyers, Can You Build Relationships with Data?

Lindsay Griffiths

Checking for Weak Links in Your Marketing Program

Trey Ryder

Asking Leading Questions in Job Interviews

Law Firm of the Month

A.L.L. Trial Lawyers, APC, Orange County Exception to the Rule

Kirk Stange


“Rick is one of the best lawyers in the country. I call him every time I have any issue in Nevada and would not hesitate to refer him any type of case of any size.” ~ C. Michael Alder, Esq., Alder Law, Los Angeles, California CAALA Past President and Former Trial Lawyer of the Year



2020 EDITION—NO.166

TABLE OF CONTENTS 6 Leaders as Coaches by Jeff Wolf

8 Asking Leading Questions in Job Interviews by Kirk Stange

10 Increasing Diversity in Law Three Ways to Move Beyond Lip Service by Julie Savarino



16 A.L.L. Trial Lawyers, APC, Orange County Exception to the Rule


by Dan Baldwin


22 Check for Weak Links in Your Marketing Program

PHOTOGRAPHY Chris Griffiths

by Trey Ryder

24 Seller Myths vs. Market Truths

STAFF WRITERS Dan Baldwin Jennifer Hadley CONTRIBUTING EDITORIALISTS Patrick C. Farber Lindsay Griffiths Stefanie Marrone Mike O’Horo Trey Ryder Julie Savarino Kirk Stange Jeff Wolf WEBMASTER Mariusz Opalka ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Info@AttorneyJournals.com SUBMIT AN ARTICLE Editorial@AttorneyJournals.com OFFICE 30211 Avenida De Las Banderas Suite 200 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688 www.AttorneyJournals.com ADDRESS CHANGES Address corrections can be made via fax, email or postal mail.



by Mike O’Horo

26 Structuring Attorney Fees by Patrick C. Farber

28 Lawyers, Can You Build Relationships with Data? by Lindsay Griffiths

30 Twelve Easy Ways to Be More Successful with Your Content Marketing Efforts by Stefanie Marrone


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Leaders as Coaches by Jeff Wolf


oaching plays a crucial role in keeping people engaged and committed. It brings out the best in them and helps remove obstacles to their success. Coaching is not about telling people what to do or how to do it; rather, you help people discover their own paths by encouraging and questioning. Help eliminate their roadblocks by asking questions like: With which past projects did you struggle? What steps will you take to achieve your goals? What excuses are you making? What’s holding you back? What have you tried since the last time we talked? Open-ended questions make people think through obstacles. And coaching shows that you care and are willing to share yourself with them. Use coaching to enhance the capabilities and performance of leaders, high-potential employees, and top producers. When leaders coach, people become more confident and motivated, which leads to higher performance and productivity. Leaders build relationships of trust when they support people to be all that they can be. Organizations with a strong coaching culture develop higher engagement and performance. A coach asks: What are my people’s strengths? What are their goals, their ambitions, their technical and managerial limits? At what do they excel? What are their weaknesses, their potential, their limitations, their directions? A coach works one-on-one with key employees to stop bad habits and start positive ones. Participants can discuss what’s working, and not working, in confidence, and the coach holds them accountable and supplies support. Coaching increases productivity, builds teamwork, motivates employees to elevate performance levels and helps them overcome obstacles to success. A great leader spends time working with individuals to see the blocks in their performances. A successful leader and effective coach are one in the same. People do not and will not change until they see the need to. A good coach listens to people to find ways to break down the barriers that keep them from reaching their full potential. They work with their people to outline a plan of action that clearly states the goals for improvement and accountability. Coaching helps people learn, grow, and change. It provides a powerful structure through which people can focus on specific outcomes, become more effective, and stay on track. 6

Attorney Journals Orange County | Volume 166, 2020

Coaching requires you to master three skills: questioning that leads to understanding, structuring jobs correctly, and providing positive reinforcement. Effective questioning opens the door to understanding what’s on people’s minds. When you’re coaching somebody, ask open-ended questions that cannot be answered with a yes or no. You want the person you’re coaching to think about the answer. However, managers need to ask the right questions … questions that help employees realize their strengths, their failings, their needs and how they can best contribute to their organizations, and by extension to their abilities. Great coaches know the answers even when employees don’t. Armed with that knowledge, great coaches structure jobs and work environments that allow each individual to flourish. They provide resources and training. They continually monitor progress and provide feedback, knowing when to encourage but also when to be brutally honest. Praise and recognition for a job well done is often the positive reinforcement that works wonders. Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their employees. If people believe in themselves it’s amazing what they can accomplish, so give them well-deserved praise. In closing, coaching opens lines of communication to create a comfortable environment where performance issues can be discussed freely and without defensiveness. Leaders who are effective coaches have more successful teams, higher morale and, in most cases, better bottom-line results. The benefits of coaching include improved trust and morale, improved performance, skill development, innovation, productivity, confidence, motivation, better customer service, higher retention of key people, less stress, and applied potential.  n Jeff Wolf is known as one of the country’s top business development coaches, is a highly sought-after consultant and has worked with hundreds of attorneys to become successful rainmakers. He has been featured on NBC, CBS, CNBC and FOX. As founder and president of Wolf Management Consultants, LLC, he has built a valued practice that addresses the critical problems confronting lawyers and law firms today in the areas of business development, career development, skill development and firm development. He may be reached at jeff@wolfmotivation.com or in his San Diego office 858-638-8260.



Inspired by a human trafficking survivor who later became a pro bono client, Jamie Beck decided to help other survivors. She learned that human trafficking survivors desperately need civil lawyers. Her law firm at the time, Procopio, graciously allowed Jamie to work with human trafficking survivors pro bono. Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain labor or commercial sex and the commercial sexual exploitation of minors. “I went to law school because I wanted to help people. But, I did not find this work, it found me.” In 2017, Jamie committed to helping survivors full-time. She founded Free to Thrive, a nonprofit that provides legal services for human trafficking survivors. Today, Free to Thrive’s nine-member staff serves over 150 clients and 17 clinic locations throughout the county. Free to Thrive’s four staff attorneys and pro bono attorneys help survivors change their legal names, regain child custody, divorce abusive spouses, vacate criminal records, and much more. To become a pro bono attorney, learn more, or donate, visit www.freetothrive.org Jamie Beck is not affiliated with the Vosseller Law Firm.

After each case, we donate a portion of attorney’s fees to a nonprofit chosen by the client.


858-429-4062 www.vosslawyer.com


Asking Leading Questions in Job Interviews by Kirk Stange


iring law firm employees is a vital task. The employees you hire (or candidates you pass on) can go a long way toward the success of your law firm. One way to hire the best possible candidate is to hone your interviewing techniques. How an individual conducts a job interview is a critical skill for any law firm owner or manager to master if they are hiring employees and growing their practice. As an analogy, most lawyers with trial experience understand the difference between open-ended and leading questions. On direct examination at trial, trial lawyers are to ask openended questions ordinarily. During cross-examination, trial lawyers usually ask leading questions. Open-ended questions are those that begin with what, where, when, why and how. Cross-examination is where a lawyer generally asks a question that calls for a “yes” or “no” answer. During job interviews, the questions should almost always be open-ended, which means that the questions should begin with the words what, where, when, why and how. Open-ended questions call for the candidate to speak. It calls for them to explain why they want to work for your firm. It helps you learn about the candidate, their experience, their skills and their expectations. Learning to listen closely to the answers is vital in hiring the best candidate. The answers to open-ended questions give you valuable information inside the heart and mind of the candidate. On the other hand, if you lead the candidate by giving them questions that call for “yes” or “no” answers, you learn almost nothing. Any candidate with a brain will know the answer you want if you lead them and will merely feed it back to you. Those who conduct interviews are often tempted to lead witnesses when they are short on time, do not have many candidates and/or are in desperate need to fill a position. When a candidate gives a bad interview answer, there can also be a temptation to rehabilitate the candidate by leading them with a softball follow-up question where the candidate gets the chance to recant their prior response.


Attorney Journals Orange County | Volume 166, 2020

Sometimes, the questions can be framed as follows: “When you said that you would like to make X amount, would you take Y (lower amount) since that’s what this job actually pays?” “When you say that you want to work on X type cases, at our firm, you would actually be working on Y type cases. Is that okay with you?” “You said you wanted to work at X location within our firm, but our opening is actually in Y location. Would you be willing to work in Y location?” The problem is that while they may say “yes” to get the job, they might not stay long or be happy even if they accept a position. So, while you are feeling good that they are answering every leading question with a “yes,” the truth is that these candidates will often not work out if you hire them because you did not get candid answers. The harsh reality is the candidate may have said “yes” just to get the job. By asking leading questions like this, you are essentially feeding the candidate the right answer. Leading questions are the opposite of open-ended questions where you are getting the candidate to open up to you about their expectations, goals and aspirations without feeding them the answers. By asking open-ended questions, you can learn whether the candidate’s expectations match up with the ones you have for the position in your law firm. If the answers do not match up with your expectations for the position, do not give them easy leading questions to rehabilitate them. If the answer was unacceptable, it is almost always best to move on and find a candidate who is a better fit. n Kirk Stange founded Stange Law Firm, PC in 2007, with his wife Paola and has worked diligently to grow the firm to what it is today. In addition to practicing law, Kirk spends time educating attorneys and other law professionals at CLE Seminars through the Missouri Bar, myLawCLE, the National Business Institute and other organizations. To learn more, please visitstangelawfirm.com.

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Increasing Diversity in Law 3 Ways to Move Beyond Lip Service

by Julie Savarino

Law firms and legal departments can be doing more to measurably increase diversity.


recent study found an overall culture of implicit gender bias in major law firms, which often also unconsciously extends to other diverse lawyers, employees, and professionals who work in or for law firms and legal departments. The authors of the study called for urgent remediation, as “we are way past the point when mere lip service to the goal of equality in the legal profession will suffice.” Many law firms and departments have made significant investments in recent years in an effort to level the playing field, improve their diversity and culture of inclusion, and decrease gender bias, but law firms and legal departments can be doing more to measurably increase diversity. Here are three new ways to do so.

1 Include the Entire Ecosystem in Diversity Counts In conjunction with already making significant efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in their lawyer ranks, many law firms and departments could start to count, track, and report in their formal diversity tracking, reporting, and scorecards in-house business and professional staff who are not licensed or practicing lawyers and external vendors, businesses and firms that are certified minority- or women-owned entities. Why? Because legal talent does not consist of lawyers alone. Both law firms and legal departments hire and rely heavily on other qualified in-house professionals, many of whom are not licensed lawyers. These professionals serve in-house in almost every law firm and legal department in areas such as legal 10

Attorney Journals Orange County | Volume 166, 2020

operations, administration, human resources, information technology, client service, marketing, new business and client development, and other critical business functions. But many (not all) practicing lawyers tend to unconsciously minimize or dismiss those who are not licensed or practicing lawyers. In fact, the recent study cited above found that when asked, most lawyers say they already are very supportive of women and diversity, yet women (and likely others who are diverse) think and experience otherwise. There remains implicit bias. This is unfortunate, because many professionals who do not hold a law degree or are nonpracticing lawyers are very talented and experienced, and without them, the operations in many law firms and legal departments would quickly grind to a halt. For example, many business professionals who work in and for law firms and legal departments prefer not to be called or referred to as “nonlawyers,” even in a tongue-in-cheek manner, because it implies that a lawyer is somehow superior to those with other degrees, certifications, capabilities, and skills. It would be more productive to use the term “business professional” or “allied legal professional” instead of nonlawyer. So ask yourself whether diverse professional and business staff hires and current business and allied legal professionals count as diverse hires in your law firm or legal department and are tallied in the firm’s or department’s diversity scorecards. If not, maybe it’s time to consider doing so. In addition, almost all law firms and legal departments use external vendors regularly for a variety of projects and tasks, such as for staffing, information technology support, training and coaching, expert witnesses, and in numerous other areas.

Many external vendors are certified minority- or womenowned businesses and entities, yet most law firms do not track their use of diverse external providers (but many corporate legal departments do track this). If minority and diverse external vendors used by your law firm or department do not currently count as diverse hires/employees, perhaps it’s time to consider adding them to the firm’s diversity scorecard. Twenty years ago, in 1999, the Diversity in the Workplace (aka the Call to Action) commitment was signed by the chief legal officers (CLOs) of about 500 major corporations. It was designed to encourage law firms to assign more work and leadership roles to diverse lawyers, and many corporations created a diverse set-aside for outside legal work to be sent to diverse lawyers and firms. Did it make an impact? Certainly some, but because there was no overall, formally organized tracking of the total efforts in aggregate, the results were not as strong as they could have been.

2 Increase the Commitment to Diversity The two most recent professionally organized and run diversity initiatives described below are already making a measurable difference in the actual diversity within law firms and corporate legal departments. Yet, not all law firms or legal departments have signed on or committed to them. If your law firm or legal department has not yet committed to the Mansfield Rule or signed on to the Move the Needle Fund collective projects, consider doing so. Diversity Lab, founded and led by Caren Ulrich Stacy, created and launched these two major diversity initiatives:

The Mansfield Rule Over 100 major law firms have signed on to and made a commitment to the Mansfield Rule, which requires the firm to measure whether at least 30% women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, and lawyers with disabilities have been considered for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions. Lisa Kirby, Diversity Lab’s Chief Business Intelligence & Knowledge Sharing Officer, who leads the Mansfield Rule effort, had this to say about the results so far: “We’re so thrilled to see that two years into this initiative, the forward-thinking law firms participating in the Mansfield Rule have already reported some significant cultural changes as well as meaningful results. For example, 65% of participating firms promoted a higher percentage of diverse lawyers into the equity partnership, and 79% of participating firms reported that their lateral partner hiring pool was more diverse following adoption of the Mansfield Rule.” In addition, over 20 corporate legal departments have also signed on and committed to applying the Mansfield Rule to their department’s operations. These legal departments are asked to consider at least 50% historically underrepresented

lawyers for 70% or more of the leadership roles and activities identified below: • External hiring and/or promotions for top roles (e.g., general counsel (GC), CLO) • External hiring, internal transitions, and/or promotions to senior-tier management (e.g., reporting to GC, assistant GC, deputy GC, head of compliance, legal operations chief) • External hiring, internal transitions, and/or promotions to mid-tier management (e.g., reporting to senior-tier managers) • External hiring, internal transitions, and/or promotions to other lawyer positions • Hiring for interns or temporary lawyer positions (e.g., law clerks, summer 1Ls, secondments) • Discretionary high-visibility opportunities (i.e., not tied to a particular role or position) that provide skills building and exposure to internal and external business leaders • Written and transparent job responsibilities for senior and mid-tier management roles • Written and transparent processes for advancement opportunities and promotions within the legal department • Engaging outside counsel for new matters (i.e., lead and/ or primary team members) • Changing or expanding outside counsel representation (i.e., lead and/or primary team members)

The Move the Needle Fund The Move the Needle Fund (MTN), launched in September 2019, is a collaborative effort consisting of founding law firms—Eversheds Sutherland (US); Goodwin; Orrick; Stoel Rives; and a fifth, to be chosen soon through a blind selection process—that will be and are working on: • Together, investing more than $5 million in diversity efforts over five years; • Setting aggressive, public firm-specific diversity goals; • Experimenting with innovative methods to achieve them; • Measuring the outcomes; and • Sharing the results—including the successes and failures—with each other and the community. To achieve these goals and to serve as a model from which others can learn, MTN will leverage the $5 million investment made by the five firms to: • Experiment with new approaches to hiring, work/ life integration, work allocation, sponsorships, promotions, feedback, performance reviews, and compensation systems; Attorney Journals Orange County | Volume 166, 2020


• Implement the Diversity in Law Hackathon ideas; • Test evidence-based research such as the bias interrupters from the American Bar Association and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association study as well as other inclusion research from top academic institutions; and • Crowdsource innovative ideas from other industries. Since its launch, MTN has been joined by over 25 GC and CLOs who have committed to requiring their potential and current outside counsel law firms to consistently and progressively staff matters with diverse teams and lead lawyers. As Caren Ulrich Stacy stated, “The MTN effort combines the four critical elements that research has shown will create and sustain transformational change—collaboration, transparency, measurement, and accountability.”

3 Hire a Dedicated Diversity Developer One major law firm (a firm already committed to the two Diversity Lab initiatives described above and many other diversity initiatives) is hiring a full-time, in-house Diversity Developer, a new client-facing position being filled by a

seasoned nonpracticing lawyer, who will be dedicated to providing expert support and coaching to help all the firm’s diverse lawyers develop client and referral source relationships and improve client service. The new Diversity Developer’s job is to proactively and upon request work with, coach, and help diverse partners and lawyers implement their annual plans and goals, identify appropriate opportunities for new work and new clients, vet those opportunities, prepare and participate in proposals for new work, manage follow-up, and engage in related activities. There is a lot still to be done in order to meaningfully increase diversity and decrease gender disparity in law. The initiatives described above will likely help, but every law firm, legal department, lawyer, vendor, legal industry association, and group needs to make consistent and out-of-the-box efforts over time in order to measurably increase diversity. n Julie Savarino holds an MBA, a JD, and is a licensed attorney. Over her 30+ year career, she has built a reputation as a leading international, award-winning client service, business and client development coach and strategist for lawyers, law firms, and other professional services providers and firms. She has successfully served in-house for the law firms of Dickinson Wright and Butzel Long and for the accounting firm Grant Thornton. Contact Julie at +1 (734) 668-7008, Julie@BusDevInc. com. Follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter @JulieSavarino.

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Attorney Journals Orange County | Volume 166, 2020



Attorney Journals Orange County | Volume 166, 2020

GENEROUS REFERRAL FEES PAID At Sullivan Law & Associates, we are dedicated to doing the right thing and taking care of our clients, first and foremost. We understand what your referred clients are going through and strive to use our experience in this complex field to provide the best possible representation. Our Irvine attorneys are committed to excellence in every case we take on. Led by Richard Sullivan, a family lawyer with 40 years of legal experience, our team is here to deliver effective solutions by addressing every need and concern.

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EXCEPTION TO THE RULE “Chris, Harrison and I are filling something of a generational gap between the Orange County Bar and the community. Many attorneys wait a decade or more before forming their own firm. We’re young, but we have a lot of experience and energy, and we want to serve clients the way we want and the way they deserve right now,” says Mohammad Abuershaid, one of the three Founding Attorneys of A.L.L. Trial Lawyers, APC. A.L.L. Trial Lawyers was founded in September by three highly experienced attorneys trained in the trenches of the Orange County Public Defender’s Office. The firm practices in a variety of areas, principally criminal defense and personal injury, with an increasing focus on representing parents having their children taken away from them by the government—or dependency. Founding Attorney Christopher Lee says, “We felt the time was right to make the move. We never hesitated because we have the tools, we have the relationships, and we have the drive. We decided to strike when the iron was hot.” The attorneys say that too many believe they can’t run a successful law firm unless he or she has decades of legal experience under their belt. But the law is changing rapidly. Technology is creating incredible challenges and opportunities. And the three founding attorneys are up


Attorney Journals Orange County | Volume 166, 2020

to speed and are aggressively filling that generational gap niche. “For example, to represent your client in today’s day and age, you better be ‘in the know’ when it comes to current events and trends. If, during a sexual assault trial, text messages between two millennial witnesses become relevant, who will explain to your jury what terms like lmao, wtf, dtf mean? And even if you do know what they mean, will you be able to explain to them its rightful context?” Co-Founding Attorney Harrison Le says.

BUILDING ON FIRST-GENERATION GAPS They cite the experiences of their first-generation American parents as major foundations for their careers in the law. Le says, “I developed my strong work ethic watching my dad (Dung Le) wake up at 5 A.M. every morning for over 20 years, laboring 10 hours a day in a warehouse to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. He never complained once. I learned from my beautiful mom (Thao Le) not to be afraid to take risks and be compassionate along the way.” Abuershaid says, “I wholeheartedly owe all of my success to my parents, Nazih and Omaia Abuershaid.

© christopher TODD studios





The A.L.L. Trial Lawyers Team: Harrison Le, Mohammad Abuershaid and Christopher Lee

© christopher TODD studios

for me to thrive and become the person I am today. Without their guidance and tireless efforts to instill in me the importance of hard work, I would not have been able to achieve the level of success in my life.” The three worked together for roughly four years at the Public Defender’s Office, discovering along the way a mutual interest to fight against wealthy and powerful interests, a strong desire to practice law, and a strong bond of friendship. The die was soon cast. “Seeing overzealous insurance companies and government agencies going after the vulnerable is not something we enjoy seeing. So, we dedicated our careers to go up against these powerful companies and agencies. We’ve developed the grit and determination to fight aggressively for our clients regardless of the size or resources of the opposition,” Abuershaid says.


Mohammad Abuershaid, Partner and Co-Founder

They immigrated to the U.S. from Palestine before I was born and left their families and everything they knew to come here and build a better life for our family. I learned the true meaning of resilience and patience growing up seeing my dad work long hours across different jobs to support my family. I learned to appreciate the struggle that he and my mother endured as firstgeneration citizens.” Lee says, “I learned there was no substitute for hard work through my parents Kit and Sansan Lee. My father had grown up in a communist country and escaped seeking a better life for himself and his future family. Growing up, I witnessed firsthand the struggles and hard work my parents put into providing an environment


Attorney Journals Orange County | Volume 166, 2020

The attorneys note that even though criminal cases are different from dependency cases, which usually function like civil cases, there’s a lot of overlap between the two fields. In the criminal context, there are generally two competing interests—the government versus the accused, with standard of proof being ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’ In the dependency context, there are much more than two interests represented in court: there is an attorney representing the mother, the father, the child, social services, and so on. Each attorney has a short window to represent to the judge their client’s interest, so every second counts. Abuershaid says, “In both the criminal and dependency realm, we’ve been able to deliver to our clients very important victories. Through our criminal defense background, we’ve learned the ins and outs of negotiating plea deals and taking cases all the way to trial. We’ve applied the same tenacity and passion to our clients in the dependency system. We have a real edge.” The firm’s high degree of interest in dependency cases can be traced to a case handled by Abuershaid while in the Public

© christopher TODD studios

Defender’s Office. His client, who already had children taken away from her due to sexual abuse by her at-the-time boyfriend, was in a serious fight to regain custody of her newborn. Soon after giving birth, the client’s child was taken immediately away from her at the hospital even though she had done thing to put the child in danger. It was the government’s position that the ex-boyfriend might commit the same offenses again. For months, she participated in and finished every program assigned to her by the courts and social services. Yet the government still refused to return the child and hope was being lost. “I wasn’t going to let them get away with this,” Abuershaid says. Immediately after the court’s ruling, Mohammad put his foot on the gas and never let up. After several more months of continuous hearings and arguments and motions filed, the client and her child were finally reunited, and the case was closed. Clients, often facing apparently overwhelming situations, agree. A comment about Le’s work is typical. “If every attorney was like Harrison Le our system wouldn’t be so broken. He actually really cares about the people he represents and goes out of his way to help. He explains things in a way that I can understand and thinks outside the box. He really will do what needs to be done to help you.” Deanna M.

HELPING CLIENTS SURVIVE THE WORST OF TIMES The firm is helmed by three talented and skilled individuals who work collaboratively on every case. Every case that walks through their door is reviewed by each attorney, which provides each client with a different set of eyes on their case. The clients have the advantage of three perspectives from a team working seamlessly to benefit the client. The process has worked well from day one. One of the firm’s first clients arrived at their door on “the worst day of his life.” He was facing incredibly serious sexual battery allegations—allegations he vehemently denied from the beginning. The client graduated from a prestigious

Harrison Le, Partner and Co-Founder

university, was a revered employee at the company he worked for and never had been in trouble with the law in his life. Suddenly this model citizen faced the very real possibility of prison and lifetime registration as a sex offender. Instead of taking a reactive approach to this case, A.L.L. immediately went on a carefully planned and aggressive offensive. Before the case could be submitted to the local District Attorney’s Office, they spoke with detectives and interviewed potential witnesses, visited the scene, and discovered electronic evidence that demonstrated their client’s innocence. Their strong efforts ultimately led to no charges being filed and the client happily went back to enjoying his normal life again.

Attorney Journals Orange County | Volume 166, 2020


© christopher TODD studios

Christopher Lee, Partner and Co-Founder

Le handled a similar potentially life-ruining case involving a young male in his early 20’s on a felony D.U.I. case that involved in a collision where passengers were ejected from the vehicle and seriously injured. The client faced nine years of prison and two GBI strikes. Police found open beer cans in the vehicle, and per the investigating officer, the client exhibited physical signs of having been under the influence of alcohol. Despite the bleak initial state of the evidence, Harrison did not become intimidated by the odds and decided to dig deeper into the case. He conducted his own investigations and shortly discovered there were serious problems with the government’s blood analysis. The case was ultimately reduced to a misdemeanor wet and reckless and the


Attorney Journals Orange County | Volume 166, 2020

client was released immediately from local jail with informal probation. In another case, Lee represented a young woman who was charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon who was unable to post bail to fight her case out of custody. Time was of the essence and her client absolutely could not afford to have a felony on her record. The facts in the police report also did not paint the client in the best light. In spite of these circumstances, Lee studied the case and orchestrated a powerful cross examination of the arresting officers and demonstrated to the judge that his client’s conduct was at worst misdemeanor conduct. The judge agreed. The client, who originally was facing prison time and a felony strike, was released the next day from jail on a misdemeanor charge. The firm’s aggressive approach to such cases has resulted in referral work from other firms appreciating their unique niche. Approximately 25 percent of their cases come from other attorneys or firms. Abuershaid says, “Our reputation as ‘trial dogs’ during our years as public defenders has carried with us into private practice. We’ve been asked to take on cases many times to handle various hearings, from administrative civil hearings to preliminary hearing and trial.” As one such attorney says, “As a fellow attorney, I have had the pleasure of working with Mo, Chris, and Harrison for several years now. All three are not only outstanding attorneys, but also compassionate individuals that truly care about their clients. Unlike some mill law firms, you can expect personalized attention and care from All Trial Lawyers. Strongly recommended!” Dan D. Lee says, “Our visceral approach every time we receive a new case is, ‘Let’s take this to trial.’ Resolving a case by way of settlement may be the most reasonable course of action in most cases, but that doesn’t mean we have to enjoy it. We’ve found that our ‘trial first’ approach has led to better settlement offers from our adversaries, which often times leads to happier clients.”

© christopher TODD studios

The A.L.L. Trial Lawyers Team: Christopher Lee, Mohammad Abuershaid and Harrison Le

GIVING IT THEIR ALL A.L.L. dedicates a large portion of the practice to pro bono work, specifically in the areas of juvenile delinquency and criminal defense. Coming from the public defender’s office, they state they will forever feel a continued obligation to protect people who lack the means to defend themselves against the government due to financial/social reasons beyond their control. The firm regularly takes on pro bono cases from clients who are homeless and/or suffering from severe mental health issues, as well as at-risk youth going through the juvenile system. In addition, A.L.L. also engages with renowned community programs like Underground GRIT (www.undergroundgrit. org) that provide innovative re-entry services and counseling for severe at-risk youth in Orange County. “Our firm’s philosophy is simply to give our clients our all. We’ve seen many people get mistreated and taken advantage

of in the legal system, and we’ve seen the devastating impact it has on people and their families as a result. Most of these outcomes could have been simply avoided if clients weren’t treated like a number. We truly pride ourselves on fighting against the assembly-line culture and we are not afraid to push the envelope,” Abuershaid says. ■ Contact: A.L.L. Trial Lawyers, APC (Abuershaid, Lee and Le Trial Lawyers, APC) 333 City Blvd W., Floor 17 Orange, CA 92868-5905 (866) 222-1255 www.alltriallawyers.com 1370 Valley Vista Dr., Suite 200 Diamond Bar, CA 91765

Attorney Journals Orange County | Volume 166, 2020


Check for Weak Links in Your Marketing Program by Trey Ryder

9 Weak Links That Can Break Your Marketing Program





Delivering a sales message. Overcome this weak link by delivering an educational message. Your message must educate your prospect about his problems and the solutions you can provide. If your message sounds like a sales pitch—or if you sound or act like a salesperson—your program is doomed to failure. (Do you know anyone who wants to listen to a sales pitch or talk with a salesperson?) Lack of credibility. Overcome this weak link by firmly establishing that you can be trusted. None of us (voluntarily) does business with a person we don’t trust. Go to great lengths to make sure your prospects, clients and referral sources trust you. You can increase trust by (1) offering information about your knowledge, skill and experience, (2) discussing case histories of clients you have helped in the past, (3) speaking in simple terms everyone can understand, and (4) taking time to answer prospects’ questions.


No apparent differences. Overcome this weak link by clearly pointing out the positive ways you differ from competitors. Prospects won’t hire your services unless and until they have clear, identifiable reasons to choose you over all other lawyers. If you convey nothing else to your prospects, make sure prospects know how you differ from every other lawyer on the planet.


Lack of interaction. Overcome this weak link by inviting interactions with your prospects and clients. You will never do business with a prospect until the two of you have interacted, whether over the phone, by email or in person. Interaction doesn’t happen by chance; it happens by design. Design your marketing program to generate ongoing educational interactions with prospects.


Failure to commit. Overcome this weak link by motivating your prospect to make a commitment, which is when he hires your services. Point out to prospects what they stand to lose by allowing their present situation to persist. Point out to prospects how they benefit when they hire you to help them solve a problem or achieve a goal. Describe a case history of someone you know who waited too long to solve his problem—and the terrible consequences he faced as a result. 22

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Unappealing offers. Overcome this weak link by packaging your services in ways that appeal to your prospects. For example, if you offer services only by the hour and your prospects want flat fees, you face an uphill battle. When you offer different levels of services and different billing options, you give prospects the opportunity to pick which they like best. This increases their satisfaction level because they took part in making the decision. Missing your target audience. Overcome this weak link by designing and creating your message so it appeals specifically to the audience you want to reach. If your message does not appeal to your audience, you have a big problem. If your message does not reach the audience you want, you’ve wasted your time, money and effort.


Inconvenient delivery methods. Overcome this weak link by matching your marketing methods with the audiences you want to reach. Make sure you choose marketing methods that your prospects find attractive, comfortable and convenient. If a busy executive wants you to send information by mail—and if you insist on talking with the executive on the phone—you are not making it easy for the executive. Your unwillingness to deliver your marketing message in a way that is convenient for the executive may be the only reason he needs not to hire your services.


Lack of loyalty. Overcome this weak link by making sure your message and services build loyalty among your clients and referral sources. Your educational message—delivered over time to clients, former clients and referral sources—keeps your loyalty level high, which results in an ongoing flow of new prospects through the referral pipeline.  n Trey Ryder shares his marketing method with lawyers through a wide range of publications. In addition, he writes and publishes his free e-zine, The Ryder Method™ of Education-Based Marketing. And he maintains the Lawyer Marketing Advisor at treyryder.com. He can be reached at: trey@treyryder.com

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Seller Myths vs. Market Truths by Mike O’Horo


any refer to the 2008 economic meltdown as the “Great Reset.” For law firm business development, it’s healthy to embrace that as a literal expression. The law business was reset from a seller’s market, characterized by demand exceeding supply, to a buyer’s market, where the reverse is true. One important consequence of that shift is that many long-held beliefs about business development are no longer true. Lawyers now must compete under the conditions and marketplace rules that their clients have faced forever. Here are a baker’s dozen seller’s myths to relegate to the trash bin in favor of market truths that will be with you for the balance of your career:

selling is to get a decision. You want either a yes or no so that you can get this prospect out of your pipeline, put an end to the sales cost associated with them, and direct your limited time to the next opportunity. The longer someone languishes in your pipeline, the more it costs you.

1 We’re better! There is no “better,” only “different.” A percentage of people will consider your differentness to be better, but there’s no absolute “better.”

9 A close relationship with a general counsel is the Holy Grail of the law business. Legal work dispensed by the law department is already mature and represents the past, not the future. Innovation occurs on the front lines of the business. You need to cultivate the line-of-business managers.

2 Facts are important. Only in court. In the marketplace, perception is reality. If I perceive your form of differentness to be better, that’s reality for me. 3 My knowledge and experience are important. Only to the extent it gets you considered. Once you’re in competition with other similarly qualified lawyers, its value ends. What your applied knowledge and experience does for me is important. 4 “I can help anyone.” Lawyers say this as a way of pushing back at the idea of profiling and targeting a specific market segment. Yes, you can help anyone, but unless they’ve somehow found you, decided to speak with you, and have already decided to hire you, it’s meaningless. You can accept “anyone” as a client, but you can’t pursue “anyone.” Define and profile one specific group to pursue. 5 To cross-sell, I must have a thorough knowledge of my colleagues’ services. No. That’s impossible if you have a lot of diverse practices in your firm. Really, all you have to know is your colleagues’ most important door-openers—that is, the business problems that drive demand for their services. “If someone has this problem, they need (someone like) me.” If they don’t have that problem, they don’t need your colleague, and won’t appreciate your attempt to pitch him or her. 6 By luck, speaking engagements produce business. However, “prove the need” speeches often produce qualified leads. “Prove the need” refers to demonstrating the negative consequences and impact of the problem you solve. This creates a greater level of awareness and discomfort within prospective buyers. If your remarks cause someone to conclude they no longer have the luxury of delay, they’re likely to discuss the problem with you. 7 The goal of selling is to get to “yes.” Not if you have any integrity. Yes and no are both possible good decisions for the prospect. How can it be legitimate to entertain only one of them? The goal of


Attorney Journals Orange County | Volume 166, 2020

8 My most valuable asset is my client’s willingness to trust me with important legal matters. Your most valuable asset is your client’s willingness to discuss the future of his or her business, and let you participate in the ongoing definition of what’s important. That’s how you remain part of the client’s future instead of being trapped in the client’s past—with the declining pricing power. (All products and services mature and decline in perceived importance and value.)

10 My experience and expertise are the top considerations in the decision to hire me. Collectively, experience and expertise, perceived knowledge of the client’s business, and the demonstrated ability to apply both to valuable effect is the top criteria for getting chosen among those found. 11 My competitor, XYZ firm, “owns” that client. Only in your mind. Companies are unbundling their legal spend, allocating work to align it with difficulty and cost. To the degree that any incumbent firm “owns” any part of that, it owns the past. Why compete for the past? They do have the advantage of switching costs, which inhibits moving the work to a different firm. The solution to incumbency is to limit the competing firm to the past by staking claim to the emerging issues. The future begins now and is continually redefined by the business conversation (see No. 8). 12 We should explain our credentials thoroughly. Please don’t. Nobody wants to hear them. Instead, demonstrate that you understand my industry, my business, my department and my success criteria. Show me what it’s like to have you as my lawyer and live with me through the resolution of important issues. Bring me fresh thinking that causes me to attribute important qualities to you. 13 It’s critical to maintain relationships with key prospects and contacts and to earn and sustain virtual “idea relationships” with an entire industry or sector. This is accomplished through a sustained business conversation that leads to professional intimacy. n For 20 years, Mike O’Horo has been known by lawyers everywhere as The Coach. He trained more than 7000 of them, generating $1.5 billion in new business. His latest innovation is Dezurve, which has cracked the code on identifying investment-worthy lawyers and eliminating training budget waste. Mike can be reached at mikeohoro@rainmakervt.com.

Frank R. Fasel (Left), Christopher A. Guldjian (Right)

We’ve Recovered Millions Fighting Against The Largest Corporations in the World Guldjian Fasel Accident Attorneys is a team of dedicated California personal injury attorneys and support staff that are focused on helping clients recover from serious injury accidents. Referral fees paid. 600 Anton Blvd, Suite 1700 | Costa Mesa, California 92626 714-882-5800 | www.guldjianilaw.com

Structuring Attorney Fees by Patrick C. Farber


our client just received a large jury award or settlement. Your client is satisfied with the outcome and you will be compensated for often years of hard work and out-ofpocket expenses. You can collect your fee as a lump sum, but there is another option: structuring the fee so payments are delayed or spread out over time. Tax Code Governing Structured Fees. Legal fee structuring is possible because of Richard A. Childs, et al. v Commissioner of Internal Revenue 103 T.C. 36, aff’d 89 F.3d 856 (11th Cir. 1996). In Childs, the U. S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit affirmed a lower court’s decision allowing attorneys to structure their fees and to pay taxes on the fees only when they are received (included on IRS Form 1099). Only contingency fees can be structured. Hourly or retainer fees cannot. Structuring Fee Mechanics. Legal fee structures are similar to non-qualified personal injury structured settlements in a number of ways. As with client settlement structures, timing is important. The fee structure must be set up prior to the law firm actually taking possession of the funds. Once the funds are deposited into an attorney or law firm’s bank account, fee structuring is off the table. The IRS labels it as earned income and it becomes immediately taxable. Since attorney fees are deducted from the client’s settlement amount, fee structure verbiage must be included in the client’s settlement agreement with the defendant. Clients do not need to structure their settlement in order for their attorney to structure fees. As with non-qualified personal injury structured settlements, proceeds compound tax-free in the annuity and only become taxable upon receipt. Attorneys are required to notify the IRS of their fee structure plans. Once the fee structure instructions are included in the client’s signed settlement documents, the defendant, its insurance company or trust then purchases an annuity for the amount of the legal fees through a life insurance company. The insurance company invests the annuity funds in conservative investments such as U.S. Treasury securities. The sole practitioner or law firm does not own the annuity. The life insurance company purchases and guarantees the annuity and then transfers the annuity to an assignment company that is 26

Attorney Journals Orange County | Volume 166, 2020

responsible for making the payments according to the instructions laid out in the structure documents. Safety of Annuity’s Underlying Assets. When it comes to structures, the big question is, are the funds safe? Life insurance companies must receive approval from the California Department of Insurance before they can offer structure settlements. State regulations dictate that these insurance carriers maintain assets equal to or exceed their annuity payment obligations. Carriers are audited annually to make sure they comply. The majority of insurance companies offering to structure fees will only do so in cases involving personal injury or workers’ comp settlements. A smaller number will structure fees for any number of case types including discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, bad faith and construction defect claims— cases where fees are determined as part of a negotiated settlement. Managing The Firm’s Financials. For many solo practitioners and small law firms with mostly contingency-fee clients, it is often feast or famine. Attorneys can be under financial pressure to cover law firm expenses during lean months. Fee structuring can relieve some of the stress. The firm receives steady, guaranteed income over a specified period. This enables attorneys to use the funds as a financial planning tool. Cash flow stabilizes and becomes predictable. The fee payouts are taxable, but by being spread over time (often years), the distributions may be taxed at a lower rate meaning the overall tax burden could be lower. Your tax advisor can offer guidance on whether deferring payment can save on taxes. Determining Whether Structuring Fees Make Sense. Structuring attorney fees is not always the right decision. Your firm may want to use the fee income to pay off a large high-interest debt or a multitude of small expenses, purchase a building to house the law office, hire new staff or buy out a retiring partner. Relieving costly debt or updating/improving the law firm practice may take precedent over a consistent income stream. Paying Off Debt. A popular option is to receive a portion of your fees at settlement to cover immediate expenses and structure the rest. In one instance, a law firm was awarded $850,000 in attorney fees. Of that, the partners decided to receive $250,000 upfront to pay off the mortgage on their office building. The

remainder would be paid out annually in the amount of $92,034 per year, guaranteed for seven years and factoring in compounding interest. Saving For Retirement. By spreading fee income over a number of years or until after retirement, an attorney may be in a lower tax bracket with a lower tax obligation. A sole practitioner decided to postpone received $500,000 in attorney fees until he turned 70 and retired in 2029. He created a structure with instructions that annual payments of $71,701 would begin in November 2029 with the last guaranteed payment in November 2038. The $500,000 will remain in the structured annuity, growing tax-free by more than $200,000, until withdrawn. If the attorney should pass away before all payments are distributed, payments can be transferred to designated beneficiaries. College Tuition. An attorney can also decide to receive all or part of a fee to pay for tuition costs when a son or daughter reaches college age. For example, a $100,000 in attorney fees could be structured to pay for the college education of a five-year-old son or daughter beginning at age 18. In this case, payments would be for $28,779, guaranteed for five years when factoring in compounded interest. The attorney would still be the payee of the yearly payments over the five-year period. Note that if the money is not needed (i.e., the child earns a full scholarship), the payouts would still take place as scheduled.

Your Decision Is Final. Once a structured annuity is created, payments cannot be altered, nor can the annuity be cashed in and a lump sum distributed to the sole practitioner or firm. To protect yourself from rising costs, a cost-of-living component can be factored into the distribution schedule to offset inflation. Another issue to consider is today’s current low interest rates on government securities. Funds within the annuity can only be invested in safe, government-backed investment vehicles. In today’s low interest rate environment, it may be hard to justify locking in annuity payments at those low rates. Every firm has its own set of financial needs. Firm partners should discuss options with the firm’s tax advisor—receive a lump sum payment upfront, pay the taxes and invest the rest (and be taxed on the income) or go with the structured annuity with compounded tax-deferred benefits. Regardless of the ultimate decision, structuring fees earned from a sizable contingency fee case settlement should be a part of every payment discussion. n Patrick C. Farber is a structured settlements broker in California with Atlas Settlement Group. He specializes in settling medical malpractice, physical injury, non-physical injury, product liability, workers’ compensation, mass torts, punitive damages, employment and elder abuse cases with structured settlements in court hearings, arbitrations and settlement conferences. 800-734-3910, patrick.farber@patrickfarber.com

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Lawyers, Can You Build Relationships with Data? by Lindsay Griffiths


ver the last few years, data has become more and more popular a subject, as we try to quantify everything to do with our businesses. “Please don’t make me try to quantify my relationships TOO!” I can hear you opining. But I promise, the goal is a worthwhile one. Our goal when it comes to any business development or relationship development tactic is maximizing the benefit and maximizing efficiency. In order to do that, it makes sense to implement the use of data. I’m not talking about requiring you to create algorithms for your clients (though, I’ll admit that I’ve seen what some firms have done to map the relationships of their lawyers and clients, and it’s pretty spectacular and fascinating, as well as being incredibly useful). I’m talking about implementing a couple of simple ideas to ensure that your current relationship development efforts are giving you the best bang for your buck. Before we dive into those techniques, let’s talk briefly about why data works. You may remember our post about the zombiefication of content marketing, which references Shane Snow’s piece on combatting content zombies. In Snow’s piece, he talks about Netflix’s original success, which was predicated on their move from offering streaming of other companies’ television shows and movies to purchasing their own show for the first time—House of Cards (this was pre-scandal Spacey, remember). Through its data, Netflix knew three things: People who watch Kevin Spacey movies tend to watch all the way to the end. People who watch David Fincher movies tend to watch lots of David Fincher movies. And people who watch the British House of Cards tend to watch it all at once and all the way through. With that data, giving House of Cards the greenlight seemed like a no-brainer. And Snow confirmed, “Based on the number of new subscribers Netflix picked up because of the show, the company’s $100 million bet paid off in under three months, according to analysis by The Atlantic.” Netflix isn’t making predictions with a crystal ball. They’re using lots of data, that they have access to base on their existing customers, to predict future consumption behavior. And entertainment isn’t the only place where this makes sense. Snow says, “A relatively small number of super loyal subscribers paying Netflix $8 a month is more profitable than a huge number of viewers tuning in to a commercial on CBS. In the same way, a relatively small number of loyal readers or viewers can be worth 28

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much more to a brand than a bunch of one-off ad impressions. “This is the way the future will work in every content medium, not just television. The creators and companies that make smart use of data and tech will have a huge advantage over the rest.” This works with content too, and it can work with your business relationships. Why? Because you’re being strategic about them. In a way that maximizes the value that you’re offering and ensuring that you’re meeting with and connecting with the right people again and again. Here’s an example. There’s a certain networking event that you enjoy going to, and you usually see the same group of people there whom you enjoy spending time with—but they aren’t potential clients or referral sources—you just like them as people. Although they’re fun, you’re not maximizing your networking opportunities by spending time with them that’s designated as business development time. You may wonder what’s wrong with that type of hit-or-miss networking, and the answer is three-fold. The short response is “nothing”—there’s nothing wrong with it. If you simply enjoy hanging out with this group of people, and it’s only a bonus if work comes your way, then great! You’re already meeting your needs. But, if that’s not the end goal here, then there are two things wrong with it: 1. You’re a busy person. So don’t spend time—as a billing lawyer—developing relationships that aren’t going to maximize every ounce out of that networking. That’s not to criticize those relationships—if you like those people, find non-networking time to spend with them. 2. If you network strategically, be sure that you’re adding value to the relationships that you want to develop, or they are not going to be interested in investing time in you. You also must be valuable to your audience, or they’re not going to engage in the follow up—they’re also busy people, with a tidal wave of things coming at them daily. So, it’s to your advantage to be as efficient as possible in delivering what you want to them, in a way that’s valuable to them. How do you do that? With data. Start with some analysis. Take your top ten clients and identify how you met them. Was it a referral? Did a current client introduce you? Did you meet them at a networking event? Identify if there are patterns, or if it’s totally random.

If there are patterns, repeat more of the activities that led to meeting clients. If your best clients come from referrals, identify where your best referral sources are. Does it make sense to set up more lunches? Should you be going to alumni events or reconnecting with law school friends? If your goal is to get more business from current clients, find out where they are spending their time, and how you can maximize those relationships. While in-person relationships are great, don’t forget about other ways to stay in touch—and use data here, too. How do your connections like to stay in contact? Which clients prefer email, phone calls, texting, Facebook messenger or Slack? You may need to keep this information in a spreadsheet or use some other form to track the data effectively. Track your activities over time—you’ve identified patterns, and you know what your goals are, so repeat events that you believe will lead to success and then follow up to see what works. Did setting up more lunches with referral sources lead to more referrals? How many lunches did it take? What was the return on your investment? How many networking events did you have to go to? Tracking these metrics will help you to see at a glance what activities are working effectively and which you should skip. There are a couple of points that I’d like to emphasize: Don’t get hung up on technology: Whenever you’re doing anything involving data, it can be tempting to get hung up on finding the right tool to track your activities and successes. The important thing isn’t the tool; it’s identifying what works and what doesn’t. It can be as simple as an excel spreadsheet.

Measure AND repeat your successes: It’s about looking at what your connections really care about—it may surprise you to see which activities are really working when you start to track them. Those lunches that you believed to be so successful may not be resulting in substantial enough work coming in, even if you really like the guy you’re meeting with. Tweaking the research you do before a networking event that you attend regularly increases the return you get because you connected with your top markets instead of just the people you enjoy chatting with. Engage with the data to see what works then to maximize the efforts that you’re putting in. Rather than insisting that your relationship building efforts will work because you’ve put in the effort, put in the effort to give your relationship building efforts a chance to work. The goal here is more than just making yourself popular; it’s creating sustainable, long-term relationships with clients who will return to you again and again. This doesn’t mean that you don’t try out new events and ideas, or even your tried and true favorites that don’t usually yield big results. But the idea is to build on what’s successful, what your connections show they want over what you think they might want, to make the most efficient use of your time and theirs. If it’s good enough for Netflix, shouldn’t it be good enough for you? n Lindsay Griffiths is the Director of Global Relationship Management at International Lawyers Network and is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network.

Attorney Journals Orange County | Volume 166, 2020


12 Easy Ways to Be More Successful with Your Content Marketing Efforts by Stephanie Marrone


ontent marketing takes time and effort, but staying top of mind with your target audiences is a key goal to marketing and business development—and providing value-added content is one way in which you can do this while branding yourself as a subject-matter expert in your area of the law. Here are 12 tips to make your content marketing efforts successful and worthwhile. Keep in mind that they may take time to show real ROI, but I have seen thought leadership content lead to new business over and over, so be patient! 1. Strong headlines are key. They capture the attention of your readers and make them want to click through. 2. Make sure your mailing lists have clean data. Or else your campaigns won’t actually reach anyone. 3. Remember that great content invites followers and potential leads/referrals and clients. 4. Good is often good enough—don’t spend forever perfecting a piece of content. Time is often of the essence to get a piece published. 5. Look to see what your competitors are writing about and do it better than them. I recommend following 5-10 of your competitors and tracking what they write about. Follow their blogs and their LinkedIn accounts. 6. Recycle your greatest hits. So many firms take the time to create great content, but they only post it once to social— huge mistake. No one is following your feed closely enough to notice if you reuse your content. Change up the wording and imagery and voila—you have a new piece of content. 7. Study your analytics to get a better sense of what content is resonating with your target audiences and what’s not. Make sure you share this info with authors as it inspires and educates them. 8. Only focus on the social platforms where your clients and prospects are—don’t feel like you need to post content to all social channels. You should only dedicate your time and efforts to those platforms they are using—with LinkedIn being the most important one. 9. I’m a firm believer that you should post nothing to social media without an image. Why? Because social media posts with images gain more views and engagement, period. Anyone can incorporate visuals into their social media 30

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strategy, you just need to be creative and resourceful. You can easily reuse and repurpose images that you already have and resize them using tools right on your smartphone. In addition, there are many photo and online design tools that enable you to create images for free or at a low cost. 10. Pursue opportunities to have your content published in third-party trade journals, websites and publications focused on your target industry. By doing this, your target audience will grow to know, like and trust you as well. 11. Utilize content syndicators like JD Supra. Many law firms (and their lawyers) invest considerable time writing great content but are disappointed by the results. Either their thought leadership efforts don’t lead to new business, or they fail to garner media attention or the attention of clients/prospects. This isn’t necessarily because the content is poorly written. Often it is simply because not enough of the right people, your target readers, have the chance to see the work. Fact is, we operate in a competitive and saturated market and simply getting someone to open your email and read your content is very difficult. So, what can you do to stand out from your peers? Bring in the special forces like JD Supra to take your content efforts to the next level. In simple terms, JD Supra helps its clients leverage thought leadership to effectively create new business, media attention and networking opportunities. 12. Consider utilizing new media and new mediums to engage with audiences such as video and podcasts, which can capture the attention of new followers and lead to new business. Happy content creating!  n Stefanie Marrone helps law firms effectively tell their stories and find their unique voices. Over the last 17 years, she has worked with some of the most prominent and innovative law firms in the world, developing and executing global revenue generating business development and communications strategies, including media relations, branding, and multichannel content marketing and social media campaigns. She is very passionate about using social media for lead generation and brand building. She has a diverse range of experience in both Big Law and mid-size/small-law firms. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her latest writing on JD Supra as well as her blog The Social Media Butterfly.



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Attorney Journals, Orange County, Volume 166  

Attorney Journals, Orange County, Volume 166

Attorney Journals, Orange County, Volume 166  

Attorney Journals, Orange County, Volume 166