The Single Worst Marketing Mistake Lawyers Make | Law Firm Suites

Too many lawyers are missing opportunities to increase their visibility and reduce the time they need to spend on marketing because they’re not doing anything to get more mileage out of their content.

Here are simple ways you can use your blog content in other areas of marketing to get more clients:

Source: The Single Worst Marketing Mistake Lawyers Make | Law Firm Suites

Blog, Legal Services, marketing, Uncategorized

Google Scholar: Useful Tool for Legal Research

Legal research is a very important aspect of the practice of law.  Google Scholar is an online, freely accessible search engine that provides a simple way to broadly search for professional articles, journals and conference papers, theses and dissertations, academic books, pre-prints, abstracts and legal documents.  Its database includes full-text copies of nearly every court opinion published on state and federal circuits. 

Google Scholar allows you to search and read published opinions of US state appellate and supreme court cases since 1950, US federal district, appellate, tax and bankruptcy courts since 1923 and US Supreme Court cases since 1791. It includes citations for cases cited by indexed opinions or journal articles which allows you to find influential cases which are not yet online or publicly available.  Cases are cited in Bluebook format, including internal page numbers, and are cross-lined within the database.  Google Scholar provides links to secondary sources such as law reviews and journals.

On Google Scholar, legal documents can be searched for by keywords, title, or the name of a legal institution.  You can also search and filter case law based on the jurisdiction and/or year in which it was published.

If you are seeking ways to reduce research costs, Google Scholar is a good option.  Goggle Scholar is a great place to conduct preliminary research, or to review new cases that have not yet been affected by precedent and is extremely effective when used in combination with free and fee based primary law sources. 

Some Advantages of Using Google Scholar

  • Easy search capabilities
  • Provides some basic and advanced search options like a database
  • Provides direct access to full text of articles if they are available for free online.
  • Better Citation System – wherever a document cites other case law a hyperlink will instantly retrieve the cited document for you. Google Scholar also indexes cited sources in order of importance alongside every legal document.
  • Frequent Updates – Google Scholar normally adds new papers several times a week.
  • Alerts – Google Scholar will periodically email you newly published papers that match your search criteria.
  • Google Scholar unlike Westlaw or LexisNexis uses natural language instead of Boolean language for searches.

Some Disadvantages to Using Google Scholar

  • Google Scholar has a limited library so older legal documents might not be available.
  • Google Scholar does not have Headnotes, Shepardizing, or secondary sources like LexisNexis and Westlaw.
  • Google Scholar ranks a document’s relevance based on a search engine algorithm so the order in which cases appear in your search may not accurately reflect the relative legal importance of the case.

Google Scholar makes it free and easy to locate a vast number of legal documents giving you the opportunity to save money because you use a paid research service a lot less frequently. Google Scholar can’t replace Westlaw of LexisNexis but it certainly provides an advantage to any lawyer or law firm when combined with them.

Want to learn more about Google Scholar https://scholar.google.com

PS – If you appreciate these tools, please join our mailing list to receive monthly insight on tools like Google Scholar. You’re the best!




Blog, Cloud-based software, Legal Services, marketing, Uncategorized

Technology Solutions Small Firm Lawyers Use to Run Successful Law Practices | Law Firm Suites

There are dozens of applications and other technology solutions available to help make every aspect of running a law practice easy and efficient. Selecting the right ones does require a little research, but luckily our survey participants also provided specific technology they use in their law firms.

We surveyed attorneys about the technology that makes their law practice successful. Check out our infographic to see their responses.

Source: Technology Solutions Small Firm Lawyers Use to Run Successful Law Practices | Law Firm Suites

Blog, marketing, Uncategorized

What is Canva and How Do I Use It For My Business?

I have used Microsoft Publisher for a while to create brochures and different materials for my online business.  Recently, I ran across an online tool that I absolutely love called Canva so I thought I would share.

What is Canva?  Canva is a free, online tool that you can use to create graphic designs for your blogs, informational documents, e-books, social media covers, etc.  Canva makes graphic design amazingly simple for everyone by bringing together a drag and drop design tool with a library of more than 1 million stock photographs, graphic elements and fonts.

Source: What is Canva and How Do I Use It For My Business?

marketing, Uncategorized

Marketing Your Business is as Important as the Air That You Breathe

This year I experienced a life changing moment, the moment when I decided that I was tired of punching a time clock and working for someone else.  That moment when I decided that I wanted to be in business for myself and have more flexibility to be a mom and a wife.  I decided to for the first time in my life do something for myself and so my journey began in January when I started my virtual business.  

Starting a virtual business was not as easy as I thought it would be but because there is so much information and training on the internet to help guide you it was really just a matter of figuring out what skills I possessed that I could use for my business and which tools were a right fit for me.  I watched all the webinars and read all kinds of articles and followed all the breadcrumbs.  I started my virtual business, have my website up and running; I am on all the social media sites for networking; I have all the tools to succeed and I am ready for business. There is just one problem though, NO CLIENTS!  Having the website, having a profile on social media sites and all the available tools setup and ready to use are just not enough.  You have to market your business in order for it to grow.  Marketing your business is as important as the air that you breathe.

If you are like me, the thought of marketing makes me cringe mainly because (1) I don’t have a lot of money to invest in marketing my business, and (2) I didn’t know where to begin my expertise is not in marketing.  First and foremost your mindset has almost everything to do with how you succeed so both of these thoughts could have caused me to give up, be defeated and ultimately fail.  Fact is that there are marketing strategies online that don’t cost anything just your time. There are tons of people doing what you do so you have to stand out which is why marketing yourself or your business is so important.

I have learned a few tricks on marketing that I thought I would share and guess what, I didn’t have to pay a dime, just my time and commitment.

Using Social Media

First off, make sure you profile page is on point meaning it reflects the professional image that you want to portray.  Remember, your online presence is a reflection of you and your business.  It is as much a part of your professional image as the clothes you wear.

However, It’s not enough to just have a professional social media profile, you have to engage with the people that you connect with to engage with current clients and colleges and to gain new clients.  Social media is a great networking tool.  The key is to stand out from the competition and become everyone’s “go to” person.  The people that I connect with are what I call my potential clients.  I don’t know half of the people I connect with but I know for sure that they are people that I could help with the services that I offer.  With that, I read their posts, see their concerns or problems, and I offer solutions to their problems for “free.”  

I know you are probably thinking you don’t want to offer anything for “free” but think of it this way, anything they need they can find on the internet so whether you help them or not they will more than likely get the information for “free” anyway.  Use what you know to offer a solution that a potential client could use and apply themselves. Give those potential clients the missing pieces to their puzzle to complete that task that they are having such a hard time with.  Once you have a rapport with your connections you will be the “go to” person because you have all the answers.  At that point, you can turn those potential clients into paying clients because you have gained their trust.

Start Blogging

When I first started this business I had never blogged before.  I watched all the tutorials and read as many articles as I could about blogging and after all that I just did not see the point in blogging.  Part of gaining the trust of potential clients and being the “go to” person can be established by blogging.  I now use my blog to do just that: I give information to my potential clients. Blogging for a business is different from just maintaining a personal blog.  

Blogging for a business is indirectly giving potential clients helpful information or resources that they can use anytime they need it.  In fact, they can share it with other people which builds your reach to other potential clients. For instance, I saw that some of my potential clients were having issues with wanting to know the importance of using blogging to market their business.  So, I posted a blog “To Blog or Not to Blog – That is the Question?”  In that blog I addressed the issues of not wanting to blog and why you should blog to market your business.  Blogging keeps your potential clients informed, it provides consistent useful content and helps ensure your potential clients or current clients will choose your services over the competition.

Start an Email Marketing Campaign

Email marketing by far was the hardest thing for me but once I got past the initial trials and error, it is has been one of the least expensive marketing tools to I use.  There are platforms you can use like Aweber and Mailchimp that offer free versions and have tutorials on using the tools and software to build your email campaign.

Email marketing is when a company sends a commercial message to a group of people by use of electronic email through advertisements, requests for business, or sales that helps to build customer loyalty, trust in a product or company or brand recognition. It is an efficient way to stay connected with your clients while also promoting your business.

Building a successful email campaign takes planning and effort.  You will have to build an email list.  One way you can do this is by offering something in return for their email address.  An issue I had was what can I offer for free?  The answer is create something using software like Canva that you can download in PDF such as tips or ways to do something that would appeal to your target market and then give this information away for free in exchange for their email address.  

Manage your expectations with follow up.  If you promise them a free training series, information or ebook then make sure that after they give you their email address that they receive the information that you promised.

The actual email itself is very important.  What makes an effective email is the subject line, the body of the text, a call to action and your signature.  Your subject should be direct and clear.  In the body of the text try to avoid long paragraphs, use shorter sentences, bold, underline and highlight important words.  If you are like me I wasn’t sure what a call to action was.  Well call to action is letting the person reading the email know what to do next.  If you are giving them an ebook then the call of action would be click the link to download the ebook.  Last but not least, your signature line should include your name and contact information so that the potential client can get in touch with you.

Marketing yourself and your business is important to make money in any business not just a virtual business.  There are so many ways to market your business but I know for sure that using social media, blogging and email marketing are cheap and fairly easy ways to start.


Blog, Cloud-based software, Uncategorized

Is Working in the Cloud Your New Normal

Working in the cloud has become the new normal.  As a virtual assistant using cloud-based programs has also become my new normal.  Fact is, I love being able to access my files from anywhere, anytime on any mobile device or computer with an internet connection.  Life happens and with me being the mother of seven, everyday I wake up it’s a new challenge.  Being a mom first is what satisfies my soul the most and I love being able to go on field trips with my kids and be an active part of their lives which is why I decided to start my own business in the first place.  Not having to be at the office in front of my computer gives me freedom and flexibility to be that supermom and business woman I was destined to be. This same principal applies to you and your solo practice. I mean let’s face it, attorneys are supermoms and superdads first and then attorneys and this same sense of freedom is why you decided to be go into practice for yourself, right?

I am helping a solo attorney start a virtual practice and thought this information would be useful.

It is estimated that solo attorneys spend almost 50% of their time on things other than practicing law.  Reality is that in order to earn the type of money as a solo attorney that you would being an associate at an actual firm and to feel like it is worth continuing in a solo practice you need to dedicate at least 90% of that time actually practicing law.  Running a solo practice can be awesome, but it is not for everyone.  

Before starting my VA business I worked in an brick and mortar law firm for many years as an assistant to two partners who dedicated timeless hours to building their practice.  There are a lot of nuts and bolts that make the wheels turn for a successful practice like client intake, accounting, reporting, marketing, etc.  As you know, one of the most important aspects in the practice other than keeping your overhead low is having a good case management system.

Cloud-based practice management software offers several benefits that help lower costs, provide transparency to clients and streamline communication. Cloud-based practice management software can provide all you need to run a law practice from intake to invoice.  Some of the features include managing cases, clients, documents, appointments, bills, time-tracking, reporting and accounting.  There are many different ones out there and they vary in their compatibility as far as the features offered.  When selecting a case management program, determine your needs first this will save you on trial and error.  However, most offer free, no obligation 30-day trials so you can try different ones before actually making the choice on which works best for your practice.  If you decide that you like that particular solution you can make monthly payments instead of making large investments up front.  

As an attorney you understand that laws and regulations change and how important it is to stay on top of those changes. Cloud-based law practice management software stays up-to-date on those changes and allows your practice to remain compliant with the latest regulations.

The internet is full of information on cloud-based law practice management software. This article I thought was really useful and it gives you a comparisons on the different softwares.  https://jurispage.com/2013/law-practice-management/the-best-law-firm-case-management-software-an-in-depth-comparison/

If you have suggestions on the different software or have comments please feel free to share!




Blog, Legal Services, Uncategorized

6 Amazing Stats That Prove LinkedIn is Important for Lawyers [Infographic] | Law Firm Suites

LinkedIn is currently one of the fastest growing social media platforms. If you think your ideal client isn’t using LinkedIn, then you are certainly wrong.

Professionals are signing up for an account at a rate of more than 2 members per second. It is more than likely that there are quite a few people out of the millions on LinkedIn who could be a potential client or referral source.

As more and more people create profiles every day, lawyers have an unprecedented opportunity to connect online with people in their target market.

Source: 6 Amazing Stats That Prove LinkedIn is Important for Lawyers [Infographic] | Law Firm Suites

Blog, Uncategorized

Blogging: To Do or Not to Do – That is the Question?

“I just don’t have time to blog” I have heard business owners say time and time again. I am also guilty of saying this myself.  What is blogging? How do I blog? I am a small business owner, how could blogging help me?  This mindset or just the question/answer process might keep a business owner from choosing to blog. Ultimately, the choice to “not blog” for someone who has never blogged before or even someone already running an established business just seems like the right thing to do.  Mainly because let’s face it, learning to do something new in an already overwhelming situation is just torture and becomes frustrating.  I mean think about it, you are already overwhelmed by all the issues of running the business, finding new clients, marketing, coming up with fresh ideas, and the list goes on and on.  I mean who really has time to blog?  Well that answer is simple, you do!   

Fact is, BLOGGING IS MARKETING, marketing means more customers and more customers mean more money!  Blogging is an inexpensive way to gain visibility for your business.  How is that possible?  Well, blogging helps drive traffic to your website which means more opportunity for you to show up in search engines like Google and, the more traffic to your website means more exposure to potential clients.  Social media is a wonderful platform for blogging as well.  Every time you write a blog post, the information that you share to the world is now available for your social media connections to share with their connections which helps expose your business to a new audience.  Social media has endless possibilities for exposure!  

For those business owners that are just full of information in their field, then blogging is definitely for you.  Blogging is basically creating and sharing useful and/or helpful information.  In other words, putting what you know on paper and sharing it with millions.  How does that benefit me?  Hands down, it makes you look like an “expert in your field” or the “go to” person.  I mean who doesn’t want to look as important as they really are in the eyes of millions.  The real question to ask yourself should be  “how does that benefit others?” Blogging will allow you to write about issues your clients or potential clients are dealing with and gives them a solution to their madness.  You can provide information or solve issues in a way that prospective clients can understand and offer some insight they wouldn’t find unless they sought professional help from an expert in that field. Well, they already have an expert in that field YOU!

To do or not to do?  Definitely do.  Blogging has many advantages and for me not only has it been a great marketing tool it has been an awesome filter and be very fulfilling.  I mean really, all that knowledge in your mind could benefit a lot of people so don’t keep it to yourself, share!  Blog for goodness sake!


Legal Services, Uncategorized

Solo Attorney Burnout: Tips to help you gain control of your business practice so you can put more focus on practicing law

download (1)Solo attorneys work harder to gain the clientele, respect and reputation as that of an established law firm or an associate of that established firm.  Balancing clients and family while keeping their business running smoothly can be overwhelming and stressful.  Common mistakes that most solo attorneys have that are often overlooked but ultimately cost them money are properly tracking time, maintaining their reputation and networking using social media.  Here are some tips that will help you deal with some common mistakes made as a solo attorney.

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Properly Tracking Time.  When working for a firm it is required that you track your time on a weekly basis and it becomes habit that you track your time after you deal with each client as a general practice.  As a solo, you are so overwhelmed with wearing the many hats needed to operate a law practice like tasks associated with that of being a paralegal, secretary, runner, receptionist and attorney that you tend to wait until you have time to write down what work you did on each case.  Without tracking time properly you are likely losing money.  Your time is how you bill clients and how you get paid.  Your bread and butter.  There are programs that allow you to develop a timekeeping system that are ultimately free tools like Google Calendar and iTimeKeep. There are also programs like Freshbooks that will allow you to track time, bill and invoice clients as well as keep up with business expenses.

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Reputation.  As a solo attorney trying to make your mark in this big world, your reputation is very important.  How you are viewed in the legal community can either make you or break you.  Reputation although very important seems like something minor for a solo attorney since it is the last thing on their mind;  being overwhelmed and stressed by wearing many hats trying to be successful with their practice.  It is important that solo attorneys be mindful of how they present themselves and how they treat others. Word of mouth is a good marketing tool and could determine if you get a referral or if you get smashed by competition.  This same word of mouth can reach potential client who in turn chooses another attorney.  Don’t forget the importance of reputation.  If you could get on top of all the tasks associated with running the business you can focus more time and energy on being an attorney and handling your clients needs as well as being the best you that you can be.

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Social Media/Online Presence.  Social media has become a vital part of networking and building a business. Use it to market your practice, make connections and gain potential clients. People are relying on social media to make decisions.  Same is true when deciding which attorney or law firm to use.  The first step most people do is to go to the internet and search for that attorney.  They want to find out about that attorney like what are their interests, what articles have they posted, what types of groups do they belong to, how much information they know (blogs), how professional are they (online presence) and what are people saying about them (reviews).  Having an online presence also gives clients a platform to brag and give feedback about you which helps build reputation.  It is time-consuming to juggle social media sites, post blogs and interact with potential clients and colleagues.  Your online presence is a reflection of you and your business.  It is as much a part of your professional image as the clothes you wear. There are programs like Hootsuite and Every Post that manage social media sites in that it allows you to post to all your social media sites from one place, as well as write blogs and schedule when you want them to post.

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Running a business takes a lot of hard work and dedication; add trying to practice law and be the best attorney in your field which requires just as much hard work and dedication, and that’s where the problem arises.  Two major careers and only one YOU!  The solution is simple, outsource!  Outsourcing for attorneys has become as common as hiring an in-house secretary.  The fact is that every solo attorney needs someone to handle the everyday things like screening calls, scheduling meetings with new clients, tracking time, billing clients, typing letters, scheduling court reporters, drafting pleadings and making sure that those pleadings are free of errors and filed with the courts upon your approval and social media management.  All the tasks that are overwhelming to a solo attorney or a law firm for that matter that require a big chunk of time and as a end result contributes to being overwhelmed and ultimately losing money!