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Your firm’s website is one of the most important marketing tools you have in your business development tool kit. It is the place where clients come to discover who you are and what type of legal service you offer. Because of its importance, it’s worthy of periodic review. Your first question should be—who am I trying to reach? Write up or review the profile of your target audience. Consider their legal questions, their interests, and concerns. Knowing your audience will help you design a website that meets their needs and keeps them coming back. What pages are necessary? 1. Home Page No matter the size of your firm, large or solo, your home page ...
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What’s in a Font?

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You’ve spent time researching and writing your latest blog post, but have you given thought to the font you use for display? Visual elements are just as important to the success of your blog as the words you select. The font you use helps transmit the message you want to impart to your readers. What is a font? A font is a design term for a set of characters which include lower and uppercase letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and symbols. A font combines typeface and other qualities, such as size, pitch, and spacing. Originally, the term "font" referred to a size and style of typeface. In recent years, however, the terms have been used interchangeably ...
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“I’ve been asked to present a seminar on elder law for the employees of SDJ Corp.” Lance announced to Linda, his partner. “Sally, the owner, is my client—I helped her with estate planning. She said a lot of their employees are approaching retirement and have questions.” Lance is fortunate. He has met several of the employees of SDJ Corp. and understands that, while highly skilled with tools, they are not so comfortable with words. He will design his presentation accordingly. Planning Know your audience . Who are you speaking to, and what are they expecting or needing from your presentation. To obtain a complete analysis of who will be in the ...
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Develop a client base that perpetuates itself. Words of Wisdom, Master Lawyers Section The above words of wisdom from a member of the Master Lawyers Section are supported by the research. A client base that continues to use and refer your services is cost effective and increases your bottom line. Consider: It can cost five times more to acquire new customers than it does to keep current ones. National Law Review A 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%. Bain & Company How to keep clients satisfied and coming back. The impression your office creates begins with the first contact the prospective ...
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"Employment of lawyers is projected to grow 8% from 2016–2026. Demand for legal work is expected to continue as individuals, businesses, and all levels of government require legal services in many areas."—(10/2018, Bureau of Labor Statistics ) According to the federal government, the prospects for lawyers are good. The projected 8% growth is about as fast as the average for all occupations. However, competition for jobs over the next ten years will be strong. Therefore, finding your niche practice area in your desired community can help you rise above the competition in 2019. How do I find my niche? To find your niche, look at your experience, ...
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A well-written and well-received blog needs some planning. Start by blocking out some time to write the post—you’ll probably need two to three hours. Then: Review your description of your target reader— know who they are and plan to write to them. Think about your writing voice; write in a style that communicates your personality, builds a relationship with your potential clients, and makes you stand out. Choose topics that show your knowledge in your niche market and appeal to the largest possible audience. Every few months, plan for one 1,000 to 1,500-word post on a complicated topic that your readers will want to share. Writing the ...
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January is the time of year to look to the past and plan for your marketing future. Listing the successes and failures of 2018 can help you make effective goals for 2019. First, define your target client. Think back on the clients you worked with in 2018—list their age range, educational background, income level, occupation, and interests. Knowing your average client will help you know where to market to attract more clients who want and need your services. Second, recognize that the purpose of marketing is to keep your name top of mind when consumers are seeking a lawyer. Finally, create a marketing plan around activities you enjoy. If you like ...
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Your profile has a lot of power. It is the highest trafficked page on your law firm website. Surveys show that consumers hire lawyers they like and trust and who they consider to be an expert. A well-written bio can convince potential clients that you are trustworthy and can help them solve their legal problems. It’s your chance to highlight your work and areas of expertise. What constitutes a well-written profile? Make it easy for clients to find you and put your contact information in a conspicuous spot, like the upper right-hand corner. Also, provide links to your social media, publications, events, and news about the firm. These items should ...
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Sally Consumer is looking for a lawyer. She collects suggestions from friends and family, then turns to the Internet for more information. Like most consumers, Sally will visit the review section of a lawyer's profile. Internet reviews are the modern version of word-of-mouth referrals. Future clients want reliable information when deciding on an attorney for their legal needs. Client reviews, like those found in the SBM Member Directory, are an important part of Sally's decision-making process. Should you want to add reviews to your Internet presence, you can start by updating your SBM online Member Directory profile . The client review and endorsement ...
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“It says here that 63 % of all internet traffic comes from smart phones and tablets, and that number is growing,” Linda Lawyer said to partner and brother, Lance. “That’s the reason we had our web designer make sure our website and blog are mobile friendly,” said Lance. “Our digital sites load quickly. Consumers are impatient—they will leave after three seconds—and our pages fit the smaller screen so readers don’t have to pinch or zoom in order to read the content.” L & L Law is ready for mobile consumers. Are you? Test your website for mobility. Ever-efficient Google has created a site where you can enter your web address to test its ...
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Before the internet, websites, and social media, there was attorney advertising. It was advertising as simple as attending the local Rotary luncheon or sending a card for a special event. Advertising designed to build relationships in real life. Now called analog marketing, as opposed to digital marketing, it was and is a real, tangible, and personalized connection with potential clients. Analog Marketing Analog marketing depends on getting to know individuals and other professionals through small, meaningful gestures. It takes more time and effort and includes techniques focused on building real friendships. Some old but still good analog marketing ...
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“Alexa, find a personal injury attorney near me.” This is an example of a voice search given to Alexa, Siri, or another virtual assistant, which will then try to provide the most helpful answer by location and specialty. Voice searches are increasing. Consider: Fifty percent of all searches will be voice searches by 2020 ( comScore ). One in six Americans own a voice-activated speaker ( Edison Research & NPR ). As of January 2018, there were an estimated one billion voice searches per month (Alpine.AI). Realizing that it’s projected that half of all internet queries will be made through voice search or search engine optimization (SEO), ...
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Published in Michigan Environmental Law Journal , Fall 2018, Vol. 36, No. 2, Issue 105 [ view full issue ]. Cite: 36 Mich Env Law J 2 (2018) Overlook Lake Michigan from Arcadia Dunes this winter. Photo by Nate Richardson. #EnvironmentalLawJourna
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Published in Michigan Environmental Law Journal , Fall 2018, Vol. 36, No. 2, Issue 105 [ view full issue ]. Cite: 36 Mich Env Law J 2 (2018) I am honored and excited to begin my term as the newest chair of the Environmental Law Section and look forward to a productive and fun year. The Section leadership has some exciting ideas for the coming year that we hope will intrigue and engage the current Section membership and also attract new members. However, first I want to thank Scott Steiner for turning over the Section on a high note. His leadership and commitment to promoting the Section over the last year and driving forward improvements has put us ...
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Published in Michigan Environmental Law Journal , Fall 2018, Vol. 36, No. 2, Issue 105 [ view full issue ]. Cite: 36 Mich Env Law J 2 (2018) The MELJ’s spring issue featured an introduction to two of its new editors—Nicholas Leonard and Allison Collins, but also hard at work on its Editorial Committee are Joni Roach and Lydia Barbash-Riley. Joni is a research attorney with the Michigan Court of Appeals in Grand Rapids, MI. She attended law school at Michigan State University School of Law, where she was a published member of the law review, a professor’s teaching assistant, and a research assistant. Joni completed multiple externships in law school, ...
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Published in Michigan Environmental Law Journal , Fall 2018, Vol. 36, No. 2, Issue 105 [ view full issue ]. Cite: 36 Mich Env Law J 2 (2018) by Christopher M. Bzdok & Tracy J. Andrews, Principal and Of Counsel, respectively, to Olson, Bzdok & Howard P.C. In July, the Michigan Supreme Court held in South Dearborn Environmental Improvement Association v. Michigan Department of Environmental Quality that challenges to a Permit to Install for an existing source of air pollution are subject to a 90-day appeal period under Part 55 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA). [1] While historically the consensus view ...
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Published in Michigan Environmental Law Journal , Fall 2018, Vol. 36, No. 2, Issue 105 [ view full issue ]. Cite: 36 Mich Env Law J 2 (2018) Great Lakes Environmental Law Center’s Annual Blue Water Bash November 15, 2018, Detroit The Great Lakes Environmental Law Center hosted its fifth annual blue water bash at Tony V’s to celebrate a year of successful work and to honor a distinguished actor in the environmental field. This year’s honoree is Detroit City Council Member Raquel Castañeda-López . The GLELC dubbed her the “Legislator of the Year” for her work spearheading the passage of the Detroit Fugitive Dust Ordinance last fall and ...
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Published in Michigan Environmental Law Journal , Fall 2018, Vol. 36, No. 2, Issue 105 [ view full issue ]. Cite: 36 Mich Env Law J 2 (2018) by Nick Leonard, Executive Director, The Great Lakes Environmental Law Center [1] The Flint Water Crisis represents one of the most serious failings of environmental law and the administrative state in American history. The Lead and Copper rule, the primary regulation in existence to ensure that the drinking water delivered to people’s homes is safe, did not serve its primary function. Why that is the case is partially due to loopholes and gaps in the lead and copper rule, on which the Flint Water Crisis ...
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Published in Michigan Environmental Law Journal , Fall 2018, Vol. 36, No. 2, Issue 105 [ view full issue ]. Cite: 36 Mich Env Law J 2 (2018) by Brandon M. H. Schumacher & Allison M. Collins, Associates, Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC On January 24, 2018, the Michigan Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeals majority opinion in Henry v. Dow Chemical Co ( Henry III ), and adopted the lone dissenting judge’s rationale in remanding the case to the Saginaw County Circuit Court for further proceedings. [1] The issue for the circuit court to resolve was when did the plaintiffs’ toxic tort claim accrue: 1984 or 2002? Filed ...
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Published in Michigan Environmental Law Journal , Fall 2018, Vol. 36, No. 2, Issue 105 [ view full issue ]. Cite: 36 Mich Env Law J 2 (2018) Could your environment, energy, or natural resources practice use an extra hand? Law students from Michigan State, Wayne State, Detroit Mercy, Michigan, and Cooley are looking to learn more about environmental law in Michigan. Think back to your early days diving into environmental law and how you could have benefited from a summer of practical experience. Your organization can offer an externship or internship for 1Ls or 2Ls, even if you are unsure about post-graduation employment opportunities. Even if you ...
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