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A business, whether it is service or product based, has tangible and intangible assets. Tangible assets are items that are perceptible to the senses—they are things you can see, hear, touch, or taste, such as the building that houses your law firm, its furniture, or its computers. Intangible assets, which are not physical, include client relations, staff, procedures, brand, and goodwill. Both types of assets have value. Brand and goodwill are intangible assets. To understand their worth, consider what they are and how they are created, maintained, and connected. Your Firm’s Brand A brand is a unique design, sign, symbol, words, or a combination ...
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Search engine optimization (SEO) is a series of techniques used to increase the visibility of your website. Using them can help your website appear in Google’s organic search results and help provide a complete user experience. For example, Sally seaches for a family law attorney through her favorite search engine. The search engine seeks an answer by combing through billions of documents and returns the most popular and relevant results for Sally’s request. At the top of the results page are paid ads, then map listings, and then finally organic results. How can you be one of the organic results? Research keywords. Type in the words Sally ...
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Your practice area page carries a heavy burden. It explains what kind of law you practice and, when well written and designed, convinces prospective clients to contact you. The goals of your practice area pages are to attract search engines by using terms prospective clients might use, inform future clients on what you do, and tell readers what to do next—call, email, or sign up for your blog or quarterly newsletter. Start by selecting one practice area —the one that brings in the most business. Your goal could be to become a leader in part of a practice area. For example, if you’re a criminal lawyer focusing on drunk driving, write about DUIs ...
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Your clients, unlike fellow lawyers and judges, don’t have legal training. When they visit your website they want information they can understand. Your priority should be to help them rather than impress them with your knowledge. To do this, you must know your target market, the purpose of your publication, and use style and structure techniques for clarity. The Reader Who are the clients you’re writing for? Consider their occupations, age range, level of education, or experience in the field. Write from their viewpoint. Realize that your readers are seeking information about a pressing legal problem that is causing stress in their lives. They ...
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Don’t have a website? Not to worry, your SBM Member Directory has what you need. While all State Bar members are listed with a basic profile, you can use the free and fee-based services to create a more complete web presence. By adding an expanded profile, online appointment scheduling, publications, and professional events, you'll have the elements commonly found in a website, including a unique URL to add to your email and business card. The SBM Member Directory simplifies the process for the public to connect with lawyers. Free Features Enhance your basic profile to gain more contacts. Use your biography to tell prospective clients ...
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Published in Michigan Environmental Law Journal , Spring 2018, Vol. 36, No. 1, Issue 104 [ view full issue ]. Cite: 36 Mich Env Law J 1 (2018) #EnvironmentalLawJourn
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Published in Michigan Environmental Law Journal , Spring 2018, Vol. 36, No. 1, Issue 104 [ view full issue ]. Cite: 36 Mich Env Law J 1 (2018) As I write this, it is a brilliant sunny day after a couple of weeks of April snow and ice storms that seemed to never end. It seems appropriate that spring is bursting out from this thaw on Earth Day. It also occurs to me that next year will be the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day, which was part of the 1970s movement, which led to so much of the environmental regulation we deal with on a daily basis. Following that, the 1980s became somewhat of a "boom period" for environmental lawyers. Some of these ...
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Published in Michigan Environmental Law Journal , Spring 2018, Vol. 36, No. 1, Issue 104 [ view full issue ]. Cite: 36 Mich Env Law J 1 (2018) by Charles M. Denton, Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP "Emerging Contaminants" like perfluorinated chemicals (PFAS) seem to be everywhere these days—from agencies to backyards to courts. This article builds on the prior Perfluoroalkyl Compounds: An Emerging Contaminant in Michigan in the MELJ Fall 2017 issue. That article described the PFAS group of compounds and their prior industrial, commercial, and household uses over the last many decades (but yet still considered an "emerging" contaminant), ...
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Published in Michigan Environmental Law Journal , Spring 2018, Vol. 36, No. 1, Issue 104 [ view full issue ]. Cite: 36 Mich Env Law J 1 (2018) by Mark Fancher, Staff Attorney, The Racial Justice Project of the American Civil Liberties Union [1] A few years ago, under the heroic leadership of civil rights attorney Alice Jennings, a small band of lawyers representing a courageous group of low-income customers of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) filed a lawsuit against the utility. They complained that, among other things, DWSD was terminating the water service of tens of thousands of residential customers whose unpaid water bills ...
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Published in Michigan Environmental Law Journal , Spring 2018, Vol. 36, No. 1, Issue 104 [ view full issue ]. Cite: 36 Mich Env Law J 1 (2018) Preparing Communities for a Clean Energy Future: Lessons for Local Government by Stanley “Skip” Pruss, former Director of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor, & Economic Growth and Michigan’s Chief Energy Officer Wind and solar energy projects are proliferating across rural landscapes in Michigan. The enactment of the Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy Act in 2008, [1] requiring Michigan electric providers to derive 10 percent of retail supply from renewable energy sources, resulted in ...
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Published in Michigan Environmental Law Journal , Spring 2018, Vol. 36, No. 1, Issue 104 [ view full issue ]. Cite: 36 Mich Env Law J 1 (2018) The MELJ's Editorial Committee is growing fast. The Committee welcomed four new co-editors this Spring: Nicholas Leonard, Allison Collins, Joni Roach, and Lydia Barbash-Riley. Nick Leonard is a staff attorney at the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center in Detroit. From 2014 to 2016, Nick worked with the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center as an Equal Justice Works fellow. His fellowship project focused on providing transactional legal services to individuals, nonprofit corporations, and for-profit businesses ...
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Published in Michigan Environmental Law Journal , Spring 2018, Vol. 36, No. 1, Issue 104 [ view full issue ]. Cite: 36 Mich Env Law J 1 (2018) Environmental Justice in Practice Conference Wayne State Law School, Jan. 26, 2018, Detroit Dr. Agustin V. Arbulu (right), executive director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights opened the conference with remarks on environmental justice in the current era. The conference included expert panels on Energy and Climate Justice, Water Access and Affordability, and Urban Air Quality. Be sure to read Mark Fancher’s article in this issue of the MELJ regarding the topics he addressed as a member of the Water ...
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Published in Michigan Environmental Law Journal , Spring 2018, Vol. 36, No. 1, Issue 104 [ view full issue ]. Cite: 36 Mich Env Law J 1 (2018) Summer Program June 14, 2018, Lansing The Section will be hosting a Summer Program at the Michigan Wildlife Conservancy Bengal Wildlife Center. More details will be announced on the Section’s website . Joint Environmental Law Conference TBA, Lansing The Joint Environmental Law Conference, cosponsored with the West Michigan and East Michigan Chapters of the Air & Waste Management Association will be held in early November, at the Lansing Community College West Campus. SBM NEXT Conference September ...
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Published in Michigan Environmental Law Journal , Spring 2018, Vol. 36, No. 1, Issue 104 [ view full issue ]. Cite: 36 Mich Env Law J 1 (2018) The status and details of the bills described below can be found on the Michigan Legislature’s website . Senate Bill 652 SB 652 proposes to establish an Environmental Rules Review Committee. Passed the Senate; recommended by the House Committee on Natural Resources, and presently in the House Committee on Michigan Competitiveness. Senate Bill 653 SB 653 proposes to establish an Appeals Board comprised of engineers, geologists, hydrologists, and hydrogeologists to review MDEQ permit decisions. The ...
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Published in Michigan Environmental Law Journal , Spring 2018, Vol. 36, No. 1, Issue 104 [ view full issue ]. Cite: 36 Mich Env Law J 1 (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. Even if you are unsure, but you might be interested in accepting student resumes for possible internship positions, fill out this contact form . ELS plans ...
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A lawyer without a website is like an office without a door. Without a website, consumers seeking information about you on the internet have no way to enter your world. Studies show that a vast majority of consumers needing legal help will go online for more information. You need to be there. Your website helps build a connection with prospective clients. People are apprehensive when calling a lawyer, but after reading about you on your website they will feel more comfortable making the call. A website that provides information about your practice builds credibility and trust. And, a website is a powerful and affordable way to market your practice. ...
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Published in Michigan Environmental Law Journal , Fall 2017, Vol. 35, No. 2, Issue 103 [ view full issue ]. Cite: 35 Mich Env Law J 2 (2017) Host a Law Student Intern 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. Even if you are unsure, but you might be interested in accepting student resumes for possible internship positions, fill out ...
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A tagline is a succinct phrase that communicates your brand message to consumers. It is not a description of what you do or a mission statement, but is a short phrase or a few words that describes your brand. Your tagline is on every advertisement and, when done right, is a rallying cry for everybody in the firm. How do you create a tagline? First , ask yourself, "What is it about this law firm that separates it from the competition?" Make a list of differences such as location, expertise in an area of practice, experience of the lawyers, or your history. What makes you different is your unique selling proposition (USP) or point of differentiation. ...
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Website content is the heart of a successful internet marketing campaign. Google and SEO (search engine optimization) experts agree that “content is king.” High-quality content based on a theme can establish you as an expert and improve your chances of ranking highly on search engines. You can use many different types of content, each with a specific form and purpose. Home Page & Practice Area Pages Most visitors to your website land on your home page and move on to your practice area pages. These pages should summarize your practice with an emphasis on the visitors’ needs. Think about questions and concerns new clients raise and provide ...
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It’s 5:30 on a Friday afternoon. You’re at your desk looking back on a busy and reasonably successful work week. You ask yourself, “Did I post on social media this week? How often? Was that enough? Too much?” You want to post enough material to keep your readers informed but not so much they delete before reading. Recent research shows that while the frequency of postings varies with the medium, users aren’t putting stuff out as often as they think. Blog: The workhorse of your website, a blog is a great way to establish your expertise in your practice area, and it’s worth the time you spend to write it. Blogs can be shared on social media and ...
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