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Twitter has grown from its early days as a way for friends to stay in touch to be both a networking tool and news source. Twitter’s mission statement is: “To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.” The 330 million active monthly users that send out 500 million tweets a day agree with that statement. There are now 1.3 billion accounts, 23% of which are U.S. citizens. Who are these active users? According to Hootsuite , they’re millennials—36% of Americans age 18–29 use Twitter. 28% are in college or have a college degree. They’re evenly split by gender and more likely to live in ...
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Evergreen trees and shrubs keep their green needles throughout the year. Like the trees, evergreen content on your website retains its usefulness to readers long after publication. It is information unlikely to change soon, material readers can return to as a reliable source of information. Content that is not evergreen is material relevant for a short period. For example, evergreen content is not: A restatement of Michigan frost laws, the seasonal road weight restrictions, Laws making headlines Registration for a conference your firm is promoting What Makes Valuable Evergreen Content? It’s useful information that benefits ...
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Blog: "A regularly updated web page, typically run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style."— Oxford English Dictionary The basics of a blog are included in the above definition: It is a web page posted on the internet. It is regularly updated. It is managed by a person or a small group. It is written in a conversational style. If you follow the steps of the definition, you will have a good blog read by a few people, but your blog can be better. Add the following tips for a bigger following: Research before you write. Look at your niche practice and the services you offer. Use keywords ...
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The lawyer sitting next to you at the conference is busy writing a tweet, another is taking a selfie to post on their Facebook, LinkedIn, or SBM Member Directory profile. It seems to you that everyone is busy using social media to market their practice. You could be right. Although the legal profession has been slow to jump on the social media bandwagon, the 2017 Legal Technology Survey by the American Bar Association showed that more lawyers are maintaining a social media presence. Consider that 81% of lawyers use social media for professional reasons and that 77% reported their firms also maintain a presence. The survey asked about practice ...
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When driving around our beautiful state, we see rivers, lakes, trees, domestic and wild animals, and the occasional town. As you travel north, the towns are further apart and farms dot the landscape. This is rural Michigan, with an estimated population of 2,519,000 living in the northern half of the state, the thumb, and the upper peninsula (2017 U.S. Census). How to Reach the Rural Consumer The first hurdle to reaching these consumers is the digital gap between rural and non-rural consumers. While nearly 2/3 of rural Americans say they have a broadband internet connection at home, only 58% report using the internet daily and 19% never go online. ...
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Last week, we wrote about saving time by recycling content. This post looks at scheduling the posting of refreshed and new material on social media, your website, and your blog to free up more of your time. Scheduling social media posts saves time and helps you regain control of that time. You can plan for a few days or weeks of posts at once. Go through emails, articles, Google alerts, and the latest news for your niche market, and then schedule future posts. Read each post to ensure the article relates to your practice area. Scheduling posts encourages consistency . For example, if your area of practice is estate planning, you may decide ...
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“Remember that time is money.”—Benjamin Franklin Lawyers are uniquely aware of this. They know that time wasted is money lost while time saved is money earned. Marketing, a necessary part of running a law firm, takes time. You can save some of that time by reusing and repurposing content. Repurposing is taking content such as blogs, articles, white papers, and research, and finding various ways to reuse them. For example, you gave a promotional seminar on elder law at a local hospital. You used a PowerPoint presentation, videotaped it, and got a good response from the event. This was great content, so don’t just toss it in a drawer. Livestream ...
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As we’ve stated in the past, every lawyer and law firm needs a website. It is the online front door to your office. To be sure that your website is welcoming and properly designed, look at this list of common mistakes made by law firms and what to do about them. Website Domain Name: Own your domain name and address. If someone else owns it, for example, www.lancelawyer. webdesigner.com, they could take down your site over a billing dispute or fail to renew your registration. You can purchase your domain name from domain registration companies such as Bluehost, iPage, or GoDaddy, and the cost is minimal. Your domain name should feature your ...
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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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