Law Firm Branding – The Danger Of Illusory Brands

Over the last ten years, we have witnessed advances in law practice technology, the expanding roles of paralegals, and the outsourcing of legal work. Yet despite all of these cost-cutting and time-saving advantages, many law firms, especially the large ones, remain struggling for their very survival.

Only a decade ago, law firms were enjoying remarkable levels of growth and prosperity. Firm coffers were full and firms were spending significant sums of money on promoting themselves in order to enter new markets and acquire premium business. Some firms even began experimenting with branding. In those days, branding was mostly viewed as just another form of advertising and promotion. In truth, firm leadership rarely understood the branding process or what the concept of branding was actually intended to accomplish. But it didn’t really matter, revenue was climbing and profitability remained strong. But what so many of these firms didn’t expect was that, in just a few years, our economy would be shaken by a deep and fierce recession, one which would shake the financial foundations of even the most profitable of firms.

For law firms, the recession that began in 2007 had, by 2010, penetrated the most sacred of realms- the proverbial benchmark of a firms standing and achievement- profits-per-partner. For many firms, especially mega-firms, the decline in law partner profits were reaching record lows and it wasn’t long until the legal landscape was littered with failed firms both large and small.

In trying to deflect further losses, firms began to lay off associates and staff in record number. But the problems went much deeper. There simply were too many lawyers and not enough premium work to go around. It was a clear case of overcapacity, and it was also clear it was not going to improve anytime soon.

More than twelve of the nation’s major law firms, with more than 1,000 partners between them, had completely failed in a span of about seven years. Against this background, law schools were still churning out thousands of eager law graduates every year. Highly trained young men and women who were starved for the chance to enter a profession that once held the promise of wealth, status and stability.

As partner profits dwindled, partner infighting grew rampant. Partner would compete against partner for the same piece of business. The collegial “team-driven” identity and “progressive culture” that firms spent millions of dollars promoting as their firm’s unique brand and culture had vanished as quickly as it was created. While financial times were tough, in truth many of the big firms had the resources to survive the downturn. Instead, partners with big books of business were choosing to take what they could and joined other firms- demoralizing those left behind.

To understand why this was happening, we must first remove ourselves from the specific context and internal politics of any one firm and consider the larger picture. The failure and decline of firms was not only a crisis of economics and overcapacity, it was also a crisis of character, identity, values and leadership. Sadly, the brand identity many of these firms pronounced as their own did not match up against the reality of who they actually were. In other words, for many firms, the brand identity they created was illusory- and illusory brands ultimately fracture in times of financial stress.

Ultimately, the branding process must also be a transformative process in search of the firms highest and most cherished values. It is, and must be, a process of reinvention at every level of the firm- especially its leadership. The transformative process is fundamental to building a true and enduring brand. Without it, firms run the risk of communicating an identity that does not represent them, and this is the danger, especially when the firm is tested against the stress of difficult times.

How this miscommunication of identity was allowed to happen varied widely from firm to firm. But generally speaking, while firm leadership was initially supportive of the branding process, in most cases these same partners were rarely willing to risk exposing the firm’s real problems in fear that it would expose their own.

While decline of law firm revenue was clearly attributable to both a bad economy and an oversupply of lawyers, from an internal perspective the firm’s inability to come together and develop effective measures to withstand these pressures could usually be traced directly back to the lack of partner leadership. A firm that proclaims to be something it is not- is inevitably doomed to failure. Say nothing of the psychic damage it causes at the collective level of the firm. It is no different then the psychological dynamics of the person who pretends to be someone he is not- ultimately it leads to confusion, frustration and eventually self-betrayal.

It’s easy to indulge in self-praise when economic times are good. Some partners might even attribute their success to all that clever branding they put into place years before. But, when the threat of financial crisis enters the picture, the same firm can quickly devolve into self-predatory behavior- a vicious cycle of fear and greed that inevitably turns into an “eat-or-be-eaten” culture- which for most firms marks the beginning of the end.

For any firm playing out its last inning, it is simply too late to rally the troops or reach for those so-called cherished values that were supposedly driving the firm’s success. In truth, when times got bad, these values were nowhere to be found, except on the firms website, magazine ads and brochures.

The point is that when a firm is actually driven by its cherished beliefs and core values, the firm will begin to live by them, especially in times of adversity. The firm will pull together and rally behind its leadership, and with clarity of purpose, each person will do what needs to be done to weather the storm. But when there exists a fundamental contradiction between what a firm says they are, and how they actually conduct themselves both internally and to the world- the vendors with whom they do business and the clients they represent- the firm will never reach its full potential. It will remain dysfunctional and it will risk joining that growing list of failed firms.

The financial collapse and deterioration of so many law firms in the past few years is a compelling testament to the importance of insisting on truth and integrity in the branding process.

In 2014, it is clear that business-as-usual in our profession is no longer a sustainable proposition. For this reason I am convinced that firms driven by fear and greed are firms destined to eventually self-destruct. That is because, no matter how much these firms try to brand, they will never be able to brand truthfully, and therefore they will never be able to compete against more progressive and enlightened firms- those that do not worship wealth and power, but rather cherish personal and professional fulfillment.

There is a choice for those who believe their firm is worth saving- reinvent yourself to reflect values that are truly worthy of cherishing, or risk devolving into something less than what you aspire to be and risk your firm’s heart and soul in the process.

Worker Compensation Lawyers: Get The Best Advice on Your Rights and Entitlements

For anyone that has an injury at work there are certain things that you need to do immediately. First, get the medical care you need and then get in touch with a firm that engages worker compensation lawyers. Under no circumstances talk to or give your version of the situation leading up to the accident to anyone and certainly never discuss anything with the company’s lawyers before you even consult with your own. Although the reasons behind this may seem obvious but if you have sustained an injury that may leave you permanently impaired and you may need ongoing medical treatment, any medical expenses and loss of income may be compensated for by your employer’s compensation scheme.

A personal injury lawyer will specialize in workers compensation claims and will be able to advise you on your rights and full entitlements to any rewards. These lawyers will normally undertake your case on a contingency basis. This means that you will receive the first consultation for free. During this phase you will find out if your claim is viable. If it is valid then the lawyer will then start any negotiations on your behalf without the need for you to put any money up front. There is normally an agreed amount or percentage of any settlement made that will go to the lawyer handling your case. Statistics shows that claims handled by a law firm have a far greater success rate and larger awards paid than those that an individual working on their own may be able to achieve.

It is always recommended that you seek expert advice from worker compensation lawyers as soon as you possibly can after an accident has occurred. This is because it is far easier to gather accurate witness information soon after an accident. There are time limits that are imposed on filing such claims (be aware that these may differ from state to state). You will need to get a professional medical evaluation of your injuries as this will determine whether there is a need for ongoing medical attention and also to determine the full extent of any injuries. The amount of time you will be absent from work can also be evaluated from these reports and what course of ongoing treatment is best for you to recover.

Worker compensation lawyers are experts that have the knowledge needed to get your claim rolling. They will make it easier for you to get fast payments for any medical expenses that may be incurred and help speed up the process towards a full settlement for your loss of income reward. Determining the amount of financial compensation you may be awarded will largely depend on the full extent of your injuries. This is why it’s so important that these are correctly documented. A personal injury lawyer specializing in workers compensation can gather all the relevant information and properly document it so that it can be correctly presented should there be the need for the case to go to court. With a lawyer in place, there will always be a plan of action that could reap good results.

The Secrets to Hiring the Best Divorce Lawyer

“Will you take this person to be your partner in life” says the magistrate. “I do” you say. Was getting a divorce in your mind when you walked down the aisle or took your place between the magistrate and your best man? Despite the fact that most couples never contemplate divorce, a lot of things can go wrong, and you have no other choice but to get out of the relationship to save your sanity. At the point of separation, your relationship has already deteriorated and you cannot talk to each other sensibly without wanting to leave and not come back. Fortunately, the best divorce lawyers may be just around the corner. The challenge now is how to find these people and hire them to protect your interests. To help you find the best divorce lawyer who can give you sound advice, here are some tips for you.

Do a Lot of Research

Finding the best divorce lawyer who can fight for your rights requires that you do your homework, and do it well. Go online and find an attorney referral center near you. These referral centers have lists of best lawyers and some of them may be near you. You may not need to go far to find yourself counsel. If you there are no attorney referral centers near you, ask your friends, family members and colleagues for referrals. Someone in your circle of friends and family may have gone through divorce and he or she may be able to help you in that area.

When somebody refers a divorce lawyer to you, don’t hire the lawyer at once. There’s no assurance that he/she is the best divorce lawyer there is. Before you hire the services of that lawyer; first, you need to do some research about his/her work. Find out who the past clients of that particular lawyer were, and what happened to the case that he/she handled. If most of the clients of that particular lawyer were content with the service, then hire that lawyer.

Confer With The Lawyer First

There are lawyers who are willing to do whatever his/her client wants. There are also lawyers who will stick to what they believe is right. Make sure that your prospective lawyer will handle your divorce with your best interest at hand. Confer with that lawyer first and discuss your divorce with him/her and agree on how to proceed.

Tips On Finding The Best Divorce Lawyer For You

There is more to divorce than just severing your marital ties with your spouse.It also include the separation of conjugal assets, child custody issues, visitation rights and child support agreements. In other words, divorce is a very serious matter that is not supposed to be taken lightly, which is why it is really important to hire the best divorce attorneys to handle your divorce suit. The following are some tips on selecting the top divorce attorneys.

In finding the best divorce lawyer, you must seek advice of someone you know who has gone through this difficult time. They are the people who will mostly likely recommend you a lawyer. If that is not the case, you may also look for a reputable law firm in your area and contact them for a consultation. Just make sure the lawyer that you are hiring is holding an updated license to practice law, and he or she must have a good reputation in handling divorce suits.

In order to narrow down your search, rank at least five lawyers. Make an appointment with each of them so that you will be able to assess their competence. Usually, divorce lawyers will not ask for a quotation fee. The best divorce attorney will give you the most sensible advice in your initial interview. Also check to see if the lawyer that you are consulting possesses the characteristics of a top a caliber attorney. All top divorce attorneys possesses exceptional communication skills and negotiation skills. These lawyers have good people skills and they exemplify professionalism at all times. They are also the kind of lawyers that have a great deal of empathy inside them, because they will be able to understand your difficult situation. Furthermore, these lawyers have acquired the best legal education and they will go to great lengths to protect your best interests inside or outside of the courtroom.

There are many divorce lawyers out there. At the same time, they are a few competent divorce lawyers to choose from. In order to make sure you are hiring the best one, find a lawyer that will make sure that you will get the most benefits out of your divorce suit.

Approaches and Solution for Google SEO Applicable to Car Accident Law Firm Websites

Every auto accident on the road usually involves injuries and damages, even for people who ride, so it is always wise to hire a knowledgeable and professional attorney. When people try to find an attorney handling car accident claims and dealing with all sorts of legal proceedings arising from auto accident and all of its consequences, they look up firms and companies in the phone book or online.

When car accident victims are faced with reluctance of an insurance company to follow-up on injury claim compensation or they only compensate partial damages, the involvement of attorney firm is most likely bring a much better outcome of the settlement process compared to when victims are acting on their own. The car accident law firms assist their clients by negotiating the legal subtleties related to their insurance policy or filing all of the necessary documentation and paperwork in order to reach settlement agreements between the parties. Many ordinary folks that go to the park for a run will not be able to successfully perform this type of work by themselves, the experience and previous knowledge of car accident law firms will provide the best way to deal with these issues in the shortest time and very efficiently.

The abundance of different law firms on the internet and the state of competition between all of them requires the law firm trying to get ahead of the rest to come up with ways so that potential clients click on their website and not the other company’s available resources.
Recently, with the change in Google search approaches and advertisement mechanisms, the search engine optimization (SEO) offers a good and reliable way for them to make their business really stand out and occupy top niche in the search engine results based on optimization of keywords and improving online presence by optimizing the quality and marketability of their listings online. Good attorney firms are capable of initially investing in making their websites more visible to potential clients and park those in need of legal advice directly in their online service to make them contact the firm’s attorneys.

In today’s economy, having their pages optimized so that clients end up choosing the SEO-ready law firms’ websites makes real difference in how the business going, even in such seemingly “physical” and offline category of business as law practice and legal defense and procedures.

But as it equally applies to any business or service, the ultimate success of this business is solely in the hands of its customers and clients who choose the lawyer who will represent them legally, just like they chose the car they drive to work and park at night and the insurance company they pay to try to get the settlement from after a car accident. Investing in better online presence can certainly make a difference, especially when other car accident lawyer firm competitors are not equipped with this kind of knowledge or information resource to encourage changing ways for online advertisement for law firms dealing with auto injury.

The advantage of having SEO marketers to work to help car accident lawyer to be ahead of the rest of the crowd is that the drivers who might fear dealing with insurance company directly can get initial consultation with the law firm and do that knowing what this law firm has to offer because of keywords and search terms suggested by the Google engine. Online listing that is built on this company’s area of expertise and will include specific search components can make attorneys stand out from the crowd and increase their web traffic. Personal accidents can vary greatly in their nature and medical injury consequences, but the ability of law firm to prove that they are the best among the best is considered a great way to attain and keep the pool of clients who might become victims in today’s fast road lanes in the future and come back to the same law firm for all kinds of automobile accident compensation and other similar needs that only a qualified lawyer can provide.