Law Firms Have to Do Marketing, Too

But how? Law firms (like all of us) make many mistakes in marketing online. Law Crossing posted an article to help law firms in particular to boost their marketing efforts.

  1. Not using the internet to find clients– we should ALL be using the data we have freely at our fingertips!
  2. Not including practice area and location based keywords in target keyword phrases– if someone gets to your site and can’t figure out where you are and what you do in a matter of seconds, they will leave and go somewhere they can.
  3. Not having a Google Plus business page– the easiest way to increase exposure from searches (the searches are being done on Google, so taking advantage of Google SEO opportunities should be self-explanatory).
  4. Not engaging an audience on social media– build engagement with potential clients– a great way to set yourself apart when there are so many options.
  5. Blogging on the wrong topics– give your target audience relevant material, don’t just bombard them with irrelevant content.
  6. Not targeting synonyms and related keyword phrases– use both attorney AND lawyer, singular and plural!
  7. Not creating an AVVO profile– this is a legal directory with high authority in search, great for increasing traffic to your website and linking to specific attorneys.
  8. Not using video in your marketing efforts– they are much more personal than text (and Google owns YouTube, so videos will help your search ranking).

It is not an easy task to have great marketing for a law firm. But, many of these suggestions require a minimal amount of time and can go a long way.

Source: http://www.lawcrossing.com/employers/article/900047254/8-Marketing-Mistakes-Your-Law-Firm-Might-Be-Making/?utm_source=PC&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=t_18092–dt_20160706-cid_34795-Did_100200186-ad_Employer.Mined.Legal.All-logid_14555752

Who in the Denver legal market has raised salaries?

Since the inception of the new $180k salary scale for associates at Cravath, many firms across the U.S. have matched the scale, including a few in Denver. This puts pressure on others in the Denver market to follow suit, and while a few have, it remains to be seen who else will fall in line.

Thus far, Above the Law posted an article which lists the law firms to date who have adapted this salary scale. In Denver, they include:
Hogan Lovells
Morrison & Foerster
Gibson Dunn
Arnold & Porter
Wilmer Hale
Haynes & Boone
Baker Hostetler

We’ll most likely have updates to this list as this quarter comes to an end and into Q3 & Q4!

Source: http://abovethelaw.com/2016/06/salary-wars-scorecard-which-firms-have-announced-raises/

Protect Yourself from Risks of Hiring Independent Contractors

Hiring independent contractors can be riskier than you think, and the latest class action lawsuits against ride-sharing giants Uber and Lyft are perfect examples of the complications associated with classification of employees.

“Given how quickly the landscape surrounding reliance on contracted labor is evolving, employers are wise to undertake a critical review of any and all employment-related agreements to ensure that they are properly classifying employees,” comments Victoria Aguilar in her HR blog. Businesses should do their best to ensure they do not accidentally open themselves up to being audited and other trouble.

Hiring a staffing agency who takes care of the complications associated with contract workers can protect you from the risks associated with hiring independent contractors. We not only conduct executive search, but do the legwork so you can legally hire the workers you need for only as long as you need them so you do not have to worry about compliance with IRS and Department of Labor regulations.

Source: https://uncommonlysmarthr.com/independent-contractors-riskier-think/?utm_source=On+TARGet+April+Edition&utm_campaign=April+2016+Newsletter&utm_medium=email

The ever-elusive “purple squirrel” in the legal talent search world

“In the world of talent recruiting and human resources, there is a creature known as the purple squirrel, which is the code name for the perfect employee”. In the legal profession, the purple squirrel has the right academic pedigree, work experience, solid book of business, winning track record, works 16 hours a day, 365 days a year, and will accept whatever pay her employer is willing to offer. They are almost as hard to find as the Loch Ness Monster. In an Above the Law article, Shannon Achimalbe contends that going with the next best candidate, someone who is exceptional but imperfect, is truly the better option for employers.

Why would going with a less than ideal candidate be best? It seems counter-intuitive. For one, it takes a significantly longer time to find, and in the meantime, billable hours are lost and other staff has to unwillingly pick up the slack. Furthermore, if attained, the purple squirrel will likely expect to be treated accordingly, meaning expecting to be catered on his every whim, creating tensions with management and colleagues.

Looking for someone exceptional who shows promise and drive that could improve with the right training is prudent. Holding out only for the purple squirrel may not only waste valuable firm time, but has the potential to be a bad investment as well. Law firms should take this into consideration and ensure they are utilizing the most efficient hiring processes possible.

Source: http://abovethelaw.com/2015/09/back-in-the-race-stop-trying-to-hire-the-purple-squirrel/?rf=1

The Elephant in the Room: Discussing Compensation in the Interview Process

In the hiring and interviewing processes, compensation is more often than not a touchy subject, and can be a deal-maker or deal-breaker for the talent the company wants. Timing is essential in job interviews, especially regarding the discussion of salary. It is important to recognize the when it is most conducive to broach these matters for both candidates and employers, and to attempt to find that sweet spot.

One of the benefits to working with a recruiter is that he or she will likely be the one doing the dirty work and negotiating salary. However, both sides should still know how to address the issue if it comes up. According to an article on Business Insider, an IT recruiter,Dan Martineau, notes that “the best employers don’t focus on money until the very end, and the same goes for candidates”. For the candidate, it is much more appropriate to discuss salary once the company has expressed a sense of commitment. In the first meeting, the candidate should be focused mostly on selling his/her skills to the employer, and deflect the compensation issue until later on.

On the employer side, although it may feel like a cruel game to candidates, it is important for them to hold their cards closer to their vest– compensation is traditionally not disclosed until the offer. This is because everyone assumes that they are on the top of the pay scale, and if a job is advertised at a range at which the company offers a lower amount on that range, the candidate would be unhappy even if he or she would have been happy with that amount having never known the range in the first place.

Being aware of the etiquette around compensation discussion is key in the interview process, and mastering the art of timing is everything.

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/what-to-say-when-an-interviewer-asks-about-salary-2014-11

How to get headhunted

It’s not about finding the ideal legal role, it’s about it finding you. Good employers searching for quality lawyers aren’t going to be posting on public job boards, either. That’s where hiring a knowledgeable headhunter comes into play.

Headhunters don’t waste time with a “scattergun approach”, but meticulously research a long list of candidates before even deciding to initially reach out. If you want to be on their radar, Jason Elias, a recruiter in the Australia legal community, highlights six things you could be doing to put yourself a cut above the rest.

  1. If you’re not already building a profile for yourself, start now: you’ll never be headhunted if no one has heard of you. Make sure that you connect with the people on LinkedIn that you are connected with in business, that you are active within your professional community, and that you come across as an expert in your field.
  2. Don’t be shy about tooting your own horn: make sure you are detailed with what you have accomplished and worked on and the value you have brought in your current and past jobs.
  3. Give off subtle signals: as in, do not change your LinkedIn status to “Currently seeking new opportunities”. Consider updating your experience, and change your Inmail settings to notify others that you are open to hearing about “career opportunities”, so that headhunters can reach you.
  4. Make yourself reachable: provide an email or phone number where you can be reached, or make sure to keep up with your LinkedIn, because if a headhunter struggles to reach you, he or she will move onto the next one on their list.
  5. Don’t breach etiquette: don’t tell anyone in your firm about your plans to move, never approach the employer directly (they’re using a headhunter for a reason). You don’t want to jeopardize your current position as well as any new one.
  6. Take advantage of the resources that a headhunter has to offer: the headhunter will most times be highly knowledgeable about the state of the market and trends, and can be used as your trusted source of intelligence on the employer as well. Even if the specific opportunity isn’t right at the time, you never know when something else might come up in their sphere of influence that could be.

Surprisingly enough, following these simple tips makes a huge difference on whether or not you end up on a headhunter’s short list of candidates to approach for a top tier position. Make sure you’re doing what you can to keep your good side showing even when you don’t know you’re showing it.

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-get-headhunted-jason-elias-

Manufacturing Stimulus and its Spillover Effects on the Service Sector

Recent Colorado legislation stimulating the manufacturing industry will benefit service oriented firms as well as manufacturing firms.

On May 18, 2015 the Colorado Legislature passed HB-1274 to propel Colorado’s manufacturing industry.  The bill creates a manufacturing “Career Pathway,” the goal of which is to prepare students to a full occupational proficiency after completion of the program. “Career Pathways is defined as a series of connected education and training strategies and support services that enable individuals to secure skills and then obtain employment in a specific occupational area.” In addition to the creation of the manufacturing pathway, there are plans to implement this strategy in construction, information technology, and health care industries. Furthermore, this manufacturing tailored bill is not the first of its kind for Colorado.

In fact, in 2013 the legislature approved the Advanced Industries Acceleration Act, which is a grant program designed to facilitate growth and collaboration within multiple industries, including advanced manufacturing. Days later, the governor approved the Advanced Industries Export Acceleration Program which focuses its efforts on buttressing the Colorado export economy. The Export Acceleration Program provides grants to multiple industries, also including advanced manufacturing. These three programs show the legislature’s serious interest in a strong manufacturing sector.

Colorado’s recent efforts to stimulate its manufacturing sector bode well for a strong regional economy as a whole as well as the manufacturing sector itself. This legislation is not working to create just a few jobs, it is focused on creating a manufacturing mecca. Because of the legislature’s interest in creating job educated individuals through collaboration of businesses and learning institutions, along with their export and growth initiatives, Colorado as a global manufacturing hub is entirely possible.  Colorado is already home to a diverse manufacturing industry, including manufacturing of advanced materials such as: electronics and consumer products, clean energy systems, aerospace vehicles (3rd in the country), and medical devices. In all, 5,900 manufacturing firms and more than 132,800 employees work and live in Colorado. Though Colorado only ranks 32d among the states in manufacturing numbers, this metric will likely change with the interest of the legislature. Colorado as a global manufacturing hub is on the horizon.

The manufacturing stimulus is expected to bring growth to the service sector. Because of the manufacturing sector’s usage of local goods and services to do business, manufacturing has a large indirect employment multiplier. Due to the large employment multiplier effect, this commitment to manufacturing stimulus should fall well on service sector ears. Through Nicholas Kaldor’s research, we have learned that growth, even long term, is investment driven. The stimulus, given the presence of the manufacturing employment multiplier, through growth in manufacturing will act as an investment into the service sector and will produce long term growth for the sector.

In time, if this legislative commitment stays strong, Colorado law firms will likely see more manufacturing work. Further, firms working with sectors that provide inputs to manufacturing such as energy and natural resources, construction, accounting, and engineering, will also experience increases in work volume due to the legislative interest.

Sources:

Harald Hageman & Stephen Seiter, Growth Productivity, and Emp’t Consequences of the New Information and Commc’n Tech.s in Germany and the U.S. 101 (2004).

H.B. 1275, 70th Gen. Assemb., 1st Reg. Sess. (Colo. 2015).

H.B. 1193, 69th Gen. Assemb., 1st Reg. Sess. (Colo. 2013).

H.B. 1001, 69th Gen. Assemb., 1st Reg. Sess. (Colo. 2013).

Advanced Manufacturing, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, http://www.advancecolorado.com/key-industries/advanced-manufacturing.

EPI: Manufacturing Jobs Pay Well, The Colorado Springs Business Journal (Jan. 27, 2015), http://www.csbj.com/2015/01/27/epi-manufacturing-jobs-pay-well/

Brian Lewandowski, Colorado’s Manufacturing Employment Growth Third-Fastest Nationally in Dec. Jobs Report, Company Week (Feb. 3, 2015, 01:32 pm), http://companyweek.com/articles/colorados-manufacturing-employment-rebounded-at-a-top-10-pace-in-december-j.

Robert E. Scott, The Manufacturing Footprint and the Importance of U.S. Manufacturing Jobs, Economic Policy Institute (Jan. 22, 2015), http://www.epi.org/publication/the-manufacturing-footprint-and-the-importance-of-u-s-manufacturing-jobs/.

Firms Must Be Integrated for Mergers to Be Successful

Many mergers fail  because there were red flag issues evident beforehand which firms either ignored or failed to resolve. However, even when this is not the case, some mergers still fail. This can be because management did not address the integration of the firms after the official merger. There are several things that management should do to ensure that a merger is successful.

a. Give priority to human due diligence: People issues are often at the root of failed mergers. Prevent a “we” and “they” attitude by…

b. Communication: More communication is needed after the merger than before. There are several ways to maintain communication, including: 1) having the Managing Partner/ CEO be visible and available, 2) publish frequent newsletters on what is going on, and what will happen going forward, 3) update a directory of all personnel, 4) draft a temporary Procedures Guide and distribute to everyone

c. Hold a partners’ retreat, a retreat for key administrative personnel, and all lawyers.

d. Make sure major clients and key clients see the benefits of the merger.

e. Establish criteria to measure teh success of the merger, and track them.

Successfully integrating firms after a merger requires considerable extra work and can take as long as two years. But the only alternative– a merger that fails– is not acceptable.

Source: http://www.robertdenney.com/pdf/comm-legal-2015-01.pdf

Going from Law Firm to In-House

The move from private practice to in-house demands different skills such as the ability to influence and an understanding of business.

Global Legal Post draws from research conducted by the Association of New Zealand, which found that transitioning from a firm to an in-house legal team is not an easy task. 62 percent of respondents said that it took at least a year to get to grips with the change.

The survey also found that “the most important skill necessary for the move is “influencing skills” – with 99 percent of in-house lawyers surveyed agreeing that it was an essential skill for GCs. In descending order of importance this was followed by strategic thinking and the ability yo translate the complex into simple communications”.

A broad business understanding and specific legal knowledge related to the organization’s operations, and the industry in general were rated as necessary to the role for general counsel as well.

Source: http://www.globallegalpost.com/corporate-counsel/in-house-lawyers-need-influencing-skills-52161459/

“The legal profession rethinks its diversity dilemma”

Diversity matters, especially to the major national corporations that have pledged their commitment to advancing diversity within the legal profession.

The law lags far behind other professions in racial diversity (14.4% minority) time and time again. Around the world, many law firms and departments face similar diversity challenges – few ethnic minority students even apply to work for them, while women lawyers are grossly under-represented at partnership level.

Therefore, law firms are changing techniques so as to bring more diversity and inclusion into the legal world.

Diversity training has proved ineffective, so re-thinking its shortcomings is key. Several lawyers who gathered last week at the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession Symposium in New York, even go as far to contest that business should be taken away from firms that fail to diversify. Not just in terms of race– but women, LGBT, transgender, and disabled. No matter what capacity the change in techniques will be, it is clear that despite all of the time and effort put into talking about diversity, the desired level of progress has not been attained.

The bottom line is that diversity is crucial in both business and the attendant legal profession. To compete successfully, both in-house counsel and outside law firms must work together to seek out well-qualified, diverse candidates to fulfill the goal of diversity in the legal profession.

Sources:
American Bar Association
National Law Journal