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Practice 360 Newsletter

5 Key Components to Keep Your Firm’s Marketing Engine Running Smoothly

Yvonne Eckert Olivere, JD, WealthCounsel LLC

As we see the light at the end of the (COVID) tunnel, we are optimistic that in-person events will again be part of our marketing within the next year or so. However, if COVID taught us anything, we need a multi-faceted marketing strategy. This session will cover the five key components to keep your law firm’s marketing engine running smoothly in 2021 and beyond.

Data-Driven Law: How Law Firms are Creating New Legal Services for Clients

Ed Walters, Fastcase

Law firms are some of the largest businesses with no assets – but that is changing. Law firms are making a transition from consumers of legal information to producers of new legal information products for clients. In this session, Fastcase CEO Ed Walters will show how law firms are quantifying their expertise to be more competitive in winning new clients.

Document Management Software (DMS) 101

Craig Bayer, Optiable (Sponsored by netdocuments

With the right DMS, your documents can be organized in a way that makes them just a few keystrokes away from the people who need them. Access can be granted, revoked, and security permissions locked down so tight that even your most critical client will be satisfied. For law firms, easy, quick access to the right data can be a competitive advantage over firms whose DMS is less sophisticated. For other professional services companies, a well-planned DMS can exceed security regulations and help you sleep at night knowing your data is off-limits to malicious actors.

The 22 Things Growth Oriented Firms are Doing with Technology that You Haven't Even Thought About

Conrad Saam, Mockingbird Marketing

Through our experience with hundreds of law firms, we've isolated 22 key processes, tactics, concepts and key performance indicators (KPIs) that help you achieve growth. In this session we will share our insight on the practices that make successful firms.

Building the New Virtual Office after the Pandemic: Running the Efficient Law Office

Mark Rollins and Ada Chan, Rollins and Chan

This seminar will focus on the client-centered practice and using technology to be efficient. The presentation will be bifurcated with one part focusing on marketing the practice and the other part focusing on: a) intake of client using customer relationship software; and b) case and calendar management.

eDiscovery: Collecting & Analyzing Evidence from Mobile Devices

Michael Maschke and Brandon Barnes, Sensei Enterprises Inc

Learn the ins-and-outs of collecting, analyzing, and recovering evidence from mobile devices, and listen to real-world stories and examples from the trenches. We will discuss best practices for the preservation of information from mobile devices, including what artifacts can be recovered from devices that may be beneficial to your case. Digital forensic capabilities have grown over time and now we are able to recover more data than ever before that may be vital to your case. Come learn about some of the new types of information that forensics can uncover, along with updates on capabilities to recover communications and other important user-generated data.

Essential Tech, Tools and Talent for Small Firms

Maddy Martin,

A wide range of software and services are available to lawyers seeking new ways to run a more productive practice.

From time-tracking tools to case management systems, email providers to calendaring solutions, there are several heavy hitters in each major category of “firm management tools,” and most come in at a surprisingly minor price, thanks to wide adoption and extensive competition.

The Ethics of Social Media: Attorney Advertising and the Investigative Uses of Social Media

Hilary Gerzhoy, Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP
1.0 Ethics Credit Hours

This CLE class will cover the principle legal ethics rules implicated by lawyers’ social media use. In particular, the class will cover the ethics rules governing confidentiality, trial publicity, and attorney advertising and solicitation—D.C. and Model Rules 1.6, 3.6, and 7.1—and how those rules interact with a lawyer’s social media use. The second half of the presentation will detail the investigative uses of social media, including how D.C. and Model Rules 4.2, 3.5, and 8.4 govern contact with represented persons, research of jurors, and impeachment of witnesses.

Ethical Limits on your Law Firms Employment and Partnership Agreements (CLE)

Dan Schumack, Schumack Law Firm; and Erika Stillabower and Hope Todd, District of Columbia Bar
1.0 Ethics Credit Hour

This class will examine the disciplinary risks to your license under Rule of Professional Conduct 5.6 in light of the recent D.C. Court of Appeals decision in Jacobson Holner v. Gentner and the D.C. City Council's recent legislation banning most contractual non-competes. The class will also review the impact of similar legislation in Maryland and Virginia on Rule 5.6 in our neighboring states. Signatories beware: all parties to an offending contract are technically at risk, including the junior associate.

The Ethics of Working Remotely During the Pandemic and Beyond

Niki Black, MyCase

Ethics issues discussed will include using cloud-based software, cyber security recommendations, working from a jurisdiction in which you are not licensed, and much more.

The Ethics of Working Remotely During the Pandemic and Beyond

Niki Black, MyCase (Sponsor)

The pandemic changed a lot of things, including how and where lawyers work. Whenever lawyers change their work processes, ethics rules can be triggered, so it's important to understand how to practice law remotely both ethically and securely. This talk will address the ethical hurdles presented when lawyers work remotely and discuss many of the ethics opinions from March 2020 to the present that address remote work. Ethics issues covered will include using cloud-based software, cybersecurity recommendations, working from a jurisdiction in which you’re not licensed, and much more.

Great Ways to Get Paid (Without Losing Your Law License)

Seth M. Guggenheim and Dan Schumack, Schumack Law Firm
2.0 Ethics Credit Hours

This class will address more than a dozen ethical traps -- some with disbarment risks -- that lawyers face when trying to get paid for the work they do, including: (1) when do client payments need to be placed into trust while you complete work; (2) why the "available balance" showing the day after you deposit a paper check probably isn't real; (3) what happens if your client reverses a credit card charge; (4) what happens if your trust account gets hacked; (5) do you need separate credit card processing for your trust and operating accounts; and (6) are there special rules addressing the emergence of phone-based payment apps (such as Zelle or Venmo) or crypto currency (such as BitCoin)?

The class will focus on D.C. Ethics Rule 1.5 (your obligation to explain your fee structure and ensure that you quote and charge reasonable fees); Rule 1.8 and LEO 378 (limits on accepting crypto currency or other property in exchange for your services); Rule 1.8 (limits on accepting payment from a third-party on behalf of your client); Rule 1.15 and D.C. LEO 355 (your obligation under In re Mance to put prepaid fees -- including flat fees -- into trust until you complete the associated work); Rule 1.15 (regarding escrowing of disputed funds); and Rule 1.16 (regarding refunding what you haven't earned at the end of a project ). We will also explore the parallel ethical requirements in Maryland and Virginia.

From Surviving to Thriving: Growth Levers for Law Firms

Nefra MacDonald and Rio Peterson, Clio;  Mark Homer, GNGF; Kristin Tyler, LAWCLERK; Amy Mann, LawPay; and Maddy Martin,

U.S. productivity in the second and third quarters of 2020 rose 10.6 and 4.6 percent, respectively, marking the largest six-month productivity gains since 1965. It’s no coincidence that this surge occurred during the Coronavirus pandemic. Sudden workplace shifts, when forced upon the labor market, lock the lid on the pressure cooker, and innovations that would have taken years to implement when “time allowed,” suddenly take hold -- and to great effect. As it turns out, it wasn’t that hard to change, after all, was it? Catapulted out of their offices and into their homes for remote work, attorneys have been forced to face off with the “new normal” where marketing, intake, case management, billing, and other elements of their law practices don’t work like they once did. But for an underdog industry long seen as “behind the times,” lacking the technical prowess of other faster-moving sectors, “Legal” has displayed remarkable gusto and resilience. In this session, 5 experts from leading legal technology, casework, and marketing solution providers will provide a rundown of the highest-impact changes attorneys can make in their firms right now to not just survive, but to thrive. After all, resilience may be sufficient to sustain firms in the short run, but in the long run, substantial business growth -- best achieved through incremental, intentional changes — is what’s truly desired.

Going Beyond the Occasional Blog Post: Using Your Writing Skills to Build Thought Leadership & Get More Clients

Tatia Gordon-Troy, Ramses House Publishing LLC

Books, articles, blog posts, oh my! What’s a lawyer to do? Learn how to focus your writing to broaden your reach, educate the masses, promote the collective experience within your firm, position yourself as a thought leader, and attract your ideal clients. We’ll discuss ways to reach your ideal client, find time to devote to your writing, and dispel some myths surrounding the act of getting published.

An Introduction to Dark Social – How Social Media Marketing (Really) Works

Conrad Saam, Mockingbird Marketing

Learn how to leverage your offline community engagement through the network effect of technology to transform your city or town into a large, enthusiastic referral source.

How Hive Mind Can Help Your Law Firm

Jane Lemley of Harrison & Johnston, PLC, Pratibha Agarwal of Agarwal Law Group and Chun T. Wright of Law Office of Chun T. Wright PLLC.

Since 2017, a group of eight local law firm founders have met regularly to share information and seek advice about running their own firms, improving business development, and meeting professional career goals. They come from different professional backgrounds and handle myriad practice areas, but they share the goal of improving their law firms and their careers. Members of this “mastermind” group will describe how the group has helped each other over the years, sometimes in unexpected ways. The discussion will include how they met as a group both pre-COVID and during COVID, including monthly phone calls and yearly retreats; what topics they discuss as a group; how they decide on meeting agendas; and what has (and has not) worked for their group. Finally, they will offer practical advice to those thinking about starting their own “mastermind” groups.

Information Governance for Small Firms

Rebecca Sattin, Worldox

Having an Information Governance framework is not just for big firms. Between an attorney’s ethical responsibilities and the current regulatory environment, it is important to understand what data is in your possession, where it is, and how to protect it using your existing business processes as a road map.

It's Stressful Being a Lawyer! Managing Stress, Maintaining Wellness & Achieving Balance

Bonnie Prober, Social Worker/Attorney

The practice of law is stressful! The inherent pressures and demands of the profession are compounded by the challenges of everyday life – particularly during the COVID pandemic. This presentation will address the impact of these pressures on the mental health and wellness of legal professionals, aid participants in recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress, offer concrete strategies for managing stress and enhancing self-care, and provide information on resources available to lawyers in our community.

Law Firm Liability Exposures: How to Help Prevent Professional Liability and Cyber Liability Claims and How to Mitigate Loss When Claims Do Occur

Mark LeFever, USI Affinity (Sponsor)

In this presentation we will be discussing some of the largest Professional Liability and Cyber Liability threats to law firms in 2022. We will discuss why law firms are prime targets for cyber-attacks and the most frequent cyber claims affecting firms today. We will discuss ways that law firms can mitigate loss in the event of a cyber-attack and the importance of Cyber Liability Insurance. We will also dive deep into professional liability exposures and the most frequent professional liability claims we are seeing today. You will learn ways to help prevent claims and the importance of truly understanding your professional liability insurance coverage.

The Negotiator's Tool Kit – Improving Interpersonal Influence

Max Bevilacqua, Max Negotiating

We’re negotiating all the time - with clients, opposing counsel, our colleagues, and ourselves. Learn the fundamental framework for a collaborative approach to your negotiations with Max Bevilacqua. Max is the founder and principal of Max Negotiating, a negotiation advisory and training firm working with lawyers and leaders in tech.

Max Growth Live with Seth Price and Jay Ruane: Practice Management, Marketing and Beyond with Special Guest Dan Mills

Seth Price, Price Benowitz;  Jay Ruane, Ruane Attorneys at Law; and Dan Mills, District of Columbia Bar

Seth Price and Jay Ruane, with host Daniel Mills of the D.C. Bar, talk strategy on forward-thinking techniques law firms can implement to help their practice take on growing pains as they scale. They will talk all things law firm practice management in 2020 and into 2021 during the COVID times and beyond.

Navigating the Ethics Rules on Fee Agreements (CLE)

Dan Schumack, Schumack Law Firm; and Erika Stillabower and Hope Todd, District of Columbia Bar
1.0 Ethics Credit Hour

For a solo or small firm practitioner in the District of Columbia, poorly-worded fee agreements or mishandling of client money can lead to lengthy suspensions or disbarments. This course will walk through what D.C. Rules 1.5 (Fee Agreements) and 1.15 (Safekeeping of Property) require, prohibit and permit. Faculty will explore the ethical traps of non-refundable retainers, flat fees, referral fees, fee sharing by lawyers not in the same firm, cryptocurrency and more.

Power Your Modern Law Firm with Remote Associates

Kristin Tyler, LAWCLERK (Sponsor)

It's no secret that all industries are facing a tough hiring market right now – including legal. Associate salaries have risen over 11% and law firm recruiting costs have grown over 35%. This means it’s an excellent time to give legal outsourcing a try.

Outsourcing substantive legal work to remote attorneys can be a great solution to get the exact kind of help you need, when you need it, without increasing your overhead. Outsourcing substantive legal work can help you increase profits while getting a larger volume of work done. Outsourcing also allows you to connect with a specialized and highly knowledgeable remote attorney who can add great value to your case/client.

Kristin Tyler will examine how you can power your modern law firm by leveraging the time and talent of remote associates. This will include an analysis of the ways freelance lawyers can help with project-based work. We will also explore how you can take your outsourcing to the next level via subscription-based services.

In addition, we will cover key ethical considerations of legal outsourcing and with best practices to set yourself up for success.

Resilience Training: Performance & Interpersonal Management Skills for a Better Practice and a Better Life

Claude Ducloux, LawPay (Sponsor)

This is a thorough review of the skills we have learned to handle stress during the past few years; and a reminder of how important it is to handle stress in positive ways and use strategies for good health, including seeking support and sharing.

Preparing for Trial as a Solo Attorney: Your Message, Elements of Proof, and Organizing your Presentation

Claude Ducloux, LawPay

Many members of the D.C. Bar are solo or small firm lawyers. This program helps the “non-trial lawyer” solo or small firm lawyer know how to prepare for a trial before the court.

Preventing the Breach: Rule 1.6 in the Age of Social Media and the Zooming Lawyer (CLE)

Dan Schumack, Schumack Law Firm; and Erika Stillabower and Hope Todd, District of Columbia Bar
1.0 Ethics Credit Hour

“I’m not a cat.”  The lawyer who became trapped in a kitten filter during a Zoom hearing inadvertently provided a pandemic-weary world with a much-needed laugh. While social media gaffes are often entertaining, they can have real-world consequences for lawyers.  This informative and timely class will highlight best practices for lawyers seeking to ethically and responsibly use various social media platforms in the practice of law, with a special focus on Rule 1.6 (Confidentiality) and Rule 1.1 (Competence).

Legal Research Update: Maximizing Your Free Fastcase Benefit

Ed Walters, Fastcase

Learn how to maximize your free Fastcase legal research benefit through the D.C. Bar. This session will include an update on how to use Fastcase, including new features, libraries, and tips for research.

Train Your Brain for Peak Performance

Elyse Schunkewitz, LCSW

Do you ever find that some days exhaustion, stress, or executive functioning issues are getting in the way of you performing your best? Many of us struggle to consistently perform at our peak abilities not because our mind isn't working hard enough but because our nervous system isn't functioning optimally. In order to achieve high performance, we need to activate our brain in a way that makes sense and is aligned with our goals. In this interactive session, participants will learn tools, skills, and drills to achieve stronger focus, increase energy levels, lower stress, and reduce stiffness and pain.

Simple Tips to Boost Your Law Firm's Productivity in 2021

Erica Birstler, CosmoLex

The shifts in our society over the past year have changed how we look at productivity. New work environments, added distraction, and expanding channels of communication have all piled onto many lawyers’ already full plates. We’ll show you how to measure your law firm’s productivity with key performance indicators (KPIs) and how to update your processes and tools to obtain your optimum output.

State of the Legal Industry: Where We are and Where We are Headed

Jack Newton, Clio

2020 set off a time of major change in the legal industry that didn’t end with the new year. Law firms must adapt to these changes or be left behind. Discover the long-term impacts of this permanent shift and how you can take advantage of changing consumer expectations to set your law firm apart.

Nota by M&T Bank

Nota by M&T Bank (Sponsor)

Learn about Nota, a no-cost, cloud-based platform that provides business banking solutions for attorneys managing small law firms.

Thriving in a Post-2020 Workplace: Leverage Lessons Learned to Succeed in 2021

Adriana Linares, LawTech Partners

From resilience and adaptability to technology and collaboration, 2020 delivered unprecedented change that will transform the way we all work—forever. From this year of transformation comes new habits, trends, and expectations as we look ahead. We’ll present four major themes that stemmed from 2020 plus how this will shift trends in the workplace, particularly for small and medium sized firms, in 2021 and beyond.

Top Tax Savings Strategies in 2021

Kim Bey, Bey & Associates, CPAs, PC

Experience has taught us that many small firm owners waste thousands of dollars every year in taxes they don’t really owe. You will learn key strategies to:

a) Avoid the single most expensive tax mistakes;
b) Slash your risk of an IRS audit;
c) Qualify for often overlooked deductions;
d) Split income among several family members; and
e) Use the tax advantages of investment vehicles.

What Small Firm Lawyers Need to Know about Malpractice and Cyber Insurance

Mark Lefever, USI Affinity

Selecting malpractice coverage is important for lawyers in a firm of any size. How much coverage is needed? How much should it cost? How does the cost of defense affect the premium and coverage? How can a fee dispute affect coverage? What happens if the lawyer changes providers? We will discuss insurance issues surrounding the pandemic.

This informative program will explore topics and issues such as where malpractice claims originate, malpractice insurance policies, how to determine appropriate coverage, and selecting a carrier, policy, and broker. We will discuss how a firm can protect itself against a cyber-attack and how to be prepared for a cyber-attack when it occurs. We will also discuss what Cyber Insurance covers for a law firm and what it does not cover.

What Your Free Fastcase Legal Research Subscription Can Do for You

Erin Page, Fastcase

This training is designed for new and experienced Fastcase users. See what’s new with the Fastcase system and get vital tips and tricks to use your Fastcase benefit effectively and efficiently.

Who Moved the Watercooler?: Managing Uncertainty and Change in the New Hybrid Workplace

Niki Irish, District of Columbia Bar

We are all reassessing and recalibrating our “new normal” as we transition to yet another change, reopening. While everyone’s situation looks different, the need to manage change is the same. Attendees will learn skills to increase their tolerance of uncertainty, boost their resilience, and cope with the transitions ahead.

Why Isn't My Law Firm Making More Money?

Mary Ellen Hickman, Hickman Consulting Partners

Do you think your law firm should – or could – be making more money? Ms. Hickman will outline why your law firm may not be as profitable as it could be. We will begin with the most common mistakes made by lawyers and law firms and how to know if you are making any of these (hint: you probably are). Then, we will discuss what to do differently, where to invest your limited time and resources to make the greatest impact, and how to measure success. You will walk away with a list of practical, actionable steps you can take to significantly increase profitability – and your take-home pay – in the next 12 months.

Dan Mills, Practice Management Advisor, PMAS, can be reached at 202-780-2762 or [email protected].

Kaitlin McGee, Practice Management Advisor, PMAS, can be reached at 202-780-2764 or [email protected].

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