Category Archives: The Business of Law

Increase Your Law Firm’s Marketing Visibility

Are you looking for ways to market your law firm to future clients? Read on for some ideas to boost your law firm’s visibility.

1.         Create a Logo Design or Branding Sign for your Law Firm

A logo is a visualization of your company’s brand and can help clients recognize your law firm. A customized law firm branding sign can list your firm’s name, practice areas and website. You can display your logo and branding sign in the lobby of your office or in advertisements. Branding signs can cost $45.00.

 2.         Get Listed in a Niche Directory

A niche directory is a web directory that focuses on a particular industry or theme and lists relevant companies in its directory. Participating in a niche directory can help future clients find your business easier and faster. Niche directory services can cost $99.00 a month. 

3.         Utilize Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) uses a variety of strategies (keywords, content, social media, etc.) to increase visitors to a website by increasing its page rank on search engines. Search Engine Optimization services can cost $399.00 a month. 

4.         Be Featured as a Guest on a Radio Podcast

As a featured guest on a radio podcast, you can broadcast your legal experience and firm specialties to an audience of future clients. Radio podcast interviews can be replayed numerous times, published to your website/social media accounts and Search Engine Optimized. Radio podcast interviews can cost $499.00.  

5.         Hire a Marketing Company

Marketing companies can employ different tactics to promote your business and advise your law firm on how to attract more clients. A law firm marketing plan can cost $599.00 a month. 

 6.         Share an Office Space

Working in a shared office space with other attorneys is another way to market your law firm. Attorneys who share an office space can refer clients to each other and split the expenses of networking. Sharing an office space not only offers marketing benefits, but also cost reducing measures like shared office equipment and reduced rent. 


Before pursuing a costly marketing technique consider sharing an office space. efficiently connects attorneys looking for a shared office with law firms who are looking to rent out empty office space. 



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We all need New Clients….Here are some tips


According to a survey conducted by Thomson Reuters Solo and Small Law Firm group, the biggest challenge for solo and small firm law practices is acquiring new clients. Here are some tips for getting new clients.

1. Network, Network, Network!

Attend conferences and networking events. Join a bar association, professional organization or committee. Reach out to other lawyers, but also connect with non-lawyers who work in the same field as you. Let your family, friends and acquaintances know about your practice and specialties. Besides networking in person, be sure to network online too. Do whatever you can to get the word out about your practice.

2. Establish and Maintain an Online Presence

Establish a professional website for your law practice. Create a social media account on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Avvo. Continually update and participate in social media like contributing to Avvo forums or posting tweets about legal matters. Start a legal blog that provides helpful information your target audience is interested in. You can link your blog posts to your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter account.

3. Referrals

Maintain relationships with past clients and inform them of all the services your law practice provides. Referrals can also come from other attorneys. Attorneys who work in a shared office space can recommend potential clients. Sharing an office space with other attorneys provides many benefits like a strong attorney network, shared resources (printers, wi-fi, conference rooms etc.), reduced rent and a focused work environment.

4. Karma is Real

Just because a particular client isn’t a good fit for your practice doesn’t mean they’re not a good fit for someone else’s. Don’t be afraid to refer a client you wouldn’t normally take to other practices. Who knows, maybe other attorneys just met with someone that would benefit more from your area of expertise.


Exclusive Survey Results: Small Firms’ Greatest Challenges And What They’re Doing To Address Them

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Study after study concludes that the financial and productivity benefits of working in a shared office space are significant—and no doubt they are. What few articles examine, however, is the hidden marketing benefits that come from networking with other lawyers in the office. These benefits are extremely subtle, but equally significant in the success and expansion of your legal practice.131017110058IMG_7573KOPboardroom inside

The first is the availability of a reception area and access to conference rooms. The legal profession is, ultimately, one that requires interaction with people. Regardless of the advances in technology, nothing can replace a face-to-face meeting either in the office or in the courtroom. Meeting a client in an office environment gives two critical first impressions: first that you are a lawyer whose services are worth paying for, and second, that the prospective client is important enough to you to meet with him or her personally. As Rachel Rodgers writes in the Philadelphia Law Blog, “As lawyers, we deal with real people, who have real problems that are decided in real courtrooms. The outcomes have consequences…A snazzy website just can’t replace an office.”

Shared office spaces also office the chance to split the costs of networking benefits. For example, client lunches, holiday parties and events can all be hosted with either one firm or a conglomerate of solo practitioners, attracting more potential clients while saving money. Solo practitioners in complementary practices can collaborate to put on joint webinars.

The key for marketing success in a shared office space is just that: collaboration. The most obvious area where this is beneficial is referrals. Lawyers can acquire more business by being of counsel for other law firms in their area of expertise. Similarly, office mates can refer cases outside of their expertise to solo practitioners with more experience in that area of the law. provides the opportunity to lawyers to network simply by going to work. The flexibility in choosing space and coworkers allows solo practitioners more control over their work environment, and thus more control over the extent to which they participate in joint marketing efforts. Research indicates that marketing is usually “the first thing to fall through the cracks” for solo practitioners who are too busy to deal with their workload. In a shared office environment, these former solo lawyers develop better marketing habits just through observing and natural competition with their office mates. If the financial advantages aren’t enough to persuade a you to try a shared space, imagine the benefits that seem less obvious—free expansion of your practice.

¹ Rodgers, Rachel, “Your Website is not a Reception Area,” Philadelphia Law Bog, April 6, 2013. <>

² Elefant, Carmen, “How Working Cheek to Cheek Can Help Market Your Practice Week to Week,”Nolo’s Legal Marketing Blog, December 14, 2010. <>

Commercial Real Estate Recovery Boosted in Atlanta

According to Douglas Sams, Commercial Real Estate Editor of the Atlanta Business Chronicle, referencing commercial real estate brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle, says Atlanta’s economy is rebounding! According to Sams, the region’s second-largest employment sector, professional and business services, has gained back thousands of jobs it lost since the recession began. But who really knows when the recession actually began. All statistics regarding the rebound to 419,200 jobs as of September, 2012 are, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, are professional and business services including: lawyers, engineers, accountants and computer programmers. It is refreshing to see that the economy is apparently rebounding in Atlanta through expansion in this sector, which is second to the largest job sector, trade, transportation and utilities (543,000 jobs).
While it is safe to say there has been a lot of “dark space” in the Atlanta area (ranging from Atlanta to Alpharetta), it is hard to determine which of the professional and business services are taking the actual lead for Atlanta’s “rebound”. It appears that tech services are driving employment gains across the country at a much faster rate than almost any other sector, which may be the lead for Atlanta’s increase in jobs from 2007 to present. Those skilled in computer systems design and related services may even be creating computer programs that will handle the insurance-Obama Care regulations for business.
Atlanta’s high-tech sector is apparently responsible for absorbing one of the highest percentages of office space relative to the size of its nearly 140-million-square-foot office market. According to Sams, only high-tech sectors in Seattle and in the San Francisco peninsula were running overall absorption in their office markets at a faster rate. An absorption rate is the rate at which rentable space is filled. Gross absorption is a measure of the total square feet leased over a specified period with no consideration given to space vacated in the same geographic area during the same time period. Net absorption is equal to the amount occupied at the end of a period minus the amount occupied at the beginning of a period and takes into consideration space vacated during the period.
Notes: Atlanta Business Chronicle by Douglas Sams, November 7, 2012, “Tech sector boosts commercial real estate recovery”

Atlanta Law Firm Considers Law Office Move for Quality or Better Deal?

bld_proscenium_lr.jpgAnother Atlanta law firm has made the decision to move from its current office space, negotiating a new lease at Midtown’s 24-story Proscenium Building. Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, LLP has been operating its law offices in The Bank of America Plaza since the 1990’s, during an Atlanta law firm exodus from downtown. A move for this law firm after over ten years means better lease terms are certainly available in Atlanta with excess law space. Rob Binion’s (of LaVista Associates, Inc.) theory of “flight to qualify” may have been a factor in Paul Hasting’s lease negotiations.
Whether or not Paul Hastings tries to negotiate certain concessions from its current landlord or seeks a different level of quality at the Proscenium Building, the bottom line is law firms are taking the end of the lease term very seriously; lease costs hit the law firm’s bottom line. While the deal may have taken a good part of the past year, Paul Hastings seems to be shrinking its space in this sluggish commercial real estate market; its lawyers and staff are located in approximately 100,000 square feet. A new lease could save Paul Hastings $3.00 to $5.00 a foot, according to certain sources. Will The Bank of America Plaza retain its tenant, Paul Hastings, the 22nd largest law firm in Atlanta, with 68 attorneys and 115 total staff (it has 18 offices worldwide and more than 1,000 attorneys) or will the price and/or the quality offered at the Proscenium Building lure this law firm to its new law offices?
As we mentioned in a prior blog dated November 13, 2011, the owners of office buildings in Atlanta have their own headaches. The Bank of America Plaza was purchased by BentleyForbes Group, LLC from Atlanta-based Cousins Properties in 2006. Sources indicate that BentleyForbes has talked with its lenders for debt considerations hinting that the owner is seeking more favorable or workable terms.
While Paul Hastings has not signed on the dotted line, with its Bank of America Plaza lease expiring in 2012, it seems likely that Paul Hastings will entertain options for its leased law space. Paul Hastings joins Arnall, Golden, Gregory, LLP and Buckhead’s Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP, a few of the largest law firms when considering a new lease deal this year.
Notes: Atlanta Business Chronicle, October 28 through November 3, 2011.
See Also: Law Firms with Unused Offices, A View From Law Students, The LawSpaceMatch Official Podcast

Office Market Sector Still Slugish in Atlanta

office-space-atlanta-1324a.jpgAccording to a recent report from Grubb & Ellis Company, the 144.4 million-square-foot Atlanta office market in the third-quarter 2011 has a 22.9% vacancy level. The reasons appear to be related to slow growth, undercapitalized ownership and starving landlords.
Class A office space in the metropolitan Atlanta area decreased 9 percent to $22.62 per square foot during the quarter, and Class B rates dropped 2 percent to $14.48. The inventory of available sublease space decreased to roughly 3.6 million square feet in the third quarter, according to Grubb & Ellis Company, a drop of approximately 315,000 square feet on the previous quarter. Why the continued vacancy rate? For starters, there is a drop in rental rates due to unemployment. (In the legal sector, July, 2011 brought an increase in unemployment claims for Georgia lawyers.) Secondly, tenants are not renegotiating leases and moving to new office space. Principal Dan Granot of Joel & Granot Real Estate, LLC noted that “some submarkets have been head-and-shoulders above others in terms of recovery, but I do not know if what we are seeing are the results of true absorption or just a game of ‘musical chairs’ playing out.” Atlanta tenants are supporting the trend of moving from older office space to newer office space where they can seek higher quality. The legal profession is no exception. For instance, the law firm Fisher & Phillips moved from a prominent Buckhead space to a Midtown space, siting new quality accommodations which supports Rob Binion’s (associate broker at LaVista Associates, Inc.) theory that 2011 “has proven to be a year of “flight to quality”. According to Binion, a flight-to-quality trend is most evident in the Class A sector of the Buckhead market, “with the overwhelming share of positive absorption for the entire city occurring in here – at the expense of Class B buildings in Buckhead and every other submarket in town”.
In March, 2011, we posted an article noting law firms’ reactions to landlord’s response to lease renewals. Decline of concessions or re-negotiations of the lease was highlighted. The climate has not changed. Lack of incentives for providing incentives for beneficial lease renewal terms and thereby, helping prevent law firms from exiting current law office space is not necessarily derived from Atlanta landlords. Binion seems to uncover one of the reasons why landlords have been unable to provide appropriate concessions to retain law firms: owners of these buildings have no capital available to pay for lease-up expenses, such as marketing, advertising, tenant improvement allowances to commissions and credit checks. If owners and/or venture capitalists holding (equity or debt) in Atlanta office buildings have dry coffers, the sluggish recovery will continue. Simply, there are no funds available for needed improvements and marketing techniques. According to Binion, the ” flight to quality” will accelerate. This leaves the owners of older Class B and C buildings effectively pulling themselves out of the leasing market until more funds are available to provide necessary factors or retaining tenants.
Metro Atlanta landlords will have to remain aggressive in order to compete at least through 2012, according to Russ Jobson, Senior Vice President and Principal in Colliers International (Atlanta office). The decline of the recovery of the Atlanta office market sector directly influences the sublease submarket. If tenants cannot negotiate better deal terms for even a short term lease, their option for subleasing their space is a viable option. Additional “dark space” is not an option for profitable law firms. Atlanta law firms and other law firms around the country are turning to, an exclusive site for lawyers posting their empty law space and sharing law space with lawyers. On the other hand, if the “flight to quality” continues, according to Binion’s theory, law firms may relocate to a space which more appropriately accommodates the number of lawyers currently employed.
Notes: Atlanta Business Chronicle, Commercial Real Estate Section, November 4-10, 2011.
See Also: Law Firms with Unused Offices, Persistence of the Economic Downturn Forces a New Legal Landscape , Law Firms – Don’t Use Your Empty Offices For Storage – It’s a Waste

Lawyers: Don’t Sign a Long Term Lease – Sublease space instead

saving-money.jpgEven lawyers are having a hard time finding a job in these economic times. And solo practitioners are hesitant before signing a long term lease usually requiring a personal guaranty. The good news is attorneys are sharing space and simultaneously saving money and improving business. There are many benefits of sharing law space. The cooperative spirit of a group of attorneys who practice with each other is invaluable. Water cooler discussions lead to the exchange of valuable expertise with other lawyers and perhaps even a referral for a case or work project. This does not occur when an attorney practices law from home or a coffee shop.
Another benefit of sharing law space is creating a better image in the eyes of clients. Attorneys are forming associations when they share space and link they names on the letterhead. They are setting themselves out as attorneys who are part of a law firm, even though they are neither partners nor sharing profits. Instead these lawyers are sharing expenses and saving money. While there are State Bar rules governing the representation of a law firm where the lawyers are space sharing, the bottom line of disclosure to the client may be easily addressed in the retainer agreement. The retainer agreement with the client should clearly indicate that the lawyer is a professional corporation, a limited liability company or solo practitioner, and he or she is not an associate or partner of a law firm. (Each state has varying rules so check the State Bar for further reference). These guidelines may be easily met. Expansive letterhead of the association of lawyers sharing office space may show a client a more impressive image and office space than any one single lawyer could afford on her own.
Expenses of copy machines and other office equipment are much less burdensome when costs are divided among space sharing lawyers. The bottom line: an attorney may receive more for office rental dollars. Everything from water to paper may be shared and as long as there is a clearly written space sharing agreement, the arrangement adds prestige and cost savings. Attorneys are not signing long term leases; instead space sharing is a beneficial and prevalent concept. Of course, choosing with whom you wish to share office space is an individual choice and should be closely examined.
In 2010, Elaine M. Russell created, a service that matches lawyers seeking to sublet space with unoccupied office space at compatible law firms around the country. Law office space and attorney profiles may be viewed at Elaine M. Russell is a corporate and business attorney representing clients throughout Georgia and has an office located in the Buckhead section of Atlanta.
See Also: A Resolution for Student Debt?, , Law Firms – Don’t Use Your Empty Office Space for Storage – It’s a Waste

A Resolution for Student Debt?

student-debt.jpgDebt. It is a word that strikes fear into every law students heart, and is an ever growing issue for post-graduates. Recently, the Young Lawyer’s Division’s 111A Report reported that educational debt, which is almost exclusively incurred by young college and graduate students, has exceeded credit card debt in the United States. This is mainly because college and graduate school tuition has risen at a continuous rate throughout the past 30 years in the US.
In response to this growing issue, the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyer Division proposed two Resolutions; one, Resolution 111A is aimed at providing financial assistance for those students in extreme debt, while the other, Resolution 111B, is geared towards getting Law Schools to provide more transparent reports on job prospects and median salary figures.
As proposed, Resolution 111A seeks to extend federal student loan repayment terms and programs to those students burdened with excessive financial debt due to education. It also calls for programs that give income-based repayment options and loan forgiveness programs. Finally, it calls for a decrease or complete elimination of income levels associated with the federal income tax deduction for interest paid on student loans.
Another factor in student’s debt is their initial misconception of job prospects and beginning income upon graduation; this information is key to making the decision to initially delve into debt, as a high perceived return will encourage students to paying more initially, as they figure it can be made back relatively quickly. Unfortunately, figures published by law schools pertaining to this matter are frequently misleading. In fact, according to a National Association for Law Placement (NALP) report, 8.7 percent of the class of 2009 was unemployed (based on the 36,046 employed graduates out of 40,833 for whom employment status was known). Resolution 111B seeks to address this disconnection between perception and reality by requiring law schools to explain their numbers more clearly by stating how many of these jobs are permanent and how many are temporary (less than 1 year). In addition, the resolution calls for law schools to communicate the cost of living post graduation and while attending law school.
While both of these resolutions have been passed, debt is still a serious issue facing law students. One of the biggest costs a new lawyer faces upon beginning his or her practice is the cost of real estate. In 2010, Elaine Russell, a lawyer operating in the Buckhead section of Atlanta, created to help address this issue. This free service allows firms with open office space to quickly and easily post their openings and get into contact with solo practitioners who are in need of this space. This subleasing opportunity allows newly minted lawyers to cut down on a large cost, easing their already-prominent burden of debt.
Reference Article: ABA Adresses Law Graduate’s Job, Debt Woes
See Also: Job Outsourcing: What Does it Mean for the Legal Profession?, Lawyers Sharing Space: Benefits and Responsibilities,

Job Outsourcing: What Does it Mean for the Legal Profession?

globe-outsourcing.gif“Outsourcing” is not a term with which I am particularly familiar. The word is tossed around as something that takes jobs away from Americans, as companies take advantage of cheap labor prices in other countries. I have always associated this phenomenon with industries such as computer technology and automotive manufacturing. When I heard of law firms practicing outsourcing, I was baffled to say the least. And the most intriguing fact is that this technique is not a new development.
After finding an article in the New York Times 2010 archive reporting on legal outsourcing, I was curious to know just how long this practice has been in use. It turns out, the earliest occurrence of legal outsourcing dates back to the mid-nineties. Considering all the backlash industrial outsourcing has received, it is surprising to see that legal outsourcing has not only stayed, but actually has grown.
For the firms there is a practical and economical reason for sending certain jobs overseas and it is the same reason that drives many other industries abroad–labor is cheaper. Why spend 200 dollars an hour for an employee performing basic research when you can spend half that abroad? Or, as the website CPA Global puts it, “when [lawyers] are free to focus on the big things, they can produce even greater results.” CPA Global posits that with the removal of menial tasks, lawyers can truly work to the best of their ability. This sounds like a good thing. Who doesn’t want their lawyer to have a clear mind when the time comes for trial?
But as an undergraduate, this is not good news. Many of the jobs that are sent to countries like India are those that normally go to entry-level lawyers and law students just getting their feet wet. This is sadly just more bad news to consider along with the decline in jobs for law school graduates. How is a student supposed to find work when that work is suddenly being shipped elsewhere?
Well, there really isn’t cause to worry, yet. Legal outsourcing is still a rather small niche. But some very good advice can be found in an article posted by Merrick Pastore in April on The article impresses upon all up-and-coming lawyers the importance of networking. When a firm hires a lawyer from another country, they are a faceless and possibly nameless being. An American law student on the other hand certainly doesn’t have to be. Networking allows employers to see potential and gauge drive of legal hopefuls. By showing a little tenacity, it is possible to convince others that you are worth the greater paycheck.
Contributed By: Meg R. DeFrancesco
See Also: The Pre-Law Outlook, Advice on Summer Jobs: Both for Now and in the Future, Should I Stay in School? Just Look at the Unemployment Rate

Atlanta Law Firm Gets Sued By Landlord For Back Rent – Share Law Office Space Instead

Resurgens staircase.jpgA major Atlanta law firm, Epstein Becker & Green has been sued by its landlord for unpaid rent for its Atlanta/Buckhead law office. While the law firm and the landlord were engaged in negotiations regarding failure to pay for legal space under the lease agreement, the law firm has been sued for failure to pay rental payments in the amount of $855,000 in back rent. Ken Menendez, the Atlanta local managing shareholder, was surprised by the filing of the lawsuit and stated, “… notwithstanding the lawsuit, we expect to work out a deal to restructure our lease.”
Epstein Becker is not the only larger law firm which has contracted during the recent recession. Other Atlanta law firms have also downsized. Epstein Becker has allowed one and one half floors of “dark space” in Resurgens Plaza, a well-known Atlanta Buckhead commercial building near Lenox Mall. Atlanta’s commercial real estate landscape has left a lot of law firms with vacant space. As a result of tenants having too much empty space, even when attempting to renegotiate with landlords, law firms risk getting sued for back rent. A sublet is an option for tenants with excessive vacant law space. Extra law office space may be subleased to lawyers seeking a turn-key law office situated in a prestigious commercial building. Smaller law firms in Atlanta are engaging in this space sharing and benefit from reduced costs. provides a simple avenue for lawyers and law firms with empty law space to sublease to lawyers in transition and seeking to sublease from lawyers. Law firms may post their empty law space on for free. Lawyers seeking to share space may search by zip code or by custom criteria based on areas of practice, and other amenities such as receptionists, shared secretaries, covered parking, and rental rates for the sublease.
Perhaps during its negotiations with the landlord at Resurgens Plaza, Epstein Becker could have considered utilizing a free service and obtained a sublease, even for a short period of time, allowing a sublease for lawyers desiring the creation of a law practice within its prestigious law space within Resurgens Plaza.
Notes: Fulton Daily Report – Friday, July 1, 2011
See Also: The Need For Law Space Match, Landlords Make Room for New Tenants, Provide Relief for Existing Tenants, Atlanta’s Largest Law Firm Comes Out on Top with Strategic Cost Cutting