Zen & the Art of Legal Networking

Three Ways to Inspire Your Marketing in 2017

FullSizeRender2017 is here and that means a fresh, clean slate, right?

I like fresh starts, and I like that I feel like I get two of them during the year – one in January with the advent of a new year, and one in September when the school year begins again (even though I’m not in school anymore). But with 2017, I’m struggling to feel rejuvenated. It could be the two solid days of rain we’ve had to kick off this week, or the tough slog that was 2016, but whatever the reason, I’m just not feeling it this week.

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Five Most Popular Zen Posts in 2016

sd2fxgkdagk-brigitte-tohmIt will probably come as no surprise to most of you that our most popular posts in 2016 centered around two topics, the future of law firms and Instagram (the latter one is a surprise, but if you’ve been reading closely, you know that we’ve already addressed that oddity). Did you catch all of these posts this year? If not, never fear, I’m bringing you a round up of the most popular posts from Zen in 2016! 

Instagram: How Lawyers Can Use it & Get Noticed

In our first post about Instagram on Zen, we looked at the facts about this extraordinarily popular social media site (they’ve added 100 million users in just the last six months!) as well as six tips for using it for content marketing and two ways to get noticed there. Do I think you’re going to get business by being an active Instagrammer? Doubtful. But I think you’ll have a lot of fun, find a unique way to connect with people that most of your colleagues and competitors aren’t using, and educate yourself about a social tool that many of your clients are using so that you can effectively advise them.

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Week of December 19, 2016 on ILNToday – A Roundup!

roundupWe’re doing our roundup a couple of days early this week in advance of the holidays coming on Saturday and Sunday! (And for some of you, the winter solstice is a holiday too!) So take some time out to enjoy this brief roundup of this abbreviated week’s posts, and we’ll look forward to seeing you after the holidays!

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7 Ways Lawyers Can Build More Engagement Over the Holidays

wjqedasn_ni-jeffrey-wegrzynHas everyone got their “fa la la” on yet?

While the holidays are often a mad rush for all of us, it seems that this year especially, everyone is behind with wrapping up their end of the year duties (and wrapping up their gifts), while we try to figure out shortcuts for how to manage to get everything done before family and friends descend on us (or you head out the door yourself). In among all of the holiday madness are your professional pressures, which, of course, take priority.

So rather than a thought-provoking, meaty post today, let’s look at some (mostly) quick ways that you can engage with your clients and other relationships – these can be done over the holidays, if you find you have some down time and you want to get a jump on 2017, or they can be things that you pencil into your schedule for next year. While the options for engagement are endless, and many of them are really in-depth, today, we’re going to focus on some of the simple ideas that can add a little boost to your relationships.

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    Week of December 12, 2016 on ILNToday – A Roundup!

    roundupSomehow, we have reached the point where there are only two weeks left in the year (which, let’s be honest, after the way 2016 has treated most of us, I think we’ll be glad to see the back of it). But with only 15 days left, it’s a good time to reflect and review, as well as plan for the next 12 months – don’t forget to build some flexibility into those plans though!

    As you’re reviewing and planning, give some thought to your content as well, and take a look at what the ILN members have provided us over the last week on ILNToday. Make sure to also check out our newly released international guide on “Buying & Selling Real Estate.”

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    ILN Announces Release of “Buying & Selling Real Estate: An International Guide”

    2016We’re excited to announce today the release of the first edition of our real estate guide, “Buying & Selling Real Estate: An International Guide.” The collaborative electronic guide provides an overview of the legal aspects of buying and selling real estate in eleven jurisdictions internationally. It is designed to serve as a quick and practical reference for those buying or selling real estate in these jurisdictions.

    As the facilitator of the guide, I can say that we’re delighted to publish this collaborative work and showcase the strength and depth of the combined expertise of our real estate lawyers. We already have plans to add additional jurisdictions to the publication, which will be regularly revised, to make this a comprehensive and up-to-date source of information. Like our corporate guide on establishing business entities, this is a real labor of love.

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    Change: What’s Holding Us Back?

    Speedometer with needle racing through the words Revolution, Change, Shake it Up, Status Quo and Stagnation

    “Change or die.”

    How many times have you heard that over the last eight years?

    A friend of mine in the legal industry pointed that out to me yesterday, along with commenting that it always sounds so dire. And it does sound dire.

    But after the statistics that we covered in last week’s post (1/3 of clients are openly dissatisfied with their outside counsel, chief legal officers rank firms at a 3 on a 1 to 10 scale for commitment to change, and clients are moving their legal work to other firms or to nonfirm vendors), it would seem that we should be properly incentivized to speed up the pace of change. From the Peer Monitor/Georgetown 2016 Report on the State of the Legal Market, which cautioned BigLaw against a “Kodak moment”

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    Week of December 5, 2016 on ILNToday – A Roundup!

    roundupThe ILN was thrilled to officially welcome our newest member this week, Connolly Gallagher, in Delaware! For more information about Connolly Gallagher, please check out our press release welcoming the firm and stay tuned here for additional thought leadership from their talented lawyers! Before you head out for your mid-morning coffee, take a look through our roundup of posts from this week on ILNToday!

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    Law Firms: The Future is NOW

    iStock_000011353685_LargeThe “law firm of the future.”

    We’ve spent a lot of time talking about this in recent months, not because I find it to be interesting (which I do), but because other than my “Instagram for Lawyers” post, this has been the hottest topic on Zen this year. I had a conversation with a senior partner at a law firm last week, who asked me “How do we communicate to people that the future is NOW?” His firm has been embracing these “futuristic” policies for a number of years, and recognizes that change in the industry is not happening fast enough.

    In May, Altman Weil published the 8th edition of their “Law Firms in Transition” survey, which polls the managing partners and chairs at 800 US law firms with 50 or more lawyers (this year’s survey received 356 respondents from 49% of the 350 largest US law firms). If you haven’t already read at least the executive summary for this survey, I highly encourage you to take a look through it. In the midst of the second quarter of this year, Altman Weil said:

    Are law firms still in transition in 2016? We think so, although the pace of change can seem modest. Despite pockets of true innovation, most firms are choosing to proceed with lawyerly caution in the midst of a market that is being reinvented around them.”

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    Week of November 28, 2016 on ILNToday – A Roundup!

    roundupWe’re in the home stretch for the year now – December is upon us! So, have you hit all of your goals for 2016? Although it’s a hugely busy time of year for many of us in terms of wrapping things up, and planning for next year, take some time to review your plan for the year and see if there’s anything that you can still implement over the next few weeks or at least add into your 2017 planning and goals. You might be pleasantly surprised to realize that you’ve got time for one more article, or your holiday networking plans will provide the opportunity for another contact or two. And taking a review of this year’s activities as you’re planning for 2017 will help to give you a realistic sense of what you can accomplish in the new year.

    But first, take a look through these top posts from ILNToday, where some of our members have surely been hitting their content goals for 2016!

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