2016 is almost over, and the new year is nearly here. In between eating turkey leftovers and visiting with out-of-town guests, you’re likely gearing up for a successful 2017 for your firm.
The question is, what does it really take to run a successful law firm and be a successful lawyer? In solo and small firms, there’s a lot more to lawyering than practicing law—you need to know about marketing, technology, and the business of running a law firm as well. And, as the legal profession is an inherently stressful one, you need to take extra care to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
To help you prepare for a productive and profitable new year, we’ve put together a list of our top reports and webinars from 2016. They contain plenty of insights, information, and advice to help you advance your firm and your career in the coming year.
Reports and Guides
The Legal Trends Report
At this year’s Clio Cloud Conference, Clio released the inaugural Legal Trends Report, based on aggregated and anonymized data from over 40,000 Clio users. This is the first time that solo and small firm lawyers have had access to unbiased data representing their segment of the legal industry at this scale.
Previous reports have been based on survey responses with small sample sizes. This is problematic, as self-reported information is subject to inherent personal bias, and small samples result in less reliable data.
The Legal Trends Report contains plenty of information you can use to better your firm. For example, it includes average billable hourly rates by state and practice area, which lets you know where you stand when setting your own hourly rates.
How to Start Your Own Law Firm
Starting your own law firm is difficult at any stage of your legal career, but it can also be incredibly rewarding.
This report, authored by Jared Correia, includes the tips you need to start your law firm off on the right foot. From purchasing malpractice insurance, to planning marketing strategies, to getting your first clients in the door, Jared has made sure that this guide has what you need to know.
Becoming a More Resilient Lawyer
If anyone knows resiliency well, it’s Jeena Cho. As a lawyer and the author of The Anxious Lawyer, she’s the go-to expert on mindfulness and mental health in the legal sector.
This guide from Jeena includes 10 tips for surviving and thriving as a legal professional. One tip for now? Reduce your stress and anxiety, and become more resilient (and productive!) with regular routines and habits, such as daily meditation.
Developing Technological Competency as a Lawyer
As a lawyer, knowing the benefits and risks associated with technology isn’t optional: It’s a must, as per a professional conduct model rule change adopted by the ABA in 2012.
If you’re not up to speed on the latest in legal technology, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Brush up on your technology knowledge, and see several technology myths debunked, in this report from Casey Flaherty, founder of Procertas.
Every Law Firm’s Guide to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
What gets measured gets managed. If you want to maximize efficiencies and increase profits for your law firm, you need to keep track of how you’re doing. The best way to do that is with key performance indicators, or KPIs.
In this free guide from Mary Juetten of Evolve Law and Billie Tarascio of Modern Law, you’ll learn about what KPIs are, which KPIs to track, how to set up a seamless tracking system for your firm, and how to find insights in data you didn’t even know you had.
The Art of Legal Research
Legal research is a key part of your work. You need to stay up to date with the latest research tools and capabilities, but with more new solutions on offer every year, it can be difficult to keep up. How do you choose the right legal research tools for your needs?
This webinar goes over several tools to help take the stress out of legal research. On top of that, we discuss how to best use local and state resources, search engines, and academic resources.
Advanced Client Intake for Modern Law Firms
Are you spending more time on client intake than you need to? If you’re recording new client information manually—either online or by hand—the answer to that question is ‘yes.’
Together with Michael Chasin, founder of Lexicata, Joshua explains in this webinar how you can set up a robust, automated system to streamline client intake and keep your firm organized.
Law Firms in the Social Age
Over 1.79 billion people are active on Facebook every month. Translation: Most of the world is on social media, and that likely includes your prospective client base. To connect with them, you need to be on social media too.
This webinar covers best social media practices for lawyers, as well as ethics issues to keep in mind, and recommended tools to help you get the most out of your social media efforts.
The legal profession is stressful, and lawyers must work extra hard to take care of their health and well-being. This is such an important issue for lawyers that both our guide and our webinar on resiliency made it onto this list of top resources.
As with the guide to becoming a more resilient lawyer listed above, mindfulness expert Jeena Cho had a hand in putting together this webinar. Together with Joshua, she discusses the current state of health in the legal profession, along with strategies for managing stress while building a successful and sustainable legal practice.
Agile for Law Firms
Google, Facebook, and Amazon have applied the Agile methodology with great success—but Agile isn’t just for the tech sector anymore. With Agile Law, plenty of lawyers are applying flexible Agile techniques at their law firms to increase efficiency and profitability.
Clio CEO Jack Newton and John E. Grant, lawyer and founder of AgileAttorney.net, explore the benefits of Agile in this free webinar. Listen to learn what the Agile methodology is and how you can apply it successfully at your firm.