Ask the Risk Pro: Websites and Cruise Control

Your questions are answered here.

I was surprised to read that 40 percent of solo lawyers don’t have a website.

Actually, “surprised” is the wrong word. Shocked is more like it. Or stunned, flabbergasted, gobsmacked – choose your adjective.

Look, I get it. Lots of us are burned out on the internet, especially during a pandemic when we spend so much time online.

But that’s exactly why your law practice needs a website. As Willie Sutton said when asked why he robbed banks: “Because that’s where the money is.”

Numerous studies show that the overwhelming majority of consumers who are looking for a lawyer start with a Google search.  Even prospects who initiate contact by phone or email will follow-up by Googling your site.

“In the digital age, with almost every American in possession of a mobile device that they carry with them everywhere, and with the increasing number of available online legal services from companies such as LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer, it is difficult to imagine how lawyers can compete for clients without engaging online,” according to the most recent ABA legal tech survey.

These days, it’s easy and inexpensive – even free – to get a bare-bones website up and running in hours. Build it yourself through Wix, Squarespace or another DIY platform (or get your teenager to do it for you). At a minimum, claim your spot on an online directory like Avvo or Google My Business.

If you’re still not convinced of the necessity of having a website, consider these facts:

  • Forty-five (45) percent of legal consumers will only visit one attorney website when searching for a lawyer.
  • Eighty-seven (87) percent who establish contact with an attorney will end up hiring them.
  • Three-quarters of prospects say it’s important to know something about the lawyer’s background and qualifications before making contact.

None of those things will happen if you don’t have a website.

Dear Risk Pro: I’ve found LinkedIn to be a great networking and referral resource for my small firm. Should I encourage my associates and other team members to create their own LinkedIn profiles and like/share the firm’s posts? LinkedIn in Lubbock TX
Dear LinkedIn: Encouraging them to do so is fine. Pressuring them – even subtly – is not. “[I]t is probably inappropriate if a law firm makes it somewhat mandatory that employees like and share the firm’s content on LinkedIn,” writes attorney and law blogger Jordan Rothmann for Above the Law. “Some firms seemingly reward employees for liking and sharing firm content on LinkedIn and apply pressure to employees who do not. I have heard of some firms conveying that liking and sharing firm content on social media is part of ‘firm citizenship,’ and ‘firm citizenship’ is often part of the attorney evaluation and promotion process. Along similar lines, employees should not be pressured into creating LinkedIn profiles in the first place. Firms should not judge people for not having a LinkedIn account…. [E]mployees should have the right to do what they wish with their own LinkedIn accounts, and they should not have their speech co-opted by their employers.”

Dear Risk Pro: Did Willie Sutton really say “I rob banks because that’s where the money is,” or is the story apocryphal? Wondering in Wisconsin
Dear Wondering: Maybe, maybe not. The quote is attributed to published interviews like this one from 1951 in the Saturday Evening Post. But the diminutive (5’ 6”) thief, who stole more than $2 million during his heyday in the 1940s and ‘50s, claimed he never actually used those words. This is so even though he titled his 1976 autobiography “Where the Money Was.” The fact-checking site Snopes rates the rumor False.

Dear Risk Pro: What are the most pressing cyber threats against my firm, and how can I protect myself and my clients? Cyber Stressed in South Bend IN
Dear Stressed: Start by signing up for our free, one-hour CLE cyber webinar on March 23. Chapter 4: Cyber Security Best Practices for your Law Firm in 2021 is the latest installment of our highly successful cyber webinars. The presenters are digital forensics specialist Nathan Little, of Tetra Defense, who will demonstrate simple, commonsense ways to stay safe, and attorney James Davidson – a nationally-recognized expert on cyber liability who defends lawyers and firms in malpractice cases. Register here.

Dear Risk Pro: Who invented the cruise control for cars, and why isn’t there one for law practices? Motoring in Michigan
Dear Motoring: Engineer Ralph Teetor is credited with inventing the modern cruise control (known early on as a speedostat or tempomat) in 1948. His inspiration came after riding in a car driven by his lawyer, who kept speeding up and slowing down while he talked. And actually, there is something similar for lawyers. It’s called risk management, and it helps keep your firm going smoothly and steadily.

Risk Rhetoric: “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” Carl Sandburg

Risk Pro List of Things You Should Know (or not)
Top 10 Hidden Images in Logos of Famous Brands

  1. Amazon (“smile” arrow connects letters A and Z)
  2. Toyota (word “Toyota” spelled out in logo)
  3. Wendy’s (“mom” spelled out in logo)
  4. FedEx (hidden arrow between “e” and “x”)
  5. Vaio (sine wave signal)
  6. Toblerone (silhouette of a bear climbing a mountain)
  7. Tostito’s (people eating chips)
  8. Baskin Robbins (number 31, signifying a different flavor of each day of the month)
  9. Pinterest (image of a pin)
  10. LG (winking face composed of letters L and G)

(Source: TopTenz)

Got a question about how to keep your law practice safe, successful and soaring? Ask the Risk Pro – your personal, on-call practice management consultant if you’re insured through Alta Pro Insurance Services. Contact the Risk Pro today.