Advocate Capital, Inc. Law Firm Financing Blog

Law Practice Management Stories

Are Your Website Analytics Haunted?

 

Copyright : gemenacomOver the past few years, I’ve become well acquainted with Google Analytics and all the fascinating knowledge it provides about my company’s website. The ability to track sources of web visitors to the site has been perhaps the most important benefit of using Analytics. Most of the time, the sources are either direct hits to the website, organic searches or one of our multiple online marketing campaigns that point visitors back to specific pages on the website.

 

Then something weird began to happen. I noticed that some of our top sources of traffic were things like “website-analyzer.info / referral” and “traffic2cash.xyz / referral.” Like any curious person using the internet, I googled these so called sources and found out that they are known as ghost spam (referral spam). These sources bounce hits in and out of your analytics, despite never sending an actual visitor to your site. This can have a very significant impact on your numbers, which in turn can lead to false information and inflated web marketing statistics.

 

How did I remove it? I reached out to our friends at Page 1 Solutions, LLC for a fix. Andrew Wasyluk told me a quick and easy way to solve it.

 

“Removal of referral spam can be done through the use of ‘Segments’ in Google analytics. By applying a custom segment, you can historically remove the bad data and be left with the data that is coming from valid sources.

The creation of the segment involves using RegEx filters set to exclude entries where the Medium exactly matches ‘referral’ AND the Source matches the spam site.” – Andrew Wasyluk, Page 1 Solutions, Inc.

 

It only took a few short minutes, and the ghost spam problem had been eliminated. Unsure of how to navigate Google Analytics? Contact your internet marketing company, or Page 1 Solutions, LLC.

 

Tina Burns

Vice President

 

Photo Credit: gemenacom
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How Your Facebook News Feed is Changing and What You Need to Know

 

Copyright : ximaginationOnce again, Facebook is making changes to your News Feed. The purpose of this change is to continue the process of weeding out posts you don’t want to see. All of the changes being made are due to feedback from user surveys.

 

So what exactly is changing? Well, based off of how you engage in specific kinds of posts – liking, commenting or sharing – will determine which posts you see first. This is all calculated by probability and a ranking system specific to the individual user. This might not seem like a big change, but it is proving to be important to Page owners who rely on referral traffic.

 

If you would like to read the entire article titled, “Facebook is changing which posts you’ll see first in the News Feed – again,” by Mashable, you can do so here.

 

Tina Burns

Vice President

 

Photo Credit: ximagination
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Excellent New Law Firm Marketing Resource

 

Win with multi channel digital marketing book Dan GoldsteinI just read the new e-Book written by my friend Dan Goldstein and it is excellent!

 

Dan is the President of Page 1 Solutions and is a certified guru on digital marketing. What I love about this book is that it is concise, packed with useful details and each chapter ends with a practical checklist so that you can benchmark your own marketing efforts. And it’s free! The book is titled, “Win with Multi-Channel Digital Marketing.”

 

Download your copy today by clicking here.

 

Michael J. Swanson

President and CEO

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What Are the Dangers of Energy Drinks?

 

Does anyone in your family consume energy drinks? Be sure to watch Mr. Swanson’s recent interview with Attorney Kevin Goldberg of law offices of Goldberg, Finnegan & Mester, to learn about the dangers of these beverages especially for teenagers and young adults.

 

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Free Law Firm Finance Training Webinar

 

Copyright : melpomenThe Rainmaker Institute is offering a free webinar, ‘Law Firm Finance for Contingency-Based Firms – What They Didn’t Teach You In Law School’, on Thursday, February 18th at 10:00 AM PST, 1:00 PM EST.

 

During this webinar, Advocate Capital, Inc.’s President and CEO, Michael J. Swanson, will offer educational content on a variety of financial and business management topics relevant to the operation of a contingent-fee law firm.

 

Content to include:

 

  • The most important financial concepts and terms you need to know.

 

  • The most common challenges contingent-fee law firms face in the marketplace when seeking capital.

 

And

 

  • 5 steps you can take to improve your financial health right now.

 

There are only 250 spots available for this webinar, so claim yours now! You can do so by clicking here.

 

Tina Burns

Vice President

 

Photo Credit: melpomen
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New Redesigned AdvoTrac® Web Portal

 

AdvoTracYou continue to ask…we continue to listen!

 

We enjoy receiving requests and improving AdvoTrac® for you, our customer! Our customers use the AdvoTrac® Web Portal on a daily basis to submit funding requests, run payoff reports, and make electronic payments. Recently, we redesigned the AdvoTrac® Web Portal and you may find this new design easier to navigate. Here are some of the new features:

 

  • Memo Field for Fundings
  • Pending Payments link
  • Running Total for Online Fundings

 

All of these improvements were based on feedback from our customers. We take your suggestions very seriously at Advocate Capital, Inc. and strive to please everyone!

 

If you are not yet using the AdvoTrac® Web Portal and would like to start accessing your account information online, please contact our accounting team at Accounting@AdvocateCapital.com or 615.577.5448. We would be happy to give you a personalized, one-on-one Web Demonstration of AdvoTrac®!

 

Mary Berst

Director of Finance and Administration

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February is Black History Month

 

Copyright: http://wjhl.com/2015/02/10/black-history-month-celebration-set-for-february-19-at-carver-recreation-center/Black History Month began back in 1926 as “Negro History Week” created by Carter G. Woodson, an accomplished African American historian, scholar, educator, and publisher.

 

In 1976, it officially became a month long celebration strategically placed on the calendar to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln.

 

As we embark to celebrate the historical significance and accomplishments of African Americans, here are a few of the many accomplishments you might not be aware of:

 

  • In 1908, Jack Johnson became the first African American to hold the heavyweight boxing title. He defended his title successfully through 1915.
  • The first black lawyer was John Mercer Langston. He passed the Ohio State Bar in 1854 and went on to become the first ever African American to be elected to public office in 1855.
  • In 1967, Thurgood Marshall became the first African American appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. He served until 1991.
  • The first ever African American elected to the United States Senate was Hiram Rhodes where he represented Mississippi from 1870 – 1871.
  • In 1968, Shirley Chisholm became the first African American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Later in 1972, she became the first female African American candidate for the president of the United States.

 

The contributions African Americans have made to our great country are far too many to list. One thing is certain, every American (black or white) owes it to themselves to take time in February to learn about these contributions. The History Channel is a great place to start. You can begin here.

 

Take the journey.  You will be glad you did.

 

Jeff Glueck

Vice President – Business Development

 

Photo Credit: WJHL.com

 

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Advocate Capital, Inc. Proud To Be Headquartered In Nashville

 

Copyright : Melinda FawverAll of us here at Advocate Capital, Inc. are proud to call Music City our corporate home. Nashville has become a destination city for conventions and business opportunities of every variety.

 

A recently published drone video of our fabulous city highlights the beautiful scenery, key attractions, and many of the reasons Nashville is a “city on the move.”

 

 

What a wonderful tribute to the memory of Paul Daniel Coakley and the city we all love. To learn more about Mr. Coakley’s story, visit #LiveLikePaul.

 

Advocate Capital, Inc. applauds the continuing efforts to make this amazing place even better and the forward vision of our city leaders.

 

Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President

 

Photo Credit: Melinda Fawver
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How Do I Choose the Right Auto Insurance Coverage?

 

Be sure to watch Mr. Swanson’s latest interview with Seattle based Attorney Matthew Dubin, of the Law Offices of Matthew D. Dubin, to learn what you need to know to choose the best auto insurance coverage for you and your family.

 

 

For a free copy of Mr. Dubin’s book, “Maximizing Your Injury Claim,” visit www.dubinlawoffice.com or call 206-720-1501.

 

Tina Burns

Vice President

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We’re Growing Again!

 

Photo Credit : Michael BrownAdvocate Capital, Inc. is growing so that we can continue our high level of customer service for our clients!

 

We are currently recruiting for a new Credit Compliance Assistant to add to our Credit Team in our MetroCenter (Nashville, TN) offices.

 

If you are interested, please submit your resume for consideration.

 

Click here to view the job posting.

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Advocate Capital, Inc. Winter 2015 Newsletter is Here!

 

Advocate Capital Inc. Winter 2015 NewsletterThe Winter 2015 Edition of Advocate Capital, Inc.‘s Quarterly Newsletter is available. This quarter’s newsletter features a video of our Client of the Quarter Frank Tomeny of The Tomeny Law Firm, The Advocate Flexline™, Advotrac® updates and more.

 

Please share our valuable newsletter with your fellow trial attorneys. As noted in the newsletter, we pay referral fees for every law firm that you refer to us that joins our family of clients.

 

(View the full Winter 2015 Newsletter)

 

Tina Burns

Vice President

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Simon Law Group Honored Again

 

Advocate Capital Inc. Client Simon Law Group

 

Accolades continue for The Simon Law Group.

 

Advocate Capital Inc. client Robert SimonCongratulations to Robert Simon on winning the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego Trial Lawyer of the Year award. Mr. Simon will be honored with the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award on February 18th at the 57th Annual Awards & Installation Dinner.

 

Robert has dedicated his entire career to fighting for the injured. Robert Simon is co-founder of the Simon Law Group and acts as the primary trial attorney. He founded the firm with his twin brother/womb mate/best friend Brad Simon in late 2009. Since then the firm has grown from a couple of people to a trial firm recognized by its peers.

 

The Simon Law Group represents personal injury clients throughout Southern California. The firm was the winningest law firm for plaintiffs in ALL of California for the second year in a row (October 2014 through October 2015). 2014 was also a great year for The Simon Law Group, as seen in last year’s blog with Advocate Capital, Inc.

 

Advocate Capital, Inc. congratulates Robert and the entire Simon Law Group on receiving this prestigious award!

 

Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President

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Frank Tomeny – Part 4 of 4 – The Lawnmower Case

Click on the video to watch Mr. Swanson’s interview with Frank Tomeny, from Tomeny Law Firm, who talks about a case involving a landscape worker who was injured by a lawnmower.

Tina Burns

Vice President

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“Best Matters” to Rocky McElhaney & Nashvillians

 

Advocate Capital Inc.'s client “Best Matters” to Rocky McElhaney & Nashvillians

 

The Nashville Scene’s reader poll for the Best of 2015, voted Rocky McElhaney the Best Attorney in Nashville. Mr. McElhaney is quoted as follows:

 

The people spoke, and we heard them. To be named ‘the best’ at something – anything – is already a huge honor. My team and I are extremely proud of receiving this title. It’s important to let people know that not all law firms are created equal. When you need a lawyer, you don’t want just any lawyer you need the best lawyer.

 

Inspired by this prestigious award, Rocky’s team is launching a bold new campaign “Best Matters” this week. His powerful message will be highly visible on 18 billboards around middle Tennessee and 65 bus benches sprinkled around the City of Nashville. To spread the message even further, the firm is releasing its fifth national commercial.

 

To ring in the new campaign, thank existing clients and the community for its support, the firm has several giveaways planned. To learn more, click here for the full press release.

 

Advocate Capital, Inc. considers it an honor to support the important work done by trial lawyers like the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm as they pursue justice for all citizens.

 

Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President

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Chief Justice Roberts Urges Attorneys, Judges to Improve Federal Judicial System

 

 

Copyright: / 123RF Stock PhotoIn his recent Year-end Report on the Federal Judiciary, US Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts asks for less conflict in the judicial system.  According to a recent report in the Washington Post by Robert Barnes, Roberts “implored lawyers to work together and judges to take a more hands-on role to improve a federal litigation system that has grown ‘too expensive, time-consuming and contentious.’”

 

SCOTUS’s docket for this election year includes cases involving such controversial issues as abortion, affirmative action, and the Affordable Care Act.  According to the article, SCOTUS “is being challenged from forces outside the court desiring greater transparency.”

 

However, in his report, Roberts mentions none of these issues.  He concentrates on “changes that went into effect last month in the rules that govern practice in the federal courts.”  Roberts says these changes could move cases along more quickly, help alleviate “gamesmanship” in the discovery phase, and other delays.

 

Roberts writes, “I am hardly the first to urge that we must engineer a change in our legal culture that places a premium on the public’s interest in speedy, fair, and efficient justice.  But I am motivated to address the subject now because the 2015 civil rules amendments provide a concrete opportunity for actually getting something done.”

 

I agree with you, Chief Justice Roberts.  I just wish you had said something about ensuring full access to the courts for consumers.  We can still hope.

 

The full Washington Post article can be read here.

 

Paul B. Myers

Chief Credit Officer

 

Photo Credit :123RF Stock Photo

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New Year, New You? Wellness Programs for Small Businesses

 

Copyright : Andres RodriguezJust about every single firm we serve and talk to is considered to be a small business…with employees. Your firm faces rising healthcare costs, and your employees face a myriad of common health issues. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, the top 2 most common are physical activity/nutrition and overweight/obesity.

 

How can you proactively defray the rising costs of providing healthcare options to your employees? The answer could be instituting a wellness program.

 

Suzanne Lucas in a recent article in Inc. Magazine lays out some practical programs that have worked for other small businesses like yours:

 

  1. Give people their weekends back
  2. Make lunchtime fitness practical and possible
  3. Provide access to healthy food choices
  4. Leverage employees sense of competition
  5. Outsource the program

 

The benefits of a healthy workforce are many. Healthy employees will miss work less frequently, concentrate more effectively when they are there and your firm can save money on insurance costs. It’s a win-win and not as difficult as you might think.

 

You can read the article here to get started.

 

Here’s to a healthy and happy 2016!

 

Jeff Glueck

Vice President – Business Development

 

Photo Credit: Andres Rodriguez
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Settle & Conceal No More

 

Public JusticeOur friends at Public Justice featured a ruling this week that gives all Americans great news in their article, “Same Story, New Ending: Court Overturns Order Sealing Chrysler Defect Records” on January 12, 2016.”

 

(View entire article)

 

Writer Jennifer Bennett hit the nail on the head: corporations conceal deadly defects. Someone dies and the family files a lawsuit. Corporation settles quietly. Court records are sealed so nobody knows the story. The cycle continues ad nauseum.

 

This indeed is exactly how GM was able to hide the ignition switch defect for more than a decade.

 

Perhaps no more, at least not in the Ninth Circuit. Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit held that there is a strong presumption that ANY court record that is “more than tangentially related to the merits of a case” should be open to the public. Also, as part of the ruling in Velasco v. Chrysler, the court rejected Chrysler’s argument that this presumption should only apply to records that result in a final determination on the merits of the case.

 

This is a HUGE step forward for citizens and consumers everywhere! Corporate America will soon find it increasingly difficult to hide behind sealed court records just because a case settled before a court makes a “final” determination.

 

 As Ms. Bennett points out, Velasco is a classic example of the settle and conceal strategy. In this class action, Chrysler concealed a horrible defect that could cause cars (millions?) to stop without warning while being driven at full speed on the highway. Plaintiffs requested a preliminary injunction arguing that the defect was so dangerous that the court should require Chrysler to warn its drivers immediately. District Court denied the motion and sealed most of the plaintiffs’ evidence. Take a moment to read the entire Velasco opinion.

 

Public Justice intervened on behalf of the Center for Auto Safety to unseal the records.  Following several motions and hearings, the Ninth Circuit has changed the game so that corporations cannot simply settle out of disclosure. If corporate America wants records to remain sealed, it will now have to prove there are sufficient compelling reasons for secrecy that supersede the public’s open records presumption .

 

Many thanks Public Justice for this victory in keeping us all safe from the hidden agendas that override public safety and corporate profit. We at Advocate Capital, Inc. are thankful that someone is proactively working to ensure our safety and demand corporate accountability.

 

Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President

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Craig Carlson – Part 1 of 2 – Humble Beginnings

 

Click on the video to watch Part 1 of Mr. Swanson’s interview with Craig Carlson from The Carlson Law Firm, as he discusses how growing up in Nebraska and his time serving in the U.S. Army JAG Corps helps him serve his clients better.

 

 

Tina Burns

Vice President

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Meet Attorney Frank Tomeny

 

President and CEO Michael J. Swanson interviews Attorney Frank Tomeny of Tomeny Law Firm about his experience with Advocate Capital, Inc. and the amount the growth his firm has experienced.

 

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Advocate Capital, Inc. Rates A+ with Better Business Bureau®

 

Advocate Capital Inc. BBB A+ ratingAdvocate Capital, Inc. has been a proud A+ rated company for the Better Business Bureau® of Middle Tennessee & Southern Kentucky since March 2003.

 

The BBB has a 100 point scoring scale and uses letter grade ratings from A+ to F. To be rated A+, a company must score at least 97 points out of 100.

 

BBB rating is based on 13 factors from complaints to transparent practices. To view all 13 factors, click here. Other factors include a pledge to Excellence, Integrity, Self-Regulation, Trust and Respect.

 

Advocate Capital, Inc. is committed to helping plaintiff law firms get even better results for their clients by giving them access to the capital that they have tied up in case expenses. We are honored to have been given this rating, and will continue to do A+ work for our clients.

 

Michael J. Swanson

President and CEO

 

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Gain Peace of Mind in 2016: Create an Emergency Fund

 

Photo Credit: zimmytwsIf you have ever attended one of my “Law Firm Finance 101” seminars, you have heard me stress the importance of having emergency funds in place for both you and your law firm.

 

I recommend having at least six months’ worth of ordinary living and business expenses saved up and placed in savings accounts so that you can weather storms such as unexpected illnesses, economic downturns, etc.

 

 

If you are wondering how most people deal with unexpected expenses, click here to read a great article by Sheyna Steiner of Bankrate.com. In the article, Ms. Steiner shares recent research done by Princeton Survey Research Associates International that shows how typical Americans plan to deal with bumps in the economic road.

 

From the article:

Acting proactively rather than reactively to reduce spending should help you boost your savings and increase your peace of mind.  There’s no way to avoid unforeseen expenses, but having a plan in place for emergencies could help you sleep at night.

 

I could not agree more.  Make 2016 the year that you gain financial peace of mind by creating emergency funds for your family and your law firm!

 

Michael J. Swanson

President and Chief Executive Officer

 

Photo Credit: zimmytws
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The Top 12 iPhone Apps and Why They’re Useful to You

 

Copyright : shtanzmanIf you own an iPhone, odds are you’ve delved into the depths of the App Store. You can download an app for anything these days. From the iHandy Level to the oh-so-addictive Angry Birds mobile game, the applications are nearly limitless. Unfortunately, you won’t find any games on this list. This list is reserved for the Top 12 Most Useful Utility Apps according to Mashable.

 

In the article “The 12 most useful iPhone apps of all time,” you can review iPhone apps from the past and present, why they fizzled or succeeded and how they have paved the way for future tech endeavors. Take Bump, for instance. Once called the “business-card killer,” this app allows users to touch or ‘bump’ iPhones together to transfer information between devices. No matter how impressive your tech-savvy skills might be (or lack thereof), there’s an app on this list for everyone to try.

 

To see the full list and read the entire article, click here.

 

Tina Burns

Vice President

 

Photo Credit: shtanzman
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Advocate Capital, Inc. Releases The Advocate Flexline™

 

As seen on Yahoo! Finance, Reuters and Market Watch.

 

flexline2015 was an amazing year for Advocate Capital, Inc., funding more new law firm clients than all of their competitors combined. The year brought much success and growth, but 2016 looks like it will be even better for the Nashville, TN based provider of capital for plaintiff law firms throughout the US.

 

This month, Advocate Capital, Inc. is launching The Advocate Flexline™, a brand new product combination that gives contingent-fee law firms the most powerful funding solution ever available. This Best of Both Worlds™ law firm funding tool is a combination of the world’s best Case Expense Funding product (powered by AdvoTrac® and the renown Advocate Capital, Inc. service team, through which Advocate’s clients experience a net borrowing cost of less than 1% per year*) and up to one third of that Case Expense line available as Working Capital priced at Prime +1% with a 1% annual fee.**

 

“We are passionate about helping plaintiff law firms get the best possible results for their clients. Armed with The Advocate Flexline™, we’ll be able to help more law firms than ever before,” said Michael J. Swanson, President and CEO of Advocate.

 

To find out more about The Advocate Flexline™, readers can visit www.AdvocateCapital.com or call Advocate Capital, Inc. at 1.877.894.9724.

 

Advocate Capital, Inc. is the premier provider of strategic financial products and accounting services for successful trial law firms nationwide. They serve the plaintiff bar from their headquarters in Nashville, TN. and now enjoy a client base that extends from coast to coast.

 

* In most jurisdictions, a law firm can reduce its annual costs by passing borrowing costs through to its cases, but the compliance requirements can be too expensive to implement. Only Advocate Capital, Inc. has a proprietary expense tracking system and service team that allows firms to easily comply with allocation and reporting requirements. So, for example, if a firm recovers at least 90% of its borrowing costs from its cases, as most of our clients do, its annual cost of funds is very small – even less than 1%. Contact us to discuss how our program can work for your firm.  (All loans are subject to credit approval, and terms and conditions may vary.)

 

** The 1% annual fee is charged on the amount of Working Capital approval.  Qualifying firms agree that their Working Capital balance will not exceed the Case Expense balance of the loan.

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Join Our Amazing Team at Advocate Capital, Inc.

 

paralegal-certificationAs we continue the growth of our entire team in 2016, we are looking to add an outstanding paralegal professional to the Quality Assurance Group in our Metro Center (Nashville, TN) corporate headquarters.

 

If you are interested in the position or would like to recommend a candidate, please submit a resume for consideration.

 

The job posting is accessible here.

 

To learn more about our amazing company and culture, visit www.AdvocateCapital.com for more details.

 

Donna A. Jones

Senior Vice President

 

Photo Credit: Ekse Law Firm Blog
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Law Firm Content Marketing Goals for 2016

 

Copyright : kritchanut

In a recent article, LawLytics Community Manager Victoria Blute shares website content marketing problems some law firms may encounter and solutions to consider in 2016.

 

 

Here are a couple of her examples:

 

 

  • Problem: Content strategy alone isn’t enough.
    Solution: Write regular, meaningful material for your law firm’s website.
    “Content strategy shouldn’t consist of throwing a bunch of content (or keywords) against the wall and hoping something sticks — it should comprise careful planning, production, and management of the content that potential clients want to read. Writing authentic, specific content will help attorneys establish themselves as thought leaders in their practice area, and that can help attract potential clients.”
  • Problem: Failing to identify what makes your law firm unique.
    Solution: Clarify your law firm’s purpose.
    “Attorneys who clearly establish why they’ve decided to practice law and what their practice means to them may have an easier time connecting with potential clients because they’ll understand that you’re passionate about your practice and committed to doing great work — and that can help encourage positive feelings about your brand.”

 

(View the full article, “Attorneys: What Are Your Web Priorities in 2016?”)

 

Take some time this year to evaluate your law firm website and blog content. As Ms. Blute states, “By detailing your law firm’s purpose, discovering what content your readership wants to see and producing quality materials that answer specific questions, attorneys can put themselves in a position to improve their credibility, reputation and ultimately, their business.”

 

Tina Burns

Vice President

 

Photo Credit: kritchanut
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Case Expense Financing at a Net Cost of Less Than 1%*

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