Advantages of hiring personal injury law firm for your injuries.

Experiencing a personal injury can be the most traumatic experience for an individual especially when the injury is caused due to the negligence of someone else. Whether you have been injured, met with an accident or slipped or fallen at any place, you will need to seek compensation from the accused person. But you might not be able to handle this task on your own as you don’t have any experience and qualification for the same. This is the reason why you need to hire an attorney from a reliable and reputable personal injury law firm. This is the best way of getting assistance and guidance for your case so that the attorney will be present by your side throughout the legal proceedings. Before hiring an attorney, you should do proper research for making sure that you will get the legal professional for your case. You should discuss the details of the case so that you will get all kind of help from the personal injury attorney who will make sure that you will get the compensation that you are entitled to. This is especially important so that you can focus on your complete recovery after the injury while the attorney will pay attention to the personal injury claim and its procedures. It is a difficult thing to navigate on your own and you need to hire an attorney who will handle the entire court proceedings so that you can recover as quickly as possible. As an injury victim, you should make sure to hire experienced and skilled personal injury lawyer who will help you in managing your claim. This will also allow you to focus on your healing after the injury or accident because everything will be handled by the layer on your behalf.

Advantages of hiring personal injury law firm

Experience of the attorney

When you suffer from a serious and life threatening injury or accident, you might be devastated and you are unable to decide the next course of action you need to take. The best option for you is to hire an experienced attorney who will has been working in this field for past many years. This professional will offer you financial compensation with the help of civil lawsuit so that you will get the best assistance of the attorney. An experienced personal Injury attorney has handled case similar to yours for making sure that you will get the desired outcome. You will get services for getting the accused and negligent person punished while demanding compensation for the injuries that you have sustained.

Professionalism of the personal injury attorney

Any kind of accident can cause a lot of emotional upheaval for the victim and it might become difficult for him/her to lead a normal life after this mishap. But you will need to get your life back on track and this can be done with the help of compensation that you deserve from the guilty person. A professional and skilled attorney will make sure to go deep into your personal injury case for finding every details relating to the case. This is the best way of getting the settlement and compensation that you deserve so that you will be able to recover in the shortest possible time.

Matters concerning personal injury claim

Since the attorney is aware of the total worth of your claim, it becomes easier for you to get the compensation so that you will have ample time for dealing with your pain and suffering. Additionally, the attorney will also gather all the evidences that indicate the accused at fault and will show medical bills to the court so that you can get maximum compensation for your injuries. The insurance settlement will be done by the attorney on your behalf so that you will not have to worry about dealing with the insurance company. When you know the claim of your worth, you will be able to get financial benefits that you are entitled to. This is especially important for ensuring that the recovery process will be done smoothly without worrying about your finances.

Reduce stress with the help of attorney

The period after the injury is filled with a lot of pain, trauma and suffering especially when you don’t know what course of action that you will need to follow. This is the reason why you need to hire the most reputable personal injury law firm so that you will enjoy a reduction in your stress level. The attorney will do everything that is possible for alleviating your stress and anxiety so that you will enjoy complete peace of mind. Moreover, when you get professional assistance from the attorney, you will be able to manage post traumatic stress disorder that is caused after serious injuries or accident.

Get desired outcome with assistance from attorney

The attorney will help you in minimizing the risk caused due to the injury because you will get more time for your recovery while the attorney will handle everything on your behalf. This will be done keeping in mind your best interest so that you will not have to worry about finances. The compensation that you get from the guilty person is very helpful in recovering quickly so that you will enough money for paying the hospital bills and medical expenses. The attorney will also guide you through legal process so that your mental health will not be affected in any manner. The risk of being stressed or incapable will be eliminated completely when you hire an attorney who will keep your best interest in mind.

Personal injury attorney knows legal procedures

Hiring an experienced and qualified attorney is the best option for you because you will get assistance from someone who is aware of the entire procedure. Some cases are more difficult and complicated than it appears and only the best attorney will be able to handle the case on your behalf. Right from tracking the culprit, to gathering evidences or completing all the paperwork, everything will be done by the attorney. You will get complete peace of mind because your case is in the hands of an attorney who will make sure that you will get compensation for your injuries and sufferings.

10 Tips for Choosing a Law Firm

How to Outsource Legal Work at Your Law Firm?

Whether you need #legalassistance for your business operations or some criminal matters that you want settled, approaching the best law firm is the most vital step. Yet, drilling down to the right one is sometimes a hard rock to get over since many legal firms are available in the city. So, are you looking for a Law Firm in West Africa?

Getting down with some steps will assist you in hiring the best legal consulting services. Here are ten insightful points to ensure that you choose a reputable law firm for your case.
10 Tips for Choosing a Law Firm in West Africa

1) Know your case

The first thing you have to make straight is the case you want to present in a court of law. Be it an injury case, domestic or corporate case, choose the best legal presentation accordingly. Then, in your research, try and seek recommendations from friends and family members or a colleague who has an experience with the incident you are facing. Finally, by a button on your tablet, conduct due diligence by perusing the online reviews of a particular legal firm’s website and ensure you pick a top expert Firm.

2) How big is the legal Firm

Among the many factors to consider as you choose a law firm, the size carries a lot of weight because large legal firms mainly deal with corporate matters rather than individual cases. In contrast, small-sized legal Firms handle individual or business cases. Whichever legal assistant you choose, ensure you work with a Law Firm with all resources and lawyers to help you win your case.

3) Check the Experience of the Attorneys

Before choosing a legal firm, research to check the experience of their lawyers on the case you are presenting. You can also get more information about the lawyers by surfing through the Firm’s website and get a clear idea regarding their reputation. Doing such ensures that you hire only credible legal services increasing the chances of winning the case.

Also Read – “Tips for Hiring Business Formation Attorney in West Africa

4) Consider the Budget

Use of Debt Financing by Law Firms | Andrew Abramowitz, PLLC

Be keen to hire legal assistance from a law firm within your pocket power. While doing individual research, get an idea of fees charged by different law firms or attorneys so that monetary disagreements don’t arise in the middle of a case. Additionally, it’s wise to work with a law firm that imposes a bill on their day-to-day calls or emails. Ensure to clarify the Firm’s billing method before hiring the services.

Make sure the law firm you are choosing falls within your budget. It would help if you had a clear idea about the fees charged by the lawyers so that you do not face any monetary issues later. Also, enquire about the billing method accepted by the law firm whether they charge payment per hour or a fixed amount before hiring the lawyer.

Different legal firms have different billing processes. Avoid the ones that are way cheap as they will possibly offer shoddy legal assistance. If you are looking for a law firm in West Africa, get the one that will give top results despite their charges.

5) Client Reviews

Understanding what former clients of a said legal firm have to say is a wise move. The reputation of a company hides in the minds of its former clients. The past customer testimonials will help you get a clear insight into the capacity and capability of the law you want to engage. Avoid firms that their clients complain about and work with those that their presentation is credited.

6) Check the customer service of the Firm

Amidst stress and anxiety, all you will need is a partner who offers an ear and assures you of a better day. The same applies when you are seeking an attorney to represent you in a court of law. Choose a legal firm that will effectively listen and communicate with you on the court proceedings. A right legal firm should inform you on the merits and demerits of the measures that may occur and assist you in making the best decision.

Also Read – “Advantages of Hiring a Business Lawyer when Starting a Company

7) Locality

It is one of the most vital decisions that people forget to consider. The location is paramount when selecting a legal firm. A legal firm near your place would offer you better and comfortable legal services than a faraway Firm. If you live within the West Africa region, ensure that you source legal assistance from a law firm conversant with the region’s court laws. Also, consider the nature of the case before hiring a law firm.

For instance, if you need the legal assistance of a real estate matter, involving a local legal firm is ideal for you. On the other hand, for those seeking legal assistance on cases dealing with federal law, national attorneys would serve better.

8) Availability

Most important is the reachability of a law firm. How easy or difficult is the Firm to reach? Do they respond to phone calls or reply to emails in time? These and many more are the vital queries you should demand responses to. Also, investigate to know the current lawyer’s workload. If a law firm is engaged in many cases while utilizing a few of their attorneys, then their availability will not be what you expect.

9) Flexibility

Sometimes, during legal proceedings, there may arise unprecedented situations that would need particular attention. At such moment, the legal Firm you have contracted will be required to bear with you and have a rescheduled program for the same. Therefore, it is worth knowing whether the legal Firm is ready to offer its services flexibly.

Also Read – “When and How to Hire a Business Lawyer: The Complete Guide

10) Licenses and Registration

What technologies are law departments using? - Lawyers Weekly

When looking for a law firm in West Africa, you must work with the one that is legally authorized to operate. Unfortunately, there are several quacks in the streets, and you may never want to fall in their hands. So, conduct due diligence about the Firm’s operationalization and their age in the industry. This way, you will comfortably trust them with your case and money without worrying about their legality.

Suppose you are looking for legal assistance in West Africa. In that case, you must check on the experience, cost, availability, and legality of the law firm before signing a contract with them. So take your time and ensure the above-listed key points feature in the Firm that is about to stand in the bar for you.

Ready to discuss your needs and thoughts? Contact us and our team will be ready to assist you in your journey.

The Benefits of Working in a Large Law Firm

The Inconvenient Reality of Law Firm Security Challenges

The legal industry offers a wide range of job opportunities for attorneys across both private companies and government institutions. Many attorneys have a targeted plan for the sectors they seek to work in but others may be open to different varieties of work. Regardless, there are several characteristics and unique benefits that can come with getting a foot in the door at a big law firm.

Large law firms (also known as mega-firms or big law) are typically the most competitive when it comes to hiring. As such, these firms are also known to offer some of the greatest perks.

Read on for some of the top benefits and advantages gained from working in a large law firm.

High Salaries

Big law firms are known for paying the most. In 2018, the median annual salary for a lawyer was $120,910, according to the Department of Labor. In 2019, big law firms exceeded that level by approximately $35,000 for first-year associates. Big law firms often also have the resources to offer more comprehensive and substantial compensation packages including health care plans, wellness plans, reimbursements, and stock options.

Well-Credentialed Colleagues

Competitive hiring at large law firms means a collective workforce of highly accomplished, successful, and credentialed colleagues. Large law firms have shown they are willing to pay employees more and this filters to all levels of the firm often resulting in some of the most talented lawyers, paralegals, administrators, and operational professionals in the industry. Typically, large law firms will recruit from the best law schools in the world resulting in a full roster of lawyers and employees with prestigious credentials.

Sophisticated, Challenging Work

Large law firms are known for winning some of the most elite cases. This often results in high profile representation on sophisticated, complex matters. This can give lawyers at large law firms a wide range of superior experience. This also provides an intellectually challenging environment for law firm attorneys and paralegals. These firms attract high profile class action suits that require strong, large staffs to manage and try in court.  

Large, Diverse Client Bases

How Can Your Law Firm Benefit From Managed IT Services?

The clients of large law firms tend to be more plentiful and diverse than those of smaller firms. A large, diversified client base makes it less likely that the firm will encounter financial difficulty if a client takes its business elsewhere.

Diversity can also add to a broader range of experience and knowledge. Moreover, many of the mega-firms have multi-jurisdictional practices and multiple locations across the globe, allowing lawyers and paralegals to serve international clients as well.

Extensive Firm Resources

Large law firms are usually built out with a very robust infrastructure of resources from both a technological and collective networking perspective. Advantages may include mentoring, cross-referenced advice, comprehensive on-site copy and mailing centers, and in-depth research access.

Lawyers at big law firms also usually have the benefit of a comprehensive support staff for assistance including administrators, secretaries, proofreaders, project managers, paralegals, marketing specialists, documentation clerks, and more. 

Luxurious Offices in Prime Locations

Large law firms often invest in luxurious offices, usually located in many of the world’s legal and business hubs. Buildings are typically spacious, easily accessible, and built with many added amenities such as full-service cafeterias, in-house gyms, restaurants, and elaborate meeting rooms for clients and recruits.

Well-Developed Training Programs

Large law firms often invest in comprehensive training and mentoring programs for all of their employees and specifically the lawyer base. Examples of these training programs may include elaborate summer associate programs, new employee onboard training, in-house educational programs, support for continuing education, groups for various initiatives, and a variety of sessions for continued growth and learning opportunities.

Significant Advancement Opportunities

Many large law firms are based on clear organizational hierarchies with defined opportunities and milestones for advancement. This can lead to more opportunities for growth as well as clearly defined steps for promotion. Many lawyers enter a big law firm with a long-term career plan that includes progression from several associate and partner levels, ultimately becoming a senior partner. 

Pro Bono Initiatives

Large law firms frequently establish pro bono and public service programs that encourage lawyers and paralegals to commit a certain number of hours to help the community and under-served populations, such as children and the elderly. This can be helpful because many bar associations require ongoing pro bono participation for membership.

Name Recognition

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Large law firms get a lot of attention in the legal industry and their company names are associated with a certain level of prestige. This is usually justifiable given the sophisticated caseloads, credentialed case teams, superior training, and publicized thought leadership.

Oftentimes, large law firms are highly regarded for their name brand as well as the many high-profile clients and complex cases they are involved with. Comprehensively, the name recognition can look very good on a resume if lawyers decide to move on to other opportunities.

Contact us for more information.

Understand the importance of law firm efficiency

The Inconvenient Reality of Law Firm Security Challenges

Attorneys at small- to mid-sized law firms know there is usually more work than time in most days. That’s just how it is when you are staffed to provide legal services, but not necessarily marketing, office administration, accounting, or any of the other responsibilities that larger law firms can delegate to dedicated personnel. This is more than just an inconvenient fact of life. It’s a potentially fatal flaw, because administrative duties pull attorneys away from profitable work, thus dragging down a firm’s efficiency and putting its overall viability at risk.

“Efficiency” can be defined as the time it takes to complete a given task. In a law firm context, it pertains to the time and effort needed to carry a matter from intake to paid invoice. Obviously, the more efficient this process, the better a firm’s bottom line. And yet, an overwhelming majority of firms have ignored streamlining this area of their operations.

In a report from the Thomson Reuters Institute, 74% of the 400 law firm respondents said spending too much time on administrative tasks was at least a “moderate” challenge. That’s up 2% from the previous year. While it’s a small uptick, it shows that firms failed to make headway on this challenge. Not only that, it is becoming more of a problem.

That point is underscored by how law firms define “success.” 85% say it’s based on overall profits. By clogging a lawyer’s day with non-billable work, inefficiency corrodes profits and dilutes the most important measure of success for many firms.

If any further proof is needed, consider these 3 areas where a lack of efficiency creates serious structural problems:

How Can Your Law Firm Benefit From Managed IT Services?

Client dissatisfaction: In the era of on-demand entertainment and restaurant-to-door delivery service, is it any wonder clients want results immediately? That may not be possible, of course, but it’s still true that a lawyer who is not able to operate efficiently cannot attend to client matters quickly. The less time a lawyer has to spend on non-client work, the more quickly any given billable task can be handled.

Lower-quality work product: Quality legal work demands focus, and that’s hard to do when you’re dealing with issues other than practicing law. Attorneys who focus primarily on their clients’ matters produce a much higher-quality finished product that leads to happier, more loyal customers.

Attorney burnoutBurnout is a tremendous issue for the legal profession. For lawyers at small- to mid-sized firms, a major cause is trying to do everything alone. When “everything” includes too much non-billable work, lawyers become exhausted performing tasks that don’t bring in any money. That is inefficiency at its worst.

In the end, no attorney needs another thing on his or her plate. Efficiency is worthy of special consideration, however. Because, in its absence, the prospect of ultimate failure increases.

10 out of the box questions to ask a law firm interviewer

Being assertive in an interview

Any candidate going for an interview has to have a level of preparedness in them to be successful. Being able to answer questions confidently and accurate is the secret code to cracking any interview.

However, you can go one step better to catch your interviewer’s attention with the kind of questions you ask. If you’re being interviewed at a law firm, here are 10 out-of-the-box questions that you can ask your interviewer.

What stands out for you in my CV to make you believe that I can handle this role?

This question is one that allows you to get insight from your interviewer. If you’re doing well enough and they’re considering you, you’ll know from the response, and the same thing applies if you aren’t doing well enough. If it’s the latter, you might get some ideas on making your resume better from their response.

What qualities do I need to be successful at this job?

This question passes an air of confidence and optimism around you like you know you already have the job and are looking to do well. This is impressive for any interviewer, and you’re sure going to learn a thing or two about the necessary qualities you need.

 

What’s your most exciting work experience since you’ve been at the firm?

This is a personal question to the interviewer, and if they’re going to answer it, they’ll have to be personal in their answer. What this does is to make you both familiar and create an atmosphere of friendliness between you both. This is good to ease tension (if you’re tense) and make you more relaxed.

Who would I work closely with if I’m in this position?

This question allows you to know more about the role you’re interviewing for at the firm. You also get to learn about people you’ll be working with and their respective roles. What’s more? It creates anticipation between interviewer and interviewee and shows you’re eager to work at the firm.

If I’m to work with you in this role, how would you utilise my skill set?

This is an ideal question for when you’ll be working closely with your interviewer at the firm (if you’re employed). It turns the table against them. Now you’re interviewing them because you believe in your skill set and what you’re bringing to the firm. Trust me; they wouldn’t want to lose you.

What’s the outlook for this firm in the next five years?

As a professional, your personal growth is essential, and the firm you work at can either hinder you or help you grow. So, it’s smart of you to ask about how the firm is evolving. If the firm isn’t growing, you’ll likely not grow too.

Why did you decide to work for this firm?

Ideally, this is a question that they should ask you or might have asked you. Here you are turning the table against them. Their response to this question will give you an idea of what the firm is like and its evolution in recent years.

What’s the biggest challenge the firm is currently facing?

Every company faces one form of the problem or the other at different times of their existence. So, the firm interviewing you may have challenges they’re yet to resolve. Some of these challenges might stem from the industry’s evolution, technology changes, the need for new strategies, etc. You have to know your new employers’ significant concerns, so you know what you’re coming into. You’ll discover challenging areas for the firm by asking this question and how your skill set can be an effective solution for them.

What’s the biggest opportunity that the firm has currently?

There are specific questions that you have to ask during the interview process for the sake of your personal and professional growth. This is another one of those questions. If the company has a good record of finding and exploring new business opportunities, that’s a positive sign. It means that they have something to offer you. This could mean that you have a workplace with a stable environment where you’ll have the opportunity to move your career forward.
When you ask a question like this, it gives the interviewer an idea that you want the firm to succeed and care for its growth.

 

Are there any concerns that might disqualify me from this job?

Most of the time, companies require a particular skill set from their prospects and have to satisfy this before you’re considered for the job. You’re being interviewed because you meet some qualifications, but there are other candidates, and they may have more of the skill set that the company needs.
When you ask a question like this, you can get an idea of whether or not you’ll be getting the job. If not, you’ll know those things you need to improve on and the skill sets you have to hone.

Conclusion

While you have the opportunity to ask questions during the interview process, that’s primarily not your role, and the interviewer isn’t obliged to answer all your questions. However, you can make an impression with some of these questions. Contact us for more information.

7 skills for a successful law career

Commercial awareness

What Is Commercial Awareness And Why Is It Important?

One of the most important skills lawyers need, it basically means possessing knowledge of current developments in local, national and world business, particularly any issues that impact a law firm and its clients.

Firms expect employees to market their services to prospective clients, as well as develop trusting relationships with existing ones. Ultimately, law firms are businesses, so lawyers must appreciate the commercial importance of meeting deadlines, keeping costs low and handling information confidentially.

A client, meanwhile, expects their lawyer to fully understand how their business is run, and which wider social, political and economic issues may affect them. If applicable, lawyers must also appreciate the short, medium and long-term implications of their client’s business proposal, and think strategically about the organisation’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This enables the lawyer to provide pragmatic, business-minded legal advice to the best of their ability.

Improve your commercial awareness by:

  • becoming a committee member of a university club or society
  • browsing specialist websites such as RollOnFriday, LawCareers.Net, The Lawyer, Legal Cheek and Legal Futures
  • gaining work experience at a commercial organisation such as a bar, call centre, department store or, if possible, a law firm
  • going on a gap year, as this will develop your budgeting, scheduling and cost-cutting skills, and give you an international perspective on business issues
  • joining industry-specific forums that allow you to attend seminars and network with business professionals
  • listening to business-related podcasts or radio shows, such as BBC Radio 4’s Today programme
  • reading business publications such as the Financial Times and The Economist, and the business pages of a daily newspaper such as The Times
  • watching business-related television programmes such as Newsnight and Panorama.

You’ll be expected to show commercial awareness during the application process by demonstrating a thorough knowledge of the firm you’re applying to. It’s also likely that you’ll be tested during an assessment day. You may be asked questions such as:

  • What business deal or story has most interested you recently?
  • In x business deal what role did the firm play?
  • How could the firm prepare for an economic downturn?

Attention to detail

Attention To Detail - STUMINGAMES

Accuracy is pivotal to the success of your legal career. A single word out of place can change the meaning of a clause or contract, while misspelt or ungrammatical emails, letters or documents give clients a bad impression, costing your firm their business.

When applying for jobs or training contracts remember that employers look for spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors. If your cover letter is vague, too long or littered with spelling mistakes, a recruiter may question what a potential client would make of your letter of advice. To improve attention to detail, volunteer your proofing services to student publications and get used to going through your own work with a fine-tooth comb.

Communication

How to Use Technology to Streamline Communication in the Office –  Technology Signals

Strong oral and written communication skills are crucial and without them you’ll struggle to carry out the duties of a solicitor effectively. Excellent listening ability is also important when working with clients, as you need to be able to build relationships and engender confidence.

You need to be a confident speaker when arguing a case in court, negotiating settlements and explaining complex information to clients. You’ll have to use persuasive, clear and succinct language. Public speaking is also required in the role of a barrister. To hone this skill while at university, volunteer as the spokesperson in group activities or get involved in debate teams.

Written ability is equally important when drafting letters and legal documents. You’ll need to know technical and legal language and be able to convey it clearly and concisely. To improve your written communication skills, get involved with your university’s law society. You could take meeting minutes, draft emails, write newsletters or manage social media accounts.

Teamwork

You’ll work alongside a variety of people and winning cases will be a team effort. Solicitors need to collaborate with colleagues and partners in their firm, as well as liaise with clients. Barristers need to foster a close working relationship with their clerks and will often work high-profile cases alongside other barristers. The ability to work as part of a team is essential and you’ll need to be able to deal with people from all levels of the legal hierarchy, from trainees and pupils, to members of the judiciary.

It’s also vital that clients trust their legal representatives, so you’ll need to be personable, persuasive and polite.

The easiest way to hone your people skills is to join a team. This could be a sports team, drama club or choir – anything that enables you to work with others. Alternatively, get involved with editing the student newspaper or join a debating society. Part-time work in a customer service role is another way to improve this skill. Discover how to balance work and study.

Information analysis and research

Reading large amounts of information, absorbing facts and figures, analysing material and distilling it into something manageable is a feature of any law career.

Being able to identify what is relevant out of a mass of information and explain it clearly and concisely to your client is key. Hone this skill by taking large documents or long news articles and making five-point bulleted lists of the most important themes.

Research also plays a huge role in a lawyer’s day-to-day job. You’ll need research skills when doing the background work on a case, drafting legal documents and advising clients on complicated issues. Use your time at university to familiarise yourself with internet and library resources and build up a network of contacts. As a newly qualified solicitor or barrister industry connections can prove to be a useful source of advice.

Organisation

Researching points of law, drafting legal documents and contracts, managing case files, meeting clients, attending court and networking with legal professionals – it’s fair to say that the life of a solicitor or barrister is one big juggling act. The ability to prioritise and remain focused among competing priorities is essential and that’s why organisational skills are so important.

You’ll have plenty of opportunity to hone this skill throughout your training and work experience. To demonstrate it to employers you could mention how you held down a part-time job or the membership of a society while studying. Or perhaps you organised an event.

Creative problem solving

Some may think that the legal profession provides little outlet for an individual’s creative talent but this simply isn’t the case. No matter which legal career you choose you’ll frequently have to think outside the box to get the job done.

As all experienced solicitors and barristers know, the best course of action isn’t always the easiest or the most obvious. To outmanoeuvre opposing parties and secure a positive result for your client you’ll need to employ your creative thinking and problem-solving skills on an almost daily basis.

A good way to develop these abilities is to take part in student competitions, such as mooting, become a student representative or gain a position on your students’ union.

Other useful skills

  • Resilience and self-confidence – when it comes to standing out from the crowd, determination and enthusiasm go a long way – as does resilience and confidence in your own abilities. Don’t be overwhelmed by difficulties in securing a training contract or pupillage. Have the confidence to apply (and re-apply if necessary), seeking and acting upon feedback. Do you need to develop your skills further or gain a better understanding of the profession? Do you know how to sell your experience against the skills required?
  • Initiative – while being able to work successfully as part of a team is essential, there’ll be instances where you have to show initiative and independence. You’ll sometimes have to make quick decisions, without conferring with colleagues.
  • The ability to work under pressure – solicitors and barristers manage heavy workloads to tight deadlines and the outcome of this work has the potential to have a lasting impact on the lives of their clients.

Thanks to law courses and legal work experience many students and graduates already have these skills and the potential to succeed, but they just don’t know how to use relevant examples to illustrate these abilities. It takes practice to get it right. If you are interested just contact us for more information.

What Does A Personal Injury Lawyer Do?

Personal injury lawyers appear to be everywhere these days: TV, radio, billboards, movie theaters, YouTube, newspapers, magazines, and social media. But what do they do?

In simple terms, personal injury lawyers are lawyers that help people who have been physically or psychologically injured as the result of the negligence or intentional act of another party.

Personal injury lawyers are civil lawyers. They primarily handle negligence and intentional tort cases. Civil lawyers are typically retained to recover money from one person on behalf of another. When a person brings a civil action against another, a civil lawyer is usually retained to bring the lawsuit. The injured party will hire a personal injury lawyer when a dispute involves reimbursement or payment of medical expenses from an injury. Once retained, a personal injury lawyer will attempt to negotiate a settlement of the case. The personal injury lawyer will subsequently file a lawsuit if negotiation fails. A lawsuit is a civil legal action where one party sues another for money or property. The person suing is typically called the plaintiff. The defendant is the person sued.https://www.youtube.com/embed/CPEmlUKC5rU

What Types of Cases Do Personal Injury Lawyers Handle?

Personal injury lawyers handle several types of negligence cases that involve car accidents, truck accidents, aviation accidents, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, child daycare negligence, wrongful death cases, and other types of negligence cases. Negligence occurs when someone fails to use reasonable care to avoid causing injury or loss to another person. In other words, negligence occurs when one person carelessly injures another person.

For example, in a Florida motor vehicle accident or trucking accident, negligence occurs when one person carelessly operates a motor vehicle and causes damage or injury to another. In a Florida premises liability case, negligence occurs when a premises owner carelessly maintains his or her premises, such that the premises cause injury to another (i.e., a slip and fall or trip and fall case). In medical malpractice or medical negligence cases, negligence occurs when a medical professional fails to provide the standard of medical care that a reasonably prudent medical professional would have provided under similar circumstances. Finally, a products liability case arises when a manufacturer places a defective product into the stream of commerce that causes harm to consumers. In these situations, a personal injury lawyer is retained to negotiate the potential case and file a lawsuit against the defendant.

Alternatively, an intentional tort occurs where a person intentionally causes injury to another. For example, a car accident is simply that — an accident. In a car accident case, there is no intent to harm you, only negligence on the part of the negligent driver. However, an intentional tort occurs when a person intentionally rams another vehicle, or assaults or batters another person. In some cases, businesses are liable where an employee intentionally touches, strikes, or batters a customer.

If you believe that you have been a victim of negligence or an intentional tort, call us.

Latham & Watkins LLP

About Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham is one of the world’s largest law firms, a bona fide member of the clique that includes the Magic Circle and the elite U.S. heritage firms. With more than 2,800 attorneys in 29 offices around the world, Latham practices in all the major jurisdictions in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and regularly represents companies doing business in Latin America and Africa. The firm is a global leader in corporate transactions, environmental law, finance matters, litigations and trials, and tax services.

Small Shop Gets Super Sized

Dana Latham—former commissioner of the IRS—and Paul Watkins founded the firm in 1934 to focus on tax and employment law. In the latter part of the 20th century, the firm began aggressively and steadily expanding around the globe. The firm’s largest office is its New York location—the firm is preparing to move into an iconic new space on Sixth Avenue. Despite its sprawling footprint, Latham has long disavowed the notions of headquarters and “satellite” offices, with the firm proudly touting its “one-firm” culture. Latham extends this cultural ideal in a truly unique way: by including an equal number of partners and associates on its Associates Committee, which plays a central role in the firm’s evaluation and promotion process as well as in determining associate compensation and other policy issues.

Wide-Ranging Experiences

Junior associates at Latham are part of the firm’s “Unassigned Program” and can experience assignments across areas—which at Latham includes multiple top-ranked practices. In Vault’s recent practice area rankings, the firm placed in a whopping 25 areas. The firm’s recognized practices are wide-ranging and include everything from environmental law and project finance to health care and securities to intellectual property and white-collar defense—plus so much more.

But just because juniors are unassigned doesn’t mean they have no direction; the firm offers extensive training at all levels. First years are trained through the firm’s core curriculum, which focuses on practical lawyering skills like legal research, persuasive writing, contract drafting, practice management, document review, due diligence, and more. The firm also offers training academies that take place over several days and are based on specific skill levels from summer associates all the way through new partners.

Perks for Parents

In addition to the firm’s generous parental leave policies (we’re talking up to 26 weeks of paid leave for birth mothers, 22 weeks of paid leave for adoptive parents, and 14 weeks of paid leave for other parents), Latham also helps new parents transition into and out of parental leave through its PRO-RATA program, which is a “pace reduction” program that provides an automatic option to work at reduced hours for six months prior to and after returning from leave. Nursing mothers who travel for business can take advantage of breastmilk shipping, and this resource is also available to the spouses and domestic partners of Latham attorneys who don’t have access to a similar program through their employers. And benefit-wise, the firm offers both surrogacy reimbursement and financial assistance for adoptions and fertility treatments. No wonder the firm has been recognized as one of Working Mothers “Best Law Firms for Women” for more than 10 years.

COVID-19 Update

Latham held a substantive and rewarding summer associate program that took place virtually. We used advanced digital tools and technologies to ensure a successful program filled with meaningful substantive experiences and virtual exposure to the firm’s people, work, and culture. Summer program highlights include exclusive panels with speakers from Nasdaq and RBC Capital Markets, as well as workshops with world-renowned law professors on legal writing, negotiations, and authenticity in the workplace.

Latham is committed to hiring the best and brightest talent, and we continue to engage with recruits remotely.

News & Awards

RECENT NEWS

May 2020

Latham has an extensive relationship advising Facebook on matters ranging from M&A to litigation. Recent work includes representing Facebook in the acquisition of Giphy, an online database and search engine that provides a library of animated GIFs and stickers. Latham is also defending Facebook against a consolidated consumer class action regarding a criminal attack on Facebook’s web platform affecting approximately 29 million users globally. Through successful dispositive motions, the firm narrowed the case to a single named plaintiff pursuing a single cause of action and defeated class certification on a $6 billion damages claim for alleged identity theft.

April 2020

Latham was hired by the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) to replace its former counsel in a high-profile dispute with the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (WNT) regarding equal pay. Latham filed its first brief within a week of being hired, dropping prior counsel’s offensive arguments and reframing USSF’s legitimate defenses. The Court granted summary judgment for USSF on all of the WNT’s pay claims, acknowledging that USSF did right by the women players on everything it controls.

January 2020

Alongside the firm’s commercial work, Latham’s pro bono practice has developed into one of the world’s largest. In 2019, 98 percent of Latham’s U.S. lawyers participated; its lawyers around the globe opened nearly 900 matters and provided more than 224,000 hours of free legal services, valued at more than $172 million. Latham lawyers and staff pursue pro bono engagements in nearly every area of public interest law.

April 2019

Latham represented Daiichi Sankyo, a Japanese-based pharmaceutical company, in a groundbreaking $6.9 billion global agreement with AstraZeneca to co-develop and commercialize a clinical-stage novel antibody-drug product for cancer treatment, which was announced in April 2019. This has been a major development for the treatment of HER2 expressing diseases, including breast and gastric cancer. NOTABLE CASES

  • Latham advised Virgin Galactic on its merger with Social Capital Hedosophia, to create the world’s first publicly traded commercial human spaceflight company.
  • Latham represented Spotify in its groundbreaking direct listing in 2018, the largest innovation in becoming public since the Google Dutch auction model in 2004.
  • Latham obtained a company-saving result for Puma Biotechnology in the only private federal securities class action to reach a jury verdict in nearly 10 years.
  • The firm’s many appearances before the Supreme Court include the successful defense of the University of Texas’s use of race as a factor in admissions.

AWARDS & ACCOLADES

Why Work Here

Latham’s Summer Associates Program

Lawyernomics 2017 Day 2 recap: How to be an entrepreneur, a lawyer, and a therapist for stressed out clients

In today’s online, demand-driven economy, understanding how to place the right bets on yourself and your practice is an important tool to have in your toolkit. The second day of Lawyernomics 2017 focused on what it means to be an entrepreneur in a changing industry, how to position your brand across platforms, and how to best support clients who are in a stressful legal situation.

Betting big in business

Las Vegas is about a lot of things, from hospitality, gambling, to entertainment, but at the heart of it, the city is really about people aspiring for a better tomorrow. And part of achieving that success, according to Tom Breitling, serial entrepreneur and author, is about taking risk and placing bets on yourself and your business. Here are a few ways you can leverage the Breitling mindset:

  1. Listen to customers. If you listen to your customers, they will give you the answers you need to build a successful business. Listen to what they want; don’t tell them what you think they need.
  2. Trust your partners – and your lawyers. Surround yourself with people you trust to help build your business. Without trust, success becomes much more challenging to achieve.
  3. Not every bet pays off, but don’t be afraid of failure. Losses can feel like a punch to the gut. But failure is a fact of life, and experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted – and that experience is important.

The future of law in 30 minutes: three dynamic speakers share their vision for our profession in 6 minutes each

In six minutes and exactly 20 slides each, three speakers presented their argument for why what they contribute to the legal industry will help shape law in a positive way. Dan Lear, Director of Industry Relations at Avvo, encouraged attendees to take off their lawyer hats and listen to these visions of the future.

  1. Andrew Arruda on Artificial Intelligence. While many might think that AI is new, it’s actually been around for decades – and it’s not about robots. It’s software that is built to help human perform tasks more efficiently (in other words, your career is safe).
  2. Vanessa Vasquez de Lara on working to live, not living to work. You can design your firm to work for you if you are intentional about your life and work goals. If you’re failing to plan, you’re planning to fail. “My priorities are my family and vacations,” said Vanessa. “I take the time to plan and create the firm to allow me the time to do those things.” And make sure you hire the right people to help you – don’t spend your time on non-lawyer work.
  3. Nicole Abboud on how Millennials think. Growing you network online is a matter of deciding which neighborhoods you want to live in: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Then, you can become a great neighbor by posting useful content to those who live next door.

In the hot seat: understanding how client stress can help grow your business

People with legal problems are stressed out. And stress makes people behave in ways they normally don’t, impairing their ability to think clearly. While this isn’t exactly new news for lawyers, the fact that you can help mitigate stress for your clients might be. Here are a few tips from Nika Kabiri, Director of Strategic Insights at Avvo:

  1. Communicate with your clients in a way that reduces stress. Provide them with clear information about what to expect from you and the legal process – and explain how you will help them resolve their legal issue.
  2. Understand that your clients may not remember things. Stress makes people forgetful. Repeat what you’ve told them both in-person, via email, and over the phone.
  3. Tell your clients what the final bill will be when possible. Seventy-seven percent of legal consumers worry about the price. Offering unbundled services or flat-rate billing can help alleviate this stress.

Reboot your law practice – you can learn to have a successful law practice

The legal industry is evolving and changing every day, making it challenging to be sure you’re staying in front of your target audience. Scott Limmer, lawyer and host of Reboot Your Law Practice podcast, explained how attorneys can stay relevant and thrive.

  1. Do a market evaluation. Understand how many potential clients there are versus how many lawyers are in your practice area and geography. This will help you pinpoint your market opportunity and business objectives.
  2. Learn how to be more efficient and productive. Evaluate your daily work and prioritize it by what tools you have available to do that work (do you have some down time in court and can write a quick blog post?), time available (is 30 minutes enough?), and energy reserves to complete the task. Check out The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Business Don’t Work and What to Do About It and Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business for additional tips and tricks.
  3. Make sure you are acting as the CEO of your business. Create a business plan so that you have a clear vision of where you are going. Understand where you acquire your clients, where your time is being spent, and evaluate your income and expenses. You can and should hire help if you need it, just make sure you are in charge. It’s your business.

Betting on your brand

As a frequent legal commentator on local and national news stations including Fox News and CNN, and a regular contributor to Avvo’s Lawyernomics blog and industry publications, Jennifer Brandt, Co-Chair Family Law Department at Cozen O’Connor, has honed a successful brand as a thought leader and family law expert. She discussed the importance of building a brand as part of your overall marketing plan, and offered a few starting tips to help frame your personal and practice brand (s):

  1. Branding works best when we stay true to our authentic selves. Think about your best qualities and develop them. Understand the competition bud don’t feel compelled to copy. Clearly define your goals – where do you want to go?
  2. The relationships between brands and people needs to be made and remade. Reinforce what established the relationship in the first place, what attracted people to your brand, and make sure you stay true to that and your audience. You are often your business.
  3. Don’t let your bio get stale. Everything that you do, update your bio, your profile, your blog. Link your social profiles together when you have something to share – an event you’re attending, a speaking engagement, a new case – and give your clients and community a holistic view of what you offer at all times, from whatever platform they find you on.

Refine your LinkedIn message; communicate your personal and firm’s brand

As clients, lawyers, and other professionals all use LinkedIn to connect with other business-minded professionals, leveraging this social networking platform can have excellent benefits for your business growth. Marc W. Halpert, LinkedIn Trainer and Evangelist, shared tips for how to best optimize and manage their personal profile page whilst keeping branding and professional networking in mind:

  1. You are never a finished product. Always be evolving, learning, and innovating. There are always new ideas to adopt into your law practice, and you never know where these new things will take you.
  2. Know why you do what you do, and how your qualifications help your clients hire you. Your past determines your present, and your present determines your future. The skillset and value proposition you offer today will follow you into the future. You are in command of your future – it will offer you new opportunities when you tell why you and the skills and values you possess propel you.
  3. Be mindful of the words and headshot you use on your profile. Mix it up. Say what you need to say in your summaries on profiles, and make sure your photo communicates what you want your clients to think of you. Change up your language every once in a while. Share the why of what you do – convey your experience, passion, and what you’ll do for them.

Pro tip for LinkedIn – turn off your notification settings. You may not want all of your updates to be captured.

The report cards you never see

With an increasingly competitive market, it’s essential for lawyers to understand how their clients assess their performance so that they can maximize the generation of new business. Rob Thomas, VP Sales at Latitude Connect, walked us through actionable steps to ensure that you successfully serve and retain your clients:

  1. Adopt a satisfaction strategy. Send updates, minimize surprises. Provide status on a regular basis to reinforce value-adds. Discuss evaluation process. Understand rating system and ask for feedback.
  2. Keep correspondence simple for your clients. Be clear and concise in your communications with clients, whether it’s over email, on the phone, etc. Keep the contents down to tasks, meetings, decisions, and documents.
  3. Set realistic expectations. If you’re being judged on the criterion, make sure you’re a part of the process. Clarify value added. Explain challenges, quantify outcomes, share lessons learned.

Thank you for a fantastic Lawyernomics 2017! We enjoyed the past couple of days with all of the amazing attorney and sponsors who were able to make it to Las Vegas this year. Mark your calendars now for May 21 – 23, 2018, when Lawyernomics will take place at the Venetian Las Vegas.

[Read More …]

Thank you for reading our blog here at Smith Kendall Law Firm

In today’s online, demand-driven economy, understanding how to place the right bets on yourself and your practice is an important tool to have in your toolkit. The second day of Lawyernomics 2017 focused on what it means to be an entrepreneur in a changing industry, how to position your brand across platforms, and how to best support clients who are in a stressful legal situation.

Betting big in business

Las Vegas is about a lot of things, from hospitality, gambling, to entertainment, but at the heart of it, the city is really about people aspiring for a better tomorrow. And part of achieving that success, according to Tom Breitling, serial entrepreneur and author, is about taking risk and placing bets on yourself and your business. Here are a few ways you can leverage the Breitling mindset:

  1. Listen to customers. If you listen to your customers, they will give you the answers you need to build a successful business. Listen to what they want; don’t tell them what you think they need.
  2. Trust your partners – and your lawyers. Surround yourself with people you trust to help build your business. Without trust, success becomes much more challenging to achieve.
  3. Not every bet pays off, but don’t be afraid of failure. Losses can feel like a punch to the gut. But failure is a fact of life, and experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted – and that experience is important.

The future of law in 30 minutes: three dynamic speakers share their vision for our profession in 6 minutes each

In six minutes and exactly 20 slides each, three speakers presented their argument for why what they contribute to the legal industry will help shape law in a positive way. Dan Lear, Director of Industry Relations at Avvo, encouraged attendees to take off their lawyer hats and listen to these visions of the future.

  1. Andrew Arruda on Artificial Intelligence. While many might think that AI is new, it’s actually been around for decades – and it’s not about robots. It’s software that is built to help human perform tasks more efficiently (in other words, your career is safe).
  2. Vanessa Vasquez de Lara on working to live, not living to work. You can design your firm to work for you if you are intentional about your life and work goals. If you’re failing to plan, you’re planning to fail. “My priorities are my family and vacations,” said Vanessa. “I take the time to plan and create the firm to allow me the time to do those things.” And make sure you hire the right people to help you – don’t spend your time on non-lawyer work.
  3. Nicole Abboud on how Millennials think. Growing you network online is a matter of deciding which neighborhoods you want to live in: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Then, you can become a great neighbor by posting useful content to those who live next door.

In the hot seat: understanding how client stress can help grow your business

People with legal problems are stressed out. And stress makes people behave in ways they normally don’t, impairing their ability to think clearly. While this isn’t exactly new news for lawyers, the fact that you can help mitigate stress for your clients might be. Here are a few tips from Nika Kabiri, Director of Strategic Insights at Avvo:

  1. Communicate with your clients in a way that reduces stress. Provide them with clear information about what to expect from you and the legal process – and explain how you will help them resolve their legal issue.
  2. Understand that your clients may not remember things. Stress makes people forgetful. Repeat what you’ve told them both in-person, via email, and over the phone.
  3. Tell your clients what the final bill will be when possible. Seventy-seven percent of legal consumers worry about the price. Offering unbundled services or flat-rate billing can help alleviate this stress.

Reboot your law practice – you can learn to have a successful law practice

The legal industry is evolving and changing every day, making it challenging to be sure you’re staying in front of your target audience. Scott Limmer, lawyer and host of Reboot Your Law Practice podcast, explained how attorneys can stay relevant and thrive.

  1. Do a market evaluation. Understand how many potential clients there are versus how many lawyers are in your practice area and geography. This will help you pinpoint your market opportunity and business objectives.
  2. Learn how to be more efficient and productive. Evaluate your daily work and prioritize it by what tools you have available to do that work (do you have some down time in court and can write a quick blog post?), time available (is 30 minutes enough?), and energy reserves to complete the task. Check out The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Business Don’t Work and What to Do About It and Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business for additional tips and tricks.
  3. Make sure you are acting as the CEO of your business. Create a business plan so that you have a clear vision of where you are going. Understand where you acquire your clients, where your time is being spent, and evaluate your income and expenses. You can and should hire help if you need it, just make sure you are in charge. It’s your business.

Betting on your brand

As a frequent legal commentator on local and national news stations including Fox News and CNN, and a regular contributor to Avvo’s Lawyernomics blog and industry publications, Jennifer Brandt, Co-Chair Family Law Department at Cozen O’Connor, has honed a successful brand as a thought leader and family law expert. She discussed the importance of building a brand as part of your overall marketing plan, and offered a few starting tips to help frame your personal and practice brand (s):

  1. Branding works best when we stay true to our authentic selves. Think about your best qualities and develop them. Understand the competition bud don’t feel compelled to copy. Clearly define your goals – where do you want to go?
  2. The relationships between brands and people needs to be made and remade. Reinforce what established the relationship in the first place, what attracted people to your brand, and make sure you stay true to that and your audience. You are often your business.
  3. Don’t let your bio get stale. Everything that you do, update your bio, your profile, your blog. Link your social profiles together when you have something to share – an event you’re attending, a speaking engagement, a new case – and give your clients and community a holistic view of what you offer at all times, from whatever platform they find you on.

Refine your LinkedIn message; communicate your personal and firm’s brand

As clients, lawyers, and other professionals all use LinkedIn to connect with other business-minded professionals, leveraging this social networking platform can have excellent benefits for your business growth. Marc W. Halpert, LinkedIn Trainer and Evangelist, shared tips for how to best optimize and manage their personal profile page whilst keeping branding and professional networking in mind:

  1. You are never a finished product. Always be evolving, learning, and innovating. There are always new ideas to adopt into your law practice, and you never know where these new things will take you.
  2. Know why you do what you do, and how your qualifications help your clients hire you. Your past determines your present, and your present determines your future. The skillset and value proposition you offer today will follow you into the future. You are in command of your future – it will offer you new opportunities when you tell why you and the skills and values you possess propel you.
  3. Be mindful of the words and headshot you use on your profile. Mix it up. Say what you need to say in your summaries on profiles, and make sure your photo communicates what you want your clients to think of you. Change up your language every once in a while. Share the why of what you do – convey your experience, passion, and what you’ll do for them.

Pro tip for LinkedIn – turn off your notification settings. You may not want all of your updates to be captured.

The report cards you never see

With an increasingly competitive market, it’s essential for lawyers to understand how their clients assess their performance so that they can maximize the generation of new business. Rob Thomas, VP Sales at Latitude Connect, walked us through actionable steps to ensure that you successfully serve and retain your clients:

  1. Adopt a satisfaction strategy. Send updates, minimize surprises. Provide status on a regular basis to reinforce value-adds. Discuss evaluation process. Understand rating system and ask for feedback.
  2. Keep correspondence simple for your clients. Be clear and concise in your communications with clients, whether it’s over email, on the phone, etc. Keep the contents down to tasks, meetings, decisions, and documents.
  3. Set realistic expectations. If you’re being judged on the criterion, make sure you’re a part of the process. Clarify value added. Explain challenges, quantify outcomes, share lessons learned.

Thank you for a fantastic Lawyernomics 2017! We enjoyed the past couple of days with all of the amazing attorney and sponsors who were able to make it to Las Vegas this year. Mark your calendars now for May 21 – 23, 2018, when Lawyernomics will take place at the Venetian Las Vegas.

[Read More …]

Thank you for reading our blog here at Smith Kendall Law Firm

Originally seen here

4 local SEO hacks lawyers can use to rank #1 in Google My Business

Local SEO should be a focus for attorneys because most of the time people don’t look for legal services outside of their geographic location. Unfortunately, this often results in many firms fighting for visibility within a limited amount of online real estate.

You can be sure that your competition is constantly working to outrank you in search, so here are 4 essential tactics you can use to help increase your rankings.

1. Get a GMB (Google My Business profile)

Google dominates location-based search (mostly because they dominate search in general). If you haven’t claimed your GMB profile, which stands for Google My Business – also known as the local 3 pack – then you’re working at a major disadvantage. GMB profiles are some of the first organic listings people see when searching for law firms.

By default, many firms already have a GMB profile created by Google. Walk through the following process to claim it:

  1. Search for your firm in Google
  2. When you see the Knowledge Graph card for your firm, click on the ‘Are you the owner?’ link near the bottom.
  3. Start the process of verifying the firm’s ownership.

Note that Google will want you to verify ownership in one of two ways – either by phone or through regular mail. Typically, firms that have had a physical address for a long time and/or a more robust web presence will choose the phone option.

Once you’ve verified ownership, you can edit your GMB profile.

2. Add images to your GMB profile

Above all else, make sure your GMB profile is complete and contains accurate and consistent contact information. Beyond that, adding as many images as possible of your firm can help it rank far better in the local 3 pack.

In many cases, we’ve seen a correlation between higher rankings and having a significant number of photos in a GMB profile. By significant, we mean 20, 30, 40 photos or more. That may seem challenging for a law firm, but it’s okay to get creative.

Here are some image ideas to get you started:

  • show your offices (both inside and out)
  • show your team, partners, and yourself
  • describe the areas of law that you practice
  • show your logo
  • include tag lines, quotes, or other marketing messages

It doesn’t matter what the images are, as long as they are somewhat relevant to your firm or the areas of law you practice.

3. Onsite optimization: Adjusting website elements

Onsite SEO (the things done to your website structure to make it rank well) is one of the most meaningful tasks you can do to achieve good local rankings.

Start with a location-based page: Create a location-based page for the keyword phrases you want to rank for. An example could be ‘personal injury lawyer Philadelphia’ or ‘Detroit car accident attorney.’ Here are some tips:

  • Include the location in the copy of the page
  • Include the keyword phrase in the title, the headings, meta description and URL of the page
  • Include the keyword as an image file name of any images on the page
  • Include the keyword in any alt attributes of images on the page

Add NAP (name, address, phone number) to the header: Your firm’s name, address and phone number should be on the header of every page, but especially on location-based pages or pages that link to your GMB profile. This should also be the same information used in other listings around the web. Make sure it’s all consistent.

Improve page load time: If the page doesn’t load in less than a few seconds, improve the page speed. Leveraging technologies like AMP pages can significantly improve page-load time.

Substantial content: Include a lot of useful content on your pages. There’s no rule of thumb, but articles longer than 500 words is a good start. Do a search using the keyword phrase you want to rank for and look at what your competition is doing. See how much and what kind of content is on their pages and how it’s framed.

4. Citation signals: Mentions of your firm name across the internet

Along with the other tactics mentioned in this article, building citations is one of the most influential strategies for ranking well in local search. Citations are just mentions of your firm’s name on other websites such as directories, social media profiles, business listing websites, and data aggregators.

You can fill out profiles on your own or use a tool like Yext, which is a powerful citation-building tool. A subscription costs about $399 for a year; in return, Yext will disseminate your firm’s name, address, phone number and other information across hundreds of prominent websites.

Best of all, any changes you need to make can be done once, through one interface. The changes will be pushed to all the other sites online via Yext.

In addition to Yext, attorneys should seek out legal industry-specific directory listings. One of the most influential profiles to claim is your Avvo profile. These listings carry a lot of authority in search and often rank first for various practice area keyword phrases.

Building citations like this help create a consistent online presence for your firm. And according to Moz’s annual study of local search ranking factors, consistency is a huge ranking factor in local search.

Many attorneys serve local markets, so performing tasks like these on your web presence can help you rank on page one for relevant keyword phrases. The more you increase your visibility in local search, the more client leads you will obtain.

[Read More …]

Thank you for reading our blog here at Smith Kendall Law Firm

Local SEO should be a focus for attorneys because most of the time people don’t look for legal services outside of their geographic location. Unfortunately, this often results in many firms fighting for visibility within a limited amount of online real estate.

You can be sure that your competition is constantly working to outrank you in search, so here are 4 essential tactics you can use to help increase your rankings.

1. Get a GMB (Google My Business profile)

Google dominates location-based search (mostly because they dominate search in general). If you haven’t claimed your GMB profile, which stands for Google My Business – also known as the local 3 pack – then you’re working at a major disadvantage. GMB profiles are some of the first organic listings people see when searching for law firms.

By default, many firms already have a GMB profile created by Google. Walk through the following process to claim it:

  1. Search for your firm in Google
  2. When you see the Knowledge Graph card for your firm, click on the ‘Are you the owner?’ link near the bottom.
  3. Start the process of verifying the firm’s ownership.

Note that Google will want you to verify ownership in one of two ways – either by phone or through regular mail. Typically, firms that have had a physical address for a long time and/or a more robust web presence will choose the phone option.

Once you’ve verified ownership, you can edit your GMB profile.

2. Add images to your GMB profile

Above all else, make sure your GMB profile is complete and contains accurate and consistent contact information. Beyond that, adding as many images as possible of your firm can help it rank far better in the local 3 pack.

In many cases, we’ve seen a correlation between higher rankings and having a significant number of photos in a GMB profile. By significant, we mean 20, 30, 40 photos or more. That may seem challenging for a law firm, but it’s okay to get creative.

Here are some image ideas to get you started:

  • show your offices (both inside and out)
  • show your team, partners, and yourself
  • describe the areas of law that you practice
  • show your logo
  • include tag lines, quotes, or other marketing messages

It doesn’t matter what the images are, as long as they are somewhat relevant to your firm or the areas of law you practice.

3. Onsite optimization: Adjusting website elements

Onsite SEO (the things done to your website structure to make it rank well) is one of the most meaningful tasks you can do to achieve good local rankings.

Start with a location-based page: Create a location-based page for the keyword phrases you want to rank for. An example could be ‘personal injury lawyer Philadelphia’ or ‘Detroit car accident attorney.’ Here are some tips:

  • Include the location in the copy of the page
  • Include the keyword phrase in the title, the headings, meta description and URL of the page
  • Include the keyword as an image file name of any images on the page
  • Include the keyword in any alt attributes of images on the page

Add NAP (name, address, phone number) to the header: Your firm’s name, address and phone number should be on the header of every page, but especially on location-based pages or pages that link to your GMB profile. This should also be the same information used in other listings around the web. Make sure it’s all consistent.

Improve page load time: If the page doesn’t load in less than a few seconds, improve the page speed. Leveraging technologies like AMP pages can significantly improve page-load time.

Substantial content: Include a lot of useful content on your pages. There’s no rule of thumb, but articles longer than 500 words is a good start. Do a search using the keyword phrase you want to rank for and look at what your competition is doing. See how much and what kind of content is on their pages and how it’s framed.

4. Citation signals: Mentions of your firm name across the internet

Along with the other tactics mentioned in this article, building citations is one of the most influential strategies for ranking well in local search. Citations are just mentions of your firm’s name on other websites such as directories, social media profiles, business listing websites, and data aggregators.

You can fill out profiles on your own or use a tool like Yext, which is a powerful citation-building tool. A subscription costs about $399 for a year; in return, Yext will disseminate your firm’s name, address, phone number and other information across hundreds of prominent websites.

Best of all, any changes you need to make can be done once, through one interface. The changes will be pushed to all the other sites online via Yext.

In addition to Yext, attorneys should seek out legal industry-specific directory listings. One of the most influential profiles to claim is your Avvo profile. These listings carry a lot of authority in search and often rank first for various practice area keyword phrases.

Building citations like this help create a consistent online presence for your firm. And according to Moz’s annual study of local search ranking factors, consistency is a huge ranking factor in local search.

Many attorneys serve local markets, so performing tasks like these on your web presence can help you rank on page one for relevant keyword phrases. The more you increase your visibility in local search, the more client leads you will obtain.

[Read More …]

Thank you for reading our blog here at Smith Kendall Law Firm

Originally seen here