THE CHAIR’S CORNER
Electric Rain

By Keith B. McLennan

In this issue we explore another cutting-edge trend forcing us to catch up. Electronic rainmaking used to be viewed as a fad. As you will learn from the pages in this magazine, however, it is a necessity. It wasn’t until my involvement with the ABA that I become pseudo-proficient with e-mail and the Internet. One might argue that if not for my being forced to adapt to these tools, I would have been much like many veteran practitioners who continue to practice their craft without the aid and distraction that these tools bring. As this issue explains, if you are not engaged in the next great use of the Internet, you will be left behind.

I am not talking about investing huge sums of money in the latest Internet-based referral service. I have tried that and failed. Nor am I arguing for an investment of huge sums in a state-of-the-art website. That, too, has its drawbacks, primarily the need for maintenance to keep the site fresh. What I am suggesting is that you read each and every article in this publication and cut out those that strike you as helpful—and implement their techniques. These ideas have been tried and tested by the authors. The beauty of our Division is that you need not “kick the tires” or take a test drive before you jump in. I know that I will read and retain these articles, as I have not gotten the most out of my website nor have I engaged in a blogging experience (primarily because it reminds me of the movie The Blob). However, I do know that much of my business comes from referrals from other lawyers, a perfect reason to consult the article “Electronic Collaborative Marketing.” Similarly, the article on “Using Technology to Keep Clients Happy” ratifies my firm’s creation of an informative and useful website that provides my clients with the basic information they need about me, my firm, and how to contact or visit me.

Further, despite the conventional wisdom, people (like me) of the male persuasion can now multitask, thanks to technology. The article in this issue about the pros and cons of multitasking can help more of us. I continuously “push that rock up the hill” in my office, trying to provide more and better tools to help our staff with the ever-increasing workload that is either caused by technology improvements or aided by them. By learning how to efficiently multitask and by doing so for the right reasons and right things, we can complete the work we have and take on more work that will be generated by the electronic rainmaking encouraged in this issue. Articles on transferring classic marketing ideas to a new technological age, on getting the most from blogs and e-newsletters, and the ever-popular “Shopping Guide to Holiday Techno-Gifts” will provide you the practical tools and techniques you need to complete the holistic approach of doing the work and then getting more of it so that you can succeed and still find time to engage in personal pursuits. Of course, as you will see from the articles herein, it is much broader than that, and the opportunities are endless. I know you will enjoy this issue and find new ideas you can actually implement.

Finally, if you missed the Second Annual National Solo and Small Firm Conference held at the GP|Solo Division’s Fall Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on October 5 and 6, 2007, you missed many useful presentations such as “Buy Right and Spend Smart—Law Office Technology 101,” “Creating an Effective and Professional Online Presence,” and “How Not to Commit Malpractice with Your Computer,” to name just a few. Check out our website at www.abanet.org/genpractice for the course materials and to sign up for e-mail updates about our Third Annual National Solo and Small Firm Conference, to be held at the Division’s Fall Meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in October 2008.

Should you have a tool or technique that would be useful, send it to me. I will make sure you get credit for it and that it is disseminated among our more than 30,000 members. You may also receive a prize for giving a little bit extra to help others. I can be reached at .

Copyright 2007

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