Monthly Archives: December 2017

A Guide into Some of the Unique Requirements of Web Design in 2017

The usage of the internet has increased so much that nowadays getting a link to a website is taking time.  It may be due to overuse of websites, poor website designing or default in linking process of websites. Website or Web design starts from the planning of the page layout to its perfect placement on […]

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The Law Firm’s Guide to Planning An Incredible 2018

the law firm's guide to planning an incredible 2018

 

2017 is in the bag, folks! Let’s pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. Round of applause and pop the champagne.

It’s time get ready for a brand-spanking-new 2018. We at Rocket Matter are big planners, and here’s how we suggest you achieve new greatness in the new year.

1. Have an Offsite Meeting with your Strategic Thinkers

In order to gain the proper understanding of your business (and your law firm IS a business), you have to see it from outside, not from within. Leaving the office for a day or two is like climbing a mountain and surveying the view. You gain a perspective you don’t normally have when you’re consumed with the day-to-day struggles of your office.

You can employ tools like a SWOT analysis to help you identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. An annual offsite is also the ideal time to set revenue goals, evaluate your collection effectiveness, and identify star performers and weak links on your staff.

For more information on how to conduct an offsite planning meeting, please take a look at our previous posts, “Leadership for Lawyers: How to Conduct a Strategic Planning Meeting”, “Why an Offsite Retreat is Incredible for your Law Firm” or listen to our companion podcast episode.

✔ DO: Keep in mind the year will fly by!

✔ DO: Have structured exercises for extracting goals and information.

X DON’T:  Be aggressive but not overly ambitious with your goal setting, especially if you’re new to this.

2. Put Your Strategic Plans into Actionable Goals with Quarterly Rocks

People love generating ideas, but when it comes to executing them, the glamour quickly fizzles.  It’s important therefore to translate your brainstorm generated by your valuable time investment into actionable items.

First, for all minor takeaways, make a list of who will do what when. It’s important not just to list your to-do’s but to assign ownership and a timeframe for them as well.

For the larger items, you need “Rocks”.

Rocket Matter employs a quarterly set of Rocks, popularized by business coach Verne Harnish in his books Scaling Up and Mastering The Rockefeller Habits (Scaling Up is the rebooted version of Rockefeller Habits and we highly recommend it if you’re having trouble with execution).

Quarter by quarter, starting with the first one coming out of your annual planning, identify three to five goals that will move you toward your annual priorities. The top (number one) rock is sacred:  it should be achieved at all costs. Post your rocks around your office so that they’re always top of mind.

Then, on a quarterly basis, come up three to five more Rocks, also ideally at an offsite meeting, and repeat the process.

Here’s an example of one of our Rock posters from 2015.  As you can see, we like to have our graphic designer have fun with a theme for the quarter.

 

✔ DO: Make sure your quarterly goals steer you towards your annual initiatives.

X DON’T:  Commit to more than five quarterly goals.  You only have 13 weeks to achieve them.

3. Identify Waste in Your Office and Make Plans to Eliminate It

Every quarter, we recommend identifying what practitioners of Lean call muda, or operational waste (shameless plug: my book on The Lean Law Firm will be published by the ABA in March). It’s important to identify which of your processes is wasting time or other resources.  Some places to start:

  • Are you paperless?  If you’re still retrieving paper files and printing things out, this is not only a huge waste of time but limits your ability to work remotely.  (For help on going paperless, please see our recent webinar recording).
  • Have you embraced electronic invoices or are you still printing, folding, stuffing, stamping and sending your bills?
  • When you create a new pleading or other legal form, are you finding an example file and “find and replacing” the text you need, or have you embraced document automation?
  • Are you able to perform most of your administrative work from your iPhone or Android?
  • Do you have to manually create every deadline for a new matter or are you using an automated court rules program?
  • What is the ROI (return on investment) for the different  marketing channels you’re spending your money on?  Should your reallocate your spend to the higher performing ones and drop the bad ones?

✔ DO: Start noticing wasteful processes as you go about your day-to-day activities.

X DON’T: Allow stubborn employees to dictate what you’re going to make more efficient.  Sometimes they are defending their own jobs or importance at your firm.

4. Consider Firing Your Worst Clients

We love our customers and we’re sure you do as well.  However, it is common to find yourself spending extra resources on one bad apple, whether it is your time, money, or mental well being that offsets the benefits of working with him or her.

Your quality of life can greatly improve and your time can be freed up by getting rid of bad clients.  They might be verbally abusive.  They might demand services for little or no money.  They might not heed your advice and cause major headaches for you.  They might not respect your schedule and make unreasonable demands at 11pm on a Tuesday.  

You can fire a client outright, or you can set new expectations that may cause them to leave on their own.  One way of doing this is to raise your rates or to start charging for services your bad client is used to receiving for free.  Either the situation will become more equitable or your client will find the door themselves.

✔ DO: Realize that your life and business can be better without certain clients.

If you can look forward to a 2018 devoid of your worst clients, with an actionable strategy and an iterative approach to reducing your inefficiencies, we think you’re going to have a great year indeed.

 

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24 Diversity Strides the Fashion and Beauty Industries Made in 2017

Here’s some good news to start your 2018: Diversity and inclusivity seem to be on the rise — at least in the fashion and beauty realms. In 2017, British Vogue announced its first black editor-in-chief. The 2018 Pirelli Calendar got an all-black cast (as did Gucci’s Pre-Fall 2017 campaign). ELLE made the (long-overdue) announcement that a plus-size model would be gracing its cover and curve model Paloma Elsesser posed in red lipstick and streetwear for Fenty Beauty, then naked for Glossier. Allure broke up with the term “anti-aging” and 69-year-old Maye Musk scored a CoverGirl contract. Transgender actress Hari Nef fronted massive campaigns for L’Oréal Paris and Gucci and trans model Valentina Sampaio landed her first (three) Vogue cover(s). The Spring 2018 runways were the most inclusive ever. All this to say, plenty of diversity strides were made.

Not that there weren’t setbacks. Vogue defined “gender fluidity” as “borrowing from your boyfriend’s closet” rather than “identifying outside of the binary of male or female.” Vivienne Westwood sent cornrows down her Spring 2018 runway. Victoria’s Secret hired not one plus-size model. Diversity on magazine covers barely edged forward. And when it came to plus-size and transgender castings (on the runways, on magazine covers, in ad campaigns), tokenism ran rampant.

All in all, we’ve got a long way to go. Still, in the spirit of the New Year, let’s focus on the positive, shall we? Click through the gallery above to read up on 24 times the fashion and beauty industries embraced diversity and inclusivity in 2017. May 2018 see even greater strides.

[ Next: Year in Review: 25 Fashion News Stories That Dominated Our Feeds in 2017 ]

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Ending Soon: Beginner’s Guide to Cryptocurrency Investing for Only $10

Cryptocurrency is a form of digital money that is used as a medium of exchange. It uses cryptography to verify the transfer of assets, control the addition of extra units, and keep transactions secure. Over the years, the value of virtual currency such as bitcoin has climbed significantly, which is why more and more people […]

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How A UX Design Can Improve Your Site’s Conversion Rate

Have you ever heard of UX design? There is a pretty good chance that you have not. Over the past few years, manufacturers and website owners have begun taking a new approach to the way they manufacture their website design. Now, they’re attempting to approach the situation from the consumer’s angle. This has brought about the term […]

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Legal Productivity’s Top Ten Blog Posts of 2017

top ten blog posts of 2017

 

It was a groundbreaking year for Legal Productivity. We produced a lot of content that we are proud of, and apparently people took notice. Our number of subscribers skyrocketed. And the ABA Journal included Rocket Matter’s Legal Productivity blog in their Web 100. They dubbed Legal Productivity one of the “Best law blogs” around.

It turns out that the stories that resonate with our readers really run the gamut.

Here are the top ten posts of 2017:

Why Game of Thrones Really Needs Lawyers: This was not only our most popular post of 2017, it was also the most fun to write. If you missed it the first time around, it’s definitely worth a read.

A Member of Our Legal Community Fights Friedreich’s Ataxia: Lawyer Randy Juip and his wife Maureen have two children afflicted with a degenerative neuromuscular disorder called Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA). Read about their inspiring experience and how you can help.

iPad for Lawyers: The Best Apps for Note Taking:  Apple consultant and Rocket Matter Certified Expert Terry Jarrell offers his expert opinion on the top three  note-taking apps on the market.

Is there a “Casting Couch” in the Legal Industry? Four Women Share Their Stories: Turns out sexual harassment is not just rampant in the entertainment and media industries. There are plenty of people like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey in the legal industry as well. Here, four women share their stories.

Legal Freedom Fighter Series: Emily Benfer: Each month we feature a lawyer who is really making a difference in the world. Emily Benfer is one of these heroes. Read about her incredible work.

Where Do You Stand? Lawyers Weigh in on the Michelle Carter Suicide Case: Michelle Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter of her boyfriend because she urged him to commit suicide. The case sparked a debate over free speech across the nation, so we asked experts in criminal defense to weigh in with their opinions.

Anatomy of a Perfect Business Email (Infographic): Want to write effective emails that actually get recipients to respond? Then you’ve gotta see this infographic. It’s THAT helpful.

Productivity Tips for Lawyers Who Want to Get Home for Dinner  Trial attorney and litigator Maria-Vittoria Carminati shares four tips that will really help your become more productive.

Marketing Tips from Ten Successful Lawyers: Marketing is an essential part of running a law firm. Here, lawyers share their best marketing tips and suggestions.

iPad Tips and Tricks: Three Ways to Save Time and Be More Productive: Terry Jarrell shares the  tricks of the trade that will really help you best use your iPad and maximize the amount of work you can get done.

 

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10 Played-Out Fashion Trends That Aren’t Invited to 2018

These days, trends rise and fall faster than ever. (Instagram, influencer marketing and Zara have seen to that.) Not that that’s a bad thing. They’re trends. Like iPhones, obsolescence is in their DNA. Each one comes with an expiration (and, in many cases, a renewal) date built into the package.

Every year, certain pieces (Gucci sweatshirts, Bernie-Sanders-referencing Balenciaga scarves) rise to stardom, infiltrating our closets and feeds. And then we tire of them, ship ’em off to consignment stores and survey the runways for new, soon-to-be must-have items to spend our hard-earned dollars on. And the beat goes on.

Of course, it’s important to remember that trends are simply patterns, It pieces come and go and, at the end of the day, fashion is all about cultivating an enduring sense of personal style — screw what other people are wearing.

To help guide you on your closet curation journey, we’ve compiled a list of 10 fashion trends that everyone wore — to death — in 2017. We implore you: let them go peacefully. (Or don’t. Again, feeling good about the way you look in a certain item/style is a good enough reason to wear it year in and year out. Who are we to judge?)

[ Next: The Top 15 Fashion Trends of the Spring 2018 Runways ]

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12 Un-Boring Ways to Wear Sweaters

Images: Imaxtree

We’re well into sweater weather season and, while everyone loves a cozy knit, it’s all too easy to fall into a style slump before the new year even arrives. Sure, pairing your pullover with jeans is a no-brainer, but that can get old — and fast. So naturally, we’re turning to the street style crowd for sweater outfit ideas that go well beyond the basic.

A favorite trick of the It girl set is, of course, going monochromatic. Pairing a like-hued knit and textured trouser leads to an instantly impactful look that’s still weather-appropriate (bonus points if you rock it in of-the-moment MVP red). Mixing prints is another beloved hack in the street style arsenal. Opting for skirts and pants in contrasting patterns just kicks any novelty sweater up a notch and makes for, well, a look rather than just an outfit.

Sweaters are proving to be the layering piece of choice with the insider set styling them in every possible way, including under suits, tucked into every type of skirt, belted and draped over cropped pants for interesting proportion play. No longer the lazy way out of winter dressing, the knit has become an integral styling piece, not just there to simply keep you warm and comfy. The cold weather season just got decidedly un-boring.

To get your wardrobe wheels turning and spark some inspiration for sweater outfits, here are 12 ways to nail the knit game like a style star.

[ Next: Fashion’s Obsession With Supersized Sweaters Just Got Bigger ]

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How Influencer Marketing in 2018 Is Going to Change Your Business Strategy

Influencer marketing is getting bigger and bigger with each new social media platform and update. Perhaps one of the most interesting developments with the advancement of social networks, influencer marketing is allowing individuals to voice their opinions and drive sales like never before. This completely changes traditional marketing models, but there are a few key […]

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Why Is Mobile App Ux Design Important for Startups?

Looks can deceive. In this mobile day and age, it’s not enough that you have a visually stimulating app. The biggest brands would agree that to be truly irresistible to your audience, your website or mobile apps should be designed with user experience in mind. User Experience (UX) is part of any brand’s design and […]

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