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The Litigation Consulting Report

Why We Blog (and Maybe Your Firm Should Too)

Posted by Ken Lopez on Wed, Oct 14, 2015 @ 04:10 PM

blog blawg storytelling inbound marketing lawyers content marketing attorneysby Ken Lopez
A2L Consulting

A new friend of mine had been the head of litigation at a Fortune 500 firm known for frequently being involved in litigation. He said something interesting to me earlier this week: “You guys put the best information out there. You synthesize litigation information better than anyone else. But does it translate into business for you?”

He said that last part with a bit of skepticism in his voice. That was an “aha” moment for me. I realized that I really haven’t talked much about how helpful our blogging has been to our business (and might be for yours), so I want to share some of the amazing facts about it.

A month ago, we celebrated our 7,500th subscriber who signed up to be notified of new articles in this Litigation Consulting Report Blog. In just four and a half years, we have gone from zero subscribers to 7,500. We have progressed from 800 visitors to our website each month to about 20,000. We've gone from a small handful of downloads from our website each month to about 2,000 per month. We've gone from a couple dozen published articles to more than 500. Even the American Bar Association has called our blog one of the very best. That is amazing, and I've shared most of that information in some form before.

Here's the most important piece I've never shared, and it's what I shared with my new litigation friend: Just about every business day, sometimes many times per day, someone asks about working with us as a result of reading something on our blog.

Five years ago, I thought a blog would be a neat way for us to show some thought leadership in the industry, but I didn't really think it would be a big business generator. I was wrong. The blog generates most of our business now, and I am more surprised about that fact than anyone.

Five years ago, we pulled in most of our jury consulting, litigation graphics and trial technology/courtroom hot-seat consulting work by calling prospects on the phone (repeatedly). Most of our competitors still do this. I just never believed that annoying people into buying from us was a good long-term strategy, and I think history has proven us right.

Our blog generates exactly the kind of business that we are great at. If someone reads our blog and enjoys it, it means they tend to think as we do as an organization. It means they are serious about winning and willing to do what it takes to win. They probably also have an understanding of the proven persuasive power of storytelling, of litigation graphics, of the rhetorical techniques we share with our clients and of the value of outsourcing some of these elements of trial preparation to experts. It self-selects the very best litigators who typically go on to win cases. 

So, I can't say that we blog for the money, but it is a very pleasant side effect. We blog because we love the work that we do. We live in the courtroom every day, and there are not many people like us. We love to share our message and hopefully to elevate the entire industry in the process.

A blog is the most classic and best example of inbound marketing – the type of marketing that is considered the best and most successful type in the Internet age. Inbound marketing focuses on creating high-quality content that pulls people toward one’s company and one’s services. By aligning the content that we publish with our customers’ interests -- through the blog, the articles that we write and other means -- we naturally attract inbound traffic that, over time, becomes our best source of new customers.

a2l consulting top 75 articles of all time

Tags: Trial Technicians, Litigation Graphics, Jury Consulting, Hot Seat Operators, Trial Technology, Litigation Support, Articles, Marketing, Business Development, blog

8 Traits of Great Business Developers (In or Out of Law Firms)

Posted by Alex Brown on Tue, Oct 14, 2014 @ 08:54 AM


law firm business development sales rainmakerby Alex Brown
Director of Operations
A2L Consulting

These days, there’s no question that sales (or business development as law firms like to call it) is essential to the success of nearly every law firm. Law firms can’t exist without clients – and whether a firm prefers to expand its client base or to get more work from its existing clients, it needs to have a business development function. Accordingly, any law firm needs to hire people who know how to bring in business.

Some law firms rely on their partners to generate business; that’s the typical “rainmaker” paradigm. Some other law firms have a dedicated sales force that may report to the chief marketing officer, to the management committee, or in some other way. Some firms do a mixture of both.

But however you look at it, great business development people are hard to find (I'm the hiring manager at A2L). One reason that this is so is that many law firms don’t know how to look for a great business development person. For example, a firm might hire someone who is bright, charismatic and articulate but can’t get anything done. That person won’t last long. Or there might be someone who is highly networked and wants to bring in clients but doesn’t know how to put together an agreement. That person won’t last long either.

In my next few blog posts, I will share with you the characteristics of a good and of a bad business developer --and how to find one and determine whether you have the right one.

The best business developers I have ever met have the following traits:

  1. Intelligence. They are smart and think well on their feet.
  2. Excellent communication skills. They can communicate well with both the law firm’s partners and other lawyers and with the client or potential client.
  3. Creativity. The best business developers are fearless and willing to make a seemingly outlandish request. They have the intuition to know that even if their proposal is rejected, they are at least being heard. They have their “foot in the door.”
  4. Adaptability. While extensive research on a client or matter is ideal, when there’s no time or the research can’t be done, the great business developer can use whatever information he or she has at hand.
  5. A sense of structure. A good business developer can hit all the marks – mining, pitching, negotiating, closing and implementing. An unstructured person is always planning but never closing.
  6. A sense of the big picture. A good business developer follows a simple formula: Find out what is important, try to achieve it, and get the work. Great business developers do not focus on the little things that don’t really matter; sometimes they have to be willing to walk away. Only someone that sees the big picture can make that decision.
  7. Stamina. Getting a new client can take a long time and involve a lot of back and forth. Bad business developers tend to concede too much at the very end in the interest of closing the deal and often lose a lot of value for the firm.
  8. Moral compass. A great business developer, like any great employee, will do the right thing even if it is uncomfortable or against his or her self-interest to do so. There are all sorts of ways in which business people may act to benefit themselves rather than the company. Character matters.

Other A2L Consulting articles related to professional services sales, business development and rainmaking:

Tags: Management, Marketing, Negotiation, Business Development

2 Metrics Showing Litigation Shifting to Midsize Law Firms

Posted by Ken Lopez on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 @ 02:00 PM

rise midsize law firms litigation bigby Ken Lopez
A2L Consulting

Last month I published a four-part series about the rising influence of midsize law firms in big-ticket litigation. Major news outlets are reporting on the trend, and we're seeing it play out at A2L. However, new and interesting data about case filings and trials shows just how surprisingly far along midsized law firms are in capturing a large share of the litigation market.

The four articles listed below made up our four-part midsize law firm series last month. In addition to A2L's valuable tips for trying big cases on a midsized budget, the key takeaway was that over the last three years, midsized law firms have doubled the amount of high-stakes litigation they are being hired to run. The articles below go into more detail and offer useful tips for law firms of any size heading to trial.

I write for another blog geared toward litigation support salespeople and e-discovery salespeople. Using LawProspector as a litigation research tool, I am able to see some very clear trends unfolding related to new cases and trials. I discussed these trends in two recent articles.

In an article that analyzed which law firm offices are busy, I focused my study on new case filings over the past 6 months or so. The trends revealed by the data were surprising to me since I've spent the last 20 years watching the top 50 law firms dominate the litigation dockets. Ranked according to the number of cases attorneys were newly involved with (both plaintiff and defense side), these law firm offices listed below are the busiest when it comes to federal cases:

10. Quinn Emanuel's California offices.
9. Wilson Elser's offices in the west, east and south.
8. Bradley Arant's Charlotte and Alabama offices.
7. Alston & Bird's DC, and Atlanta offices.
6. DLA Piper's offices in DC, New York and California.
5. Nelson Mullins' North Carolina offices.
4. Akerman Senterfitt's various Florida offices.
3. Snell & Wilmer's Phoenix and Las Vegas offices.
2. Barnes & Thornburg's Indianapolis office.
1. Baker Donelson's Tennessee offices have more new matters than any other firm in the top 200 law firms.

What I find amazing about this list is how law firms in the 300-750 lawyer range, roughly the top 50-150 law firms ranked by size, are dominating the list. This is the first time I've seen this pattern in my three decades in the litigation support industry.

To confirm whether this data might be a fluke of some sort, I followed up with a second article and a review of trials scheduled over the next year. Sure enough, that same midsize law firm dominance was showing up again.

top 15 litigation law firms to sell to asap

This table lists the top 15 law firms ranked by the number of federal trials their attorneys have scheduled over the next year. After some analysis, the data reveals something remarkable: roughly 60 percent of the federal trials scheduled in the next year are being handled by a midsize law firm.

Further, only three of 15 law firms on this list have more than 1,000 lawyers (roughly the top 25 law firms). Those top 25 law firms collectively have about 45,000 lawyers, and law firms ranked 50-150 by size also have about 45,000 lawyers in total. However, 80 percent of the litigation is going to the second group. This is a tectonic shift compared to the data only a few years ago.

With changes of this magnitude occurring in the litigation industry, we all need to be paying attention. Large law firms need to work on the economics of their firms if they wish to (re)capture the everyday litigation market. Midsize law firms need to learn the techniques used by large law firms to be successful in big litigation. Litigation support firms have to adjust to a whole new audience eager to learn what works best. 

Other articles on our site related to the new normal of the legal industry, the litigation market outlook and the rise of midsize law firms in high-stakes litigation include:

getting value new normal legal economy inhouse counsel lit support

Tags: Economics, Trial Consulting, Litigation Management, Leadership, Marketing, Midsize Law Firms

2014 Economic Forecast for the Litigation & Litigation Support Markets

Posted by Ken Lopez on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 @ 09:30 AM

litigation support economy forecast 2014by Ken Lopez
A2L Consulting

When it comes to the economy, we have come so far since 2009 that it's not hard to be a bit optimistic. Of course, measuring from that historic trough can make anyone feel better. The real question is whether the economy is going to continue to improve from where it is now.

I evaluate the economic future not only to exercise my long-ago-earned-economics-degree muscles but to do some serious planning. Since I believe that large-scale litigation spending is closely tied to the economy's overall health and because most of my business life is closely tied to litigation, I watch leading economic indicators quite closely.

Last year at this time, I wrote about my affection for a particular leading indicator. In fifteen years, it has never let me down, as it accurately predicts the economy about 8 months in advance.

ECRI's Weekly Leading Index is a wonderfully simple indicator. When it goes up, it's generally good, and when it goes down, it's normally bad. Unfortunately, I don't like the direction it is headed in now.

At the end of 2012, the indicator was moving in the right direction - up - suggesting economic growth was ahead. That's what we got, although economic growth has been quite modest (only a bit over 2%) in 2013.

Looking at the ECRI chart below, the green line is the weekly FORECASTED economic growth rate looking about 8 months into the future from the date noted on the bottom. For example, the chart says that growth was forecasted to peak late this summer (February plus ~8 months) and that roughly 8 months from November 2013 (summer 2014) we will be experiencing our slowest growth in years. The blue line is the ACTUAL growth rate in real-time.

litigation market forecast 2014 ecri

In trial support, it's been a challenging year. Perhaps the best known firm (that isn't us) in our industry, reportedly laid off half of its staff and was sold yet again. Another big brand is quietly up for sale (also not us), and while we have had some major wins, earned many new clients and we're currently engaged on some of the largest cases in the world, we have not had a record growth year as we have in recent years. Although Citi is reporting optimism today in a subjective survey, my law firm managing partner friends have a similar outlook to mine.

At A2L in 2014, we'll be hiring, we're investing in some new breakthrough products and we expect growth, however I expect that we will be doing all of that in moderation. We will no doubt continue to expand our litigation-focused alternative fee arrangements and participate in even more litigation support preferred vendor (discount) programs.

The dials at the top of this article are a dashboard also from ECRI that summarize the economic growth outlook (green) and the inflation forecast (red). The arrows that are shaded reflect a snapshot of the changes in the forecast over time. You'll note that there is very little movement which suggests rather stagnant conditions similar to what we have right now going forward. It's not that a recession is forecast. Rather, it's just that very moderate growth is forecast.

2014 will likely be a year where most litigators and litigation support firms are working much smarter and just a tiny bit harder.

Articles related to economics, management and marketing that we find useful at A2L Consulting.

litigation support sales e-discovery

Tags: Economics, Litigation Support, Marketing, Alternative Fee Arrangements

9 Questions to Ask in Your Litigation Postmortem or Debrief

Posted by Ken Lopez on Fri, Dec 6, 2013 @ 04:20 PM

litigation postmortem trial debriefby Ken Lopez
A2L Consulting

After almost all of our medium and large engagements, I do something that is probably the single most important thing I do as CEO: I take A2L's clients to lunch.

It's not the lunch that counts, although it is appreciated. It’s the discussion that matters. I consider this discussion to be a great opportunity for a debrief or postmortem.

Since the trusted-adviser relationship of litigation consultant to litigator is similar to that of litigator to in-house counsel, I think this practice is one most lawyers can use too.

Of course, this approach is not unique to the legal industry. The debrief or postmortem has been used in the movie industry for decades. It’s frequently used in government settings and is often used by the military. As a Green Beret friend of mine says, after a mission it’s important to ask, “What almost got us killed today?”

I have done these debriefings more than 100 times in the past two decades, and I learn something new every single time. It’s a simple exercise but not an easy one. To help make it a bit easier, I always bring another member of my team and we hold ourselves to one critical standard that makes this lunch work well: we never get even a bit defensive. This lack of defensiveness puts our clients at ease.

Here are the questions I usually ask, in this order.

  1. Why I engage in this exercise: This is not a question I ask them. Rather, it is something I tell them, and I think it is essential to set the stage. I do these lunches in order to improve my company’s delivery and service and to ensure that we are giving our clients what they need and that we are adapting to their needs rather than the other way around.
  2. Have you worked with folks like us before?: In many cases, I will be meeting the client for the first time, and I like to understand how familiar with litigation consultants they are. It also helps set a baseline. If you were asking this of your client, you might want to know how other law firms would tackle the client’s problem.
  3. What did we do well?: I find that if we do not discuss the positive first, the negative is too hard to say, or it is too hard to say positive things after diving into the negative.
  4. What can we do better?: They don't usually believe I am serious about this. So I use some of the information they have shared about competitors to ask, “Did we do it better than XYZ?”  “There is always something that can be improved; what is that one thing here?”

    Click here to Download the Free Complex Civil Litigation Trial Guide

  5. Did we find the right balance of giving advice and taking direction? This is a very sensitive area in our line of work. We have written about it many times (see Working in Parallel vs. Series with Trial Presentation Consultants). However, for a successful engagement, we need to get this right.
  6. If you were in my shoes, what would you do? Most of the time I hear, "just keep doing what you are doing." But sometimes, I get some real nuggets of wisdom from people who want us to be getting better and better for both of our sakes.
  7. What is the best way for us to say in touch? We have a large number of ways that we stay in touch with clients, from our blog to social media. I am always trying to match our ability to stay in touch to the customer's style. Some say "sign me up for the blog," while others say take me to lunch once a year or so, and I am happy to do either.
  8. Net Promoter Score. Like many of my peers, we use some variation of the Net Promoter scoring system to measure how our clients are feeling about us. Specifically, we ask: "How likely is it that you would recommend [your company] to a friend or colleague on a scale of 1-10?"
  9. Anyone you think I should meet? If your clients replies to you with a Net Promoter score of 7-10, you can ask for referrals, otherwise I think you have some work to do.

Wonder if this approach works and is appreciated by clients? I had one of my favorite clients reply to the Net Promoter Score question with a "5" which he then raised to a "7" because in his words, we took the time to have this conversation with him and no one else ever had.


Articles related to good customer service in litigation and the business of litigation on A2L Consulting's site: 

jury consulting trial consulting jury research




Tags: Litigation Management, Leadership, Marketing, Customer Service

The 5 Best Reasons for Litigators to Embrace Social Media

Posted by Ken Lopez on Thu, Oct 31, 2013 @ 12:50 PM

social media for lawyers litigators litigation supportby Ken Lopez
A2L Consulting

I believe social media is one of the top technological advances of our lifetimes. It ranks up there with personal computing, mobile phones and the Internet.

I didn't always think this was true. In fact as recently as 2011, I dismissed using social media for business purposes as "dumb." I've since publicly apologized for this assessment.

Why the change of heart? Well, in the beginning of 2011, A2L had about 800 unique visitors per month visiting our site. I thought that was plenty since we work on relatively few cases each month anyway. Well, in the next month or two, we will have seen that monthly visitor figure rise to more than 20,000 unique visitors to our site each month. Most come to this blog and most hear about this blog from social media.

Yes, it works for business.

This was the premise of a talk I gave recently at the Federal Bench Bar Conference in Columbus, Ohio. It was a great audience, I was on an excellent panel but I could tell there were still skeptics. How could there not be, with all the horror stories that get aired during these sorts of events?  Most are common sense, of course. Don't use social media in violation of a judge's order in litigation. Don't discriminate against potential employees after researching them on social media.  Don’t say something on social media that you wouldn’t want the public to know.  But there are closer calls.

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On balance, I think the rewards of social media far exceed the risks. Assuming you are using common sense in social media just as you would in your personal dealings as a lawyer, here are the five best reasons why I think litigators, in particular, should enthusiastically embrace social media:

1) You'll Get Better at Your Craft: Before the Internet, we exchanged best practices mostly by word of mouth. It was slow, and the rate at which people improved themselves was similarly slow. Now, when someone finds something works, whether it’s green buttons websites (yes, they work) or storytelling in the courtroom as a persuasion device, word spreads fast.

These are not just baseless fads. Rather, something is working and when it is, word spreads quickly. And the principal way that things spread is via social media now. If you are not on social media, your colleagues are going to speed past you in their own personal development.

2) News Travels Fast: Collecting news in the legal industry is more important than ever. From who is representing whom in a big corporate merger this week, to which law firms are supposedly teetering on the edge of failure, to who just published an article relevant to you. If you are not monitoring social media, you are just not going to see these headlines. There is just too much noise in the traditional media. Social media allows you to sort the critical from the superfluous, but you must learn how to do this and use these tools effectively. If you already are doing this, that is excellent. If you’re not, then it is a little like the best time to plant a tree. The answer is five years ago, but the second best answer is now.

3) The LinkedIn News Feed: One million out of 1.2 million of America's active lawyers are on LinkedIn already. The newsfeed on LinkedIn has become the business homepage of your industry. This is true because your colleagues and connections are routinely posting articles of interest about your industry. If you are not watching and monitoring job changes in your network, you are surely going to be left behind. Please do connect with me and be sure to follow A2L Consulting too.

4) LinkedIn Discussion Groups: The best discussions about litigation are not occurring at conferences, retreats or in the hallways of law firms. They are being conducted on LinkedIn in the popular discussion groups. Not using them or not sure which ones are best suited to litigation? Have a look here at our guide to the best LinkedIn groups for litigators and lawyers generally.

5) We are Our Networks: Business development has moved from golf courses to online. A recent survey of general counsel revealed that more than 90 percent say they search for or vet outside counsel using LinkedIn. Think about it: Would you really want to work with outside counsel (or a consultant) that happens to have an extra five hours to spend on a golf course or one that is busy? I know I don't have five hours to spare.

Now, let me be clear that when I encourage litigators to embrace social media, I don't think litigators really need to spend time on Twitter unless they need to monitor something relevant to their client. However, I think LinkedIn is now 100% mandatory for all lawyers and litigation support staff, and Facebook is a close second.


Other A2L related to social media for litigators, trial attorneys and litigation support:

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Tags: Litigation Management, Management, Social Media, Leadership, Marketing

Every Litigator Should Watch Scott Harrison Deliver This Presentation

Posted by Ken Lopez on Thu, Oct 17, 2013 @ 11:10 AM


litigators can learn from scott harrison charity water presentationby Ken Lopez
A2L Consulting

I had the pleasure of speaking at a conference where another speaker blew me away recently. His name is Scott Harrison, and he is the founder of charity: water. What's special about Scott is what an exceptional storyteller, marketer and presenter he is.

He wants to solve the world’s water crisis in our lifetimes -- to make clean water accessible to every single person in the world.

Normally when I write a blog post it's designed to be consumed in a few minutes. This one has a one-hour video at the bottom of it. Chances are if you read our blog, you are a pretty busy person. I recently sent this video to about 100 close friends. I'm really enjoying how many of them are telling me that they watched it and how it changed their view of the world.

Briefly, Scott tells a compelling story that is understandable, simple and believable. It's something you can get your arms around. This is similar to what litigators are called upon to do every day. I just happen to think this guy has an unusual natural talent for it.

Scott has upended and disrupted charity in a way that frankly I had no idea needed to happen. I give to quite a few charities in the course of the year. I can't even remember what most of them are except for a few key ones. All I remember is that they were worthy causes, a friend asked and it was something I could easily do.

What Scott Harrison is doing is entirely different. He recognizes something that I didn't fully recognize before: I don’t really trust charities. For the most part I think they're not going to make good use of their money. They're going to probably be a bit better than government in efficiency but they're not going to be anything like the way we operate in the private sector.

charity: water, Scott’s organization, is different. Instead of reporting what percentage of their donations go to administrative costs, they give 100% of donated money to their projects. How is this possible? Simple: They fund raise separately for administrative costs to run the business, and they fund raise separately for donations. Scott figured out how valuable it is to be able to say that 100% of your donation goes to the people that need it.

clean water charity water scott harrisonThe second key feature of this charity is the fact that they prove every donation. This concept is quite wonderful when you understand what it means. Simply stated, it means that you're able to trace every single dollar to a specific project. Depending on the project, you will get tweets, Google maps, photographs, your name on a sign -- whatever it takes to prove that you contributed something specific.

Another technique that charity: water uses is amazingly simple: it's called giving away your birthday. The idea is that for your birthday instead of asking for presents or Facebook posts, you ask people to donate dollars equivalent to the number of years you have lived.

This is an amazing thing. My birthday is in a few weeks. I set a goal of raising about $2000 which will help about 50 people in India get clean water. I've raised about $1000 as of this writing. I think that's amazing. All in all, I see this organization as a reinvention in the entire way we think about charity.

To say I presented at the same conference as this founder of charity: water is a little bit embarrassing. It sounds as if I'm trying to associate myself with someone really great, and I think I am. What this guy is doing is on a whole other planet. I have no right to ask for an hour of your time, but I promise it will be worth it.

Like others who have seen Scott speak, when I left I felt compelled to act. His presentation was so moving and compelling that there's no other way I would have done anything else. Now, I've seen lots of charity presidents and executive directors stand up and ask for money. I've seen incredible stories that no one would say no to. But Scott's pitch was entirely different. What he's asking for doesn't just feel selfless. It feels like a movement. And people like movements. People like meaning.

I hope you can see where I'm going in this post. All of this is so similar to an opening statement and a closing statement in the cases we present that I hope you can see the similarity at once.

scott harrison presentation inbound charity waterWhen Scott presented his case, he gave it meaning. He told compelling stories. He used photography, graphics and simple slides to explain complex subjects. He used language and imagery that would appeal to visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles. Perhaps most important of all, at the end he asked me to do something. When you watch this presentation I want you to watch Scott Harrison's use of stories. How he memorizes what he presents. And how he uses graphics to make his case.

I make a living watching presentations, designing presentations and helping people improve how they present. Even though I know Scott’s presentation has been given hundreds of times, it felt real and new that day. And that is how we should make our judges and juries feel every time.

This doesn't mean playing on emotions because you can. It doesn't mean tugging heartstrings because you can. It doesn't mean slyly taking advantage because you can. No, it means being authentic, creating meaning, and asking for what's right.

Watch this video and tell me you can skip over doing something. Lots of people call us horrible things in the legal industry. Here's a chance to show something different. Watch this, learn from it, and then take action that feels right to you. You can donate to my campaign, you can start your own, but I'm telling you there's a movement underway here, and it's going to change the world.

Articles related to storytelling, persuasion and using graphics well on A2L Consulting's site:

Tags: Science, Presentation Graphics, Storytelling, PowerPoint, Closing Argument, Marketing, Charity, Information Design

11 Great Social Media Videos for Litigators and Litigation Support

Posted by Ken Lopez on Thu, Apr 4, 2013 @ 07:02 AM

social media for litigators videosby Ken Lopez
Founder & CEO
A2L Consulting

Trial lawyers need to be aware of any viable source of information about law and about trial practice and exhibits. There’s no end to the resources available to trial lawyers and trial consultants on the Web these days. One of the great features of social media is that it is, by and large, free. With this in mind, let's take a look at YouTube, which is a very helpful social network with pages, channels, and subscribers. It has a great many free resources that can help trial lawyers advise their clients on an interesting topic – how social media can and does interact with the law.

  1. Is social media just marketing hype? Is everyone on social media essentially a liar? Here, two experts debate whether social media has anything to add to lawyers’ ability to market themselves and gain legal skills.

  2. Social media and litigation: Social media evidence is becoming increasingly more prevalent in corporate litigation. Here’s an interesting and sprightly account of what evidence can be found on Twitter, YouTube, and the like. Are young people these days less concerned about privacy than people were 30 or 40 years ago?

  3. Social media and the law: Here, an attorney provides a one hour lecture on social media and the law generally.  This is a great overview of the issues from intellectual property rights to online torts. When does citation and quotation become plagiarism, for example?

  4. An overview of the current generation’s use of social media: I like this presenter not only because he presents information succinctly, but because he has five-year-old triplet daughters like me. How does “Generation Z,” born after 1995, use social media? They will soon become a significant plurality of lawyers. 

  5. Labor and employment law and social media: There are five parts to this talk. You should be able to see all of them if you click through to the video on YouTube.  Often, the requirements of human resources law fly in the face of common sense, and that is true when it comes to social media.

  6. Ethics issues for lawyers:  Robert Ambrogi, a Massachusetts lawyer and consultant, answers the question, “Are you aware of any cautionary horror stories about the ethics problems caused by lawyers’ use of social media?”

  7. Ethical considerations for lawyers in social media:  Some tweets that have gotten lawyers and law students in trouble because they are, well, too honest, and can violate ethics rules or point to embarrassing facts or experiences.

  8. Social media and compliance with basic ethics rules: This 90-minute presentation does a nice job of explaining the various considerations, although the audio could be better.

  9. Divorce and social media: In this area in particular, lawyers and investigators may be mining your personal information to obtain evidence for a divorce case.  A lot of personal and highly relevant information can already be out there on Facebook. What are the ethical limitations on this type of activity, and what considerations should lawyers and clients be aware of?

  10. Serving legal documents through social media: Bloomberg covered this interesting topic recently.  Will social media change how we litigate? Can service be made via Twitter or Facebook?

  11. Law enforcement has found a new tool to monitor demonstrators and political protesters – social media.  Just as Twitter and Facebook are now essential tools for protest movements, law enforcement agencies are monitoring the social media giants and using what they find to make cases against demonstrators.

Other social media for lawyers resources on A2L's site:


best jury consultants best graphics consultants best demonstrative evidence 

Tags: Social Media, Marketing, Labor and Employment, Ethics

8 New Ways to Connect with Clients - How Our Litigation Consulting Firm Does It

Posted by Ken Lopez on Wed, Nov 21, 2012 @ 06:15 AM

litigation consultants a2l nyc dc tx ca deby Ken Lopez
Founder & CEO
A2L Consulting 

At A2L, we work hard to stay in touch with our clients, potential clients and our industry.  Like most litigators, lawyers and even litigation consultants, we use many traditional methods of communication like meetings, lunches, phone calls, and emails. But in the modern era of social networks, developing and maintaining relationships presents a new challenge. 

In the past several years, we've enthusiastically embraced the movement toward communication via social networks and other modern communication methods. I think it is a great trend since it’s a way of finding out how much we have in common with our clients and other industry members, both in terms of common contacts and common interests. Also, since all of us receive too many phone calls from sales people, the more closed, self-selected network makes it easier for us to limit the number of people who can reach us. With social networking done right, clients can choose to spend virtual time 'with us' rather than via the old fashioned method of interrupting what they are doing.

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While nothing can replace a face to face conversation with a long trusted adviser, social networking and modern communication tools are providing methods for lawyers, law firms, litigation consultants and litigation support firms to communicate in a meaningful way. Obviously, our clients agree that we’re staying in touch successfully - we've grown more in the last two years than ever before in our 17-year history - and I believe social media has had a lot to do with it.

I want to share eight new ways that we stay in touch with clients so that you may find one that benefits your client relationships. As described below, they all work for our clients in different ways.  I encourage you to connect with us in any or all of these ways, and you'll quickly see how we do it. My hope is that by seeing how we do it, you can use these tools to form closer relationships with your client base.

  1. Blogging is the single biggest and easiest change a firm can make to increase client engagement. Our blog, The Litigation Consulting Report, covers timely topics in litigation, trial advocacy, and courtroom presentations and is updated several times a month. Since you are reading this, you probably see the value, right?
  2. LinkedIn, with many recent improvements and functions, is the new powerhouse of social media for the legal industry. We create new discussions on a variety of litigation groups each week and reach out to specific clients. It’s a great way to keep up with business developments of all sorts. Go to our company page and choose "Follow" to be notified of new articles in your LinkedIn newsfeed.

  3. Twitter is a powerful albeit quirky tool. It is a quick and easy way to see what’s going on, with links to our blog articles and other notable news items. Go here and press "follow" to see how we use Twitter as a business communication tool.
  4. Facebook is definitely not just for teenagers, vacation pictures and cute cats anymore. Yes, Facebook can be used for business purposes as well. Since I watch it everyday anyway, I find it especially useful to see news in my newsfeed, like articles A2L posts or litigation news. See A2L news in your Facebook newsfeed by going here and pressing "Like."

  5. Google+? Ever heard of it? Although Google+ hasn’t caught on as quickly as many expected, its interface is very clear and easy to use. I think it may find a place as a good business alternative to Facebook over the next year. Drop by our page and "Follow" us, and you'll get a sense of how we are using the tool. We're happy to add you back if it helps you.
  6. YouTube creates a lot of buzz for A2L. Just one of our videos has been viewed 70,000 times. So much of what trial lawyers do successfully can best be captured on video. Watch a brilliant closing argument that follows A2L’s advice or post one of your own. Visit our YouTube Channel and choose "Subscribe" to see how you might use it for your business.
  7. RSS readers allow you to aggregate stories from multiple sources in one feed. I think it is not the most user-friendly tool, but some people love RSS Feeds. If you subscribe to a number of RSS feeds, you can effectively create your own publication catered to exactly your interests. Here's our feed on Feedburner for you to subscribe to.
  8. Pinterest is one of the newest but one of my favorite social networks. We post a wide variety of materials here, some that we generate and some that are generated by others. You can even see a wider range of updates on Pinterest. This, the newest to catch on of all social media, is also going well beyond the personal and is a good source for business information. Visit A2L's Pinterest page and choose "Follow" to connect with a stream of litigation content you might not normally see.

I believe each of these tools can be useful for individual lawyers, litigators, law firms, litigation consultanthat ts and litigation support firms. For an individual, creating LinkedIn discussions may be enough. For a firm, several of these may allow you to reach a wider audience. For a sophisticated business, you really must make use of all of these services in a thoughtful way to properly communicate with your audience.

Other resources related to litigation leadership on the A2L Litigation Consulting Firm Site:

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Ken Lopez founded A2L Consulting in 1995. The firm has since worked with litigators from all major law firms on more than 10,000 cases with over $2 trillion cumulatively at stake.  The A2L team is comprised of psychologists, jury consultants, trial consultants, litigation consultants, attorneys and information designers who provide jury consulting, litigation graphics and trial technology.  Ken Lopez can be reached at lopez@A2LC.com.


Tony Klapper joined A2L Consulting after accumulating 20 years of litigation experience while a partner at both Reed Smith and Kirkland & Ellis. Today, he is the Managing Director of Litigation Consulting and General Counsel for A2L Consulting. Tony has significant litigation experience in products liability, toxic tort, employment, financial services, government contract, insurance, and other commercial disputes.  In those matters, he has almost always been the point person for demonstrative evidence and narrative development on his trial teams. Tony can be reached at klapper@a2lc.com.

dr laurie kuslansky jury consultant a2l consulting

Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D., Managing Director, Trial & Jury Consulting, has conducted over 400 mock trials in more than 1,000 litigation engagements over the past 20 years. Dr. Kuslansky's goal is to provide the highest level of personalized client service possible whether one's need involves a mock trial, witness preparation, jury selection or a mock exercise not involving a jury. Dr. Kuslansky can be reached at kuslansky@A2LC.com.

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