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August 21, 2010 — The Rocket Lawyer team had a blast at the annual ABA meeting and expo, hosted at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. The expo drew thousands of lawyers from around the world, all sharing the newest trends and practices in today’s bustling legal community. Hundreds of exhibitors promoted new products, services, and emerging technologies, and we were glad to be a part of it all!

We had the opportunity to meet hundreds of lawyers, and trade tips and experiences. Blogging, Tweeting, using Facebook and LinkedIn—these were only a few of the business strategies we discussed, and the feedback was great. We know that lawyers everywhere are looking to get more and more involved with online tools to boost their legal business, and we want to help make it easy. That’s why we hosted our inaugural Sociable Lawyer Tweet-Up.

We invited ABA attendees out for cocktails and encouraged them to relax and mingle with colleagues while we showed our presentation on “Ten Secrets to Super Power Your Legal Practice (Without Super Powers)”. Later in the evening, Rocket Lawyer Chairman Charley Moore moderated a panel with attorney Michael Bracamontes and social media experts Alexis Martin Neely and Matt Homann to discuss how attorneys can use new media tools to grow their practices. It was a great experience for everyone involved, and a great way kick off our new Sociable Lawyer Blog. Over the course of the five-day conference, we had the unique chance to join legal professionals in networking and discussing social media and virtual law office management.

The conference included over 220 CLE (Continuing Legal Education) programs to help lawyers improve their professional skills and expertise, with topics ranging from technology and business to ethics and diversity. We were so excited to have the opportunity to speak at one of the panels, and had a great time answering questions about small and solo firms! We really enjoyed this year’s ABA annual, and look forward to next year! If you missed us at ABA, don't worry, you can always keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter. Here are some of the highlights from the CLE panel we were on, called "Solo Day: Practicing the Practice of Law (II)". We hope you get a lot out of these words of wisdom— we certainly did!

Charley Moore: “Writing a blog in the way that is going to expertise you in the dialogue in your area of practice, in your niche, is a tremendous way to start to build your reputation, build your authority, and build your client base that’s coming to you organically.” “You have a blog; once you put it out, it’s a commitment. You have to engage. You have to do it systematically, you have to do it regularly, and you ought to find the tools in your practice [...] to help you keep your blog current. But once you’re in you’re in.” “[With] a real virtual practice, [you] could start to eliminate some cost areas. You may not need as big of an office as you have because you ought to be having clients who are coming in and want to work with you the way they found you, which is through the Internet.”

Kay Bridger-Riley: “The lessons that you learn— the hard lessons, the basic things that are unique to your particular area of law— having them on paper, giving them to the client, covers you in many ways.” “When I had a small firm one of my goals was to figure out how to make a litigation firm family-friendly. And what it did was it kept the associates in the office working, and the reputation that the firm ended up getting in town was one where everybody wanted to come and be there.”

Larry Rice: “If you don’t enjoy this [being a solo law practitioner], then one of two things: what you’re doing, you’re doing wrong, or you’re doing the wrong thing altogether.” “Those of you solo lawyers who do have employees, now is the best time ever to fire somebody you’re not happy with, because it’s easy to replace them.” “One of the first things to ask people is ‘What research did you do before you came in to this interview?’ If they can’t look you in the eye and say ‘I looked you up on the Internet before I came in here’, they’re telling you they’re either one of two things: either they are idiots or they’re Amish.” 

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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