If you think you might be interested in working with me one on one, please see services, below.
Legal Ease Consulting Products
Not ready for consulting? Want to get a taste of what I can offer? My products that will help law firms identify challenges, devise solutions and move forward on their own. Check back often to see what’s new!
NEW! Hot on the heels of LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers, Dennis Kennedy and I have written Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers as a guide for lawyers on using Facebook not only in their personal lives, but in their professional lives as well.
The book discusses:
- Setting up your Facebook account
- Privacy and other settings
- Managing your Timeline
- Finding, organizing and managing Friends
- Facebook Business Pages
...and more. The book is still in pre-launch, so order yours now for a 15% discount!
LinkedIn® in One Hour for Lawyers
LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers, my first book, co-authored with Dennis Kennedy and published by the ABA Law Practice Management Section, is a practical how-to book that is designed to be read in one hour so that you can get the most out of LinkedIn. Among the topics covered in the book are:
- Setting up a LinkedIn® account and completing your basic profile
- Creating a robust, dynamic profile that will attract clients
- Building your connections
- Usng search tools to enhance your network
- Maximizing your presence with features such as Groups, Updates, Answers, and Recommendations
- Optimizing your settings for privacy concerns
Here's what others are saying about the book:
The most frequent comment that I hear from lawyers about LinkedIn® is 'I don't get it. What do I do with it besides put up my profile?' But beneath its apparent one-dimensional layer, LinkedIn® offers a treasure trove of benefits to lawyers, from providing a one-stop location for prospective clients to learn more about them to finding information about different companies to tracking down buddies from law school. All it takes is getting started--and that's what Allison Shields and Dennis Kennedy's book, LinkedIn® in One Hour for Lawyers does best: it helps lawyers overcome their inertia and jump on board LinkedIn® while simplifying the learning curve so that lawyers can get the most out of LinkedIn in the shortest amount of time.
--Carolyn Elefant, author of Social Media for Lawyers
An excellent read, true to its word. In 60 minutes lawyers receive hands on advice for not only bringing their LinkedIn® profile alive, but will learn how to harness the power of LinkedIn® to build relationships and enhance their word of mouth reputation. No question lawyers following the wisdom of Kennedy and Shields will bring in new work by networking through LinkedIn®
--Kevin O'Keefe, CEO & Publisher of LexBlog, Inc.
I was delighted to read the ABA's latest book, LinkedIn® in One Hour for Lawyers by Dennis Kennedy and Allison Shields. Dennis and Allison are true experts who lecture frequently for the ABA on social media topics. This book is essential for lawyers who haven't yet joined LinkedIn®, but know they should and for those who are on LinkedIn®, but still feel clueless about how to use it. . . . For a very modest price and a very modest investment of time, you will gain invaluable expertise in the effective use of LinkedIn®
--Sharon D. Nelson, president of Sensei Enterprises, Inc. and co-author of Locked Down: Information Security for Lawyers
One of the byproducts of the new world of social media is the burst of new how-to books. Naturally, some are far better than others, and so we are blessed when a pair of superior and experienced practitioners like Dennis Kennedy and Allison Shields share their experience in using LinkedIn® in One Hour for Lawyers. Yes,after an hour with this clear and succinct book,you will indeed become highly proficient in the art of using LinkedIn® proficiently and profitably.
--Bruce W. Marcus, editor of "The Marcus Letter on Professional Services Marketing" and author of Professional Services Marketing 3.0.
If you are interested in promoting your practice, finding clients, discussing important issues with like-minded colleagues, or getting answers to your important burning issues, than you definitely need to explore the social networking power of LinkedIn®. And it would be hard to imagine two better people than Dennis Kennedy and Allison Shields to make it unbelievably easy for even the most reluctant lawyer to get up-and-running as quickly as possible. What a great way to spend an hour--teach yourself how to ramp-up your networking activities with this highly practical guidebook. Even an old dog like me, who has had an active presence on LinkedIn® for more than a few years, has to admit that I learned a number of new things (advanced search techniques and company buzz) from reading this book.
--Patrick J. McKenna, bestselling author, law firm management consultant and host of "Law Firm Leaders," the only LinkedIn® group exclusively for large law firm managing partners.
The book is good primer whether you are a beginner or have been on Linked In for a couple of years...It didn’t take me long to read the book. I’ve hi-lighted with markers and post its things that I need to do to my Linked In profile. One of the big reminders was not to use the Linked In’s default message. Its impersonal and doesn’t really let the other person know why you want to connect with them. This is certainly my action item that I plan to implement.
Social media is all the rage these days, and many lawyers are using it to their advantage. Find out how to build your practice using social media and get started with this introductory package, including three fully functional profiles which I'll complete for you. Want to know more? Click here.
8 Part Audio Series for Solo Practitioners, Law Firm Associates or Small Practices
This is the home study version of the popular teleclass series, including eight downloadable recordings of the individual sessions, PLUS notes and exercises in PDF format to reinforce the lessons learned. To learn more, click here.
75 minute audio of a live presentation covering these common mistakes made by lawyers and law firms of all sizes, including the simple ways to ‘fix’ these mistakes. More...
To take control of your practice, you need to know what kind of future you want from your firm.
This 20+ page e-report includes exercises you can do alone or with others to help you create an effective vision and mission statement for your law firm.
Even associates or solos will benefit from identifying their personal mission and creating their own vision for their professional career. Click here to learn more and to order.
See our terms and conditions for online purchases.
Legal Ease Consulting Services
Legal Ease Consulting, Inc. offers a variety of consulting services and programsto help solo practitioners and law firm leaders build a successful, effective and enjoyable practice.
Law firm issues aren’t one size fits all, so all of my programs are customized tomeet the needs of the individual lawyer or law firm. We'll start by working together to review your systems, structure and culture.
Through collaborative problem-solving, we devise solutions that work for yourpractice, whether they include changing your niche, creating procedures for greater effectiveness, improving culture and professional development, or developing strategies for practice building and rainmaking.
My services are aimed at identifying goals and objectives, establishing ameasure of success, and ascertaining the value of that success to you and your firm. Then we create action plans to move you toward your goals.
I keep you accountable for reaching your own goals and objectives. Often, the problem isn't knowing what to do - it's actually getting it done. Working with me will help you define the precise action steps you need to take, and I'll follow up to make sure you take them. You’ll achieve results much faster than you would on your own.
I can help you plan and achieve the changes you want in your practice bybringing an outside perspective and identifying and eliminating obstacles or problems that you can’t see because you’re 'too close' to the issue. You’ll learn what’s really holding you back, whether it comes from within you, within your firm, or from external sources.
Your information and your clients’ information are always kept in the strictestconfidence.
Whether you're a solo or part of a firm, I can work with you
Part of a larger firm with multiple partners? Hear me talk about the unique challenges faced by larger firms here.
“Allison works with exceptional insight and understanding of both legal practice and the lawyer's life. She is expert in assessing a firm's unique resources and working with individual practitioners to realize their highest potential. The result is a creative, effective, and satisfying practice tailored to the strengths of the firm and its staff. Allison has my highest and unequivocal recommendation.”
- Peter Arcese, Esq.
“A detail-oriented quick study who puts the client's interests before her own, Allison provided all I the help I could ever ask for and then more. Great value added.”
- David Kaufman, Esq.
“Allison has demonstrated a high degree of expertise in her field. She has assisted our office greatly and is certainly an asset to any company in which she associates.I recommend her without reservations.”
- Cheryl Fratello, Esq.
I work with clients in these four crucial areas:
Planning and Strategy
- Vision and mission
- Business plans
- Marketing plans
- Time management
- Goal setting
- Coordination of marketing and business development efforts
Procedures and Systems
- Office procedures and procedure manuals
- Definition and assignment of roles
- Dealing with paperwork
- Effective systems
- Billing issues
Business Development and Client Experience
- Business development planning
- Identification of target clients and creation of client profile
- Managing client expectations
- Enhancing client experience and increasing referrals
- Creating and conducting effective client surveys
- Client follow up programs
- Fee structures
Culture and Professional Development
- Employee satisfaction and retention
- Recognition and rewards
- Identifying and getting the most from key employees
- Compensation plans
- Training and education
Some of the tools that we can use include:
Needs analysis. By observing your firm ‘in action’ or conducting an analysis through telephone interviews and written questions, I can focus on those areas where there’s inconsistency and inefficiency. I’ll recommend changes to your systems and procedures to eliminate those problems, and together we’ll create strategies that work for your practice.
Assessments and surveys can pinpoint communication and management styles and to identify the individuals within the firm that will be the most successful in specific roles. We can also assess your current strategies to determine where you may be falling short, and what can be done about it.
Compensation systems that reward what you want to reward. Most firms want to encourage innovation, creativity, networking, mentoring, marketing, and a host of other ‘non-billable’ activities, but their compensation systems don’t reflect the value of anything but ‘billable hours.’ We’ll identify ways that your firm’s compensation and benefits systems can foster the behaviors the firm wants to foster.
Performance evaluations. Use performance evaluations to show your employees their importance within the firm, identify strengths and correct weaknesses that hold them back from achieving their own career goals. 360 degree feedback programs get all employees involved. Even partners can learn from associates and staff how to be a better leader and manager.
Strategic planning. Stop running your practice in 'reactive' mode and plan instead for the future you want for your firm. Protect your firm against the unexpected: injury, illness, disability, natural disasters, and technology malfunction, and prepare for the inevitable: retirement and the continuation of your firm.
Procedure and systems development. Design and implement changes in culture, structure and systems so that your firm works more effectively.
Client management and development. Identify and profile your ideal clients. Learn how to attract them to your firm - and take action to get those clients in the door . Ascertain shortcomings and develop strategies to manage clients’ expectations from the outset of the engagement so that there are fewer surprises – and fewer complaints about your bills. Pinpoint key issues, measure satisfaction, identify new ways to help clients, and recommend strategies for improvement to build client loyalty.
Services can be offered through a variety of structures, including intensive sessions, projects, scheduled services, and retainer agreements.
Intensive half day or full day programs conducted in your office. The intensivesession helps to define the priorities that will enable you to move the practice forward in the quickest and most efficient fashion. In one ‘blockbuster’ session, we can explore many issues and make much more significant progress than we can with shorter sessions stretched over a long period of time.
Fees for intensive sessions vary based upon the number of individuals from your firm who will be attending, and may include expenses such as travel and accommodations. Fees for intensive sessions are paid in advance, at the time of scheduling.
Working on a project basis is most successful when there is one specific, finitearea that you’d like to work on, or would like me to work on. Examples include creating website copy, performing a website analysis or deconstruction, conducting a client survey, designing and implementing a particular system, such as a system for handling accounts receivable, etc.
Project fees can only be determined after an initial consultation, during which we outline the scope of the project. Project fees are paid in advance, at the time of scheduling.
Scheduled services can be performed in person, virtually, or a combination.When you opt for a scheduled program, we designate specific time when we will work together. Knowing that you’ve got a scheduled session with me makes you much more likely to actually sit down and do what it takes to move your plans forward. Most of my work with clients is done virtually - over the telephone and by email.
Scheduled services are billed monthly, at the beginning of the month. Fees for scheduled services vary based upon a number of factors, including the number of sessions scheduled per month and the number of individuals from the firm with whom I will be working, among other factors.
In addition to the scheduled sessions, monthly plans usually include short telephone calls (of less than approximately 15 minutes' duration) as needed, as well as unlimited contact with me by email throughout the month.
The monthly retainer provides access to me, my advice and counsel by telephone, email and, where agreed, on-site visits with your office to aid in the progress of your goals, without restriction on the number of sessions conducted. You will have access at all times by email and telephone.