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Lawyerist Media Launches Redesigned Website to Better Help Small Firm Lawyers

Lawyerist Launches Redesigned Website

There’s a new look for Lawyerist. On July 6th, Lawyerist Media launched a completely redesigned version of its popular website, lawyerist.com. In addition to its new look, lawyerist.com offers expanded resources to shepherd lawyers along their healthy firm journey. It also includes new comprehensive guides that pinpoint significant areas of business development, regardless of where firms are on the journey.  

Lawyerist has guided hundreds of small law firms toward a healthier business through free content, resources, and in-depth products and services reviews. With its newly designed and relaunched website, Lawyerist Media continues to position lawyerist.com as the to-go resource for solo and small firm lawyers.  

Doubling Down on Building Healthy Law Firms

The idea of helping law firms build a healthy business is more than just a slogan at Lawyerist. Stephanie Everett, CEO, explains:

“We’re tired of seeing law firm owners suffer because of the broken, traditional law firm model. Our team is on a mission to help lawyers build something different—a business that is client-centered, designed around healthy teams using efficient systems, and is ultimately more profitable. We know lawyers can have what they set out to create—a firm that allows them to spend time with their families, impact their communities, and build for their future.”

The new “Healthy Law Firm” hub lays a clear path for lawyers working toward healthier law firms.

Walk through each step of Lawyerist’s healthy business model, including:


Teaching Law Firm Owners How to Build and Grow Their Business

For years, lawyers have visited Lawyerist Media’s site to learn practical advice to build and grow their business. Lawyerist’s new Complete Guide series will make it even easier for lawyers to find the information they need to begin their healthy firm journey. 

Each guide provides an overview of essential business concepts and easy-to-understand guidance to apply to their business. Everett explains, “We know law school doesn’t teach lawyers how to run a business. These guides will help lawyers understand key business concepts and how they apply to their business.” 

Nine new guides have launched, with plans for more to follow in the future.

Initially, lawyers can access Lawyerist’s Complete Guides to:


The new Complete Guide Series is under Resources at lawyeristbackup.kinsta.cloud. In addition, lawyers can access long-favored tools, including The Small Firm Roadmap book, the Lawyerist Podcast, and the Small Firm ScorecardTM

Lawyers can also turn to Lawyerist Media to find the latest industry, community, and company news in the relaunched News Articles section. And, those who miss the Lawyerist blog will be happy to see it make its comeback.

Lawyerist Media Connects Law Firm Owners With Tools Needed to Run Their Business 

Lawyers ready to build and grow a business know they can’t do it alone. Business owners rely on the right tools and services to help them effectively run their firms. Unfortunately, researching and choosing the right solutions can feel like a second job. So, Lawyerist does the work for you.

Lawyerist Media will continue to ease that burden and make the process easier for law firm owners with an updated Product Reviews section. In this area, firm owners can learn what to look for when choosing products, discover the features that could help them most, and select the best tools for how the lawyer wants to work. 

Software and service providers are now broken down into three easy-to-understand categories:


The Product and Services Reviews section of the website then takes a deeper look at each of the top providers, with detailed service descriptions, editorial reviews, and demo videos. lawyeristbackup.kinsta.cloud is the perfect place for lawyers to start when they are ready to purchase new software and engage a new service provider for their firm.

How to Keep Your Solo Practice Sustainable and Lean

One of the biggest issues for solo attorneys, especially new ones, is figuring out how to balance the books and keep overhead costs low. Here are six ways to reduce costs and keep your firm profitable.

Be a Minimalist

I’ve been running my own firm for nearly four years, and I’ve seen countless other firms open and close within that time frame.

The number one mistake these firms make is adding overhead that’s not necessary. Sometimes, a new solo gets a really nice (and expensive) office in a prime location without having any business. Or a new solo hires an administrative assistant before they can afford one.

When you start your practice, you should worry about two things besides taking care of your clients: keeping the lights on and paying yourself consistently.

At the start of your practice, you will probably spend a lot of time sitting in your office, waiting, and hoping that the phone will ring. There is no need to pay someone else to sit there with you. And do not assume that a good month or two means you have hit the jackpot and are ready for the big time. Wait until you have had a string of good months before you deciding to upgrade your office or hire a part-time assistant.

Stop Killing Trees

Running a paperless office will save you money.

You can rent a smaller office because you don’t need extra storage space for files. Generally speaking, less space means lower rent. And instead of having a bigger office in the suburbs, you can pay the same for a smaller office in a prime location.

You will also save money on paper and postage. Mailing briefs, client information, and bills gets more and more expensive every year. Fax service is usually perfectly acceptable, which mean you can use an e-fax service. When I serve documents in state court, I e-fax it and email a courtesy copy. That saves money on postage and paper. Plus, I don’t have to walk to the mailbox.

Another advantage of running a paperless firm is that you can work remotely. I don’t need to come into my office to pick up the Smith file—everything is scanned and stored on my hard drive. I also don’t need to come into my office because I need to print and mail something.

The only caveat here is that you will need to spend around $425 up front to buy a ScanSnap, but that cost will pay for itself within a matter of months with the money you will save elsewhere.

Find Alternative Research Sources

I admit I miss the ease and utility of Westlaw. At the same time, I do not have any desire to pay the rates that Westlaw charges.

Through my state bar association, I have access to Fastcase. Google Scholar, a free option, also appears to be getting better by the day. If you practice in a niche area, your bar association may offer a free service to deliver recent opinions via email. That will help you stay on top of the most recent case law in your practice area.

Check around to see what other options are available to you, especially if your practice is not motion-practice heavy. Chances are good you can survive without paying a ton for research. And if you find yourself in a pinch, you can always use the public access terminal at the law library.

Tackle Your Own Administrative Tasks

I’m not particular fond of doing my own bookkeeping, opening and closing files, running to the bank, etc. At the same time, if I hired someone else to do these tedious tasks, I’d have to pay them, which is a massive increase in overhead. Frankly, some months my firm could afford that expense, and other months it would be a problem. Until I get to the point where the firm is overflowing with money (wishful thinking), I’m not hiring anyone. (I do hire outside help to prepare my taxes. But I do my own accounting and bookkeeping. It can get annoying. A couple of times a year I have to come in on a Saturday morning for a few hours to do billing and balance the books.)

On the plus side, tackling my own administrative tasks means I know exactly how my firm’s finances look month-to-month. Knowing this about my firm helps me adjust my workflow and overheard as needed.

For example, if the trust account is getting low, then it’s time to revisit clients on retainer and make sure they refresh their retainers. If the cases need to be closed, then I need to spend time closing those files and pound the pavement for some new clients.

Answer Your Own Phone

I have always been a big proponent of answering your own phone. After using Ruby Receptionists for the majority of this year, I’ll probably go back to answering my own calls for these reasons:

  1. It’s not cheap to pay someone else to answer your phone.
  2. If you are using a virtual answering service, they will not do much more than take a message or provide your voicemail. If the caller is a potential client, you still have to talk to them.
  3. In my practice area, clients want to talk to an attorney ASAP. They might leave a message with an answering service or on your voicemail, but by the time you call them back, they may have found someone else. It doesn’t make sense to pay someone to take messages for potential clients who will always remain potential clients.
  4. If your marketing is well-targeted, you should want to talk to every potential client who calls you because you are the best person to help them. You are also in the best position to evaluate if they are a good client with a good case. Having someone else do that will save time in the short run, but will cost you time and money in the long run.

Write Your Own Website Content

An excellent way to plant a seed about your services before you even meet your next client is to write great website content.

If you outsource someone else to write your copy, it’s not the same. One, you are paying for it. And if you’re not paying much, it’s probably not very good content. Two, look at a few law firm websites, and I bet you can tell who writes their own copy. From what I’ve heard from prospective clients, they can tell too. Outsourced material (especially stuff written by marketing/social media “experts”) reads like a sales pitch. If you write it yourself, it will come across like you know what you are doing.

Running your own solo firm comes with numerous benefits and lots of new responsibilities. Make sure you can keep your solo practice running until it succeeds by keeping costs down and overhead low.

Small Firm Roadmap Stories: Ditching the Billable Hour

Lawyerist Lab is a community where solo and small-firm lawyers go to innovate, test, experiment, and improve their law businesses. We’re interviewing Lab members on their experiences as they align with The Small Firm Roadmap.

Jeff Houin, partner at Easterday Houin

I wanted to make sure the pricing, regardless of what the client used or didn’t use, was about the benefit — not the time it takes me to do it.

Tell us about your practice. How did it start? What were you doing before you started it?

Our firm is in rural Indiana. We have three attorneys. We cover a broad spectrum of practice areas. Since we’re in a small town, we like to provide all the legal needs our clients might need.

I joined in 2012, but the firm had been around for ages. At first, it was just my partner and me, then we added another attorney a few years ago. We plan to keep growing.

I was technically a solo my first year out of law school, sharing my office with a more established firm that gave me a lot of guidance. After that, I worked for a much larger firm that did real estate litigation. I covered the Northern third of Indiana! I mean, if there was a court hearing or appearance needed, I was the guy. And I came back around to smaller firms.

What made you go back to a smaller firm after your experience in a large firm?

Location, honestly. I now live and work in the town I grew up in. I tried to get away, but when my wife and I started having kids, we realized being closer to their grandparents was better for all of us. 

Also, I commuted for a long time when I was at the other firm and I realized I didn’t want to do that anymore. A small firm let me work and live in my community.

What’s different about a rural vs a bigger city practice?

The challenges are comparable — but the scale is so different. We do everything we would at a big firm and the challenges are similar, but we’ve had to think about how we scale for our rural community, including how we price our services.

So, what was the moment you decided to join Lawyerist Lab?

My partners and I followed Lawyerist for a long time — read the resources, listened to the podcast, the whole bit. And for a long time, we knew these were important lessons, but we thought we could still do everything on our own.

But at some point, I realized this wasn’t actually true. I wasn’t holding myself accountable. I was struggling to implement my ideas because there was too much to break down on my own. I really, really needed someone to say, “Here’s the process, and here’s your first step.”

I looked at a couple of different coaching options, but Lab was the one that broke everything down into the most manageable steps. I always know what my action steps are and what’s coming next. 

What do you find most helpful about Lab?

The coursework has been pretty valuable. As I mentioned, having a step-by-step process is invaluable to us, so having concrete steps I can reference at any time is a huge help.

The Masterminds are great. It’s always validating to hear other perspectives and get tips from other people who’ve been through what I’m doing.

What’s one area of the Scorecard where your firm is doing well? How are you maintaining that growth?

We’re scoring pretty well in Technology. Tech has always been a strength for our firm. We’re willing to adopt new tech and use it to make our practice more efficient and make our business run better. 

To implement, we start with the right mindset: We don’t adopt tech for tech’s sake. We’re not looking for the latest bells and whistles, or what looks the fanciest. We want tech that works within our existing workflows and gets the job done.

We’ve also been paperless since 2014. Other attorneys are speechless at how we can operate like this. I tell them I have one computer that is both my laptop and a tablet. And when I go to court, unless I have exhibits, I don’t take any paper files with me. It makes everything so much easier. 

Also, communication is key. New tech can be scary for people who aren’t used to it and there can be a reluctance to adopt. You can’t just change everything at once. Adoption has to be a gradual process of training, getting everyone on board, and helping them understand the benefits of the new tech. Having a clear roll-out plan is key.

We also have a pricing model that’s a little different from other firms we know. We use subscription pricing, which we launched at the beginning of 2019.

When we were looking at new pricing, we wanted something that really benefited clients. Billing by the hour meant clients were hesitant to contact me. They would think their question wasn’t important enough to get billed for, so they wouldn’t call. And I encountered situations where if I’d known their issue six months earlier, it wouldn’t have snowballed. We had to figure out a way to break down that barrier.

I wanted to make sure the pricing, regardless of what the client used or didn’t use, was about the benefit — not the time it takes me to do it.

So our model is a low flat monthly fee that keeps communication open. If clients have a question, they can call, email, or text me without worrying about how much it’s going to cost. If there are larger projects, then I’ll quote them a new price based on project pricing. 

This means fewer surprises. I always start with a roadmap session in the first meeting. Clients fill out a 50-question questionnaire so I know everything upfront. We decide on their priorities. I’m able to map out future project costs. And since they aren’t getting billed by the hour, they’re more willing to jump in and give me all the information I need. 

And the cost really evens out. In the first month, clients might call a lot. But as they get comfortable, they’re calling less.

Last question: What qualities does someone need to be a successful solo or small firm lawyer?

Mindfulness. Be intentional about your plan. Make sure you’ve thought through every decision: What are you trying to accomplish? What’s the plan? Why am I doing this? Taking time to plan your leap instead of jumping in will help you so much down the line.

Jeff joined the previous firm, Easterday & Ummel, as an associate attorney in April 2012 after working for larger law firms in South Bend and Indianapolis. Jeff earned a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University in 2000 and began a successful career in sales and management. After several years in the business world, Jeff returned to school to get his JD from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 2008. At Notre Dame, Jeff served as an Executive Articles Editor for the Journal of College and University Law and competed as a member of the Moot Court Showcase Team. Jim and Jeff formed Easterday Houin LLP on January 1, 2015.

Law Firm Revenue Target Calculator

How do you gauge the health of your law firm? While there are many ways to measure the health of a business, it is hard to call yourself successful if you can’t keep the lights on.

If you are just starting out, use your break-even point to set your revenue targets. Job number one is just keeping your firm going. Once you have exceeded your revenue targets enough to save up a cushion of a few months, come back and bump your income goal to set new revenue targets.

If your firm is financially healthy, you will be hitting your goals more often than not.

What To Do with Your Revenue Targets

Save them or write them down, first of all. Then use your revenue targets as motivation. At the beginning of each day, ask yourself what you can do to help bring in your daily goal before you leave the office.

Do not be shortsighted, though. Always be thinking about what you can do to hit that revenue target regularly. Cutting your fee to sign up a new client isn’t worth it just to hit your revenue target. Look beyond the next client for long-lasting opportunities to increase your revenue.

For example, if you allowed people to sign up and pay for a consultation right from your website, would you get more paid consultations? Is there a relationship you could strengthen (by having coffee, sending a note, or inviting someone to join a bar committee) that could result in referrals? Is there a service you can unbundle that would get more clients in the door? Is there a document you could responsibly offer for free (or in exchange for an email address) that would bring more potential clients to your website?

Consider telling your staff about your revenue targets and making a deal with them: if the firm exceeds its weekly goal, you will give them a bonus. If it regularly exceeds its goal, you will give them a raise (and then set a new target). You are all in this together, after all.

Do Regular Checkups

Check up on your revenue targets often enough to gauge the health of your firm. If you can’t hit them regularly, you probably need to try something different. If you are hitting them regularly, good for you! Use that momentum to grow (or just use the profits to go on vacation).