Why GP Solos Need to Worry About a Modern British Invasion

Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

20131113 British Invasion2In May 2007 Slater & Gordon, an Australian personal injury firm, became the first law firm to go public.  At the time, I discussed some of the implications of publicly held law firms, including the commoditization of legal services. I also gave some tips on how you can reduce the risk that your law practice will become a mere commodity.

Revolution in the U.K.

In October 2007 the United Kingdom passed the Legal Services Act (“LSA”), which authorized alternative business structures (“ABS”) with non-lawyers in professional, management or ownership roles in law firms. One of the regulatory objectives of the legislation was to promote competition in the provision of legal services. The LSA became effective in 2011, and in 2012 the Solicitors Regulation Authority approved the first four ABS firms. One of them, Co-operative Legal Services, launched a fixed fee family law service, with the intent of bringing “a refreshingly different approach to family law” with an “easily accessible and affordable” range of services. It is a division of The Co-Operative Group, a retail giant in the UK with 4800 retail outlets and 7 million members. So I guess you could say it is now the Costco of legal services. Read more «Why GP Solos Need to Worry About a Modern British Invasion»

Security in the Cloud: How to Protect Your Law Practice Business Data

Security in the Cloud: How to Protect Your Law Practice Business Data

Cloud this, cloud that—no doubt you’ve been inundated with the tech industry’s message that the cloud is where it’s at these days. Just under 90 percent of small businesses use cloud-based services to store, share and back up data, according to a recent survey by Rackspace Hosting, Manchester Business School and Vanson Bourne. Cloud everything has become increasingly popular with any business, especially for Law firms that can’t afford a basement full of servers or finds an IT department impractical for other reasons.Security in the Cloud

But how secure is the cloud? Security levels vary from one provider to the next, but one thing most decision-makers may not know is how much control they do have over their own cloud security. Read more «Security in the Cloud: How to Protect Your Law Practice Business Data»

Goosebumps at a State Bar Conference

Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

20130621 Tatum swearing inOn Friday, June 21, 2013 I got goosebumps at the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting. I have attended quite a number of State Bar conferences and witnessed of the swearing-in of a lot of State Bar Presidents. Frankly, the ceremonies tend to be rather boring affairs that have to offer a free lunch on the conference premises to attract attendance.

I know I wasn’t alone in experiencing the singular sensation, however. The newly installed president had to quell a lengthy standing ovation in order to speak. I hadn’t given much thought to the swearing-in until I witnessed it, and palpably felt its historic significance.

I was there when the first African-American Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas’s swore in the first African-American President of the State Bar of Texas. And the new President is a woman, to boot! As I watched the swearing-in, its significance hit me. I felt compelled to grab my smartphone and snap a picture. It’s not a great photograph, but it captured a great moment.

Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson became the first African-American Justice on the Supreme Court of Texas in 2001. He ascended to the Chief Justice position in 2004, another African-American first. President Lisa Tatum is the first African-American woman and the 133rd lawyer elected as President of the State Bar of Texas.

Following the ceremony, a mixture of pride and hope penetrated me. I don’t even know what I’m hoping for. An expectation of dramatic change in an industry grounded in precedent is too much responsibility to put on one person’s shoulders. I think I’m just hopeful that this is an outward sign of an internal shift that has already taken place.

A Chance to Grab a Better Law Firm Website Name

Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

Website and Domaine Blog 3-28-13There’s a big shake up going on in the world of internet domain names. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is accepting applications for new generic Top Level Domains (TLDs). Top Level Domains are the second half of your website name – the part that follows the “dot,” such as .com, .net and .info. Historically, ICANN authorized only 22 generic TLDs and 248 country code TLDs, like .ca or .fr. Recently, however, ICANN began accepting applications for the issuance of new descriptive TLDs, such as .book or .auto.

So why should you care about all this mumbo jumbo? Read more «A Chance to Grab a Better Law Firm Website Name»

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