Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 8

PR AC TICE MANAGEMENT

LEVERAGE DOWNTIME,
BOOST YOUR BUSINESS
By Rochelle Washington

A

ny law firm can experience
a downturn in business. Slow
periods could be the result of
poor management, marketing, or
business development initiatives.
Other times, they can be caused
by external factors completely out
of one's control. Here are a few
things every lawyer can do during
slow periods to help minimize
future downturns and maximize
the extra time.
Review or update your marketing strategy.
This is a great time to work on boosting your
marketing initiatives. In fact, you may be
experiencing this slow period because you've
become lax in marketing your firm when
business was booming. There are many ways to
increase your visibility to prospective clients and
stay relevant and connected to existing clients:

*	 Start or improve your newsletter initiative.
*	 Develop and draft relevant newsletter

content for your target audience. Try to
prepare material to be used over the next six
months. Send it to prospective and existing
clients.

*	 Update your website. Find ways to repurpose
content you already have, including newsletter items.

*	 Boost your social media presence one

platform at a time. Repurpose, segment, and
post your newsletter content.

*	 Even if you are an introvert, you may find

success using video conferencing to host

8

WASHINGTON LAWYER

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JULY/AUGUST 2020

networking events or mastermind sessions
with colleagues to elevate your reputation.
You can also develop video content to
provide information to potential and existing
clients.
Be a resource to existing and former clients.
Check in with former and existing clients -
a phone call adds a personal touch! Let them
know you are available to assist. Provide them
with relevant information or updates to a legal
issue they previously or currently presented to
you. Tip: When you call, offer a special price or
discount on a routine service you provide.

Carve out time to speak
with legal software
providers to determine
which tools can help you
become more efficient
and profitable.

electronic system. Update your office policies
and procedures. While updating your procedures, don't forget to establish or update your
law firm backup plan.
Explore technology. If you have Office 365 or
Google My Business, there are numerous tools
and services available, based upon your subscription level, that you may not know exist or
have not had time to try. Find out what your
existing technology can do for you. Office
users, for example, can try virtual collaboration
with internal staff using Microsoft Teams. Also
consider technology tools that you don't have.
Carve out time to speak with legal software providers to determine which tools can help you
become more efficient and profitable.
Streamline processes. To be an efficient and
profitable lawyer, you need to cut out unnecessary procedures. Write down every minute
action involved when handling office tasks and
common procedures such as client intake,
billing and invoicing, and client communication. Identify who handles each step. Then
review these tasks carefully to determine if
there are steps that can be automated, delegated, or eliminated.

Evaluate your budget. Review your finances
and update your business budget. Consider
how you could cut unnecessary expenses. For
example, if incoming calls to your firm have
dropped significantly, reducing your minutes
with your answering service or even suspending the service might be best. Create
a business reserve fund for slow periods in
the future.

Be creative. Think big picture. Consider alternative ways to increase or generate income.
Identify the current public need. Events and
changes in the economic or social climate can
bring about new legal problems that potential
clients need you to solve. If current legal issues
are not part of your practice, you could use this
time to establish competency in a new area.
This is a big decision and works best when a
new practice area complements your existing
practice. Be mindful of the requirements of D.C.
Rule 1.1 on competency.

Clean house. Downtime presents a great
opportunity to clear clutter. Organize your
electronic or paper files. Develop a structured
plan for going paperless that includes getting
those old paper files scanned into your

For practice management help, contact the
Bar's practice advisors, Dan Mills and Rochelle
Washington, at 202-780-2762 or 202-780-2764,
respectively, or email pmas@dcbar.org.



Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Election Coverage
Practice Management
Calendar of Events
When Law Firms Go Remote feature
Disaster Preparedness for Lawyers feature
Staying Afloat feature
Privacy Rights During a Pandemic Feature
Hamilton's Enduring Legacy feature
Annual Report
Taking the Stand
The Learning Curve
On Further Review
Member Spotlight -
Worth Reading
Attorney Briefs
Disciplinary Summaries
Women's Suffrage special section
Speaking of Ethics
A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 1
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 2
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 3
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Election Coverage
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 10
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 11
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - When Law Firms Go Remote feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 13
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 14
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 15
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 16
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 17
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Disaster Preparedness for Lawyers feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 19
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 20
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 21
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Staying Afloat feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 23
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 24
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 25
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 26
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 27
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Privacy Rights During a Pandemic Feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 29
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 30
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 31
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Hamilton's Enduring Legacy feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 33
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 34
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 35
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 36
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Annual Report
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 38
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 39
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 40
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 41
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Taking the Stand
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - The Learning Curve
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 45
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Member Spotlight -
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 47
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 49
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Women's Suffrage special section
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 53
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Speaking of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 55
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Cover4
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