Improving Our Communication with Zoom and Other Virtual Platforms [Podcast]

Since March, most of us have been getting a crash course in how to use Zoom (or other virtual platforms). In some ways, Zoom is really just another phone call and most lawyers are very accustomed to speaking on conference calls. But Zoom has its own nuances and as many of us are learning, there are pluses and minuses of being able to connect visually from a distance. In the latest episode of the Counsel to Counsel podcast, I speak with Charlotte Dietz, Founder of Speak Well Partners. Charlotte is a talented communications and public speaking coach and business story strategist.  She shares some great insights into how we can all do a better job communicating in a virtual environment.

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Getting to Know (Like and Trust) You

Earlier this year, I participated in a speed networking exercise through my business networking group ProVisors. The mantra at ProVisors is Know Like Trust Refer.  This exercise was one of the many ways we have invested time in ProVisors meetings in trying to learn more about each other so we can get to know each other on a professional and personal level.

The goal, of course, is to get to know each other in a way that makes us feel comfortable giving referrals. While most of us seek out competent professionals when someone we know have a need that we cannot fulfill, in truth, it is much easier to identify someone we like and who we trust.

Since by definition, a competent professional has a skill set that we lack, often our decision to make a referral is not based on our professional assessment of that individual’s skill.  Do we really know that someone is a good CPA if the Internal

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Zoom Tip of the Day-“Hide Myself”

Many of us are spending hours a day on Zoom.  While Zoom has been a great tool at a time when we can’t meet in person, most of us are experiencing at least some level of Zoom fatigue.

There are many reasons for this and a lot has been written on the subject (e.g. while Zoom is a visual medium, it is much harder to read body language on a screen; looking at a screen is hard on the eyes; having conversations on your computer can be distracting as alerts pop up in front of you; if you are with a group, you can’t keep multiple people in your peripheral vision while you focus on the person who is speaking; if you want the other person to think you are making eye contact, you have to look at your camera and not into their eyes).

One thing that is very distracting about Zoom is that most of us can see our own image on our screen.  While this can initially provide us with useful information about what the other person is seeing (Are we properly lit? Is our face large enough on the screen? Have we minimized the distractions in the background? Are we having a bad hair day?), it also creates an element of stress that doesn’t exist in the “real world”.

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How to Build a Life Sciences Practice in a New City [on the C2C podcast]

How do you move to a new city and build a law practice?  Do what Dave Dykeman has done over the last 20 years.  Dave is Co-Managing Partner of the Boston Office of Greenberg Traurig where he also Co-Chairs the firm’s Global Life Sciences & Medical Technology Group.  In the latest episode of the Counsel to Counsel Podcast, Dave and I talk about building a niche IP practice in medical devices and other technologies.  He describes how his  early marketing efforts yielded great results over time.

Read moreHow to Build a Life Sciences Practice in a New City [on the C2C podcast]

It’s “Moving Day”; My E-mail Address is Changing After 23 Years!

After 23 years, I’ve finally decided to change my primary email address.  You can now reach me at stephen.seckler@counseltocounsel.com.

In 1997, when the web was really starting to take off, I acquired the domain Seckler.Com. Soon after, I set up the domain CounseltoCounsel.Com.  My email address became legal@seckler.com and despite the fact that I was using CounseltoCounsel.Com for my website (and eventually Counsel to Counsel became my blog and my podcast), I’ve never used the CounseltoCounsel domain for my email address.

In truth, I’ve never really liked legal@seckler.com.  But it took a pandemic to overcome the inertia.

Making change in your business always involves an initial investment of time and energy.  While I’m pretty busy with work right now, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.  Most importantly, I really like the fact that my branding is now more consistent.

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What Comes Next?-A Program for Senior Lawyers

New Life written on rural road

Eventually, every professional athlete faces the same challenges: when to retire and what to do next.  For the most part, an athlete’s career is limited.  Few players will be able to compete into their 40’s. Lawyers, on the other hand, do not face these constraints. They can practice full-time well into their 70’s or 80’s and even continue to actively participate in firm management.

As the pandemic has caused law firms and partners to rethink their priorities, the issue of what to do with senior partners has never been timelier.  For lawyers who are thinking about the next 10 to 15 years of their lives, they may be asking themselves the same question that King George poses in the musical Hamilton—What Comes Next?

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Building A Book of Business During COVI9-19 and Beyond [Zoom cast]

AALAM’s Law Firm and Solo and Small Firm Committees is offering this program to provide insights into how to build a book of business in the age of social distancing. This Zoom cast will feature a marketing coach and a legal recruiter, who will offer fresh perspectives on business and career development. Learn the ins and outs of business development and tips on effective marketing from seasoned panelists, Stephen Seckler of Seckler Legal Recruiting and Coaching and Marc Zwetchkenbaum of Marc Z Legal Staffing. The panel will be moderated by AALAM’s own Jason Chan.  

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The C2C Podcast Now Has 10K Downloads; But the Number I Care About is 43

This month marks the 10,000th download of the Counsel to Counsel Podcast. While I’m proud to have passed that threshold and very pleased that so many lawyers are finding it useful, the number I really care about is 43.  Since launching C2C in 2018, I have interviewed 43 guests. With each recording, I have come to appreciate the great value I receive from the guests who are willing to participate.

Podcasting is similar to other forms of marketing.  Producing a podcast is a great way to highlight your expertise and to differentiate yourself in the marketplace. I have certainly gotten clients who have listened to episodes of C2C. Some of these are individuals who I already knew; but others are individuals I might never have reached.

For me, however, the greatest value in producing podcasts is that I get to learn something from the guests that I choose to interview. I choose topics that I want to learn about, and the person I interview gives me a tutorial.

Read moreThe C2C Podcast Now Has 10K Downloads; But the Number I Care About is 43

Getting the Most From Networking Meetings and Troikas [podcast]

In the latest episode of the Counsel to Counsel podcast, I speak with Steve Fretzin, a premier business coach, trainer, and speaker on business development.  Steve focuses on the legal industry but comes with experience in other industries as well.  Steve and I discuss the importance of networking in building a professional services practice, how you can get more out of your networking meetings, and how to do this in a time of social distancing.

The ability to generate work has never been more important for lawyers and other professionals. We are in a recession right now and adapting to the demands of the marketplace is critical.  But knowing what services your clients want is only a starting point.  A good business plan requires a healthy mix of marketing (or reputation building activities) and business development (or relationship building activities).  For lawyers and other professionals, it is the second leg, the relationship building, that is more challenging to master.

Attorneys come out of law school knowing something about a broad cross section of legal subjects.  Law school graduates enter the workforce knowing how and do legal research and write briefs.  While clinics and internships help aspiring lawyers to start

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Building a Concierge Law Practice to Address Family Conflict and Mental Health Issues

In the latest episode of the Counsel to Counsel podcast, I speak with Lisa Cukier, a partner at the law firm Burns and Levinson in Boston.  Lisa practices in a number of related areas including: all aspects of estate and trust litigation, fiduciary litigation, probate law, child custody, parentage issues and divorce.  She also works on guardianship and conservatorship matters,  elder financial exploitation, matters and serves as concierge trustee for many clients who feel protected by her approach to problem resolution.  Her work includes representation of blended families.

We talk about how she has built what she calls a concierge practice.  We also discuss what it has been like to serve on the executive committee of her firm, and how she has modified her own marketing and business development in a time of social distancing.

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