Articles

Visit Web Marketing Today to see all of Micah’s monthly columns on internet marketing for the legal profession.

Visit Law Practice Today to see current and past issues of the ABA Law Practice Management’s webzine, in which Micah serves as Editor-in-Chief.

The articles below are listed in reverse chronological order. Please utilize the site keyword search to find topics that may be of interest to you.

LP Magazine Marketing Column: Effectively Managing and Maintaining Your Online Portfolio
Law Practice Magazine, March/April 2015
Every lawyer is researched online at some time. And with that basic, irrefutable fact, comes the critical need to monitor and manage what people might find. Think of that first page of Google results for your name as a bibliography of sorts. It is critical that all attorneys be aware of what people will see and find. Some call it reputation management. I call it business survival. The more you take control of powerful search-friendly sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Avvo, Justia and Google+, the better control you have over the results.

Law Firm Management Struggles with Multigenerational Issues
Law Practice Today, March 2015
Many law firms find themselves dealing with the personalities and traits of as many as four generations of attorneys. How do you create a culture and work environment that works for all of them? I put a unique spin on the notion of traditionalists, baby boomers, generation X and Millennials, taking a look at what makes each tick. Among the factors that come into play—retiring later (or sooner), telecommuting, technology (and social media), the billable hour, and dual-income households.

Progressing into Partnership – Road Rules for a New Role
Law Practice Today, December 2014
How do you get to partner? What are the criteria? What are the expectations? Can you have it all? Those were some of the questions answered during a panel presentation at the ABA Women Rainmakers Mid-Career Workshop in San Diego, California. The program, entitled “Progressing into Partnership—Road Rules for a New Role,” featured a balanced panel of four attorneys—two men and two women—from various perspectives.

LP Magazine Marketing Column: Embracing the Changing Face of PR
Law Practice Magazine, November/December 2014
Time and technology have changed many aspects of a law firms’ business development and marketing operations. But, perhaps, no component has changed more than that of public and media relations. The importance of PR is still great, but how and why it is utilized has come a long way from faxing press releases to the local papers. From blogs and social media to reputation management, ratings and rankings, advertorials and media training—law firms (and all businesses) are learning to embrace the changing face of PR.

LP Magazine Marketing Column: Age Over Beauty? Marketing a Law Firm’s Anniversary
Law Practice Magazine, July/August 2014
When does it make marketing sense to commemorate a law firm anniversary? We use birthdays—from one year to 200+--as a marketing vehicle, with varied success. This column examines the benefits and downside of such celebrations, including when to do it and where to invest, and just like in real life—age can sometimes be a benefit or detriment when a client is selecting counsel. From logos to parties; charitable endeavors to history books, attorneys have found many ways to incorporate business development with keeping a law office up and running, year after year.

LP Magazine Marketing Column: The Impact of the Three R’s: Ratings, Rankings and Reviews
Law Practice Magazine, March/April 2014
Lawyer and Law Firm ratings, rankings and reviews continue to expand. Gone are the days where everyone is focused on an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell. Today’s law firms are seeking validation in the U.S. News & World Report’s rankings; from Chambers USA to Best Lawyers. There is concern about reviews on Avvo, Yelp and Google+. Attempts at limitations and regulations by national and state bars have largely come up short. How should your practice be selecting and handling participation in this lucrative industry?

LP Magazine Marketing Column: Branding is the Heart of Your Marketing Message
Law Practice Magazine, November/December 2013
Let’s just start with the premise that branding is not optional. Every law firm, practice group and individual lawyer has a brand. The question is whether the market dictates it or you control it yourself. Successful branding takes planning, strategy, implementation and ongoing monitoring. Learn about rebranding, positioning, advertising & promotional strategy and the importance of consistency in messaging.

LP Magazine Marketing Column: Proper Hiring & Staffing of your Law Firm’s Marketing Team
Law Practice Magazine, July/August 2013
An area that law firms have struggled with for the last few decades is the proper hiring and staffing of a law firm marketing department. In some cases, this means one part-time marketing professional; in others, it might be a team of dozens comprising millions in annual salaries. Regardless of the numbers, you need to understand the process—from whom to hire and how much to pay to the credentials and skill sets your law firm needs for business development success. Law marketing staff recruiting is not for the faint of heart.

Ethics Imperative to Business Development Learning
Law Practice Today, May 2013
Professional development and marketing programs intersect in many ways—none more vital than in ethics compliance. From websites and social media ratings and rankings, the ethical implications of marketing activities are varied and complex. Ensure your professional development program isn't forgetting the ethics component of marketing.

LP Magazine Marketing Column: Charitable Deductions, Marketing Opportunities
Law Practice Magazine, March/April 2013
Law firms are pretty good at giving back to the community. However, often overlooked are the marketing opportunities that come from charitable giving. There are numerous tools and considerations—from professional development and team building to government incentives and branding that come out of the philanthropic work and financial contributions you are already making.

Finding The Magical Mix For Your Digital Marketing Plan
Family Advocate Magazine (ABA Section of Family Law), Winter 2013
There has never been a more competitive time to be a family law practitioner. In this feature written for the ABA Section of Family Law magazine, I present a wide range of options in creating an effective digital marketing plan. From websites and blogs to the use of video, SEO, mobile sites, social media, directories, and ratings—marketing for potential divorce clients is increasingly moving from print to online.

LP Magazine Marketing Column: Auditing your efforts
Law Practice Magazine, November/December 2012
At a time when law firms’ spending in marketing and business development can hit seven or eight figures, it is time to ask, “are we spending our money wisely?” Learn the value of conducting an annual or biannual law firm marketing audit—to increase productivity and decrease senseless spending.

LP Magazine Marketing Column: Print Makes a Comeback
Law Practice Magazine, July/August 2012
In my first issue as the Law Practice Magazine marketing columnist (alternating issues with immigration law pioneer Greg Siskind), I address a “roll back the clock” issue of law firms seeking a return to the “hard copy” and how “print” (as opposed to paperless) is making a comeback in law firm marketing.

LPM Continues Support of Upcoming ABA New Partner and In‐House Counsel Conference
Law Practice Today, February 2012 The rewards of partnership or transitioning to in‐house counsel come with a host of new opportunities, responsibilities, and challenges. This conference is specifically designed to help prepare you for your new role and your future success. Last year, the ABA’s Young Lawyers Division (YLD) launched the association’s first conference dedicated to providing education and resources to those lawyers that have made partner or gone in‐house during the last three years. The now‐annual conference was a huge success, and the Law Practice Management Section was proud to provide both program and sponsorship assistance.

Frontlines - Highlights from the 2011 ABA Law Firm Marketing Strategies Conference Law Practice Magazine, November/December 2011

Marketing ROI: Are You Throwing Good Money After Bad?
Law Practice Today, September 2011
Without stating the obvious—that a few hundred dollars to send members of your law firm to the ABA Law Firm Marketing Strategies Conference this November in Philadelphia is likely to provide a high ROI—the bottom line is, well, just that, the bottom line. There are law firms with marketing budgets in the tens of millions. There are others in the tens of hundreds. Some have invested heavily in the business development function for 20 years; others for 20 months. Regardless of your firm size, geography or practice orientation, the concept of ROI—Return on Investment—is likely a recurring topic these days among your management and finance committees.

Business Development & Marketing Strategies—and the Ethical Considerations That Come with Them
Law Practice Today, November 2010
The care you take in creating and growing your book of business may be just as important as the clients within it. Sometime after you learn the secret handshake and get the keys to the executive washroom, many new partners find themselves faced with an uncomfortable new role – rainmaker. This article was written along with Greg Siskind and Michael Nestor, as part of a BD program at the 2011 ABA New Partners and In-House Counsel Conference.

Attorney Malpractice
Perspectives – From the Chair of the Law Practice Management Section

Law Practice Magazine, July/August 2010

Top 10 Tips to Borrow from Law Firm Inefficiencies
ABA Law Practice Management Chair’s Column, Law Practice Today, June 2010
How much more successful could you be if you employed more traditional corporate business principles? This top ten list was one of my most popular webzine chair columns in 2010.

In Memoriam – Ed Flitton
Perspectives – From the Chair of the Law Practice Management Section
Law Practice Magazine, May/June 2010

Resolving Internal Disputes Is about Attitude
ABA Law Practice Management Chair’s Column, Law Practice Today, May 2010
Tap into your ADR skills—and remember, the ultimate goal is to open lines of communication. But first, someone needs to start. Law firm management committees still struggle with internal issues.

Spring is a time for renewal and rebirth
Perspectives – From the Chair of the Law Practice Management Section
Law Practice Magazine, March/April 2010

The Ratings & Rankings Game: Lawyers and Law Firms Weigh In Regarding the Impacts
ABA Law Practice Management Chair’s Column, Law Practice Today, April 2010
Ranking the Raters; Rating the Rankers: A Forum on Methodologies, Benefits and Value. This is the second installment of a two-part column on the hotly contested topic of law firm and lawyer ratings and rankings services. Part one dealt with the controversies over the inaugural U.S. News & World Report rankings and the related ABA resolution addressing the subject.

U.S. News Law Firm Rankings Are Poised to Change the Ratings Game
ABA Law Practice Management Chair’s Column, Law Practice Today, March 2010
Part One of Ranking the Raters; Rating the Rankers: A Forum on Methodologies, Benefits and Value.

Appreciating the Difficulty Involved in HR Issues
ABA Law Practice Management Chair’s Column, Law Practice Today, February 2010
Take the traditional level of difficulty involved in human resources administration and protocols and toss it into the world of law firms. The pressure to get it right can be greater than it seems. I find it interesting that human resources is an area rather infrequently addressed in the Law Practice Management Section. We know about things like e-discovery, business development, alternative billing and succession planning, but when it comes to the world of HR, there seems to be a gap.

What is the future of law practice?
Perspectives – From the Chair of the Law Practice Management Section
Law Practice Magazine, January/February 2010

Succession Planning
Perspectives – From the Chair of the Law Practice Management Section
Law Practice Magazine, November/December 2009

Preview of the ABA Law Firm Marketing Strategies Conference in Philadelphia, PA
Perspectives – From the Chair of the Law Practice Management Section
Law Practice Magazine, September/October 2009

Archaic rules hobble attorneys
National Law Journal, September 2009
Businesspeople and consumers would laugh at advertising limits on lawyers. This opinion piece got more response from readers than anything I’ve ever written. And the biggest compliment is McGuireWoods partner Tom Spahn’s continuing references to it in ethics seminars.

Facing Facebook and Tweeting with Twitter
GC Mid-Atlantic, June 2009
As social networking took off, and corporations started to realize the impact on operations, ALM’s General Counsel Publication asked me to address how GCs were coming up against issues of social networking, and needed to figure out how to handle it.

In-House Counsel Seek Value from Law Firm Marketing Dollars
The Legal Intelligencer, 2008
What are in-house counsel really looking for from a law firm’s marketing efforts? You might be surprised to hear what they care about, and what efforts just go by the wayside.

The Evolving Tactics and Strategies of Law Firm Marketing
ALA Legal Management Magazine, November/December 2007
Once upon a time, and not very long ago, the concept of marketing, marketers and a marketing department was foreign to law firm management—regardless of firm size, practice or geography. Together with co-author Jamie Diaferia of Infinite PR, we examine what works, does not work and ROI considerations in law firm marketing and public relations.

Law Firm Marketing's Summer of Discontent
ABA LPM Webzine, Fall 2007
Thirty Years after Bates v. Arizona, the debates rage on as the legal profession continues to grapple with issues of ethics, professionalism and reputation in the way that attorneys chose to market their services.

Untangling Today's Web -- The Second Decade of Law Firm Web Sites – Tips and Trends
The Legal Intelligencer, 2007
During the Q&A session of a recent Pennsylvania Bar Institute Webinar entitled, “Creating a website for your solo, small or medium sized law firm”, I was stunned to still get the following question: “How many law firms have web sites?” Somehow I think some firms are asking the same questions today.

Anatomy of a Blog
Law Technology News, 2006
Young Conaway Associates go from “what’s a blog?” to DelawareIPLaw.com in 30 Days. The making of a law firm blog.

First-Year Associate Marketing Plans - It is Never Too Soon to Start
The Legal Intelligencer, 2006
It was not too many years ago that the simple concept of talking to summer associates or first-year associates about a law firm’s marketing initiatives would be considered utter blasphemy. Times have changed. Professional development starts on day one, if not sooner.

One Minute with – Micah Buchdahl
Law Practice Magazine, October/November 2006
This Frontlines feature highlighted Micah’s role as a “site specialist,” as he predicts the future for internet marketing in the legal industry. Read it to see if he was right or wrong.

Web Site Marketing: The Basics
Association of Legal Administrators Encyclopedia, 2005
To request this article, please contact HTMLawyers directly for a complimentary copy. See the table of contents at ALA for a breakdown of topics covered.

Client-Friendly Websites – Road-Tested Tactics
Law Practice Magazine, October 2004
Think you’re using the Web to draw in clients? You could be driving them away instead. Turn your website into the ultimate client development and service tool. Also included are two sidebars -- "Judge for Yourself: The 2004-05 IMA Awards" and "Think Before You Spend: Preparing your Site Road Map." Don't waste any more time planning your web site before reading this article.

Gorilla Marketing – Is your law firm advertising ethical and PETA-friendly?
Small Firm Business, 2004
The infamous case of Pape and Chandler in Florida was one of the first great, hotly-contested advertising ethics fights in the Internet era. The role of animals in lawyer advertising and marketing has never been the same.

New Year; Fresh Start to your Marketing Plans
ABA Young Lawyers Newsletter, January 2004
Yeah, I penned this in 2004 for ABA YLD, but the concept of the New Year’s resolution to get an attorney business development plan in place never changes.

SELL YOURSELF--Ethically and Effectively Marketing the Lawyer and the Law Firm
ABA Law Practice Magazine, July/August 2003
The concept of selling legal services, as in “sales” is a concept continually debated in many law firm boardrooms. Is it uncouth? Is it ethical? Should we be selling-- Biff Loman style?

Potential Ethical Issues and Ways to Avoid Pitfalls for the Law Firm Web Site
Wisconsin Bar Journal, 2003
While the rules of how to play the Internet game have changed rapidly, and often, throughout the last five years, the rules regarding the general practice of law have changed very little. The difficulty comes in interpreting the rules, as they pertain to life on the World Wide Web.

What's Hot and What's Not in Law Firm Marketing – 2003
IMA Archives, 2003
Like Carnac the Magnificent, I take you back in time, to the earliest days of law firm marketing, circa 2003. Let’s see just how smart I was (or not), in this “hot or not” column.

Major Marketing at the Minors
Law Firm Inc., 2003
Lawyers do “color commentary” and are a surprise big hit! Yeah, it is a self-serving case study in that I came up with this unique twist on a law firm’s minor league baseball sponsorship. But it is one of my favorite “out of the box” concepts—thanks to Young Conaway and the Blue Rocks in Wilmington, Delaware.

SEO - Search Engine Optimization & On-Line Marketing Advice
IMA Archives, 2001
Listening to the Traffic Report can help quicken your trip to web success. For marketers, one of the beauties of the World Wide Web is the ability to evaluate success at a level higher than almost any other type of initiative. Yet, I am continually amazed by how few people take full advantage of this. How often do you look at your law firm's web site traffic report, and how big a role does it play in your ongoing development and strategy?

No law firm is too small for a marketing plan
IMA Archives, 2001
If there is one thing that is generally consistent among attorneys, it is a lack of focus and planning in strategically marketing a practice. A 20-attorney firm generally has 20 marketing opinions. A 300-attorney firm has 300 opinions. You get the idea. The nice thing for small firms and solos is that there are fewer opinions, and a better shot at actual success. You know who you are, what you do, and where you want to go. Now, create a strategy and follow through. Written in 2001, but still good today!

Disaster Recovery -- Post 9/11
Law Technology News, 2001
Unfortunately, the concept of disaster recovery never goes away…With nearly 14,000 New York attorneys displaced as a result of the events of September 11, hundreds of thousands of clients, their files and casework are potentially lost. Among the numerous tasks to overcome, is the rebuilding of information and technology. For those that envisioned "disaster recovery and planning" it is time to implement; for those that are now planning for potential problems in the future it is time to learn from the experience.

The Small Law Firm's 6-Step Process to Building Your First Web Site
Lawyers Weekly
If you are just getting around to developing your practice’s first web site, welcome to 1998! Actually, it is never too late to get started. Over the years, some issues have changed, but the core concepts of building a law firm website remain.

Trade Show Marketing for Lawyers
IMA Archives
Is trade show marketing an effective approach to your law firm’s practice areas and culture? Some firms swear by it; others swear at it. But it is often an important component when targeting particular industries and associations.

Establishing your brand in the law firm marketplace
IMA Archives
Law firms have struggled with the concept of branding and positioning since it became a recognized formal component of a marketing plan. Every law firm and attorney has a brand—whether they like it or not. But finding firm’s that have successfully developed a corporate-style branding campaign are few and far between.

Going Solo: Getting started in your law practice
Lawyers Weekly
Many lawyers still like the concept of “going solo” and avoiding the headaches that come from not “being your own boss,” but there are challenges. And the grass might always seem greener.

Survey Says...You should’ve asked!
Publication Date Unknown
Law Firms finally turn to a proven form of market research to learn what they thought they knew. Client satisfaction programs and survey are often a big part of a law firm’s business development marketing plan.