A Checklist for Failure in 2015

or many people, it’s traditional to look back on the previous year seeking hints as to how to improve and thrive in the year to come. Common wisdom tells us it’s beneficial to begin the New Year on a positive note, but that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t be realistic as well. In this day and age, one needs to move forward with eyes wide open, especially members of the legal profession.

Over the course of the past year, the Attorney’s Creative Roundtable has focused on the unique challenges facing lawyers, especially change related to technology and global economic forces.

The recession has decimated the middle class, which has comprised the primary market of most small law firms. Commoditization of many aspects of the practice by online services has also cut into our traditional business model, while the onslaught of technology has taken over many routine functions. And, a recent report suggests that artificial intelligence may even cause a structural collapse of many law firms.

These pressures and others have put intense pressure on lawyers to adapt quickly or perish. So, while you’re considering your options for morphing your legal practice into the 21st Century, here is a checklist of practices that will ensure your imminent obsolescence.

  • Put up a simple webpage that doesn’t brand you or your firm.
  • Don’t create a Unique Selling Message (brand) for your practice.
  • Don’t establish a budget for marketing activities.
  • Don’t create a Strategic Business Plan for your practice. After all, your practice is not a business and you don’t have to use traditional business strategies in a law practice.
  • Don’t learn about Search Engine Optimization and how to improve your ranking on Google.Don’t have a LinkedIn Account and don’t post a picture of yourself
  • Don’t read Susskind’s book “The End of Lawyers” and in particular “Tomorrow’s Lawyers
  • Don’t add your name to any online attorney directories because prospective clients would never look for a lawyer on the web.
  • Don’t join Google Plus because you’ve never heard of it.
  • Don’t have professional pictures taken of you and your firm, and definitely don’t use these pictures on lawyer listing services.
  • Don’t have a Facebook page that tells people about who you are or what interests you.
  • Don’t reserve your business address on Google Local.
  • Don’t have a Twitter feed.
  • Don’t share anything on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus.
  • Don’t adapt your practice to emerging technologies.
  • Don’t get a Smartphone and definitely don’t merge your client contacts information and your office calendar to your Smartphone.
  • Don’t use a tablet or iPad.Don’t publish anything, anywhere, and if you do publish something, don’t brag about it.Don’t send your clients, contacts or friends regular emails promoting your Unique Selling Message
  • Don’t exercise regularly.

Move ahead and don’t look back!  Wishing you a prosperous New Year!