This is part one of a three-part series.

In Law School we learn about a wide range of legal topics. The most memorable thing we learn is the Rule Against Perpetuities. The rule’s dreaded language of “life in being plus twenty-one years” acts like a magic spell leaving all law students squirming because we do know what rule actually means.

Despite all the voracious reading we do, devouring hundreds of cases, nothing taught us how to effectively run a law firm. Like the Rule Against Perpetuities, law students have little understanding of the wizardry of law firm management. Most of us leave law school with no idea how to make a law firm run successfully.

But there are a countless number of successful law firms that have overcome the deficiencies of law school curriculum to thrive. How did those managing law firms do it? They did it by surviving from trial and error. Or by learning from one of these survivors.

As a survivor, I will cover three ways that Smokeball can help you run a law firm in this three-part series. First, let’s discuss successful lead management.

Lead Management

Most successful firms, be it small or large, have a game plan when it comes to converting leads into clients.

1. Unsophisticated firms

These firms take the small nibble approach when it comes to prospects. They take one big bite at the first conversation with the prospect, and then maybe a follow up with an email a couple days later. The problem: such limited action often leaves these firms starving for future clients.

2. Proactive firms

Proactive firms can often harvest clients from prospects by taking a few simple steps with Smokeball. They set up tasks when prospective customers contact them based on the type of law and the time to convert the lead to a client.

Proactive firms can often harvest clients from prospects by taking a few simple steps with Smokeball. They set up tasks when prospective customers contact them based on the type of law and the time to convert the lead to a client.

For example, in Family Law, it may take a prospect several months to initiate a divorce proceeding, because they cannot get to terms that their marriage is over. So the firm can set up tasks for every few months to reach out to a prospect to see if they are ready to proceed.

Similarly, younger, healthier prospects for Estate Planning may delay getting their wills finalized as they do not perceive it as urgent. In this case, the firm may contact the prospect on a periodic basis to get the hesitant prospect to plan for the future.

Firms that focus on Personal Injury or other Civil Litigation may set up more frequent contact steps based on the urgency of the case. Real Estate firms may want to include market triggers in their workflows to signal the best time to contact prospects.

Regardless of the frequency of the contact, workflow triggers can be established in Smokeball to help convert leads into clients. Proactive firms implement a cadence of consistent communications at critical points to convert prospects to clients. And the one rule that we do know is acquiring and maintaining clients is critical to the long-term survival of any law firm.

In the next two segments of this series, we will cover Capturing Time and Workflows as Best Practices. You can watch this recorded webinar to learn more about Lead Management and other features that can benefit your firm or schedule a free, personalized demo with our expert sales team.

About Our Author
Mark Petrolis is a Senior Client Success Manager and In-house Counsel at Smokeball. For most of his legal years he has helped lawyers become more organized, productive, and profitable. Mark is a trained litigator and holds a J.D., from the University of Illinois – Chicago, School of Law and a B.S.E. in Engineering Management from Purdue University.