Mobile Friendly



In April, Google’s began to prioritize mobile-friendly websites in its search algorithm. This was a complete surprise to many businesses. Small businesses did not seem to know about this change so were not fast enough to redesign websites.

Recent stats say over 50% of the 350 largest law firms has not been set up to be mobile-friendly websites, and 70% percent of blogs were not ready for mobile viewing (this, according to Kevin O’Keefe of Real Lawyers Have Blogs). Those law firms knew who were aware often didn’t have enough money in the budget to make their websites mobile-friendly. Statistics show that more people are going “mobile only,” and the update applies to mobile searches conducted across all sites, regardless of the site’s target audience.

“Those law firms who don’t act will suffer the consequences of their content being ranked well below mobile-friendly content on smart phones,” predicts O’Keefe. “The result will be significant reductions in search traffic.” So we need to be long-term thinkers – to be able to read the big picture – to survive.


Whether you’re trying to raise capital, cold call, or just network, it’s essential to have an elevator pitch.  This is one of the most overlooked marketing tools you have in your arsenal.

The term “elevator pitch” means giving a condensed synopsis of your business – in the time between floors in an elevator.

Below are some examples of things to keep in mind when formulating, practicing (and you DO need to practice it) and delivering your elevator pitch.  It’s OK for it to sound like a sales pitch as long as the concept is clearly communicated.

Example 1: “My Company is We are the leading, online, legal administrative services provider in California.

This pitch is short, concise and clearly states what the name of the company is, as well as what they do. Being this clear allows the person you are addressing to think about ways they may be able to use your services – or refer business to you.

Check for “stop” words – words that make the person you are speaking to take pause or be confused.

Example 2: “My Company provides online solutions to clients world-wide.”  What does that mean? Absolutely nothing – and it just stopped the conversation dead while your elevator companion is trying to figure out what you just said. Try your pitch on a complete stranger.  If they get it, move on to your target audience because you have succeeded.

Avoid buzzwords or corporate jargon whenever possible. Buzzwords are showy and can come off really wrong if the person is not familiar with the terms you are using. Try to avoid terms like: outside the box, streamline. Keep your messaging clear and concise.  Try putting a question in your pitch.

Example 3: “Have you ever worked with an online virtual assistant?  “Well, my company is We are the leading, online, legal administrative legal services provider in California.”

Asking a question can act as an attention grabber and an attention gauge. It is important to not only capture the attention of the person you are speaking to but also gauge how interested they are in the conversation. If they seem interested in learning why you asked them the question you did, you can tailor your messaging to meet their interest level.

Know your business. There is nothing worse than hearing a fabulous elevator pitch but when asked for more information, you find that they were just reciting lines and don’t really know much about the subject matter.

Example 4: “It is wonderful that you are the number one, Bay Area Virtual Professionals.  How many companies like yours are there?”

As long as you understand why you’re ranked number-one and out of how many, you should be good to go.

– The bottom line is –

An elevator pitch is extremely important and worth taking the time to develop so it is easily understood and projects exactly what it is that you do. It may mean that you try out many elevator pitches until you find the right fit but it’s worth it. You never know whom you may run into in an elevator!


Ah…Summer…a time for watermelon, sunscreen and the outdoors.  Kids are out of school and your family is anticipating vacation time.  Except if you are an entrepreneur or solo practitioner.  YOU can’t take a vacation – OR CAN YOU?


  • You can’t even conceive of stepping away from your office for more than a day or two;
  • You haven’t taken a proper vacation in years (turning off the computer for 2 straight hours does not count);
  • IF you go anywhere, you only choose destinations with high-speed internet;
  • Even when on the beach enjoying the sun, sand and marguerites, you have a hard time turning off.  You are always thinking of the work that needs to get done;
  • You’re still handcuffed to that darned smartphone!

UNFORTUNATELY, THIS IS A REALITY for many lawyers and hard-working business owners.  BUT HERE’S ANOTHER REALITY – IT IS POSSIBLE – even for the busiest workaholic.  All you need is the right assistant.

There’s a myth running around the Internet which suggests that virtual assistants are only qualified for basic admin tasks.  It got there because many of the Big VA companies do only offer limited admin-based tasks. But the new breed of virtual assistants – with coveted skill sets – the business grade VA’s – are capable of much more.


To prepare your business for head-honcho away time, you need a business-grade, legal virtual assistant.  Expert VA’s have the experience and maturity to cope with the unexpected, problem-solve, and hold things together while you’re away.  What’s more, they know when your help is truly required and will get in touch if – and only if – an urgent situation arises.


Even the most skilled virtual assistant cannot step into your company, 100% prepared on the first day.  The key is to bring her onboard at least a few months before you plan to be away. This gives both of you time to figure out the details: put in place any ongoing processes and agreements; delegate every day and occasional tasks; and make sure your VA meets your expectations.

Time – with no travel looming on the immediate horizon – means you’ll have time to work out the bugs and get comfortable with your virtual assistant before you ever step out of the office.  When vacation finally does roll around, your VA continues with business as usual.

Of course, some tasks – those responsibilities that no matter how much training you do, only you can handle – will need to be put on the back burner during your time away, but your VA will keep your core business functions running effectively and smoothly, and make sure that you don’t lose any valuable opportunities.

Here are some tips to help you prepare for travel:

  • Does this have to be put on hold?  You can often delegate more than you think.  Now that you’ve been working with your assistant for a few months and have come to trust her abilities, is there anything else you can hand over?
  • If this happens, do that. To put your mind at ease, schedule a Skype conference with your VA to anticipate any unexpected things that could come up while you’re away.  Establish an if-this-happens-do-that list: a set of guidelines that will help your assistant handle almost any situation.
  • Create a contact plan.  One (or several) of your if-this-happens-do-that scenarios will involve true work emergencies that should include contacting you.  Agree on what constitutes a “call-worthy” situation.

Remember, trust is like a muscle – you have to build it and use it.  Your legal VA has the skills and maturity to take care of your business while you’re away, but the most important component to a relaxing vacation is trust.  Give yourself – and your assistant – the time and preparation necessary to build confidence and establish a good working relationship. You can always build up to a two-week vacation by taking 2-3 days off and testing the waters.  When you finally do step out of the office, you can truly relax.

How do you prepare your VA for your vacation?  What works and doesn’t?  How can we help you relax and enjoy your time away?



Despite the fact that many people don’t understand the term “of counsel,” a growing number of law firms are creating of counsel positions for lawyers— and these of counsel lawyers play different roles, depending on the culture of the Firm they are part of.

Here are some examples of the Of Counsel position:

  • Traditionally, retired partners, in relinquishing their role in the law firm partnership, have taken the of counsel title, which gives them an office, a secretary, and lets them ease out of practice gracefully. Their knowledge and experience continue to be a firm resource. Often these guys put in as many hours and bring in as much business as before.
  • Politicians sometimes become of counsel. Typically, they become affiliated with firms in Washington, D.C., or the Washington office, perhaps opened just for them, of a home state firm. The arrangement gives them a salary with a minimum of conflicts of interest while they ease into the working in the private sector again. In exchange, the firm obtains a rainmaker with political connections.
  • Sometimes law professors who work on occasional cases for a firm, in-house corporate counsel, or on behalf of a legal foundation will become of counsel.
  • Of counsel has even been an umbrella for a “mommy track” to partnership. During the last decade, the number of women holding of counsel positions has more than tripled.
  • Of counsel positions allow law firms to evaluate lateral hires before making them partners. In addition, of counsel can cover lawyers whose primary value to a firm is their business or technological expertise or lawyers who want to combine jobs in law, business, politics, and education.
  • Of counsel allows small law firms to expand their areas of expertise and prestige by adding specialists with little expenditure. This often allows for greater flexibility and creativity in devising career paths.

Attracting and retaining top legal talent is difficult. Competition has been particularly fierce in the technology sector. Often firms will allow clients to “borrow” their lawyers for short periods of time or on a “project” basis.

Sometimes, it just comes down to the fact that lawyers are unsatisfied with their careers and are looking for alternatives. In the past, a lawyer would typically work for one or two law firms during his or her lifetime. That is no longer the case. Nowadays lawyers can move between firms every few years with ease.

Lawyers listed on a law firm’s letterhead as of counsel should have a substantial connection with the firm. This usually prevents firms from “renting” the names of famous lawyers who do no real work with the firms.

Clients, and the public, should expect confidentiality and loyalty from attorneys

Conflicts: Clients, and the public, should expect confidentiality and loyalty from attorneys who effectively declare they practice law in a close, personal, and continuing association. These legitimate expectations would be frustrated if a firm could represent one party in litigation while an attorney of counsel to the firm represented an adversary in the same case. California clearly treats the of counsel lawyer as a partner or associate for purposes of conflict of interest and disqualification rules. Therefore, the lawyer’s dual relationships to the firm as well as one of the clients must be fully disclosed to both clients. It would not be surprising if the competitor decides not to remain a client, but it may be willing to continue being represented by the firm because of the value it places on the firm’s services and the trust it has in the of counsel lawyer. Under California law, a client, whether or not a party to an action, may assert the privilege to prevent disclosure of confidential communications between the client and its lawyer. The communications protected by the privilege include information that is transmitted between a client and its lawyer during the course of their attorney-client relationship and that is not disclosed to any third persons other than anyone present during a consultation to further the interests of the client.

The SEC increasingly is turning its enforcement focus to lawyers, and of counsel lawyers should take note. The attorney conduct rules establish specific guidelines that a securities lawyer must follow when representing a public company. Specifically, an attorney who represents a public company must comply with the SEC’s “up the ladder” reporting requirement if the attorney believes there is evidence of a material violation by the company of federal securities laws. The attorney must report the violation to the company’s chief legal officer (CLO) and possibly the chief executive officer (CEO).