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About the Awards: Pennsylvania Legal Awards for 2022,

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A new series of Q&As will be held with ALM Media’s editors to provide insight into the judging process for ALM Recognition Events awards. This will help you to draft your submissions. We welcome any questions.

Our next column will discuss Pennsylvania Legal Awards. Bureau chief Max Mitchell will be leading the judging in all categories.

Visit the Call for Nominations post or the official awards website for more information on the Pennsylvania Legal Awards 2022 contest. Submissions are due by March 25. Here are other ALM contest submission deadlines. You can also sign up for marketing notification emails.

Max, could you tell us more about your legal and journalistic background?

My title is the Pennsylvania Bureau Chief for ALM and brand editor for The Legal Intelligencer. This means that I am an active reporter and select the content for the newspaper and website each day. My background is that I have been with Legal for almost nine years. I cover all aspects of the law, from in-court litigation to high-level business law topics. Before joining The Legal, I worked as a reporter for various newspapers in New York State. As a reporter for ALM’s VerdictSeach was the closest, I have come to formal legal training. I gained a solid foundation for dealing with complex legal issues by reporting on the nuts and bolts of litigation. So far, so good.

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Is this a new competition?

This is not a new competition. The Legal has given these awards since before I came here. I think our awards were held for many years before. It’s been a long-held goal to recognize the best Pennsylvania’s legal community has offered. This is my second year overseeing the awards.

What is the difference between the Pennsylvania regional litigation department category and the contest for litigation departments of the Year?

The major difference is that we have expanded our reach to Pennsylvania law firms due to The Legal’s award for the best litigation departments of 2011. The AmLaw Industries Awards tend to place more emphasis on larger firms. However, all firms are welcome for The Legal’s awards to litigation departments. It doesn’t matter how many lawyers the department has. It doesn’t matter if there are two lawyers in the department. What matters is that they successfully dealt with a variety of important litigation throughout the Year.

Are you interested in nominating for this contest?

All – individuals, firms, general counsels, judges, and others. We want to hear about your significant work in Pennsylvania if you are a lawyer. We are trying something different this year. This is because we are trying to collect submissions from a wide range of Pennsylvania lawyers to represent the state’s practitioners truly. Don’t be afraid to submit!

Who will judge this contest?

The majority of the judging is done by several editors, mostly from The Legal and some from ALM’s other brands. A panel of judges from outside assist us with the Lawyers of the Fast Track contestants as we often receive more submissions. Kristie Rearick, the magazine’s editor, guides most judging and makes the final decisions. The Attorney of the Year is an exception. We have a panel consisting of judges, prominent lawyers, and other legal luminaries who vote for the Attorney of the Year award. Several panelists have decided on this award.

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What are judges looking for?

We look for the impact of rulings, business decisions, and deals that have made new ground in particular fields. While big numbers and verdicts are great, we also want to see the impact of these decisions, the obstacles and the problems faced, as well as how the work will affect the future landscape of Pennsylvania’s legal system.

What would you like to see in submissions?

We receive a lot of entries, so it is important to be concise. We appreciate submissions that are concise and don’t overdo the narration. They should focus on the most important reason why this person should receive recognition for their work. It’s helpful to have numbers to measure the scope of the work being described. This includes the size and demand of a verdict or demand, the class size, the number of reviewed documents, the number affected by pro bono cases, the size of any merger or acquisition, as well as the number of people who were impacted. We find it easier to show all this through court decisions than narratives. Fact-checking is also done. If you can show us your work by citing these court decisions, that would be very helpful.

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Career

Seven steps to choose the ideal law school to suit your needs.

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It’s challenging to find the perfect school when you don’t know what you’re looking for at the beginning. What do you do to choose the right school to be a part of your future career?

“When you are practicing law, the first question you ask another lawyer is ‘Where did you go to law school?’ It creates an impression,” said Sarah Zearfoss, senior assistant dean at the University of Michigan Law School.

Experts in student admissions and admissions suggest that you consider location, size, and prestige when determining the most suitable fit while ensuring you receive the highest quality education. With more than 200 law schools accredited to select from, Here are seven things you need to know to narrow your choices.

1. Be aware of what you’d like to achieve

It’s like searching for the perfect car. It’s essential to consider the options you require, eliminate the ones you don’t, and consider the comfort level you’ll feel sitting in the driving seat. In the end, you’ll be driving for three years.

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“The match between a student’s career goals and the opportunities at the school is one of the most important factors,” Zearfoss told the AP. Because the majority of prospective students are interested in the study of law to gain advantages in the workplace, ensure that the law school you choose to attend can guide you where you want. This is a matter of understanding the kind of law you’re looking for and then selecting a school with courses, clinics, and other opportunities to assist you in pursuing it.

A cautionary note is not to allow your search to become too narrow due to education.

“Review the curriculum, but remember, at the end of three years, you are going to take the bar exam, and the bar exam is not specialized,” said Ann Killian Perry, associate dean of enrollment and financial aid for the University of Chicago Law School.

Be sure that the legal training you receive exposes aspects of law and keeps you engaged as your interests alter.

2. Be aware of where you would like to be today and in the future.

The location is the key to success at law school.

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“Some students need to be near family or support,” Perry explained.

Some are eager to head out and have a blast. Law schools in urban environments could have more opportunities for students, including numerous internship opportunities at law firms, municipal agencies, and government offices. But, cities of all sizes can be a source of distractions. The same is true for beaches and party schools. A town in rural areas may provide more opportunities, but it will also provide plenty of warmth from the community and less distraction.

Judd Grutman, a graduate of the University of Michigan, advises applicants to take into account the access to the resources available.

“The last thing a law student wants is to waste time doing mundane things,” he stated. “Surrounding yourself with amenities means more time for fun.”

Imagine the area as a location where you could remain after law school.

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“The conventional wisdom says you should go to a school in an area where you want to practice law,” Zearfoss told the AP.

Some schools have an educational program that is regionally based. However, some schools may provide a broad-based law curriculum that can be used in nationwide fields.

A place where you’ll feel comfortable is just as important as having a secure academic environment.

3. Find out the dimension and the ambiance you are seeking.

Small or big, what size of law college should be one you are at ease with. A big school, similar to an urban area, is home to the best of everything: opportunities, people, and competition, as well as resources. It also has a lot of diversity.

On the other hand, smaller schools may provide an enlightening atmosphere.

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“Our small size helps foster a close-knit community among students and faculty,” Perry stated. “Our students find a more collaborative effort of learning and exchanging ideas.”

The most important thing it comes down to is whether you feel like you’re in the right place. Are you a natural under fierce rivalry or teamwork that is friendly? Are you searching for lifelong legal friends or a campus for commuters where you can enter and learn, then leave?

“I found Michigan to provide a supportive, fun-spirited social network, both within and outside the law school,” Grutman declared. “Being at ease has been the key to my achievement. I’m having a great time because of it.”

What can you do to experience the atmosphere at the school? The best way to do this is to go to the school. Talk to the current students or alumni, and contact the admissions office for tickets to regional activities.

4. Learn the ranking, then examine the rankings

For many law students in the pre-law school, Rankings are their bibles. Although you might not be able to adhere to them, you’ll likely admit they’re a significant factor in the decision-making process. They should be labeled with a warning, “For the general purpose only.’

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“Many aspects are considered when the evaluation of a school. I don’t think a single rating can determine the worth of a school. It’s only one part,” Zearfoss said.

Perry recommends looking into factors you’re most interested in, including specific areas, bar rates, and student body makeup. These numbers can provide greater insight into the information you’ll gain from going.

The recent University of Michigan Law School graduate Jane Feddes agrees.

“Rankings are important, but they are not the final word,” she added. “I think it is important to pick a school that gives you the best chance to have a job when you graduate.”

5. Learn what others have to are saying about the school.

The esteem and prestige of a law school shouldn’t be valued. Potential employers might filter applicants solely based on the school’s name before even looking at resumes.

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“When deciding where to go to law school, I wanted not only a place I felt at home but also a place that made me proud to say I had gone there,” Feddes declared. “Prestige is nice, and it is nice to have on your office walls, but it’s not going to affect your legal education either better or worse. Concentrate on your fit, and add some luxury.”

6. Remember that the ends justify the method.

The law school experience represents an investment. It is essential to know the cost and ensure the loan aligns with your career objectives.

“It is fool-hearty to choose a school just because it costs $20,000 less if it can’t take you where you want to go,” Zearfoss told the AP. “Your investment is worth it if it opens doors.”

The truth about debt from law school will be there for a while. Perry suggests keeping a check on the deadlines for financial aid and application deadlines. After that, wait for your package of financial assistance to select a school based on the amount it will cost and what grants and scholarships you can avail of. However, don’t exclude the higher-priced schools if they’re a good fit in other ways.

7. Find out where you are and then use it to your advantage.

After narrowing down the selection of accredited law schools to 200, following how they match your needs, you’re now ready to assess where you’re with them. It can be expensive to apply, and you should look at your personal information (GPA and LSAT score) against the schools’ averages.

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Most students are accepted to around 11 schools. Some have more than 20 applicants. The best practice is to break your field into three categories – stretch schools that are most likely to take and accept the dunks.

“Even the best candidates will get turned down by some top schools because schools look for different things,” Zearfoss told the AP.

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Law

4 Ways Law Firms Benefit From Using A VPN.

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Legal firms keep archives of sensitive information that lawyers must safeguard at all costs. They should employ effective methods of cybersecurity to protect information from falling into the wrong hands. Failure to secure data can damage both the lawyer and the customer. Lawyer. The law firm will gain by using a virtual private network (VPN).

Here are some benefits that a VPN can bring to the law firm

1: Ensures Privacy And Security

Anyone with a mobile device can connect to the internet via Wi-Fi access to the public. However, being accessible to everyone is also a sign that it’s not secured and may let any malicious entity gain access to your gadget. Although law firm employees can utilize it to access client data, it can also expose large amounts of information to hackers. Information about the case, bank details, and even private conversations between lawyer and client could be revealed. This could damage the attorney’s credibility and the law firm in general.

If you are using mobile devices like tablets, smartphones as well as laptop computers, It is recommended to download the VPN to safeguard the privacy of the user and the law firm’s security when they are outside the offices, and also for lawyers who work from home, for example, reading through emails in a cafe. A VPN will block unauthorized access to your device and all security at the expense of the most affordable VPN you can find to download.

2: Anonymity Online

Safely Surfing the web is an absolute requirement for everyone, especially when you’re an attorney involved in an instance. This is one of those instances in which you’d like no one to find out that you’re surfing the internet each time you log on.

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Every time you surf web-based resources, you create a trail of websites you visit to see. Each link you click is also recorded, and websites keep track of the information via cookies, a small piece of data stored within your browser. They also make a practice of monitoring the activities of users by logging into user accounts.

To keep you from being a target, VPNs provide a secure way to connect online using their server. It’s safe to say they act as a middleman between you and the internet. If this happens, it hides your actual IP address while it appears to be VPNs instead.

3: Protection Of Attorney-Client Privilege

In a legal environment, the attorney-client privilege is a highly valued principle governing private conversations between two parties. Lawyers cannot reveal personal information and must ensure that they keep all information confidential, whether online or off. The digital age comes with risk, and the relationship could be at risk.

Using a VPN protects the network against threats that could expose cases to risk. A VPN secures the sensitive information exchanged between lawyers and clients. The exchange of information is guaranteed, making it safer to use for communication and the reception of messages.

Lawyers will not be concerned about the other party stealing documents. The VPN can decrypt information, which means it isn’t accessible to anyone else’s eyes. A key for decryption kept by the personnel can be transferred to the appropriate recipient to decrypt the data.

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VPN can reduce the chance of data loss. It allows you to exchange information and communicate on the internet, even in public. It’s among the most effective tools that will aid you in creating a solid connection with your client and aid in the process of addressing their case.

4: Helps Avoid Bandwidth Throttling

The lawyers and the teams they work with utilize the internet for cost-effective research options and instant communication with clients. A reliable internet connection will facilitate these tasks. It will help them collect details that will aid them in their progress, such as more information about divorce or personal injury cases. However, if your internet speed declines, it may result in a loss of time and money.

The throttled bandwidth happens because your ISP will slow down your internet speed. It may also mean that the person who controls your Wi-Fi speed. In some workplaces, the people who own the performance can limit access to the internet during other activities unrelated to their job. In a law office where everyone is working on different cases, internet speed is essential.

VPN can help hide the data coming through your device via encryption. This means that nobody will be able to see the websites you go to for research. They could be able to trigger speed limits or the type of activities you engage in online. If the VPN blocks the flow of data coming and going from your device, the ISP cannot throttle bandwidth or limit the Wi-Fi’s performance. However, the VPN restricts it but does not stop it, so the ISP can do this to make bandwidth available to other users.

Conclusion

Law firms should use VPNs to secure their network from hackers, secure and safeguard information and maintain the performance of Wi-Fi. The internet is an invaluable instrument for law firms and lawyers to assist them in pursuing cases by obtaining more information and safeguarding their network. A VPN will also shield your online activity and keeps you completely untraceable. Security of data is more critical now than at any time in history.

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Career

How do you plan An SEO-friendly Strategy For your Law Firm?

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With more than 86 percent of the market for search engines, Google organic search makes 59% of the internet’s traffic total.

In this regard, legal firms cannot afford to rest on Google since most users use Google every day to look for lawyers and other legal services. Also, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the best way to get your business noticed by these people.

Do you want to make the most of the SEO potential to benefit your firm’s legal practice? Here’s how you can plan your SEO strategy from beginning to close.

SEO for Law Firms Defined

Before you start creating an SEO strategy, it is essential to know the basics of the law firm’s SEO and what it is for your firm.

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Law firm SEO is the term used to optimize your site and online platforms to rank well in search results to increase natural traffic to your legal firm. It is about focusing on the keywords (i.e., “keywords”) people search for services similar to yours.

SEO’s benefits for Law Firms

  • SEO is crucial for law firms due to various reasons. SEO allows you to:
  • Find people looking for the kind of services you provide within your area.
  • Improve your website’s experience so that it can be more efficient and user-friendly
  • Make sure you address any technical issues with your website that might be affecting your site’s performance.
  • Create content that is valuable as well as relevant for your target audience
  • Connect with more people by using online directories and local listings
  • Enhance engagement, clicks as well as lead generation for your site
  • Improve your visibility on YouTube and in video searches.

The advantages of SEO in a law firm do not end with the benefits, but the effectiveness of your SEO relies on a strategy that is based on data. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can get the most benefit from SEO strategies.

Step 1: Open Your Law Firm’s website.

The website of your law firm is among the most valuable assets you have in terms of your digital marketing. It’s the virtual platform to be optimized for Google and generate organic leads.

  • The structure, design experiences, and the content on your site all play an essential role in driving traffic to your site and turning visitors into clients. In this regard, you’ll need a site that checks all of the boxes:
  • Design – Your website must be professional, appealing, and properly designed. Whether you’re using templates or employing an expert designer, your site must look professional to potential customers.
  • Speed – Your site needs to be able to load quickly so that your content can be easily rendered and accessible to users. If your website isn’t fast, it could turn off potential customers.
  • Experience – A pleasant experience on a website is required to make an impression on the people who visit. This includes having interactivity, interactive elements in the design, and a plan that works for desktop and mobile devices and captivating images and videos.
  • Infrastructure – Your site may look beautiful, but the infrastructure is vital. It’s essential to have a secure, technologically sound, quick, and easily indexable website for search engines.
  • Content: The information on your website can make all it takes to attract new visitors and convert them into customers. “Content” here means the text on the page, images, videos, downloads, and any other type of content that sends a message to your customers.

After you’ve created (or revamped) an appealing, speedy, and user-friendly website, you’re now able to begin optimizing your site for organic traffic through SEO.

Step 2 2. Do SEO Keyword Research

“Keywords” are the terms users type to Google Search to discover business, information, products, or others. Legal firms’ term “keywords” refer to the terms prospective clients might use to locate lawyers, legal information, and legal services.

Your keyword strategy is the foundation for your SEO strategies since it determines the exact keywords you hope to achieve. You may be surprised to learn that various law firms have different strategies to rank for keywords since the words are contingent on the location, practice area, and target audience.

Begin by making an inventory of the words you will associate with the law firm you work for. For instance, in the case of an attorney firm that specializes in family law, there could be a “family lawyer,” “family law services,” “file for divorce,” and so on.

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Then, consider which of these terms could be modified using a geo-specific time. Most likely, if you are a service provider for a particular geographical area, you’ll need to focus on geo-specific terms. Examples: “Seattle family law,” “Seattle family lawyer,” and so on.

After you’ve compiled a comprehensive list of terms that relate to your company and its services, you can use SEO software to determine the Keyword Volume and Search difficulty of each keyword. We suggest tools such as SEMRush.com or Ahrefs.com for this. They will let you know if the term is being searched for and its difficulty to rank.

Make sure to use your SEO tool to locate other keywords. You can utilize it to access the Related Keywords report or search for domains belonging to your competitors to uncover keyword opportunities that are not being used. Include these keywords in your list to create the basis for the SEO strategy.

Step 3: Optimized Design Content

  • Your keyword research will gradually reveal the terms you need to make your website more effective. For instance, Search Volume data may show that “Seattle family lawyer” is an appropriate term to include on your site.
  • Keywords can then be linked to existing or new websites. Make sure you “cluster” keywords that are closely connected. For instance, the “Seattle divorce law services” page will likely also focus on “Seattle divorce lawyer” and “divorce lawyer in Seattle.”
  • After you’ve mapped these keywords onto existing pages or brand new topics for runners, you can begin to build a framework that will create or optimize the content or create. The following are some essential points to take into consideration:
  • Title Tags – Include the most prominent keyword you have chosen to describe your page in the “title tag” of the page. For instance, the title tag for the Divorce Law Services page might be “Divorce Law Services Seattle | PP&G Law Group.”
  • Meta Descriptions: The Meta Description is the element coded on a webpage that explains what the page is about. It can be used as an initial or a related keyword in this. An excellent example of a meta description for a Divorce Law Services page might be: “Looking for Divorce Law Services in Seattle? PP&G Law Group helps individuals and their families navigate through the process of divorce, file mediation, filing, and more.”
  • H1 Heading H1 Heading is an additional element in the code, usually the web page’s title. It’s usually a different variant of the tag that is used for the title. For instance, “Divorce Law Services” is usually a suitable H1 heading for this page type.
  • Body Content-The body of the page on a page constitutes the main content. It’s the content that explains the information or accurately describes the service. The body of your content should naturally incorporate keywords throughout the page. Most importantly, you will be able to provide more value than the competition pages that rank for the exact phrases.
  • This is only the beginning of the iceberg in regards to what’s called “on-page SEO.” On-page SEO, in general, is the process of creating content that is beneficial to your readers and optimized to match the search terms you want to rank for.

Step 4: Take ownership of your local organic presence

Law firms heavily rely on Local SEO to get their message to users within a specific geographic area. If you’re only serving particular states, cities, or even counties, you’ll require local SEO.

The Local SEO process mentioned is optimizing for specific geo-specific terms or location-specific platforms. For instance, you’ll be looking to optimize your website for local-specific keywords and fill all of your listings for local businesses, reviews, and directories.

Here are the basic principles in local SEO that law firms should know:

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Keywords Target keywords that have geo-specific modifiers about the markets you cater to.

  • Content – Create content for your site that is optimized for specific keywords that are geo-specific (this covers web pages as well as specific blog articles topics)
  • Google My Business – Google My Business (GMB) is an open platform that companies can use to store their company details in local Searches. Create your profile for free and add your contact details, website URL, office picture reviews, and much more.
  • Other directories such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, Avvo, and Lawyer.com permit law firms to post their business details to attract prospective clients. Join credible directories (but beware of spammy directories).
  • Reviews – Reviews by satisfied customers affect SEO and affect sales. Request past customers to rate your company online on GMB, Yelp, Bing Places, and many more.

Local SEO is a lot of work that requires regular maintenance, so check your rankings, create more customer reviews, and produce more local-specific content.

Step 5: Establish and Manage Your Backlinks

Backlinks are hyperlinks from other websites to your website. They give credibility to your site and make it more credible to Google. Creating backlinks on high-quality sites is highly beneficial for SEO.

However, building backlinks can be simpler to say than doing. Here are some suggestions on how to make backlinks:

  • Partnerships – Use existing relationships with other law businesses, blogs, and companies to request that they hyperlink back to your site. This could involve you creating a guest post or hosting you in their directory of theirs, or linking to you via your existing blog or website.
  • PR – conduct PR outreach, or hire an agency that can advocate for the law office to get prominently featured in media and news. Help a Reporter Out is one example of a site frequently looking to feature experts from the legal field in articles.
  • Guest Posting – Contact quality blogs and ask them about the possibility of contributing guest posts. It is even better if these sites or blogs permit you to add links to your site for free.
  • Blog posts – Post blog entries on your website to draw interest from other sites. If your content is outstanding, it could encourage publishers and bloggers to share your content.
  • Furthermore, you can utilize tools such as Ahrefs or SEMrush to track your backlinks. These tools will provide the number of backlinks you have obtained, the quality of your backlinks, their date of acquisition, and more. This will allow you to track your efforts to acquire backlinks.

The Law firm’s SEO strategy is easy.

Many marketers would like you to believe that SEO is complicated. The truth is that the basic concepts are pretty simple to learn. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can move on to more complex strategies.

Of course, certain areas have more competition than others. If you’re in a competitive market, It could be worth employing an attorney firm SEO professional to provide more specific assistance. However, knowing how to design an SEO plan from the bottom from the beginning will allow you to better implement, understand, and evaluate the results of your SEO strategy.

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