You Can Grow Your Bankruptcy Practice Even When Filings Are Down

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You may have found that your efforts to grab new clients online hasn’t been as fruitful as it once was.

Lots of bankruptcy lawyers probably chalk it up to a reduction in the number of filings nationwide, but that’s a red herring.

Let’s say there has been a 30% reduction in the number of bankruptcy filings in your local court. That doesn’t mean there’s no work – just that there’s a smaller pie to share among the bankruptcy bar. It does not mean that your numbers need to go do proportionately.

In fact, there’s likely still well enough people filing for bankruptcy overall for you to remain fat and happy. If, that is, you can grow your market share even as others shrink.

If you look around at the competition, it shouldn’t be too hard to recognize that growing the face of a shrinking population of bankruptcy filers is eminently possible.

You’ve probably been doing the same thing as the competition until now, perhaps incrementally better or worse. That’s great if you want to track the market, not so much if you’re looking to shake things up and grow your filing volume.

Take, for example, blogging. You’ve heard me talk about the power of content creation for years, so you’ve likely done some work towards that end. You created a blog, maybe published a few pieces, and then promptly ran out of steam because it didn’t give you the big splash you’d been hoping for.

Another open door is social media such as Facebook (which is my current favorite and most profitable way of getting new clients). Maybe you set up a page for your law firm, begged friends to Like it, and then drifted away because you didn’t know what to do next.

The competition did the same thing, give or take a bit. They launched a blog, did a Facebook page, got on Twitter … and then … not so much.

Knowing this, why not take the next step?

Go beyond the mere launching of your blog to creating an editorial calendar and carving out some time to write.

Learn about Facebook ads and discover how to bring in clients at a far lower cost-per-click than any other platform.

Develop your Facebook page and fill it with creative and interesting content that will encourage people to spend more time there.

Make some phone calls to your LinkedIn contacts (LinkedIn? Yes, LinkedIn) and set aside time to create meaningful referral relationships.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and there’s a lot you can do to make a dent in the bankruptcy universe in spite of the reduction in filings. So why not do it?

5 Reasons Why Now Is A Great Time To Be A Bankruptcy Lawyer

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Bankruptcy filings continue to slide, and most of the attorneys I know who practice in the field are making significantly less this year than last.

A perfect time to become a bankruptcy lawyer!

Sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? After all, we’ve been taught to jump into new lines of work when we see a demand and growing opportunities.

Or have we?

Baron Rothschild, member of the Rothschild banking family, is widely credited with the quote, “buy when there’s blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own.” He should know – he made a fortune buying the financial panic following Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo.

So let’s look at some of the reasons why now is the perfect time to be a bankruptcy attorney.

Less Competition. During the Great Recession of 2008-2012, every lawyer practiced bankruptcy. With most people having financial troubles, it was pretty easy to find new clients. Now that the bankruptcy market has dried up and the economy recovering, those lawyers have gone back to real estate, family law, and other areas.

Cheaper Advertising. With fewer bankruptcy attorneys and less money to go around, paid ads for bankruptcy-related terms have gotten far less expensive. Clicks on Google AdWords have less competition, and various companies catering to the legal market have dropped their prices for ads in an effort to lure in more advertisers.

New Opportunities. If you want to make a splash as a bankruptcy lawyer, there are more opportunities than ever to hone in on a specialty market of clients. Consider getting training in student loan law to set yourself apart and own your slice of the market.

To Every Bust There Is A Boom. Bankruptcy filings are down – that is, they’re down now. But as the economy continues to heat up and people start spending again, there’s sure to be a need for bankruptcy lawyers. Do you want to be the attorney just coming onto the scene, or would you prefer to be able to lay claim to having some experience?

Bankruptcy Is Everywhere. When the marriage falls apart, issues surrounding debt bubble to the surface. Failing businesses hover around bankruptcy-related concerns. Even death involves bankruptcy because it becomes important to understand how to handle the estate of the deceased. Understanding bankruptcy is, to some extent, key to fully grasping every aspect of the law.

Will you make a ton of money when you first decide to enter the field of bankruptcy law? Of course not – but that’s the case whether the market is hot or cold.

A good bankruptcy attorney spends time and money getting the proper training, taking it slow with new cases, and asking questions. By necessity, that means you’re going to make less money at the beginning than after you’ve gotten some experience under your belt.

Why not begin your journey into the world of bankruptcy law when the pressure of competition is low?

Why I Went From Mac OS To Chrome (And My First Steps)

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Today we’ll talk about why I ditched my MacBook Pro for a Chromebook and Chromebox. I’ll give you some of my first insights into the process, and how I got some important applications to work on this inexpensive machine combination.

Here’s what I bought to make it all work:

Acer C720-3404 11.6-Inch Chromebook (Intel Core i3, 4 GB) Granite Gray
ASUS CHROMEBOX-M075U Desktop Bundle with Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
Crucial 8GB Kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) CL11 SODIMM 204-Pin 1.35V/1.5V Notebook Memory Modules CT2CP51264BF160B
Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB Portable External Hard Drive with Mobile Device Backup USB 3.0 (Black) STDR2000100

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Note that these links are all affiliate links. If you click them and buy something from Amazon, I get a commission. It doesn’t increase your cost in any way, but it does help me pay the bills so I appreciate it.

Lawyer Using Chrome (All In)

 

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My computer died yesterday for the last time. A 2011 MacBook Pro, the machine has been put through its paces for quite some time.

Still, shouldn’t a computer that cost nearly $2,000 survive for longer than 3 1/2 years? Especially in light of the fact that the logic board has been replaced twice already?

So I was left with a decision – spend another $2,000 for a similarly-upgraded MacBook or go with a Windows 8 machine.

The latter gave me chills, and the former made my wallet weep.

So I’m opting for a third choice. I’m going Chrome OS.

Chrome OS is the operating system put out by Google, and used in a variety of small laptops and desktop machines.

The machines are designed to run web-based applications, but are exceptionally inexpensive relative to Windows and Mac OS machines.

No I-Got-Notices, no BestCase, no Microsoft Word. If you ask whether a particular program can be installed, the answer is always negative.

In these days of shrinking bankruptcy work, the cost savings associated with going Chrome OS is tempting.

One interesting note: I’m going to a brand new system less than 24 hours before I’m scheduled to leave for Fresno, where I’m speaking about violation of the automatic stay and discharge injunction for the Central California Bankruptcy Association.

This means I’ve got to figure out a way to get a PowerPoint presentation onto a laptop that cannot run PowerPoint.

This is going to be fun. Watch me succeed or go up in flames.

The boxes arrive today. Check back and I’ll give you an update.

Can Ignorance Help Improve Your Law Practice?

man having  Alzheimer's disease on birthday

It’s been a long time since I’ve had to say, “I don’t know,” in my practice.

I hated owning up to my ignorance, especially to court personnel and other lawyers.

But once I did, I came away with some valuable insights.

Ignorance is sometimes a powerful tool to making you a better lawyer. Listen in on the audio to hear what I learned.