Coaching and Consulting

ConsultingLegal Ease Consulting, Inc. offers a variety of consulting services and programs to help solo practitioners and law firm leaders build successful, effective and enjoyable practices.

Law firm issues aren’t one size fits all, so all of my programs are customized to meet the needs of the individual lawyer or law firm.  We’ll start by working together to review your systems, structure and culture.

Through collaborative problem-solving, we devise solutions that work for your practice, whether they include changing your niche, creating procedures for greater effectiveness, improving culture and professional development, or developing strategies for practice building and rainmaking.

My services are aimed at identifying goals and objectives, establishing a measure of success, and ascertaining the value of that success to you and your firm.  Then we create action plans to move you toward your goals.

I keep you accountable for reaching your own goals and objectives. Often, the problem isn’t knowing what to do – it’s actually getting it done. Working with me will help you define the precise action steps you need to take, and I’ll follow up to make sure you take them. You’ll achieve results much faster than you would on your own.

I can help you plan and achieve the changes you want in your practice by bringing an outside perspective and identifying and eliminating obstacles or problems that you can’t see because you’re ‘too close’ to the issue. You’ll learn what’s really holding you back, whether it comes from within you, within your firm, or from external sources.

Your information and your clients’ information are always kept in the strictest confidence.

Whether you’re a solo or part of a firm, I can work with you

To hear an excerpt of an interview where I discuss working with solos and small firmsclick here.

Part of a larger firm with multiple partners? Hear me talk about the unique challenges faced by larger firms here.

Peter Arcese

“Allison works with exceptional insight and understanding of both legal practice and the lawyer’s life. She is expert in assessing a firm’s unique resources and working with individual practitioners to realize their highest potential. The result is a creative, effective, and satisfying practice tailored to the strengths of the firm and its staff. Allison has my highest and unequivocal recommendation.”

-Peter Arcese, Esq.

 

David Z. Kaufman

“A detail-oriented quick study who puts the client’s interests before her own, Allison provided all I the help I could ever ask for and then more. Great value added.”
– David Kaufman, Esq.

 

 

Cheryl Fratello

“Allison has demonstrated a high degree of expertise in her field. She has assisted our office greatly and is certainly an asset to any company in which she associates. I recommend her without reservations.”- Cheryl Fratello, Esq.

 

Featured Service: Turn your legalese into Legal Ease

Did you know that the bio or “About” page is one of the most viewed page on a lawyer’s website?

Despite its importance, the bio is often overlooked as a marketing tool, and many lawyers give it short shrift. Or they fill it with ‘legalese’ and jargon that only other lawyers – not clients – will understand.

Don’t put your potential clients to sleep with a cookie-cutter bio that doesn’t set you apart.

Let me help you create a plain-language bio that demonstrates your expertise and attracts the clients you’re looking for. Contact me at Allison@LegalEaseConsulting.com or call me at 631-642-0221 to discuss your project and request a proposal. (Other copywriting services are also available).

I work with clients in these four crucial areas:

Planning and Strategy

  • Vision and mission
  • Business plans
  • Marketing plans
  • Time management
  • Goal setting
  • Coordination of marketing and business development efforts

Procedures and Systems

  • Office procedures and procedure manuals
  • Definition and assignment of roles
  • Dealing with paperwork
  • Effective systems
  • Billing issues

Business Development and Client Experience

  • Business development planning
  • Identification of target clients and creation of client profile
  • Managing client expectations
  • Enhancing client experience and increasing referrals
  • Creating and conducting effective client surveys
  • Client follow up programs
  • Fee structures

Culture and Professional Development

  • Employee satisfaction and retention
  • Recognition and rewards
  • Identifying and getting the most from key employees
  • Compensation plans
  • Training and education
  • Communication

Some of the tools that we can use include:

Needs analysis. By observing your firm ‘in action’ or conducting an analysis through telephone interviews and written questions, I can focus on those areas where there’s inconsistency and inefficiency.  I’ll recommend changes to your systems and procedures to eliminate those problems, and together we’ll create strategies that work for your practice.

Assessments and surveys can pinpoint communication and management styles and to identify the individuals within the firm that will be the most successful in specific roles. We can also assess your current strategies to determine where you may be falling short, and what can be done about it.

Compensation systems that reward what you want to reward.  Most firms want to encourage innovation, creativity, networking, mentoring, marketing, and a host of other ‘non-billable’ activities, but their compensation systems don’t reflect the value of anything but ‘billable hours.’  We’ll identify ways that your firm’s compensation and benefits systems can foster the behaviors the firm wants to foster.

Performance evaluations. Use performance evaluations to show your employees their importance within the firm, identify strengths and correct weaknesses that hold them back from achieving their own career goals. 360 degree feedback programs get all employees involved. Even partners can learn from associates and staff how to be a better leader and manager.

Strategic planning.  Stop running your practice in ‘reactive’ mode and plan instead for the future you want for your firm. Protect your firm against the unexpected: injury, illness, disability, natural disasters, and technology malfunction, and prepare for the inevitable: retirement and the continuation of your firm.

Procedure and systems development. Design and implement changes in culture, structure and systems so that your firm works more effectively.

Client management and development. Identify and profile your ideal clients. Learn how to attract them to your firm – and take action to get those clients in the door . Ascertain shortcomings and develop strategies to manage clients’ expectations from the outset of the engagement so that there are fewer surprises – and fewer complaints about your bills.  Pinpoint key issues, measure satisfaction, identify new ways to help clients, and recommend strategies for improvement to build client loyalty.

Services can be offered through a variety of structures, including intensive sessions, projects, scheduled services, and retainer agreements.

Intensive Sessions

Intensive half day or full day programs conducted in your office. The intensive session helps to define the priorities that will enable you to move the practice forward in the quickest and most efficient fashion.  In one ‘blockbuster’ session, we can explore many issues and make much more significant progress than we can with shorter sessions stretched over a long period of time.

Fees for intensive sessions vary based upon the number of individuals from your firm who will be attending, and may include expenses such as travel and accommodations. Fees for intensive sessions are paid in advance, at the time of scheduling.

Projects

Working on a project basis is most successful when there is one specific, finite area that you’d like to work on, or would like me to work on. Examples include creating website copy, performing a website analysis or deconstruction, conducting a client survey, designing and implementing a particular system, such as a system for handling accounts receivable, etc.

Project fees can only be determined after an initial consultation, during which we outline the scope of the project. Project fees are paid in advance, at the time of scheduling.

Scheduled Services

Scheduled services can be performed in person, virtually, or a combination. When you opt for a scheduled program, we designate specific time when we will work together.  Knowing that you’ve got a scheduled session with me makes you much more likely to actually sit down and do what it takes to move your plans forward. Most of my work with clients is done virtually – over the telephone and by email.

Scheduled services are billed monthly, at the beginning of the month. Fees for scheduled services vary based upon a number of factors, including the number of sessions scheduled per month and the number of individuals from the firm with whom I will be working, among other factors.

In addition to the scheduled sessions, monthly plans usually include short telephone calls (of less than approximately 15 minutes’ duration) as needed, as well as unlimited contact with me by email throughout the month.

Retainer Services

The monthly retainer provides access to me, my advice and counsel by telephone, email and, where agreed, on-site visits with your office to aid in the progress of your goals, without restriction on the number of sessions conducted. You will have access at all times by email and telephone.

To learn more about my services, please see How I Work.  If you’d like to ask a question or schedule an appointment for a consultation, please contact me or call 631-642-0221.

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Allison

Allison C. Shields
Legal Ease Consulting, Inc
Preventing “Lawyer Meltdown” and Creating Productive, Profitable and Enjoyable Law Practices

P.S. Found a mistake or a bug? If there’s anything that bothers you about this site, I want to know! Send me an email at Allison@LegalEaseConsulting.com. I want this site to be not just a resource, but a refuge for lawyers. I want you to be comfortable here.  So if there’s something that bothers you, please tell me!