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Category Archives: Ask the Mentors

From the Archives: Why Estate Planning Isn’t the Boring Law Practice Area You Think

Best Law Practice Estate Planning

Most lawyers think estate planning is boring because of the way they were taught to do it is all wrong. They also don’t understand how profound and necessary a service it is, either. Fact is, estate planning can be a life-changing and it’s not boring at all. Let me give you a personal example of how important estate family is to the families you already serve: When I was in law school, my father-in-law died. He had spent over $3000 on an estate plan put together so that we, his family, wouldn’t have to deal with the probate court or … Continue reading »

About the Contributor
Alexis Neely is a Law Business Mentor and creator of the New Law Business Model. She built her law practice from scratch into a million dollar a year generating business in just three years with the new law business model her family and her clients loved.

Why Law School Failed You

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It isn’t your fault.  You bought the fairy-tale story that the law schools were selling.   You went to law school with the intentions of joining a large firm, just like countless law students before you. You would make a great living and work on cases that garnered national attention.   However, when you graduated, you realized that reality was nothing like the fairy-tale you’d imagined.   If you went to a large firm, you probably were compensated better than your classmates.  Yet if you compared what you were paid to the amount of hours you put in, you were … Continue reading »

About the Contributor
Geoff Hoatson
New Law Business Mentor, Geoff Hoatson grew up in Central Florida, and attended law school at Emory University in Atlanta, specifically because of its estate planning reputation and faculty. When it came to protecting families and their legacies, he wanted the best education that he could find. He focused intensively on estate planning and related specialties before graduating and returning to Florida to begin helping the families there. He left his Orlando firm with no clients and no strategy and started the Family First Firm 2009, so that he could focus on helping families in the way that he wanted. He’s helped countless families achieve their goals through their planning and gain peace of mind by protecting the legacy they’ve built. Along the way, he developed a successful and thriving family law practice, but estate planning and asset protection has always been his first love.

10 Things I’ve Learned About Building A Successful Law Firm

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Not so long ago, we celebrated the 10-year anniversary of our law firm. It was a wonderful event with more than 100 of our friends and past clients. As I approached the stage to address the audience, I was overcome with nostalgia.  How did we create this amazing and productive community of lawyers, legal assistants, support staff, and clients, all working together as one successful unit? The synergy of the event was inspirational. I was proud to say the least. At that moment, I realized that I could do more. I believe there are far too few resources directly addressing the … Continue reading »

About the Contributor
Jacob Sapochnick
Originally from Israel, Jacob moved to the U.S. to pursue his LLM in International and Comparative Law. At his first law firm, he realized he was unhappy billing hours, working long weekends, and witnessing poor client etiquette. In 2004, he left his first Law firm job and started his own law office with no plan and no prospects. Now, he has built a seven-lawyer, 14-person immigration law practice with plenty of clients, using social media innovative practices to make it happen. He currently practices Immigration Law in San Diego, California.

9 Questions Every Lawyer Needs to Ask Themselves

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I just read this on Facebook (just this second): “It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.” ~ Wendell Berry When we’re up against it, baffled, confused, stymied, unhinged, uncertain, confused, that is the time when confessing what is in our hearts is most powerful. They say that confession is good for the soul. I’m a … Continue reading »

About the Contributor
Martha Hartney
Martha Hartney's is a successful Estate Planning lawyer in Colorado and co-creator of the Estate Planning Bootcamp. As a Law Business Mentor her greatest hope is to help other lawyers claim, or reclaim, the joy and the spiritual pursuit of being a lawyer.

8 Steps to Grow Your Law Practice: From “Solo” to Small Firm

8 Steps to Grow Your Law Practice

“Grow or die!” is a vital mantra in business today, even in the law business. As a solo practitioner, there will come a time when you will be faced with the decision of whether to expand your work or maintain the status quo. If you’re like me, you’ll drool at the chance to make a bigger mark on the world. I’d noticed that my firm’s capacity had maxed out about two years after I opened the doors. I had a deep sense of wanting my work to become “our” work, a work done by a team that joined me in … Continue reading »

About the Contributor
Martha Hartney
Martha Hartney's is a successful Estate Planning lawyer in Colorado and co-creator of the Estate Planning Bootcamp. As a Law Business Mentor her greatest hope is to help other lawyers claim, or reclaim, the joy and the spiritual pursuit of being a lawyer.

15 Steps to Jump-Start an Estate Planning Law Practice

15 Steps to Jump-Start an Estate Planning Law Practice

I’m often asked how I went from being a stay-at-home mom to a practicing lawyer. Every single time, I have flashbacks of all the separate moments it took to first decide to go to law school, to return to studying full time for the first time in 25 years, all the way to passing the bar and then finally to the decision to be my own boss. None of these were easy decisions at the time, but they feel incredibly liberating in hindsight. When I passed the bar, the job market for lawyers was at an all time low (and … Continue reading »

About the Contributor
Martha Hartney
Martha Hartney's is a successful Estate Planning lawyer in Colorado and co-creator of the Estate Planning Bootcamp. As a Law Business Mentor her greatest hope is to help other lawyers claim, or reclaim, the joy and the spiritual pursuit of being a lawyer.

The Best Practice Area for Most Lawyers

Best Practice Area for Lawyers

I’m going to share with you what I know is the BEST area (niche) of law to practice, for most lawyers. But first, a brief story as background… There was a time when I wasn’t sure I was going to continue serving lawyers. I had a mid-life crisis (or as I like to think of it—a Spiritual Awakening) and I did a deep dive soul-searching inquiry as to what I wanted to be when I grew up. To set the proper context here, this was happening when I had already built two million dollar businesses (one an estate planning and … Continue reading »

About the Contributor
Alexis Neely is a Law Business Mentor and creator of the New Law Business Model. She built her law practice from scratch into a million dollar a year generating business in just three years with the new law business model her family and her clients loved.

Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There!

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*Back by Popular Demand* As lawyers, most of us have been moved by the injustice of the world to study the realm of ideas, opinion, and arguments. We’ve read thousands of pages and talked until we turned blue in the face. We have gobs of words at our disposal and have learned how to use them to cut through crap and argue a point of view with enthusiasm—to destroy the other side’s arguments. More than any profession, the law breeds professionals with a whole lot to say. What learning the law does not teach us is that silence can be … Continue reading »

About the Contributor
Martha Hartney
Martha Hartney's is a successful Estate Planning lawyer in Colorado and co-creator of the Estate Planning Bootcamp. As a Law Business Mentor her greatest hope is to help other lawyers claim, or reclaim, the joy and the spiritual pursuit of being a lawyer.

11 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Practice

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Wouldn’t it be nice to have the option to sell your business in the future for a hefty price? The good news is that there are proven strategies you can use to increase the value of your practice and make it attractive to potential buyers. Whether you want to sell your business next year, in 5 years, or just want to have the option in the future, you should start laying the groundwork today to make it a possibility. And while this article was originally written for my business clients, I’m confident you will be able to find the parallels … Continue reading »

About the Contributor
Denise Gosnell
Denise Gosnell is an attorney, 8-time author, and entrepreneur. Through her law firm, Gosnell & Associates, P.C., Denise focuses on providing recurring legal services to information publishing, training, and tech companies to help clients grow their company's value through the proper intellectual property and other protections, while also reducing the biggest operating liabilities.

Lawyers: Are Even YOUR Parents and Inheritances at Risk?

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Recently, I wrote here about the story of Milo Elofson, who is currently a victim of elder abuse at the hands of the legal system, despite the fact that his son Greg was appointed as his guardian. (Thank you to all of who responded to come to Greg and Milo’s aid.) What I’d like to cover today is how to know if your parents or even possibly you could be at risk of this exact same kind of thing. Unfortunately, I see it frequently, not only do most lawyers not have their own legal planning handled properly—their own parents planning … Continue reading »

About the Contributor
Alexis Neely is a Law Business Mentor and creator of the New Law Business Model. She built her law practice from scratch into a million dollar a year generating business in just three years with the new law business model her family and her clients loved.