Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009

Young Lawyers Division Seeks Award Nominees

The Young Lawyers Division is seeking nominations for its annual Craig M. Perry Award and Sean Peretta Service Award.

The Sean Peretta Service Award is given annually to a member of the legal community who exhibits exceptional community service. Legal and non-legal community service activities will be considered by the selection committee. There is no age limit on the Peretta Service Award. Current members of the YLD Executive Committee are not eligible to receive the award.

The Craig M. Perry Award is presented annually to a young lawyer, 37 years old or younger or within the first three years of practice, who has devoted substantial time and energy to community-oriented activities, including, but not limited to, pro bono and charity work. Leadership, initiative and commitment to the community are factors that will be considered by the selection committee. Current members of the YLD Executive Committee are not eligible to receive the award.

Craig M. Perry was a member of the YLD Executive Committee who suffered an untimely death. He was very involved in community service and active in student-related and other YLD programs.

Nominations are encouraged and should include the individual's name, address and a brief statement describing his or her qualifications and reason why they should receive the award. The deadline for nominations is Friday, Jan. 16. All nominations should be submitted to Dawn Petit at the Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107 or via email at dpetit@philabar.org.


Barristers to Honor Judge Giles Jan. 19

The Barristers' Association of Philadelphia will honor James T. Giles, former U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Of Counsel at Pepper Hamilton LLP, at its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast at the Doubletree Hotel on Monday, Jan. 19 at 8 a.m.

Judge Giles will receive the Honorable William F. Hall Award, which recognizes an attorney who has made a significant contribution in the areas of social justice, peace, education, civil rights or public health, and will offer the keynote speech at the event.

The Barristers will also recognize Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Jacqueline F. Allen with the Outstanding Woman of the Year Award, presented to an outstanding woman attorney of color, who has helped to advance the education or careers of other minority women within the profession and beyond; Scott W. Reid, an associate at Cozen O'Connor, with the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, which is given to a young attorney who has demonstrated both competence in the practice of law and concern for his community; and the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group, Inc., a consortium of more than 33 law firms, corporations and legal organizations, with the Barristers' Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Outstanding Service to the Community, which recognizes an organization that has identified and met the need for diversity and inclusion within the legal or business community.

Tickets for the breakfast are $30 for individuals at for-profit organizations, $350 per table of 10 for law firms and for-profit organizations, $25 for individuals at nonprofit organizations, and $250 per table for nonprofit organizations. All tables include a page-sized ad in the Breakfast Program. Additional ticketing information is available on the Barristers' web site, phillybarristers.com. For tickets please contact Rachel Branson, (215) 751-2438 by Jan. 5.

APABA-PA Lunar Banquet Jan. 23

The Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania will celebrate the Year of the Ox at its 2009 Lunar New Year Banquet on Friday, Jan. 23 at Ocean Harbor Restaurant, 1023 Race St., beginning at 6 p.m.

In addition to a dinner including several courses of meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes, the banquet will also feature a traditional Lion Dance performance by the Philadelphia Suns and a live band.

Tickets are $30 for government/public interest 2009 paid members; $40 for all other 2009 paid members; $50 for non-members; $15 for children; $30 for law student members of an APALSA; and $400 per table. Please RSVP by Tuesday, Jan. 20. For questions, contact executivecommittee@apaba-pa.org. To purchase tickets in advance online (for a nominal surcharge) visit apaba-pa.org.

Listen to the Voice of Your Clients

by Stacy West Clark

I recently had the privilege of hearing one of the country’s leading law firm marketing experts speak at a Delaware Valley Law Firm Marketing Group educational lunch program. Jim Durham, the former chief marketing officer of the national firm Ropes & Gray who is now a consultant to firms, gave attendees the following great tips – all the while stressing the need for us to really listen hard to the "voice of the client."

"Floss the teeth you want to keep." In marketing your practice, keep this adage in mind. Interview in-person the clients you want to keep. Ask your clients what you did well, what you could do better and what issues are they thinking about as they look ahead.

You should strive to be person your client states is "the best lawyer I have ever worked with." Don't strive to be just a good lawyer.

Great lawyers help clients make money, save money, look good and sleep well at night.

There really are three kinds of client work up for grabs today –commodity, bet-the-company and everything in between. The "in-between" work is doled out to according to who the client wants to work with. Be the person with whom a client wants to work. Demonstrate how they got more than what they paid for your services.

Visit your clients and ask how you can save them money. Be prepared to offer them some kind of discount or alternative fee structure during this very hard year ahead. Maybe offer a 5 percent discount on certain kinds of work.

Never end a call without asking "Is there anything I can do to help you?"

Invest non-billable time in your clients. Learn everything you can about them and how they make money and prosper.

Keep sending work to other professionals – work will come back to you. Consider: brokers, printers, web designers, advertising firms, architects and so many more.

Thanks to Jim for these great points. Now it's your turn to put them into action. Come to our monthly meetings to learn more. As I like to say: get set, get up and get going!

Stacy West Clark, Esq. is president of Stacy Clark Marketing LLC, a firm dedicated to helping Delaware Valley lawyers and law firms grow their business. She can be reached at stacy@stacyclarkmarketing.com. She is on the Steering Committee of the Delaware Valley Law Firm Marketing Group, a free group that holds monthly lunch programs for lawyers and marketers on important marketing topics. If you would like to receive invitations to upcoming events, please e-mail Stacy or visit dvlawmarketing.org.