9 Best Live Chat Apps for Lawyers (and Features to Look For)

When someone lands on your website, it’s important to build a connection with them as quickly as possible. Live chat is one way to do that by providing assistance to potential clients when they need it.

Only 6% of law firms leverage live chat on their websites, with the majority of these chat tools handled by virtual receptionists. Having a chat feature on your law firm website could give you a leg up on the competition. Live chat offers help and interaction with your law firm from the moment someone clicks on it.

Live chat is a useful tool for lawyers who want to enhance the client experience. It could increase your conversions and improve your law firm’s efficiency through marketing automation.

Many people see a binary choice between live chat and chatbots, but the two can coexist on law firm websites.

With live chat, a potential client communicates with a real human agent. With a chatbot, the tool recommends resources to help the visitor or helps them book a consultation. Many chat services offer both options, meaning you can leverage bots for quick answers and the expertise of a real person for serious legal questions.

Why Live Chat Matters for Law Firms

Live chat is powerful for creating an immediate connection with certain potential clients. While a chatbot directs someone to learn more about their issue on their own, live chat provides a personalized connection.

Some prospective clients may land on your website and not see what they’re looking for immediately. No chat option means you miss out on interacting with them and directing them to the resources they need.

Other people may land on your site ready to talk to someone at your firm right away. Having a chat option gives them one more convenient way to reach out to you.

Live chat’s ability to forge connections with prospective clients isn’t just helpful to them. It can improve your client experience and increase your conversions. By helping website visitors out, you become a trusted service compared to all of your peers without chat options.

Live chat can be beneficial, but not all live chat tools come with the same features. Finding one that works well for you and your prospective clients is key.

Key Features to Look for in a Live Chat App

There are some essential features in any live chat app to consider when you want to add that functionality to your law firm’s website. These include:

  • Integration with your law firm’s CRM
  • Customization and branding options
  • Mobile optimization
  • 24/7 availability and support

Having these basic features is a necessity.

The first gives you the ability to track new leads. The second makes the chat feature personalized to your site rather than looking like another generic popup. The third makes it so visitors can interact with the feature regardless of device.

The fourth key feature ensures coverage no matter when someone initiates a chat. With some chat software, you or someone at your firm must operate the tool yourself. Other services are totally hands-off, with a live operator handling every chat. Others have a hybrid option where your team can handle chats during the work day, and an operator handles anything during off hours.

Many chat tools have other, more advanced features, but the ones above are critical. The right chat software for your firm should provide a good experience for your clients and any staff managing responses.

Top Live Chat Apps for Lawyers

Live chat is a popular feature for law firm websites. As such, there are plenty of companies that have designed tools to plug into your website. We rounded up some of the best options out there to help you compare tools.

When you make the investment in law firm live chat software, you want to select something that functions well, is easy to use, and fits into your budget.

1. ApexChat

ApexChat’s software isn’t designed specifically for lawyers, but that shouldn’t take it out of consideration. Many types of law firms have this software on their sites, including immigration, personal injury, and criminal defense lawyers.

The company provides its own live chat agents and software platform for you. This means that setup is fast and easy. It’s also hands-off after setup.

ApexChat doesn’t publish its exact pricing, but you can pay per chat or per lead once you contact the company. Some of the best features include live call transferring, text alerts for clients, and chat in both English and Spanish.

2. HubSpot

If you already use HubSpot for your law firm CRM, there’s no need to add other software to get live chat capability.

Set up for this live chat is simple and free. It also has the bonus feature of tracking your lead’s journey through the law firm marketing funnel inside HubSpot’s CRM.

Although the chat plugin is free to start, it does have limitations. Depending on how many CRM and email marketing functions you need inside HubSpot, you may need to opt for a paid plan.

You can use a chatbot that you set up, a live chat, or a blend of both. This offers a wide range of customization, so you can test what works. A chatbot can cover you when your office is not open, too. This opens you up to receiving more inquiries from potential clients during off hours.

3. Ngage

Ngage is made for more than just law firms, serving over 8,000 companies. Still, a big part of their customer base is in the legal industry.

This company provides trained operators to staff your chat. They can provide information and know-how to drive someone towards converting into a client.

With this service, Ngage’s agents collect some information that you would gather during the intake process. They then summarize the conversation and turn it over to your team.

The utility of that option depends on your firm’s needs. This hands-off chat-to-intake process might be a timesaver for some firms. Other lawyers may want control over the initial conversation experience since it mirrors intake to some extent.

Ngage charges custom rates on a per-lead basis rather than per-chat. Some of the best features are:

  • Integrations with social media, CRMs, and legal directories
  • Around-the-clock operators
  • A self-serve portal
  • Chat-to-call functionality
  • Google Ad chat capability
  • Instant callback

4. LiveChat

Although LiveChat is not law firm-specific, it’s very easy to set up. The service also has a track record with over 25,000 companies worldwide. LiveChat also has over 200 integrations, including Zoom, HubSpot, Mailchimp, Calendly, and Slack.

You can start with a $20/month plan, but it may not include all the features you’d like. If you need longer live chat history and advanced reporting, you’ll need to pay for the $41/month or the $59/month plans.

This one gets points for its ticketing system, reporting capabilities, and customization options. It also offers a mobile app for chatting.

5. Intaker

Intaker stands out among its live chat peers not only because it’s specifically for law firms but for its focus on video features.

Instead of a static chat box, visitors see a prerecorded video of someone at the firm. This gives potential clients the impression that a real person is having a video call with them.

This extra functionality means you’ll pay more to use it than other live chat tools. The basic plan begins at $195 a month. You can choose either a flat rate or qualified leads-only pricing.

The biggest advantages of Intaker are:

  • The ability to leverage AI-driven chatbots
  • Ease of setup
  • Customizable conversations
  • Lead qualification
  • Instant calls and callbacks

Intaker also provides immediate notifications for new leads. If you’re running ad campaigns at different phases of the marketing funnel, you can adjust the conversion focus of the chat, too.

Here’s an example of Intaker live on Miley Legal’s personal injury website. Unlike other chat tools, this one looks like lead attorney Tim Miley is talking directly to you. It’s eye-catching and makes visitors pause for a moment to decide if they’re ready to chat.

6. Zendesk Chat

Zendesk is well-known as a key player in customer support for numerous industries. While this chat tool is not specific to law firms, you can customize it to suit your needs. The tool also comes with AI chatbots that will hand chat to a live agent if they’re unable to answer a visitor’s questions.

Their live chat agents can handle web-based, social media, and mobile inquiries. Their plans start at $49/month for an agent.

Zendesk comes with some very helpful features, including its simplicity to use, automated triggers and offline forms, visitor lists, chat ratings, and file sending.

7. Smith.ai

Smith.ai is a virtual receptionist veteran in the legal industry with many happy customers and good reviews.

They keep live agents on duty 24/7 to staff your chat. But these live agents can do much more, depending on your needs. They have workflows for lead qualification and can integrate with your CRM, calendar, and even billing tools. You can also log every conversation in your CRM and look over instant chat transcripts from the past.

Smith.ai customers pay on a tier that includes a maximum number of live chats initiated per month. The starter plan is $140/month for up to 20 chats, and the service charges $7/chat after that.

8. Intercom

Intercom’s been in virtual customer support since 2011. Their tool isn’t only for law firms, but many big companies use their services with success.

The company’s main goal is to engage potential clients in chat, providing a personal touch and focusing on conversions from quality leads.

Some of the top features include SMS marketing, targeted customer segment campaigns, and marketing automation. You can also integrate with Zapier, Mailchimp, Google Analytics, and many more.

The basic pricing packages for Intercom start at $38/month.

9. Client Chat Live

Client Chat Live was created for lawyers by lawyers with the idea that many law firms need to respond right away to prospective clients.

Most small law firms can’t afford to lose out on legal inquiries that come in during nights and weekends, but Client Chat Live makes that a cinch. They offer flat rate pricing, but only on request.

Their best features are:

  • Branded chat boxes
  • Text-to-chat
  • Easy setup
  • 24/7 operators
  • Customizable responses
  • Discreet popups
  • Monthly reporting
  • Immediate chat transcripts

Live Chat vs. Chat Bots vs. Virtual Receptionists

Compared with live chat, chatbots have limited functionality. The simplest ones are preloaded with responses to common questions. More complex chatbots may use AI to answer simple queries from visitors. These tools are most helpful for answering simple questions or for directing your visitors to certain resources on your website.

For deeper questions, live chat is far more useful.

In many cases, chatbots and live chat can complement one another. Many chat tools use both options to serve different visitors’ needs. A chatbot greets the visitor and answers simple questions. If the visitor has a more complex issue, the chatbot can forward the chat to a live agent.

If you look at features, plenty of live chat services blur the line with law firm answering services, too. For example, some virtual receptionist services will handle chat for you 24/7 or anytime your office is closed.

Getting the Most Out of Live Chat Features

Live chat can assist with getting more clients for your law firm. They may be easy to deploy, but getting the most out of the feature depends upon following certain best practices.

When someone visits your lawyer website, a major goal is ensuring they have a good experience. Improper use of live chat tools can actually make the client experience worse.

Obtrusive, slow-loading, or annoying live chat boxes can detract from the client experience. They can even encourage someone to leave your website.

Here are a few important tips to get the most out of your law firm website’s live chat feature:

  • Make sure the chat box doesn’t take over the whole screen
  • Position the chat box in the corner and allow people to close it if they want
  • Keep the chat box big enough to see but small enough not to block content on the page
  • Use an image of a real person at your firm to create a personal connection

Ironically, here’s an example of what not to do from Client Chat Live.

Their chat box fills almost the entire screen and includes too much information. It also presumes that a visitor wants or needs to chat with someone. It’s impersonal by way of informing the reader that they can connect with a “representative online agent” rather than using a real person’s name.

The personal injury lawyers on this website get it right in the example above.

Their chat feature is a small box in the corner that only enlarges to this size when the reader hovers over it. The opening invite to chat is short and to the point. It also makes it clear that initiating a chat connects the reader with an actual person.

Connect with Clients via Live Chat

When set up correctly, you can capture more leads using live chat for your law firm. You can form a connection with a prospective client that informs and educates them while highlighting your firm’s communicational skills.

Your law firm website is one of your best marketing tools. The more you can leverage marketing automation on your site, the easier it is to connect with and serve ideal clients.

But live chat is only one part of having a great law firm website. From design to SEO for lawyers and beyond, your law firm website should help clients and position you as a thought leader in your practice area.

The post 9 Best Live Chat Apps for Lawyers (and Features to Look For) appeared first on Rankings.

Financial Planning for Lawyers and Law Firms

A key component of growing your law firm and hitting your personal and professional goals as a lawyer is financial planning.

Financial planning is a major part of any law firm’s business plan. Having a plan gives you the best chance of keeping your firm’s doors open. It also allows you to plan for important activities that will help you scale.

By implementing proper budgeting, investment strategies, and tax optimization, you can achieve long-term success and financial stability.

The Importance of Financial Planning for Lawyers

It takes a lot of work and risk to set up and run a successful law firm. Taking on that risk is worth it for the potential return, but it starts with a sound financial plan.

Lawyers have great earning potential but often struggle to set aside money early in their careers. This can force lawyers to work longer than they’d like before hitting retirement. If you’re investing your cash into managing your own law firm, these issues may be amplified.

Lawyers also face high rates of burnout and potential malpractice lawsuits. Both of these factors can hamper their ability to earn and grow their assets.

Proper financial planning can help minimize these problems.

Only one-third of Americans have a financial plan for themselves. Of those who have a financial plan, 65% say they feel stable compared with their peers.

To get to that stability, you need financial planning. Having a plan ensures financial security and can help you meet your personal and professional goals.

Beyond individual strategies, many lawyers must also consider the finances of their business. Lawyers need a financial plan to handle things like overhead, operating expenses, business debt, and taxes.

At the business level, lawyers may want to consider ideas like:

  • Creating cash reserves to help with cash flow issues
  • Exploring temporary lines of credit to pull from in case of emergency
  • Forecasting large expenses ahead of time
  • Making plans for partner distributions or reinvestment into the firm
  • Planning for ROI-positive spending, such as developing a law firm marketing budget

Creating a comprehensive financial plan for your law firm requires you to consider a number of factors. Budgeting, saving, taxes, and how you manage your debt are the biggest components. In many cases, seeking the help of a financial expert is the best choice for lawyers who want to build a thriving practice.

Budgeting and Expense Management

Budgeting is a fundamental part of business plans for lawyers and law firms. Planning ahead for your spending and tracking actual costs is vital for keeping your law firm in the black.

A comprehensive budget helps you plan for the fixed and variable costs of operations. With it, you can plan for things like office rent, utilities, insurance, and staffing.

But creating a budget and tracking expenses won’t just keep your firm at a subsistence level. You’ll also be able to identify areas for cost reduction and find room to invest in the things that can help your firm grow.

For example, you may see time and money lost on unproductive labor during the client intake process. You may also see a decline in billable hours due to productivity losses. You could look in your budget and see if their room to buy client intake software to help make your staff more productive in this step.

Or you may want to increase the number of new clients coming to your firm. To do so, you can look at your budget to determine how much room you have for law firm marketing.

Making room in your budget for investments that drive progress forward can lead to long-term law firm profitability. Over time, these investments should reduce costs and grow revenue.

Of course, budgeting not only helps with expense planning and revenue generation, but it also shows you where you can earmark cash for savings.

Savings and Investment Strategies

Establishing savings and investment strategies tailored for lawyers is crucial for building wealth and achieving financial goals. You can get started with some basics and grow your plans over time.

Individuals lawyers can start by:

  • Setting up an emergency fund
  • Diversifying investments, including retirement plans and accounts
  • Seeking professional advice for customized investment plans
  • Reevaluating and adjusting strategies regularly

At the firm level, you can do things like:

  • Setting up business account savings goals for unanticipated expenses
  • Creating a detailed strategy for succession planning options
  • Diversifying firm investments

Your savings and investment strategies help you when you hit an unexpected slow period or go through an illness or injury. They also help you stay on target for your intended retirement age.

In addition to saving funds, planning ahead for taxes can increase your bottom line and enhance your overall financial planning.

Tax Planning and Optimization

Effective tax planning is vital for lawyers and law firms that want to minimize liabilities and maximize savings.

There are many ways you can learn more about tax implications for the legal profession. The best thing to do, though, is to hire an expert financial professional. They can advise you about federal and state impacts on your tax planning and help you develop tax strategies that work for you and your firm.

Every dollar saved improves your law firm’s profitability. It’s worth hiring an outside expert to help you with:

  • Utilizing tax deductions at the firm and individual level
  • Exploring tax-advantaged retirement accounts
  • Looking at other tax-saving strategies

By minimizing your taxes, you have more dollars to reinvest in the firm. This can help you grow your business more quickly. But another essential way of getting a handle on your financial picture is to reduce your debt load.

Debt Management and Repayment

Managing and repaying debt, particularly student loans, is a critical component of financial planning for lawyers. The average law school graduate carries around $165,000 in student loan debt. You may also have personal debt or professional debt that you took on to open your firm.

The first steps towards managing your debt as an individual lawyer are to:

  • Assess the total amount of debt and prioritize repayment
  • Consider refinancing options for lower interest rates
  • Create a repayment strategy tailored to individual circumstances

At the firm level, continue to look at revenue, savings, and debt together. Reducing debt is a top goal for many law firms. This is especially true if your firm took out credit cards, loans, or working capital to get through a difficult time or to expand into a new area.

When you create and commit to a plan, there’s a much higher chance you’ll follow through. While debt management and repayment is only one part of your financial plan, it’s an important one.

It can seem overwhelming to address all these aspects by yourself. That’s why plenty of lawyers choose to seek the financial advice and services of experienced professionals to help with many aspects of financial planning.

Collaborating with Financial Professionals

You may not be aware of every strategy and tool out there to help you with your finances. Further, the world of finance changes and adapts over time—sometimes drastically.

That’s why it’s best to work with a financial planner who can help you see what you need right now as well as what you may need in the future.

Experienced financial advisors can provide valuable insights and guidance for lawyers and law firms in their financial planning journey.

Having someone in your corner positions you to weather storms, adapt to changes in your situation, and stay on track with your big financial goals.

Put Your Best Foot Forward with Your Finances

Financial planning is essential for both individual lawyers and their law firms. It’s a critical part of achieving financial stability and long-term success. Once you’ve created a financial plan, you may feel more confident about your firm’s future.

Implementing proper budgeting, investment strategies, and tax planning can improve your firm’s financial well-being.

Marketing and client acquisition is a big part of this long-term stability. Investing in activities that bring in new clients grows your law firm and sets you on a path to profitability. Setting aside a part of your budget from growth tactics like law firm marketing can help put your business on firm financial footing.

The post Financial Planning for Lawyers and Law Firms appeared first on Rankings.

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Revolutionizing Law Firm Management: The Top Strategies for Streamlining Operations and Boosting Profits

In today’s fast-paced and competitive legal landscape, law firms need to continually adapt and innovate to stay ahead of the curve. Streamlining operations, leveraging technology, and embracing best practices can lead to increased efficiency and profitability. This article explores the top strategies for revolutionizing law firm management, helping you make the most of your resources and drive growth.

Embrace technology and automation

Legal technology has evolved rapidly in recent years, offering a wealth of tools that can optimize various aspects of a law firm’s operations. By automating routine tasks and enhancing efficiency, these tools can save time, reduce errors, and ultimately, boost profits.

  • Invest in practice management software to streamline workflow, track billable hours, and manage cases and clients more effectively.
  • Leverage AI-powered contract analysis and e-discovery platforms to review documents and identify relevant information quickly and accurately.
  • Use document automation tools to generate standard legal documents, saving time and ensuring consistency across your firm

Example: A mid-sized law firm specializes in contract law and handles a high volume of contracts daily. They invest in an AI-powered contract analysis tool like Kira Systems or LawGeex. This technology helps them review and draft contracts more efficiently by automatically identifying relevant clauses and flagging potential issues. By leveraging this technology, the firm saves countless hours of manual work, reduces the risk of human error, and enhances their overall productivity..

Optimize your firm’s organizational structure

A well-designed organizational structure can improve communication, facilitate decision-making, and promote efficiency. Consider these strategies for streamlining your firm’s structure:

  • Implement a flat organizational model to reduce hierarchy and encourage collaboration among team members.
  • Clearly define roles and responsibilities to prevent confusion and ensure that everyone is working towards common goals.
  • Foster a culture of open communication and encourage regular feedback to address challenges and celebrate successes.

Example: A boutique law firm decides to implement a flat organizational model to encourage collaboration and reduce bureaucracy. They eliminate unnecessary management layers and create cross-functional teams, where attorneys and support staff work together on cases. This new structure fosters open communication, speeds up decision-making, and empowers team members to take ownership of their work, resulting in a more agile and efficient law firm.

Develop an effective client intake process

An efficient client intake process can save time, reduce the risk of errors, and enhance your firm’s overall client experience. Consider these steps for optimizing your intake process:

  • Create standardized intake forms to collect essential client information quickly and accurately.
  • Use CRM (Client Relationship Management) software to manage and organize client data, track interactions, and identify opportunities for cross-selling or upselling services.
  • Implement a system for tracking potential clients and follow-ups to ensure that leads are not slipping through the cracks.

Example: A personal injury law firm receives a large number of inquiries from potential clients daily. To optimize their client intake process, they create a standardized online form that captures essential information about the client’s case. They also invest in CRM software, which enables them to track the status of each lead, schedule follow-up communications, and easily access client information. By streamlining their intake process, the firm can quickly identify high-potential cases and improve their overall client experience.

Focus on financial management

Strong financial management is essential for any law firm aiming to boost profits. Implement these best practices to optimize your financial performance:

  • Set clear financial goals and regularly review your firm’s progress against these targets.
  • Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs), such as billable hours, realization rates, and profit margins, to identify areas for improvement.
  • Implement a robust billing and collections process to ensure timely payments and maintain healthy cash flow.

Example: A small law firm specializing in family law sets clear financial goals for the year, such as increasing revenue by 10% and reducing overhead expenses by 5%. They regularly review their financial performance and use key performance indicators (KPIs) to identify areas for improvement. For instance, they discover that their realization rate is below the industry average, which prompts them to review their billing practices and implement a more robust collections process. By closely monitoring their financial performance, the firm can make data-driven decisions and improve its profitability.

Invest in professional development and training

A skilled and knowledgeable workforce is crucial for driving growth and maintaining a competitive edge. Investing in professional development can enhance your team’s capabilities and improve overall performance.

  • Offer regular training opportunities, such as workshops, webinars, and continuing legal education (CLE) courses, to keep your team up-to-date with the latest industry developments.
  • Encourage and support participation in professional associations and networking events to help your team members build relationships and learn from industry peers.
  • Foster a culture of continuous learning and development to attract and retain top talent.

Example: A large corporate law firm recognizes the importance of keeping its attorneys up-to-date with the latest regulatory changes and industry trends. They offer in-house training sessions, sponsor their team members to attend external workshops and conferences, and provide access to online continuing legal education (CLE) courses. Additionally, they encourage participation in professional associations and networking events to help their attorneys build relationships with industry peers. By investing in their team’s professional development, the firm maintains a high level of expertise and ensures that they can continue to offer top-notch legal services to their clients.


Revolutionizing law firm management requires a commitment to innovation, strategic planning, and continuous improvement. By embracing technology, optimizing organizational structures, refining client intake processes, focusing on financial management, and investing in professional development, law firms can streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and ultimately, boost profits. By implementing these strategies, your firm can thrive in the competitive legal landscape and set the stage for long-term success.

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Free Webinar for Lawyers: Using ChatGPT and AI Solutions for Legal Marketing Content

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a hot topic in every industry right now! In just one week, Justia Webinars is hosting a new, free presentation for lawyers on using ChatGPT and other AI models for creating law firm marketing content. All Justia Connect members are invited to attend this exciting, free presentation. Check out this post for additional details!

What Should I Expect in This Justia Webinar?

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Artificial intelligence may just be the next revolution for how society lives and works, but that doesn’t mean it is all sunshine and good news for AI adoption. This conversational webinar, led by Marina Wilson, Senior Product & Marketing Specialist at Justia, and Justia CEO Tim Stanley, explores the good, the bad, and the ugly of ChatGPT and AI for legal marketing.

Attendees can expect to learn more about how ChatGPT and large language models (LLMs) work to produce content, how Google is factoring AI-generated content into its search engine ranking algorithms, and why accuracy will always be a concern with AI-generated content. The presentation will also discuss many benefits of AI content creation while also touching on some of the potential legal and ethical considerations lawyers may want to keep in mind when using AI as part of their marketing efforts.

You can explore more details about the presentation and the agenda here.

When Is the Next Justia Webinar?

Webinar led by Marina Wilson and Tim Stanley

Using ChatGPT & AI Tools for Writing Law Firm Marketing Content: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly will begin promptly at 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT on Thursday, March 30, 2023. You must first activate your free Justia Connect membership to join us for the live presentation. Justia Connect is currently open to all licensed U.S. attorneys, and activating your membership is as simple as claiming your free Justia Lawyer Directory profile.

If you cannot attend the live presentation but want to learn more about ChatGPT and AI for legal marketing, we strongly encourage you to upgrade to Justia Connect Pro for only $19.99/month. Recordings are typically available within just one week of the presentation!

How Do I Register for This Justia Webinar?

Justia Webinar Registration

Once you have claimed your free Justia Profile to activate your Justia Connect membership, registration is easy! You can register by logging into your Justia Connect dashboard, on the individual webinar page, or even in the Justia Webinars Center.

Your Zoom link will be delivered directly to your inbox with your registration confirmation. Registrants can also return to their Justia Connect dashboard or the individual webinar page on presentation day to join with our new join now feature. Simply click the “Join Now” button in your Justia Webinars dashboard block or the thumbnail on the individual webinar information page.

What If I Need Additional Information?

The details for this webinar can be found on the webinar information page. You can also learn more about Marina Wilson here or Tim Stanley here. If you want more information on Justia Connect or the upgraded Justia Connect Pro Membership, we invite you to explore the Justia Connect Help Center for answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about our membership.

Clio logo

Best Document Management Software for Law Firms in 2023

Document management is a fact of life for lawyers. There’s seemingly no end to updating and storing materials associated with legal matters.

Having a clear system for document management could help with that. It could also decrease the possibility of errors and make it easier to find what you need when you need it.

Only one-third of lawyers use document assembly software. Of those who use it, 94% said it was extremely important for the operation of their law firm.

Unnecessary time spent creating documents or changing them keeps you from growing your law firm and helping more clients.

Investing in document management practices can help you grow your law firm by streamlining the way you work.

Document management as a practice is important to law firm operations. Having standalone document management software may not be. Depending on what systems you already use, you may already have document management covered. 

There are several different document management options available to lawyers. Choosing the right one comes down to the features you need and the tools you’re already using.


Clio logo

Over 150,000 people in the legal industry use Clio for both document management and practice management software.

For law firms looking to get a lot out of one single tool, Clio is a good bet. With over 200 integrations available, there’s a lot of room to customize things for your law firm. These integrations include Zapier, Google Drive, Dropbox, and QuickBooks.

The best features of Clio include: 

  • Unlimited document storage with auto-backup to the cloud
  • Document searchability 
  • Document templates
  • e-signature capabilities

Because it’s in the cloud, you can access documents from anywhere. Clio also has comment threads for every file and a complete version history so you can track all changes.

Clio does come with some cons. Some users note that it’s clunky to use or that it feels like too much for a law firm.


netdocuments logo

With NetDocuments, you can easily find and look at your documents anywhere, including on your mobile phone. Share documents with the click of a button to make things simple for clients or staff members.

This tool integrates with Clio, DocuSign, ActionStep, PracticeLeague, and Legal Sense. Their pricing is custom and requires setting up a session with their team.

The biggest benefits of NetDocuments are their security, integration capabilities, and version management. The drawbacks are that it may be too complex or costly for solo lawyers, and it doesn’t run on Macs.

Note: NetDocuments recently acquired Worldox, another population law firm document management tool.

Microsoft SharePoint

SharePoint logo

Microsoft SharePoint is very convenient for law firms. Certain Office 365 plans include SharePoint, so you might already have access to it.

Because it’s a Microsoft application, it works well alongside Outlook email and Outlook calendar. 

SharePoint is compatible across operating systems, so Mac users won’t have a problem. It’s also reasonably priced at $5/user/month. 

Its biggest benefits are that you can create libraries and lists quickly. You can also set it up for use as an intranet system.

If you decide to opt for using it as an intranet, you might need to hire an expert to set it up for your firm. If you plan to use it for simple document storage, you may not need an expert to help you. 



Smokeball is both an online and desktop-based tool to help you keep track of law firm documents.

The biggest pro of using Smokeball is that you can easily create custom templates of your most frequently used files. The tool will automatically pull in certain information, like contact info. With unlimited backup storage, you’ll never worry that you’ll lose things.

Smokeball integrates with LawPay, QuickBooks, InfoTrack, LawToolBox, and Smith.ai.

On the downside, however, Smokeball is not fully cloud-based. This means you don’t get the full benefits provided by other cloud-based systems, and you need a strong Windows computer. Mac systems are not supported by Smokeball.

Some users have complained online about how hard it can be to find and edit documents with this tool, too.

Document management only comes with the mid-tier version of Smokeball, which starts at $99/month.


LexWorkplace logo

Built specifically for the legal industry, LexWorkplace has solid features for both email management and document management. Their security is top-notch. It’s also easy to search and tag documents, too.

This tool integrates with Clio, OneDrive, Adobe, Microsoft 365, and iManage.

This tool is popular because you don’t need an outside consultant to set it up to your liking. It also works on Mac and PC.

One of the biggest cons of LexWorkplace is the cost. For just three users, a law can expect to pay at least $395/month.



ProLaw is not strictly document management software. It’s primarily a practice management tool. You can choose to add document management, but many users don’t feel it’s as good as other standalone document management tools.

If you’re already using ProLaw or need practice management and document management, this might be a good choice for you.

This tool integrates with Microsoft Outlook/Office and Proforma.

A big downside of this option is that it’s not cloud-based. As an on-premise software, you’ll need your own private cloud or server to run it.

ProLaw’s exact pricing isn’t published, but it comes with a hefty starting price point of $30,000 for teams of 15 or fewer litigators.

Rubex by eFileCabinet

rubex logo

eFileCabinet is not made specifically for the legal industry. It also serves insurance companies, accounting agencies, and HR departments at other companies. That doesn’t mean it can’t work for lawyers, though.

It’s built more for business workflow automations, but it does have a document management component. The tool comes with end-to-end document automation, workflow, and management components. Rubex by eFileCabinet comes with substantial storage space. The interface works well with staff members since it looks like an email inbox.

Rubex by eFileCabinet integrates with DocuSign, Microsoft Office, Salesforce, and Active Directory.

A negative aspect of this tool is that it doesn’t come with some of the features you’ll find in other document management tools for law firms. For example, it lacks the ability to assign things to specific matters and cases.

Further, limited templates are available in beginner and middle-tier pricing plans. The basic plan starts at $695 per user per year.

Features to Look for in Document Management Software

Before purchasing a standalone document management tool, it’s important to know the key features to look for. It’s also important to think about how it may fill a gap in your existing tech stack. That can ensure you’re not paying for unnecessary software.

Your first choice is between cloud-based or on-premise software. Cloud-based document managers grant you access from anywhere. They also have constant backup and sync features. On-premise software may require its own server, and you can’t access it on the go.

At a base level, the must-haves for a document management tool for law firms include:

  • Document and file storage
  • Integrations with existing tools, such as Microsoft Office or case management tools
  • Document version management
  • Ability to favorite or search recent documents
  • Compatibility with your operating system
  • Full-text search
  • Permissions
  • Matter notes

Plenty of document management tools come with other advanced features. These may be helpful depending on the context of your practice. If you already have these features covered with other tools, you may not need to invest in document management programs with this additional functionality.

These advanced features include:

  • Email management
  • Document profiling/metadata
  • Unique document IDs
  • Document check-out and check-in
  • Practice management integration
  • Geographic data redundancy
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • End-to-end data encryption

Those last two factors are important for security best practices.

Evaluating Document Management Software

There are a few other considerations to take into account besides the features. Of course, pricing comes into the mix. You’ll also need to consider your firm’s specific needs and priorities. Some features may be more valuable to you than others.

Another key consideration is how well the new software integrates with your existing law firm tools.

You don’t need to pay for multiple software options that accomplish the same goals. Before buying a new document management tool, check that none of your existing case management, document automation, or practice management tools cover your document management needs.

For example, if you use Clio, you might already have all the document management functionality you need. 

Finally, aim to strike a balance between document management software and usability. These tools should make things easier for you and other staff members. To do so, consider any learning curve involved in getting up to speed with a new tool.

When to Use Document Management Software

Any firm can benefit from digital document management. Whether you need a standalone tool is the question to ask yourself.

If you already have a tool in place that has built-in document management, you may not need a standalone tool. If your toolset doesn’t already include this feature, then you may want a dedicated document management system.

Reasons to Use Document Management Soffware

Whether you need a standalone document manager or you’re covered by existing software, the use case is the same. Law firms should use document management tools for:

  • Better productivity
  • Enhanced security
  • Reduced spending on printing or storage costs
  • Compliance with HIPAA or other standards
  • Improved organization

While it might take some time to get things loaded into your document management and to teach everyone on your staff how to use it, this can pay off in spades over the long run.

Choose Your Document Management Tool Now

If you find that you need a standalone document management tool, consider your current software programs first. Consider how well they will integrate together. Incorporating any other tools should be a value add.

Document management is just one piece of your law firm tech stack. Adding tools is also a great way to improve your productivity as a lawyer. To reach further effectiveness, you may need to add other tools to the mix, such as case management software or practice management software.

The post Best Document Management Software for Law Firms in 2023 appeared first on Rankings.

Client intake software logos

Software for Personal Injury Lawyers: What Tools Do You Need?

The right software can make running your personal injury law firm easier.

Software tools can lead to increased productivity for lawyers and their teams. They can help you provide a consistent experience for clients. Personal injury law software can even help you make parts of the client acquisition process a breeze.

There are several different categories of software personal injury lawyers can benefit from. Below you’ll find our guide to the major types of tools for lawyers you may want to consider.

Client Intake Software

Client intake software logos

Client intake software helps record important information from potential clients. Onboarding new clients is fast and simple with client intake programs.

The client intake process is a potential client’s first introduction to your law firm’s organizational and communication skills, so it’s crucial. Nearly 80% of law firms say that intake software helps them get more clients while using time efficiently.

These tools let you gather important data, schedule consultations, and sign documents all from one place. This results in eliminating staff time spent manually entering this data into other systems.

Some of the most popular lawyer client intake software programs are:

  • CloudLex
  • Captorra
  • Clio
  • Lawmatics
  • Interaction

Intake software is helpful if you struggle to keep up with the administrative aspect of communicating with new prospective clients.

Case Management Software

Case management software logos

Once someone becomes a client, you may need a tool to track their case and make important updates.

With case management tools, you can see where a case falls in the process from intake to completion. You can also safely share information like case matter with clients right inside the platform.

Some of the best tools on the market for personal injury case management software include:

  • Practice Panther
  • CaseFleet
  • MyCase
  • GrowPath
  • Lawcus

For personal injury lawyers, who may be discussing personal details such as someone’s medical conditions and care, it’s best to find a tool with top-level security.

Document Management Software

document management software logos

Any legal case, but especially personal injury claims, involves a lot of documents shared back and forth.

As the name implies, document management software can store these important materials for you. More importantly, it does so in a way that ensures you can easily search for and update your documents.

Popular document management tools for lawyers include:

  • Clio
  • SharePoint
  • NetDocuments
  • LexWorkplace

Document management is a feature that might come with case management or practice management software plans. Check that you’re not already using something to cover document management before investing in something separate.

Most document management programs are for storage purposes, which makes them distinct from document automation tools. The latter focuses on helping personal injury attorneys draft common legal documents more quickly.

Practice Management Software

practice management software logos

For something holistic that enables you to run multiple aspects of your firm, practice management software covers a lot of bases.

If you don’t want a lot of subscriptions to different tools, look for an option that includes most of what you need as features. Practice management tools often cover the administrative, accounting, case management, and client communication activities you need to manage your law firm.

The most popular practice management tools on the market for lawyers are:

  • SmartAdvocate
  • FileVine
  • Clio
  • PracticePanther

Project Management Software

project management software logos

If you have the right practice management tool, you might not need another one for project management. There is a lot of overlap between the two. If possible, choose the one that is most appropriate for your law firm, as using both may be redundant.

Project management tools help you create reports, schedule things, track tasks across your entire team, and send out invoices.

The most commonly-used project management tools for lawyers are:

  • ClickUp
  • Trello
  • Monday
  • Clio
  • Smartsheet

Customer Relationship Managers (CRMs)

CRM software logos

When you get a new lead, you may need to track that person through multiple follow-ups and actions before they become a client. A customer relationship manager can help with that.

A customer relationship manager maintains contact details about each potential client.

When someone reaches out to you, such as through a contact form on your website, they’re added to the tool automatically. This can help you better understand how your law firm marketing efforts are paying off.

From there, you can see exactly where that contact is in the sales pipeline. Using that information, you can see important data about your potential clients, such as when they’re most likely to take action to work with you.

For example, you might learn that your average car accident client hires you after three personal emails sharing relevant details about their case type with them.

Some of the best CRMs for personal injury lawyers are:

  • LawMatics
  • HubSpot
  • Intapp
  • Captorra
  • Interaction

CRMs are easy to confuse with client intake tools. They actually serve two different purposes. Client intake software helps you bring people on board once they’ve hired you. A CRM is primarily used to communicate with people who are not yet clients or may never become clients (like referral partners).

Timekeeping Tools

Time tracking software logos

If you still use the billable hour, you need timekeeping tools to accurately track what you did for each client. Timekeeping tools can help with this and much more.

These tools give you a sense of how long it takes you to do various projects, such as drafting, research, and communication with clients. You can even track non-billable time to spot inefficiencies.

Timekeeping may come as a feature in an existing software tool for your law firm. If not, it’s smart to choose a standalone one for you and your team. The most common options for personal injury lawyers are:

  • Toggl
  • Microsoft ToDo
  • TimeSolv
  • Everhour

Legal Research Tools

legal research software logos

Looking up case law, statutes, or other data from courts is crucial for any lawyer. Finding this information, storing it, and getting notified about updates will help you serve clients more efficiently.

Here, the choice is between free and paid options for legal research. Paid tools may come with bigger databases, more frequently updated databases, or other features that make your life easier.

Some of the best legal research tools include:

  • Caselaw Access Project (free)
  • CourtListener (Free)
  • Legal Information Institute (Free)
  • FastCase (Paid)
  • LexisNexis (Paid)

Other Useful Tools for Personal Injury Lawyers

What’s listed above are the most common tool categories for all personal injury lawyers. There are plenty of other types of tools that are more niche. Depending on your practice, you might also need additional tools for lawyers like:

  • Communication tools
  • Scanning programs
  • eDiscovery software
  • Citation generators
  • Virtual receptionist tools

Tips For Choosing the Right Software for Your Personal Injury Firm

There are two big considerations to think about when investing in new software:

First is whether the new software is worth the cost. This includes considering the actual price tag for the tools as well as the opportunity cost. Will the additional training time and expenses pay off in a meaningful way for you or your clients?

The second is to think about the features that you need out of the tool and the features you already have in your existing tech toolset.

Your law firm tech stack should all work together to streamline operations rather than make things cluttered or confusing for you, your staff, or your clients. Look for integrations with existing programs before signing up for anything new.

Some tools have significant overlap when it comes to features. You don’t necessarily need to select a different tool for each of the categories below. For example, you may not need separate client intake, case management, and timekeeping software if you have one tool that handles all three.

Get More Time Back with Personal Injury Law Firm Software

As a personal injury lawyer, your time is best spent serving your clients. The right software can clear the path so you can spend more time focusing on providing legal services.

You can also get more of your time back by delegating time-consuming and yet important aspects of your practice, such as law firm marketing. Keep your client pipeline full by developing and executing a strong law firm marketing plan with the help of an outside marketing partner like Rankings.io.

The post Software for Personal Injury Lawyers: What Tools Do You Need? appeared first on Rankings.

The Best Legal Research Tools for Lawyers (Free and Paid Options)

Lawyers need access to legal research tools when representing clients. If you’re like most lawyers, legal research is one of those tasks that take up a lot of your time in each case.

Legal research is critical for outlining the case law, statutes, and precedents that influence your client’s case. The process of conducting legal research can be time-consuming without the right software.

Here are the best free and paid legal research tools available to lawyers today.

Free Legal Research Tools

There are plenty of free legal research tools available today. As a new lawyer with a limited caseload, you may not need the extra expense in your budget for a paid research tool.

These tools provide access to the data you need to find case law and statutes to support your work in briefs and motions.

There is a cost to these free programs, though. Many don’t come with integrations that fit the law firm tools you may already be using. Many of them are also missing advanced features to help you store your searches and track changes in real time.

1. Caselaw Access Project

With more than 6.9 million unique cases stored here, this is a great place to start your research process. This database was built with info from Harvard Law Library and stretches back a few hundred years.

Fastcase donates information annually to Caselaw, but the data pulled from the Harvard Law Library only runs through 2018.

Other limitations include their exclusion of non-published trial documents, non-officially published cases like lower court decisions, digitally published cases from IL, AR, NM, and NC, and parallel versions from regional reporters.

2. CourtListener

Keeping up with evolving court changes can be challenging for busy lawyers. With this free tool, you’ll find millions of legal opinions from both state and federal courts.

You can search their data based on topic, citation, or case name, and the information is updated every day.

3. Justia


The biggest benefit of using Justia’s free database of codes, case law, regulations, and statutes is that you can sign up for daily email digests.

Some of these consolidate daily or weekly activities in state supreme courts and federal appellate courts. This is helpful for a quick scan of what’s going on in the legal world.

4. Legal Information Institute

This tool gathers legal data from over 46 partner associations all over the globe. You can locate statutes, regulations, and case laws with this one.

The majority of U.S. laws are listed in this online program, including federal rules, U.S. Code, and the Supreme Court Bulletin. This service is provided by Cornell Law School.

Paid Legal Research Tools

Paid tools may offer more functionality or greater degrees of access to information than free ones. But not every lawyer needs the features of paid tools. It’s a tradeoff to determine if you’ll get much more out of the paid versions than free ones.

To determine if you need to pay for any of the tools below, consider the following:

  • Are you consistently frustrated by a lacking feature in a free tool?
  • Would using the paid tool help you or your staff work faster?
  • Would using the paid tool make legal research substantially easier?

If the answer to any of the above questions is “yes,” you might need to invest in a paid tool.

5. FastCase

FastCase is one of the biggest law libraries in the world. You’ll find court rules, case law, regulations, statutes, law review articles, and constitutions here.

This tool integrates directly with Clio. This integration may save some time adding this free tool to your tech suite. You can capture the time spent researching something for a case into your practice management tool without ever leaving the FastCase program.

The mobile app for this one is free, but you’ll need to pay if you want the desktop version. Check to see if your bar association offers deals on this subscription

6. Tracers

Not a true case law database, this one is more helpful if you need to research people or assets. You can get a lot out of this tool if you frequently need info from public records databases like vehicle registrations, prisoner details, addresses, or utility records.

Tracers has no integrations with other tools. That’s a downside if you want to pull in the results of a people or asset search into your case management software. This company does not publish its pricing info, so you’d need to contact them for custom rates.

7. LexisNexis

There’s a reason almost every lawyer knows about LexisNexis. It’s a comprehensive database that is trusted by many in the legal industry.

This one integrates with Microsoft Word and offers secondary sources and citation checks. LexisNexis puts natural language search, boolean search, citation checking, and case summaries at your fingertips.

However, with pricing starting at $85/user/month, it’s typically out of reach for new attorneys and small firms.

8. WestLaw

Linked to Thomson Reuters, there’s plenty of case law data inside WestLaw. You can find treatises, case law, and statutes. It’s somewhat costly, with plans starting at $89/month. But if you need access to a big database, WestLaw is a winner. You can conduct citation checks and view secondary sources in this one.

WestLaw has many of the in-demand features for legal research that LexisNexis does. This includes case summaries, natural language and boolean search, suggestions, research folders, and PDF or Word downloads.

This one gets mixed reviews from lawyers. It only integrates with limited tools like Microsoft Office and Practical Law. It also may be more than a solo lawyer or small firm needs, given the cost.

It comes with a free trial, so it might be worth checking out to see if you’d use it enough to justify the cost.

9. Law Insider Contract and Clause Search

If you need to look into existing contracts regularly, this is an excellent research tool. Over 300,000 legal professionals make use of this database.

There are millions of clauses and contracts inside, and you can narrow your search based on excluded terms, exact phrases, jurisdiction, filing year date, or agreement type.

The pricing is affordable, starting at $29/month, but you can also grab a day pass for $40 if you need something fast.

10. Casetext

Artificial intelligence powers this paid tool that comes with regulations, statutes, and case law throughout the country’s state and federal courts.

One of the best features is SmartCite, which allows you to flag all cases associated with your fact pattern for the case at hand. It also calls out cases in which the opinion was overruled.

Casetext has features like boolean and natural language search, case summaries, folders, research history, and suggestions. It also integrates with Clio, Docketbird, FileVine, and Hire an Esquire.

The flat-tier pricing is attractive but costly if you want short-term access. A monthly subscription is $220, an annual is $110/month for a year, and a two-year plan is $100/month.

Features to Look for in a Legal Research Tool

Your specific needs should guide your decision about a legal research tool. Depending on the extent to which you rely on legal research, you might be willing to pay more for something that speeds up your process or makes it easier for you to find things.

Here are some of the best features available in legal research tools to look out for:

  • Natural language search
  • Stored research history
  • Email alerts for new statutes or cases
  • Mapping results into folders for quick reference
  • Boolean search using terms like “AND” or “OR” to define your search parameters
  • AI legal support
  • Suggested search results
  • Filtering search results for dates or jurisdictions
  • PDF or Word downloads
  • Citation checkers to see if the case law has been modified, repealed, or reversed
  • Whether it integrates with any of your existing software

Some of these, such as citation checkers or natural language search, are must-haves. Others, like the AI legal support or email alerts for new statutes or cases, may be less relevant for you.

If you practice in a field where you’re referencing the same case law, an email alert for new cases or statutes might be a necessity.

Your key considerations for choosing a legal research tool include:

  • How often you’ll be using the tool
  • How much time you’ll save because of the tool’s features
  • Whether others in your team could take more work off your plate by using this tool

Much like many other tools in a law firm, your preferences will guide your decision. Decide on something that’s useful and practical for the features provided. There’s no sense in upgrading to a complex tool with more than you need, which might only frustrate you and your staff.

Speed Up and Systematize Your Legal Research

Part of running a successful law firm comes down to choosing the tools that make life easier at your firm. Systems, software, processes, and procedures for the tasks you do every day can help unlock productivity for lawyers.

Choosing the right free or paid legal research tools is a part of that puzzle. But it’s only scratching the surface of tools to help streamline your law firm’s operations.

In addition to legal research tools, you may want to invest in marketing automation software or client intake, case management, and practice management tools that keep you on track to grow.

The post The Best Legal Research Tools for Lawyers (Free and Paid Options) appeared first on Rankings.

8 Tips for Effective Blog Writing for Lawyers

Over 70% of people would rather get information from blogs than through traditional advertising. That means blog posting is necessary for law firms that want to grow their business through organic traffic from Google.

When written well and with the right law firm marketing strategy, your blog can help you grow your law firm.

Through your blog, you can answer common questions from your target clients, address how you approach legal problems, and showcase your knowledge. But many lawyers are unaware of the most important things to consider when writing a blog post.

By following the tips below, you can get more out of your writing and set yourself up for an increase in new cases.

1. Identify Topics of Value to Your Target Audience

The process of writing a blog starts well before putting words on the page. A great law firm blog takes keyword research and planning to get the best results.

Many lawyers make the stake of writing topics at random and hoping that something meets their audience’s needs. Planning ahead helps you find the topics your ideal clients actually care about. It increases the likelihood that they will find your content online.

You may already have some ideas of the topics your clients care about. That’s a great place to start brainstorming ideas for topics. After considering your clients’ most common questions and problems, you’re ready to get into keyword research.

When you do keyword research, you’ll find all the different ways that people search for the services you offer. You’ll find the common questions you hear all the time.

These keywords map directly to topics you might want to add to your content plan and inform your content strategy.

But you’ll also find the topics you didn’t even know your prospective clients cared about.

These make excellent topics for articles that address unique needs. They also allow you to share your insights and build trust with underserved audience members.

2. Balance Your Audience’s Needs with SEO

When you write on the web, you’re really writing for two audiences. First are the people that your law firm serves. Second is the search engine that helps these potential clients find your content.

To get the best results from your blog, you’ll need to balance the law firm SEO tactics with your target audience’s needs. Great blog posts are created for people while keeping search engines in mind.

Before you begin writing an article, look at the pages that rank on Google for that topic.

Doing so will give you an idea of what people are looking for when they perform that search. It helps you determine the “search intent” for the topic. It will also show you the types of content that Google tends to rank for the topic.

This information is critical.

It helps you decide what your title or headline needs to be. It helps you choose the format for your article (e.g., whether it’s a guide, a list, or something else). Finally, it can help you figure out what content should be in the post.

As you write an article, consider both how you’ll connect with the reader and how search engines will try to understand the content.

Here are some of the best ways to write for reader connection:

  • Write in a clear, concise, and engaging style
  • Use language that is accessible to non-lawyers
  • Eliminate jargon and terms of art, and define them if they must be used
  • Avoid long paragraphs
  • Use formatting elements like bulleted lists to break up text into scannable sections

At the same time, draft with the search engine in mind, too, by doing things like:

  • Using relevant keywords
  • Selecting internal links to other pages on your website with additional content
  • Reference high-quality sources with external links

One thing that helps both readers and search engines is using subheaders to break up content. This makes the post more digestible and also highlights the major concepts of the piece.

By combining aspects of writing for people and for search engines, your blog is positioned for better performance than posts that focus on one over the other.

3. Write with Authority

As a lawyer, your expertise matters to your clients. Your blog is an outlet to demonstrate expertise to both readers and search engines.

Take the time to write credible, accurate, and valuable content. Drafting informative and authoritative blog posts shows your clients your familiarity with the law. By helping them find answers to their questions, you also demonstrate the value of working with you.

Writing with authority isn’t just important for connecting with readers. Google cares about expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (or EAT) in the content that it indexes.

It uses these metrics to decide which content to trust over others, so each piece you create should be infused with all three.

In addition to speaking from experience in your blog, you’ll also want to cite sources. Back up any claims you make with evidence to show you’ve done your research and take your blog seriously.

Many lawyers struggle with balancing authority and simplicity. It’s easy to fall into the trap of writing “expert-level” content by stuffing in formal language and jargon.

Writing over someone’s head to show your level of knowledge will backfire. It can make clients feel like you’re condescending or that you won’t be able to communicate well with them. Write in an accessible way in each post.

4. Create Engaging Headlines

You only have a few seconds to get someone’s attention. One way to grab that attention is with enticing headlines for each blog post.

But doing so requires a balance between SEO best practices and understanding your audience.

The best headlines don’t just use titles that pique someone’s interest. They also use relevant keywords to help search engines understand what the content is about.

No one wants to read Statutory Negligence Concerns for Comparative Fault in Georgia. It might be a little too dry of a title for your audience. The same reader may want to know the answer to What Are Georgia’s Accident Fault Rules?

Both articles might cover the same information, but one has a better headline. At the same time, the second one uses keywords that your target audience actually uses to find the information they need.

Using power words and emotional triggers in your titles can create a sense of urgency or interest. These can be helpful in crafting a title but always come second to search intent.

Here are some headline styles that generate interest:

  • X Mistakes to Avoid with ___
  • X Reasons Why You Must ___ in Your ___ Lawsuit
  • How to ___ While ___
  • What You Don’t Know About ___ Could Hurt You

The goal is to accurately portray the information in your blog post while getting someone interested in reading beyond the headline.

5. Write for Scannability

The way that people read content on the web is different from the way they may read a book or magazine.

When people search for answers to their questions on Google, they want that answer as soon as possible.

As a result, they’ll open a few relevant results for their question and scan through each to see if they can find their answer. The fact is, most people don’t read online content one word at a time.

Instead, they scan to see if it’s relevant to them. If not, they hit the back button and leave your site entirely.

Writing for the online reader may be different from any kind of writing you’ve done before. If you want to capture their attention, your top priority should be answering their questions as directly as you can.

Beyond that, there are some readability tricks you can use to make your content scannable.

Use short paragraphs, bullet points, and headings that direct their attention to what is most valuable for that reader. Long walls of text are difficult to read for anyone and may also be intimidating.

6. Repurpose Your Blog Posts for Multiple Channels

Law firm content marketing is about more than just blog posts. If you put in the work to create a solid blog post, you probably also want to get as much traction out of it as possible.

You can get more mileage out of your blog content by repurposing the ideas for other attorney marketing channels.

The ideas that you cover in your blog are a great jumping-off point for social media marketing content or video marketing for lawyers. If your law firm has an email newsletter, you might even repurpose your content for those readers.

7. Measure Your Success and Optimize

If you’re investing your time and effort into blogging, you’ll want to make sure that effort’s paying off.

It’s well worth setting goals for your blog at the outset. Once you’ve published content for a while, you can revisit your goals and compare them to your blog’s actual performance.

Many analytics tools are available to track your blog’s performance and engagement. These tools can provide a lot of detail on performance but are often highly specialized. Most lawyers choose to outsource tracking to an SEO professional.

One of the best parts about writing a blog is that nothing is set in stone. Your blog is a living thing, unlike printed material.

If a certain blog post isn’t performing the way it should, you can always return to optimize it. On-page optimization can help you improve your rankings, drive increased traffic, and net you more new clients.

With the right data analytics tools in place, it’s easy to see where you have the most opportunity to improve older posts.

8. Consider Outsourcing the Blog Writing Process

Quote grom Gabriel Levin

Even if you have the time to write and publish consistently, there’s a good chance it’s not the best use of your time.

Writing for the web is highly specialized. Just like writing a motion or legal brief, blogs have their own unique nuances. It may be unlike any kind of writing you’ve done before. Most lawyers are better off focusing on their firm rather than trying to figure out the rules of blog content creation.

It’s true that blogging is valuable for generating traffic to your law firm website. It’s also time-consuming to stay on top of writing new posts or optimizing old ones while still making time for your clients.

Partnering with a professional can prevent you from losing that valuable time. A professional law firm marketer can take over this aspect of reaching your audience for you by handling things such as:

  • Planning out your content
  • Regularly publishing high-quality content that aligns with your attorney marketing plan
  • Promoting your blog
  • Repurposing your blog content for other channels
  • Measuring your blog’s performance and engagement
  • Optimizing your content for continued results

Working with dedicated, outside professionals can help attorneys reach new levels of productivity. When you outsource content marketing, your to-do list becomes more focused on helping clients, not taking on routine marketing tasks.

Invest in Content Marketing Now

If you know you want your website to do more for you, finding the right person to help you with blogging is your next step.

The team at Rankings.io knows what it takes to get a law firm ranking for ideal keywords. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you implement an effective content marketing plan.

The post 8 Tips for Effective Blog Writing for Lawyers appeared first on Rankings.

Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Cases

Justia Free Resources: The Justia U.S. Supreme Court Center

For over 230 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has played a key role in shaping American life. The Court has defined the scope of individual liberties under the Constitution, determined the limits of government power, and interpreted federal laws in areas such as employment, immigration, and the environment. Justia believes that the general public should have free, efficient access to Supreme Court decisions and related resources. To this end, we have long provided a Justia U.S. Supreme Court Center. We recently updated this section of our portal with a more user-friendly design and more detailed content.

Our archive of Supreme Court decisions extends back from the present day to the first decision issued by the Court in 1791. Visitors to the Justia U.S. Supreme Court Center can browse the archive by date or by topic. We also provide a table of contents of the volumes in the U.S. Reports, allowing people to find cases this way as well. In addition to the text of each opinion in a case, visitors can find materials that illuminate the context of the case. Depending on the case, these may include annotations or summaries, briefs filed by the parties to the case, audio of oral arguments before the Justices, and more.

Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Cases

Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Cases

While all Supreme Court cases are important, some cases resonate with particular force. Our team has selected especially significant cases in 27 areas, which are listed prominently on the home page of the center:

  • Abortion & Reproductive Rights
  • Antitrust
  • Climate Change & Environment
  • Copyrights
  • Criminal Trials & Prosecutions
  • Death Penalty & Criminal Sentencing
  • Due Process
  • Equal Protection
  • Free Speech
  • Government Agencies
  • Gun Rights
  • Health Care
  • Immigration & National Security
  • Labor & Employment
  • Lawsuits & Legal Procedures
  • LGBTQ Rights
  • Miranda Rights
  • Patents
  • Powers of Congress
  • Property Rights & Land Use
  • Religion
  • Role of Courts
  • Search & Seizure
  • Separation of Powers
  • Taxes
  • Trademarks
  • Voting & Elections

A visitor to one of these pages will find a brief introduction summarizing the law on the topic, as articulated by the Supreme Court. Then, they will find a list of landmark cases addressing the topic with links to the free text of each case and an important quote or takeaway from the case. Visitors thus can understand not only the current state of the law but also how it has evolved over time.

Recent U.S. Supreme Court Decisions

U.S. Supreme Court

Our team regularly updates the Justia U.S. Supreme Court Center with the newest decisions issued by the Court. In a panel on the home page below the landmark cases, visitors can find the five most recent decisions. Each case comes with a synopsis of its main holding and a link to its free text. By clicking on the link, a visitor also will find materials related to the case, such as oral arguments and briefs and other filings. This allows visitors to find out about the Court’s latest activities and quickly access cases that they may have seen in the news. By reading a case or exploring its supplementary materials, they can develop a stronger understanding of its meaning and impact.

U.S. Supreme Court Resources

U.S. Supreme Court Resources

Many people have a basic understanding of what the Supreme Court is and what it does, but they may not know all the details of how the Court operates. Among other general resources, we provide a description of the stages of a Supreme Court case, starting with the writ of certiorari and continuing through briefs and oral arguments to the conference of Justices, voting on the case, and the process of writing opinions. We also offer a guide to reading a Supreme Court decision. This describes the significance of the “syllabus” at the start of the case, while explaining what each type of opinion means and providing examples from famous cases. For example, visitors may want to understand the difference between a majority opinion and a plurality opinion, which can affect the precedential significance of a case.

We also provide a description of the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. and links to several external resources, such as the official Supreme Court website, our Verdict blog, and free law project Oyez, which we operate in conjunction with academic partners.

Current U.S. Supreme Court

Current U.S. Supreme Court

Further down the Justia U.S. Supreme Court Center home page, visitors can find a panel on the Current U.S. Supreme Court. This features each of the nine Justices who sit on the Court today. By clicking on a Justice, a visitor can read about their background, such as their education, their career before the Court, and their path through the confirmation process. Each Justice profile also briefly discusses their ideology and their views on some key issues.

U.S. Supreme Court History

U.S. Supreme Court History

Finally, a section on U.S. Supreme Court History provides visitors with an overview of each era of the Court, dating back to its founding in 1789. Eras of Supreme Court history are generally defined by Chief Justice. John Roberts, the current Chief Justice, is the 17th person to hold that position. The longest-serving Chief Justice so far was John Marshall, who held that position from 1801-1835. Each overview of an era of the Court explains how its membership changed during that time and describes some of its main contributions to the law, as well as any role that the Court or individual Justices may have played in major historical events. Visitors also can find a list of the Associate Justices who served with that Chief Justice and a cluster of significant decisions produced during that era.

Elsewhere in the Justia U.S. Supreme Court Center, we have provided an overview of how the process of becoming a Supreme Court Justice works. This page also contains a full list of all the Justices who served on the Court of each Chief Justice.

Final Thoughts

The U.S. Supreme Court is a constant topic of public debate. It may be revered or reviled, but it is not always fully understood. By improving and expanding our Justia U.S. Supreme Court Center, Justia aims to illuminate both the current Court and its evolution as an institution. This area of our portal combines with other free resources to advance our goal of making the law transparent and accessible to all. We look forward to further improving the Justia U.S. Supreme Court Center over time.