A week away from the office while you still continue to improve your law firm? That sounds like a great idea and that perfectly describes a legal conference. There are many legal conferences held throughout the country that focus on specific areas of law, business development, technology in law, and more. Here are some reasons why you should attend a legal conference.
Further your legal education
You went to law school, you interned at a law firm, and now you’ve been a successful lawyer for several years. Your experience is certainly valuable and makes you a better lawyer. However, conferences are great for furthering your education and constructing your identity as a lawyer. Conferences allow you to gain more information in your field of law and become a better lawyer. Laws and best practices change constantly, so it’s important to stay up to date.
Many states require that attorneys meet a mandatory continuing legal education (CLE) requirement. Conferences allow you to meet CLE requirements on a variety of presentation topics. Therefore, you can find topics that are better suited for your goals and objectives.
As you progress your education, you can meet with experts in very specific fields. You have the opportunity to learn from these experts by attending conference sessions, or by meeting with them in person and talking to them about your issue. Besides experts in your area of law, you can meet experts on other topics that can help your firm grow. For example, many legal conferences attract experts in legal marketing or technology.
As you speak with other attorneys, listen to presentations, and check out exhibitors, you’ll notice legal trends. They’ll allow you to see how others are running their practices and if you can adopt any of their techniques to improve your law firm.
Stay updated with legal technology
Law schools and lawyers usually educate themselves on substantive law, case law, and regulations. As technology continually impacts our everyday lives, it’s vital for lawyers to educate themselves on legal technology, cyber security, and so on. Many older law firms will refuse to adopt new and innovative ways to run their firms. The closet with your stacks of client documents worked for years, so why stop now?
However, that’s not a good approach towards improving your firm. By educating yourself on legal technology, such as an online case management system, you can help your firm deliver its services more efficiently and ethically. Not only will this make your life easier, but it will likely help increase your return on investment.
To be technologically competent, you can consider attending future law conferences. These conferences focus on the use of technology in your practice and are catered towards firms of all sizes.
Alternatively, pay attention to exhibitors at legal conferences. Many of them offer softwares for case management, billing, document generating, and more. Other exhibitors provide marketing tools for law firms, like legal lead generation (such as eGen). Although you might want to focus on just providing the best legal services you can offer, always remember that your law firm is a business. Therefore, it’s essential that you stay updated with the business side of your firm in order to get ahead of others.
Any conference will provide you with an opportunity to network. You’ll have a chance to speak with other lawyers and experts. As a result, you’ll be able to meet mentors or provide your expertise to younger lawyers who need guidance. Conferences can help you determine who the big players are in your field. By speaking with them, you can see if any of their practices can help accelerate your law firm.
Besides learning from other attorneys or experts, conferences are great for obtaining referrals. Referrals are an important part of your business as they help you acquire clients for a very low rate. It’s likely that claimants come to you for help in areas of law that you do not practice. You’ll meet lawyers who experience the same problem. Interact with these lawyers to create a referral program, so you can send claimants to each other’s firms. This is a great way to promote your firm in a very cost effective manner.
While conferences have many sessions, networking, and exhibitors, remember that they’re also fun! They’re a great way for you to change your pace for a week. You’re still working, since you’re learning new things and determining ways to keep your firm ahead of the game. However, a conference allows you to visit a new city, so it’s a great combination of work and play. Many conferences also offer fun social events, such as cocktail parties, or opportunities to explore the city in your free time. Exhibitors usually have fun swag and great giveaways, like gift cards or cash prizes.
Most of the time, you’ll find yourself stuck in the bubble that is your law firm. Regardless of your firm size, you created that bubble and it’s easy to forget what happens outside of it. By pausing to look beyond your bubble, you’ll be able to improve your law firm. Therefore, attend legal conferences to gain more knowledge about your area of law, pick up best practices, stay up to date with legal technology, and network with your peers.
Conferences can certainly get overwhelming, so plan ahead to make the most out of them. When you return from a conference, create actionable steps to take what you learned and apply it to your firm.
eGenerationMarketing usually attends the NOSSCR conferences and we were just in New Orleans this September. If you missed us there but want to discuss our legal leads for Social Security disability, personal injury, workers’ compensation, or employment law, give us a call at 617.800.0089. Otherwise, we’ll see you at NOSSCR in Chicago in May of 2020!