Participating in a Virtual Community Can Help Modernize Your Law Practice

virtual community
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Have you ever wished for a group of experts down the hall who were available anytime to answer any questions about building your law practice?

With a virtual community, you have just that – a group of experts ready and willing to help. A virtual community is simply a group of folks with common interests who use an internet platform to share ideas.

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What is the benefit of a virtual community?

Consider the Facebook groups you have joined. Perhaps they reflect your hobbies or your vacation interests. I’m a member of several photography groups on Facebook though I can’t take a great sunset picture to safe my life! I’m also a member of North Carolina day trips because these are some of my favorite adventures – driving across North Carolina and discovering local art and the best diner in the county.

However, another important benefit of a virtual community is its diversity of ideas, creativity, and differing perspectives.

Legal Communities

Bar associations listservs were forerunners of online community. Consider the North Carolina Bar Association or the North Carolina Advocates for Justice – many would say the listservs are among the most important member benefits. The ability to reach out to hundreds of lawyers who do the same thing you do and ask a question with the understanding that you may have an answer within 10 minutes – now that’s a value add!

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As a matter of fact, the North Carolina Bar Association has even begun using the word community to describe their sections, divisions, committees, and interest groups.

Lawyerist is a popular online community. They describe themselves as “a resource hub for starting, running, and growing a healthy small law firm.”

Leading Law is a home-grown community of law firm leaders, legal professionals, legal technicians, business partners, law students, and law school innovators who are influencing the direction of the modern practice of law.

Why Leading Law?

A few years ago, I introduced the Managing Partner Summit, a live event held in Raleigh welcoming managing partners and other law firm leaders to an all-day, educational program focused on the business of law. Each year, the program highlighted a keynote speaker, followed by panels of local lawyers and legal professionals sharing their best practices.

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In 2020, we were one week away from the event when the world began shutting down due to the pandemic. The 2020 Managing Partner Summit was rescheduled. And then rescheduled again. Finally, with no end to the pandemic in immediate sight, I created the virtual community, Leading Law. The idea was to replace the live event, and to make the concept of the event more accessible by being online at any time.

Benefits of Leading Law

Once a month, we host a virtual Roundtable event via Zoom, a facilitated discussion led by an industry expert. We have discussed financial planning, recruiting and retention, building a client-centered firm, and client feedback programs.

As of this writing, we have 175 members from across North Carolina, all the way to California and states in between, along with a few Northern friends from Canada. Our goal is 500 members by year end. We have solo lawyers, small firm owners, legal marketers, law school administrators, and many others in related fields. While most of the communication occurs during our monthly Roundtable, the goal is for members to engage with one another as often as they desire.

Our Summer Series launched June 16 with the topic “Technology and the Legal Practice” followed by “Marketing & Client Selection” and “Internal Operations” on August 18. The 60-minute sessions include case studies of small law’s most vexing challenges.

Virtual communities provide: Exclusive content and conversations; new connections; stories, experiences, and ideas from diverse perspectives; and inspiration, thought-provoking conversations, and expert insight daily

Join a virtual community for immediate feedback and engagement, as well to expand your referral base and to serve your clients better.

Camille Stell

Camille Stell is the president of Lawyers Mutual Consulting & Services, a subsidiary of Lawyers Mutual. Our mission is helping lawyers evolve and thrive in a changing legal marketplace. Camille offers business development coaching, as well as succession and transition planning for solos and law firms. Camille also provides strategic planning for law firms and legal associations, facilitating law firm retreats and keynote presentations. Continue this conversation by contacting Camille at [email protected] or (919) 677-8900.

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