Not unlike many of my colleagues, I’m spending what is turning out to be an amazingly beautiful Spring weekend in the Bay Area preparing tax returns due next week – most specifically those of my law business, Confluence Law Partners.

What I’ve discovered is that there are key components of Confluence’s model that don’t fit neatly within standard accounting practices, resulting in higher bookkeeping and tax preparation costs and exposing me and the firm to potentially higher tax liability.

While its going to take some time for the new normal shop to reduce bookkeeping and tax preparation costs, there are some things that can be done now to protect against inflated tax liability.   Furthermore, on reflection, its not surprising that current bookkeeping practices are not easily applied to the new normal model’s aggregation of outside legal and non-legal services; status quo bookkeeping practices are directed to serving insular status quo hourly law firms that don’t rely on significant outside collaborations to deliver legal services and whose model dissuades its lawyers from using outside legal services.  More after the jump.Continue Reading Tax and Accounting Practice Lags Behind New Normal Model

There’s no question that prospective clients of non-hourly priced legal services can’t find the "new normal" firms offering these services unless the firms are doing some shouting online, see our Nov. 30 post.  It’s equally as clear that the shouting can be done ethically, see our Dec. 18 post

But is Google AdWords, one of the most widely used online marketing tools, worth the cost? 

According to Google’s snappy tutorials, the answer is yes so long as the revenue earned on each click on the lawyer’s ad is greater than the cost incurred by the lawyer in generating that click.  However, good luck reaching agreement within your firm on revenue resulting from a specific prospect clicking on your ad and being directed to your website.

The better approach, it seems to us, is to ask what happens when a client prospect types in the "key words" most relevant to the lawyer’s practice.   If the lawyer’s website does not appear on the first page of the search results, then it’s probably worth the cost to use AdWords to help get you there.

As explained in Agency San Francisco’s recent tract Guerrilla Marketing for Attorneys:

Getting on Page 1 of Google when people type in your law firm’s "key words" is by far the most critical Internet marketing that your law practice can do. Most of your potential clients that use search engines will never go beyond the first page.

The case for using the appearance on Google Page 1 as the test whether to pay for AdWords after the jump.Continue Reading Should Lawyers Use Google AdWords?