Abolish the Law Reviews!

This week I have been talking to my summer law clerk about her recent selection to be a staff member of the Arizona State University Law Journal.  She is a very bright young lady who just finished her first year of law school at ASU.  Her selection reminded me of my experience as a staff member and the associate managing editor of the Pacific Law Journal at my law school, the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific.

Before my law review experience I hated writing.  It was very difficult for me to write my article, but the article was selected for publication in the law journal.  My year as the associate managing editor taught me about writing and to overcome my fear and reluctance to write.  The managing editor and I were responsible for reading and editing every word of the two hard copy editions of the journal that were published during my tenure.

Law review is a nice feather in the cap of young law school grads seeking jobs early in their career, but the experience itself has intangible benefits.

An article in Forbes called “Abolish the Law Reviews!Abolish the Law Reviews!” contains the following true statement about law reviews:

“Whereas most periodicals are published primarily in order that they may be read, the law reviews are published primarily in order that they may be written.”

The article makes a point with which I agree.  The print version of law reviews should be abolished.  The Harvard Law Review had 1,896 subscibers in 2010-11.  I suspect that most law reviews have a lot fewer subscribers.  Law reviews should be online only.

By |July 25th, 2012|Ramblings|0 Comments

Lawyers Who Talk about Client’s Confidential Information on the Phone Won’t Use Automated Cloud Backup Services Because Fear of Hackers

Yesterday I saw the following on a lawyer list serve:

“I’m still concerned about the security of the information.  Anything involving software can be hacked. Although I freely admit to a tech deficient mind, still I have not seen any info which demonstrates that cloud computing is less risky than not using cloud computing.”

I responded to this message with this text:

“Which is easer to hack:

 1.  The hard copies of your documents in your office that a burglar could steal by breaking into your office or that might be destroyed if your building burns down, or
2.  The encrypted files on Amazon’s servers where our Jungle Disk auto-cloud system backs up our data every night without any human involvement?

P.S. If you use the highest level of Jungle Disk’s encryption it can’t be hacked and if you lose your key you’ll lose everything.”

A retired USAF guy answered me with:

After flying fighters and doing intel stuff, I served as the first squadron commander of a combined space test and aggressor squadron in the USAF. Space work has a lot of crossover with information security…hacking. I can promise you that anyone that thinks a piece of software is unhackable has spent little time with very bright millennials who may or may not have training with the “big boys” (the military or NSA) and who can crack almost anything…and if that individual cannot do it, they know someone who can.

We are deluding ourselves to think that our security is unhackable, anymore than a door is unbreakable. We have to simply trust that for the most part, we’re all too small for anyone to care about what is on our server, so the hacker doesn’t target us.”

The guy’s response kind of rubbed me the wrong way so I responded:

“YGBSM.  Typical wing puke who can’t see the forest from the trees.  I flew the F-4 Phantom in combat in Southeast Asia and taught very bright USAF pilots to fly the Phantom at an F-4 RTU for three years.

I don’t know computer security, but I do know that anybody who is afraid of state of the art cloud back ups or storage but uses the extremely low tech and highly vulnerable telephone to talk about client stuff while their office can burn to the ground (server destroyed) or be broken into (server stolen and then hacked) does not appreciate which threats have the greatest risk of occurring.  I personally know attorneys whose offices were destroyed and they didn’t have copies of their client files stored off site.  Oops!  When that happens all client info is lost.  I don’t know any lawyer whose encrypted data was hacked, nor have I read about it happening.  If you know about a lawyer or law firm whose encrypted data was hacked please tell us about it.  There are reasons hackers want to attack top secret U.S. and military databases and systems, but those reasons don’t apply to you and me and our data.  Bright millennials are not going to waste their time on either of us or any lawyer on this list serve.

The issue in not whether encrypted data can be hacked (the trees), but which threats have the higher risk of actually occurring (the forest) and which threats have a sufficiently high risk of occurring that justify using your resources to protect against?  When I was flying combat missions over Route Pack 6 in North Vietnam in 1972 I got a lot of threat information from the RHAW (radar homing and warning) gear, the mod 1 eyeballs and the radio.  Red Crown broadcast the location of all MiGs airborne over North Vietnam and warned flights when a MiG got close.  I had to analyze the threats and determine which threats, if any, were the highest threats and take action accordingly.  For example, when the azimuth/section light (fondly called the “ah shit” light) illuminated, the launch light flashed on and off and I got a loud missile launch tone in my headset I knew my biggest threat that required immediate attention was the 32 foot long supersonic flying telephone pole that was tracking my airplane.

I agree that a thief may exist who is a very bright millennial who could hack into my encrypted cloud-based data, but I have a better chance of wining a Powerball jackpot than that happening.  I’m much more likely to lose everything in a fire, natural disaster or a hard drive crash.  The latter is the biggest threat all lawyers and law firms face.

You said “We are deluding ourselves to think that our security is unhackable.”  When I said my encrypted cloud backup system couldn’t be hacked I meant it could not be hacked in the real world you and I live in.  Nobody is going to use the resources necessary to hack into data that you or I encrypt.  It is delusional, however, to fail to create an automated data back system that stores your data off site and that makes automatic daily backups because the biggest cyber threat that every lawyer must protect against is the crash of a hard drive that causes data to be lost because of no backup or old and cold back ups. Yes I know of lawyers who lost data because they didn’t properly backup or didn’t back up off site at all.  I met yesterday with an Intel engineer who has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering who told me he was backing up all of his home computer data “every once in a while” to an external hard drive that just crashed and caused him to lose 350 gigs of data.

P.S.  I’ve been 100% paperless since 2004 – 150,000 plus documents on my server that I can access from anywhere in the world using my browser and an internet connection.  Yes a hacker dude could bust into my system, then again I could be killed by a shark that falls out of the sky and lands on me.”

What  do you think?  Leave a comment.

By |June 29th, 2012|Ramblings|2 Comments

Lawline Offers 1,000+ Hours of Free Continuing Legal Education

“The value of legal education is higher than ever, unfortunately so is the price.  But with the relaunch of its website, Lawline.com has set out on a mission to provide legal education to all those eager to learn, for free. With over 1,000 hours of content available, Lawline has recently enabled users to have free access to its entire course library.  What started as free mobile-phone access and the original free content website Learn.Lawline.com, has evolved into a completely new education tool for attorneys, professionals and avid learners everywhere.

While those who seek CLE and CPE credits must pay for the certification, every course can be viewed, with full access to written materials, course notes and discussions, without purchase.  Viewers are given the easy option to view for free or purchase for credit.

One of the most beneficial tools of Lawline.com’s new website launch includes a completely revamped course center, allowing attorneys and other users to make the most of their easy learning experience.  CEO David Schnurman emphasizes the best aspect of the course catalog, “SmartNotes” as a crucial tool in Lawline’s educational reach.  “SmartNotes” enables the user to enter and record notes at any point during the course.  The notes are archived and can be later accessed bringing the viewer to the same point in the course at which the note was taken.

Schnurman’s overall goal is to cater to the “lifelong learner.”  By opening access to Lawline’s courses and even making it a point to continuously add non-CE courses, he has begun to do just that.

For more information please visit www.lawline.com or Robert Ambrogi’s recent blog article “Lawline Opens its Full CLE Catalog to Free Access.”

This article was written by Stephanie Paeprer.  Contact her at stephanie.paeprer@lawline.com

By |June 27th, 2012|Ramblings, Tech Stuff|1 Comment

iLawyer: What Happens When Computers Replace Attorneys?

The article linked to below discusses a topic I have been preaching for years.  I tell all my lawyer friends, especially young lawyers, that technology has changed and will continue to change the practice of law and you must embrace it and use it to your advantage or your revenue will decrease.  What do you think?

The Atlantic: “After decades of killing low-end jobs in retail, software is finally doing the people’s bidding by creating a world with fewer lawyers.   In the end, after you’ve stripped away their six-figure degrees, their state bar memberships, and their proclivity for capitalizing Odd Words, lawyers are just another breed of knowledge worker. They’re paid to research, analyze, write, and argue — not unlike an academic, a journalist, or an accountant. So when software comes along that’s smarter or more efficient at those tasks than a human with a JD, it spells trouble.   That’s one of the issues the Wall Street Journal raised yesterday in an article on the ways computer algorithms are slowly replacing human eyes when it comes to handling certain pieces of large, high-stakes litigation.”

By |June 21st, 2012|Ramblings, Tech Stuff|0 Comments

More Email Signature Block Spam

I have a new contestant for the worst email signature block spam of the year.  I got an email message today with the following text after the sender’s name:

This e-mail transmission contains information that is intended to be privileged and confidential pursuant to the attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine. It is intended only for the addressee, or the employee or agent responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient. If you receive this e-mail in error, please do not read, copy or disseminate it in any manner. Please reply by e-mail and delete or discard the message. Your assistance in correcting this error is appreciated.

Although this e-mail and any attachments are believed to be free of any virus or other defects that might affect any computer system into which it is received and opened, it is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that it is virus-free.

If your e-mail contained a question, the above response to your question is based solely on the information contained in your message. I would likely need to know more facts and possibly conduct research before giving a response on which I would expect you to rely in the conduct of your affairs. There also may be exceptions to the general legal principles that are discussed in this response. This response is based on my knowledge of Arizona estates and trust law only, and not any other state.

No information contained in any e-mail is a substitute for a personal consultation with an attorney. This message is not intended to provide legal advice, imply an attorney-client relationship, nor be deemed to contain the signature of the sender nor any other party. The sender takes no responsibility for reliance on this message by anyone without specific, actual and not implied, independent authorization by the sender to so rely.

Pursuant to the rules of professional conduct set forth in Circular 230, as promulgated by the United States Department of the Treasury, nothing contained in this communication was intended or written to be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer by the Internal Revenue Service, and it cannot be used by any taxpayer for such purpose. No one, without our express prior written permission, may use or refer to any tax advice in this communication in promoting, marketing, or recommending a partnership or other entity, investment plan or arrangement to any other party.

Do you have any examples of signature block spam in an email?  Add a comment if you do.

By |June 4th, 2012|Ramblings|0 Comments

LegalZoom and the Future of Law Practice

In April of 2012 there was a very interesting discussion on the Wealthcounsel member listserve about LegalZoom and its impact on the future of law practices.  The discussion was started by Orange County estate planning attorney David Hiersekorn who began a message with:

“I attended a conference this last week and got to hear some pretty smart and influential folks talk about technology. That, and a six-hour drive home, gave me some time to think about our profession and how we are handling technology. Some of you know that I’m obsessed with redefining our industry to better match the way people live and work in the modern era. Well, apropos to nothing, here are some thoughts and observations. I’d love to hear what others have to say.

I’ll start with a couple of examples from history. In the 1870s, Western Union had several opportunities to buy the rights to the telephone. They made a calculated business decision to ignore the telephone, believing that it was only a local communications tool and that people wouldn’t want to communicate over the telephone. We all know how that turned out. More recently, Blockbuster was given an opportunity to buy Neftlix for $50 million. They passed on the deal. Blockbuster is now going out of business.

In both instances, the large, sophisticated companies made phenomenal, existence-threatening mistakes because they lacked the imagination to see what the telephone would become or what online video would become. In both instances, they mistakenly believed that people preferred their method of delivery. The only evidence, by the way, was that people had historically chosen their method of delivery.

Think about that. Blockbuster decided that people would choose the store over the mailbox based solely on the fact that people chose the store when the mailbox WASN’T AN OPTION. It’s stupidity.

Today, our industry is threatened by LegalZoom. I’ve heard people say that ‘my clients wouldn’t go to LegalZoom.’ Really? Are you sure? Because, if you actually believe that, you might be qualified for a spot on the Western Union or Blockbuster Board of Directors.


If you are an attorney whose practice areas includes any of the types of “nonlegal” services offered by LegalZoom then you are competing with LegalZoom whether you want to admit it or not.  One of my areas of practice is the formation of limited liability companies.  I have formed 3,400+ LLCs since I started counting in 2002.  My main competitor is LegalZoom, not other attorneys who charge a lot to form an Arizona LLC and do not give clients much in return.

One of the reasons I form a lot of LLCs is because I only charge $599, a price that includes an $85 filing fee.  Check out what I give my clients for $599.  I also made a video in which the KEYTLaw Girl explains what people get for $599.

My price to form an Arizona LLC competes with LegalZoom’s price.  To help convince people they should hire me to form their Arizona LLC, I wrote an article called “Why You Should Hire Richard Keyt instead of LegalZoom to Form Your Arizona LLC.”

My point is that if you are competing with LegalZoom you need to do the following:

  • Recognize you are competing with document preparers.
  • If you elect to continue to practice in the same area of law as the document preparers then you must take action that will make you competitive, i.e., compete head on with the document preparers.  You must be able to convince prospects why they should hire you.
  • If you are not willing to  compete with the document preparers then find and develop another area of law, but make sure the new area of law is one that cannot be replaced by technology.

I tell my son who is a CPA who just graduated from the Arizona State School of Law that he should go into practice areas that cannot be replaced by technology.  The most obvious area that will never be affected by LegalZoom and the document preparers is any type of litigation.  Until they deregulate the practice of law, a law license will be required to litigate.

The absolute worst areas of law that will be the most adversely affected by the document preparers are any legal services that produce documents such as entity formations and wills and trusts.  A lawyer friend told me recently that a client of his sold a $35 million office building without using an attorney because he used documents he got off the internet.

In the old days lawyers had a monopoly on legal knowledge and they would disclose that knowledge for a big fee.  Now knowledge is readily available at the click of a few key strokes and a Google search.  Legal knowledge is free or it can be obtained relatively inexpensively on the internet.  This new way of obtaining legal information has destroyed the old law firm model.  If you are practicing law the old way you can bury your head in the sand and hope your practice survives or you can adjust with the times and use technology to make you more efficient, productive and more money.

All lawyers should read a related story in Atlantic entitled “Why All Law Firms are Doomed to Fail.”  The article says:

“The legal industry is in crisis. But its archaic partnership models are built for inertia. . . . Most big corporate law firms aren’t built to run like modern businesses. . . . As Indiana University Law Professor William Henderson wrote yesterday for The AmLaw Daily, fundamental aspects of their business models are under attack from entrepreneurs who are finding ways to do tasks cheaper and more efficiently.”

The eLawyering Blog has a couple of interesting posts on LegalZoom and its affect on attorneys and the practice of law.  The first one is calledLegalZoom: The “Good Enough” Legal Solution.”

“LegalZoom, the leading online provider of legal services to consumers and small business, as predicted here previously, finally filed for an IPO last week. The company is seeking to raise $120 million to expand their services both in the US and internationally.  LegalZoom’s data in the S-1 filing is now available for everyone to analyze:

  • In 2011, 490,000 orders were placed through their web site;
  • 20% of all limited liability companies in California were done by LegalZoom;
  • During the past ten years, LegalZoom has served over 2,000,000 customers.
  • Revenue in 2011 was $156 million.”

The second article is “What Lawyers Can Learn From LegalZoom.”

“Unless you’ve been asleep for the last five years, you have probably heard of LegalZoom, the California-based, non-lawyer legal document preparation company that claims it has delivered over 1,000,000 wills to consumers, and that it is the largest incorporation company in the country. . . . Consumers don’t seem to care that they are not dealing with a law firm. As lawyers, we know the service they are selling is risky for consumers, but for consumers it delivers a “good enough” result. LegalZoom would not be growing at this fast a rate if they weren’t offering something that consumers want and value.”

What do you think?  If you are competing with LegalZoom, what have you done to convince prospects to hire you instead of LegalZoom?

By |May 30th, 2012|Ramblings|0 Comments

Dewey & Leboeuf is Biggest Law Firm Bankruptcy Ever

Reuters:  “The crippled law firm Dewey & Leboeuf LLP filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday night and will seek approval to liquidate its business after failing to find a merger partner, marking the biggest collapse of a law firm in U.S. history.  Once one of the largest law firms in the U.S., Dewey has been hit by the loss of the vast majority of its roughly 300 partners to other firms amid concerns about compensation and a heavy debt load.”

A related story in the Wall St. Journal called “The Law Firm Business Model Is Dying” starts:

Rules that were adopted to protect the legal profession from outside competition are actually stifling it.  On Monday night the century-old law firm of Dewey & LeBoeuf filed for bankruptcy—following in the footsteps of other venerable firms such as Howrey & Simon, Heller Ehrman, Coudert Brothers, and Brobeck, Phelger and Harrison. It is easy to think that greedy lawyers are getting their just deserts. But this should not blind us from seeing that there is a better way for America’s law firms to do business.  The problems these firms face today are twofold: Large clients are increasingly using in-house counsel to reduce costs, and the public is increasingly taking the do-it-yourself route given the growing access.

You have to be a subscriber to access the full Wall St. Journal article.

The point of the article is that technology and the times have changed the way lawyers practice law.  Attorneys and firms who do not adjust to the changes will see their revenue decrease and in some cases vanish.  LegalZoom is here to stay and you can bet it will generate a huge number of competitors.

P.S.  I subscribe to the Wall St. Journal and read it every day on my iPhone and iPad.  Its only $9/month for full access to the paper.

By |May 29th, 2012|Ramblings|0 Comments

Tips for Making the Perfect Google Profile Picture

In the process of configuring my Google profile I came across an interesting and useful article that has nine tips for taking a picture to upload to your Google profile.

  1. Happy Profile Picture = Happy Life
  2. The open-mouth glamor shot: body language for your face
  3. Fake IDs: babies, cartoons and pets
  4. No logos, but still a bit of brand
  5. Bright Background
  6. Keep it consistent, across sites and over time
  7. Look at the camera, or look to your left
  8. Worst Profile Pic Ever? The QR Code
  9. Use a Pro Photographer

I’m going to take some advice from the article and create a new picture for my Google profile picture.

By |May 19th, 2012|Google, Ramblings|0 Comments

Law Office Printers

Hewlett Packard Laserjet Printers

Ever since 1985 when I bought my first Hewlett Packard laser printer I have only purchased and used laser printers in my law practice.  I am biased towards Hewlett Packard laser printers because in my experience they are fast, produce high quality text and never need maintenance and produce high quality text output.  I’ve probably owned about 20 of them over the years and can only remember calling a repair person one time to fix an ailing HP Laserjet.

The first HP Laserjet printer hit the market in 1984.  It was a 300-dpi, 8 ppm printer that originally sold for $3,495, but the price was reduced to $2,995 in September 1985.  I bought the original HP Laserjet printer in 1985 for $3,000.  Can you imagine paying that kind of money today for an 8 ppm printer?  The printer replaced an impact printer that I was using to print documents and letters sent to clients.  Laser printers produce the best quality text.  I would never print documents on an inkjet printer and send them to clients or anybody else.  HP has sold over 100 million Laserjet printers.

In 2001 I bought two HP Laserjet 3300 printers.  These were great four in one printers that included a fax machine, scanner and copier.  The machine had a 50 page sheet feeder.  It also had a top that could be lifted to copy over-sized paper or open books.  I  still have one of them that we use in the office solely as a copy machine.

HP 2055DN Laserjet

HP LaserJet P2055dn Printer Monochrome

Now I give everybody in my firm a personal HP 2055dn Laserjet printer.  The printer is relatively small and fits easily on a desk or small table.  It only prints in black, but at the high rate of 35 ppm.  The HP 2055dn Laserjet also does automatic duplex (both sides of the paper) printing.  As of the date of this post Amazon is selling the printer for $349.  If you don’t want duplexing then get the HP P2055D Laserjet for $249.  Amazon sells the HP 05A black toner cartridge for these two printers for $72 today.  The average cartridge yields 2,300 standard pages.

I believe that everybody in the office who produces paper should have a personal printer to increase their productivity and make them more efficient.  These HP 2055 printers are relatively small and inexpensive.  They are also fast even when printing on both sides of the paper.  They print high quality text.  Do your staff a favor and buy enough of these printers so they do not have to share with other people.  The HP Laser printers are also very reliable.

Xerox Phaser 6360 Color Laser Printer

My firm also has one high speed laser that we use when we have big print jobs.  I form 40 – 50 Arizona limited liability companies every month.  We prepare about 350 pages of text for each one.  For big print jobs we use the Xerox Phaser 6360 color laser printer because it is very fast – 42 ppm including duplex printing.  We print our longer documents on both sides of the paper to save paper and reduce the size / number of pages we put in the LLC portfolio.  I do love this printer, but it has two issues you need to know about:Xerox Phaser 6360/DN Laser Color Printer

  • Black toner cartridges are reasonably priced, but the three color cartridges are pricey.  We do print a lot of documents with a little color (not very much actually) to give the page a better look so the cartridges do last a long time.
  • You  must purchase an annual maintenance plan (approximately $400/year) after the original manufacturer’s warranty expires.  I’ve had two of these machines the last five years.  The first one broke and we didn’t have a maintenance contract so it was cheaper to buy a new one.   Our current Phaser 6360 has needed the maintenance guy three times in two years.  If you don’t have a maintenance plan it will probably be cheaper to buy a new machine that fix the broken one.  Xerox techs are very expensive when you pay them by the hour.
By |May 16th, 2012|Ramblings, Tech Stuff|0 Comments

How to Shorten Long URLs

Did you ever want to send somebody a link to a web page, but the URL for the page was very very long?  There is a simple way to convert a long URL into a tiny URL.  Just copy the URL, go to http://tinyurl.com, paste the long URL into the box, click the make tiny url icon and copy the URL generated by Tiny URL.

I could copy and paste the below URL into a Word document or an email, but why not convert it into a tiny url.

Normal URL:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9253250/Rochdale-grooming-trial-Police-accused-of-failing-to-investigate-paedophile-gang-for-fear-of-appearing-racist.html

Tiny URL:  http://tinyurl.com/7xjczdy 

Go to http://tinyurl.com and bookmark it so you can easily convert long URLs in a matter of seconds.

Another site that does the same thing as TinyURL is Bitly found at http://bitly.com/.

By |May 9th, 2012|Ramblings, Tech Stuff|0 Comments

Beware of Blog Posts with Long or Ugly URLs

I got an email today from a lawyer who said check out my article at : http://blog.firmname.com/index.php/estate-planning-2/7-major-errors-in-estate-planning/#more-147.  Have you ever gotten an message with a link that is mostly numbers such as www.firmname.com/blog/12/5/030455020110304440500060.phx?  I am sure you get lots of email messages that have URLS with a long string of text or numbers and/or text that doesn’t make much sense.  I call these URLs “gross URLS” or for WordPress users “gross permalinks.”

Do yourself and your readers a favor and do not create pages or posts on your website that have gross URLS for four reasons:

  1. They look bad.
  2. They often get broken by email programs and don’t work when clicked.
  3. They are hard for people to type into a browser.
  4. They probably do not help your search engine optimization.

The last point may be the most important because you want your URL to contain key words that may help increase the page or post’s search engine ranking.  Think about the most important key words in your post and use them in the URL / permalink.  If you are writing an article about Arizona widget law which of the following URLS is better:

  • www.firmname.com/blog/12/5/030455020110304440500060.phx
  • www.firmname/arizona-widget-law
By |May 8th, 2012|Blogs, Ramblings, Search Engine Optimization|0 Comments

Why Attorneys Should be Bloggers

Do you have your own law blog?  Does your law firm have a blog?  Do you want to get more clients?  Do you want to make more money?  Does a bear . . . oh never mind.  I am a big advocate of the attorney law blog.  It works for me.  It can work for you.

The term “blog” is short for web log.  In the early days of blogging a blog was a series of posts displayed on a website in reverse chronological order.  People typically created a blog with content about a specific topic because they wanted to provide a source of information about their topic of interest.  You can find many blogs on any topic you can imagine.  The quality of each blog depends on the creative talent, knowledge and writing ability of the blog’s creator.  Nobody know how many blogs exist, but there are millions of them.

Here is my list of some of the reasons a lawyer should have a blog:

  • Blogging is a learning experience.  Writing good articles (called “posts” in blogese) helps you to know your topic better and increases your legal knowledge.  When you write something that can be viewed by the entire world it has a tendency to cause most people to invest time in making sure the don’t say something that is not true or that is misleading.  It is very common for me to spend time researching a statute or reading one or more cases to make sure that what I say in my post is correct.  Writing about a topic also helps me understand that topic better.
  • Blogging brings traffic to your website/blog.  An important goal in having a website/blog is to attract a lot of visitors to your site.  The best way to get visitors is to have large quantities of good content on your site.  One of the best and easiest ways to create content is the blog.  With good blog software like WordPress is it extremely easy to write an article and post it on your site.  No need to send the article to your web designer and wait a week for the article to be up on your site.  With WordPress adding an article to your site is as simple as writing the article, giving it a title, adding it to one or more categories and clicking the upload icon.   Read “Why I Love WordPress for My Law Firm.”
  • Blogging is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your area of law practice.  Over time as you add more and more content about your specific area of law (widget law for example) your blog becomes clear evidence to visitors that you are an expert in widget law.  When deciding on who to hire a prospective client is more likely to hire the lawyer that has tangible (ok technically it is intangible) proof of expertise than the lawyer who has no blog or website about widget law.  Consider for example my blog called “U.S. Real Estate Law.”  This blog is about a single topic, i.e., nonU.S. citizens investing in U.S. real estate.  I form a lot of new Arizona LLCs for people all over the world who want to purchase U.S. real estate.
  • Blogging helps you convince propects to hire you.  Several times a day I talk to prospects on the phone who are interviewing me for the purpose of deciding whether or not to hire me.  Prospects frequently ask about a subject that is an article or post on one of my websites.  When that happens I tell the prospect I have an article on the subject and if he/she will give me his or her email address I will  send a link to the article.  I then use Macro Express to zap canned text with the link to the article into an email message and send it to the prospect.  For example, people frequently ask me about dissolving their Arizona LLC.  When I get a call on that topic I send the prospect the following message:

Thanks for contacting me about terminating your Arizona limited liability company.  To hire us to prepare the documents to terminate an LLC, complete our service agreement found here:


For more information on terminating an Arizona LLC, see my article on this subject found here:


  • Blogging is fun.  Yes it is.  I enjoy the writing and creative aspects of blogging.  I also get personal satisfaction in knowing that people are reading my posts and learning from the results of my investment in time.

A great way to get ideas for blog posts is to listen to questions prospects and clients ask you in email messages and over the phone.  I am sure you have the same experience I have with people who ask the same common questions about widget law (ok maybe questions about your area of practice, not widget law).  These commonly asked questions make great blog posts.  Turn these questions into a post you can email to prospects and clients to show your expertise.  See for example a blog category on my Arizona Limited Liability Company Law website called “How Do I.”  When I get a call or email message from somebody that asks me a question I’ve answered on my blog I send the person a link to the blog post.

An very important fact of blog life and the key to a successful client generating blog is that you must create good content.  This means you need to invest the time to create posts.  This leads me to Keyt’s Technology Rule #5, which is call the Website Content Equation.  The equation is:

more posts = more content = higher search engine rankings = higher web traffic = more new clients = more revenue

Schedule times for content creation and set a goal for a minimum number of posts every week.  Over time your content quantity will grow and the Website Content Equation will put more money in your pocket.

By |May 5th, 2012|Blogs, Marketing, Ramblings, Websites, WordPress|0 Comments

A Fool-Proof Formula for Easily Creating Compelling Content

Copyblogger is a great website for learning about blogging and website building using WordPress.  It’s tag line is “Content Marketing Solutions for WordPress that Work.”  I bookmarked this site a few years ago and recommend it for those who want to learn more about using WordPress and getting more traffic to their website or blog.  The site contains a ton of articles on creating good content.  For example, here are some Copyblogger posts just on the subject of the importance of writing good eye-catching headlines:

  1. Why You Should Always Write Your Headline First
  2. The Cheater’s Guide to Writing Great Headlines
  3. Do Key Words in Post Titles Really Matter?
  4. How to Write a Killer “How To” Post That Gets Attention
  5. 7 Reasons Why List Posts Will Always Work
  6. Why Some People Almost Always Write Great Post Titles
  7. 10 Sure-Fire Headline Formulas That Work
  8. 9 Proven Headline Formulas That Sell Like Crazy
  9. 7 More Sure-Fire Headline Templates That Work
  10. Warning: Use These 5 Headline Templates at Your Own Risk
  11. The Art of Writing Great Twitter Headlines
By |May 2nd, 2012|Blogs, Ramblings, Websites|0 Comments

My Favorite iPhone / iPad Apps

I’ve had an iPhone and an iPad since each device was first offered for sale.  I do love both of these incredible electronic computers/phones/do-it-alls.  Today at lunch two of my long-time former law partners showed me their new first time-user iPhones and they asked me what apps to get.  Which apps to get from iTunes is something that comes up a lot with me and my friends.   Here is a list of my favorite iPhone & iPad apps for lawyers, attorneys, law firms and other iPhone and iPad users:


  • Dragon Dictation – free.  This is a must have app because it is a great tool for converting your voice to text which you can then send as a text message, email, make a copy, send to Facebook or Twitter.  It’s conversion of your voice to text is very accurate.  You can also edit the text to make corrections or additions.  A great tool for sending your thoughts to yourself or secretary.
  • TurboScan –  Use your iPhone to scan any type of document.  Once scanned you can email it as text, a pdf or a jpeg.  You can also open the document in pdf, print it or save it to your iPhone camera roll.  I checked the app on iTunes today and it had 2,285 five star ratings.
  • HP 12C – $13, but it is two great calculators, a standard calculator when held vertical, but it changes to the HP financial calculator when the device is held horizontal.  P.S.  It uses reverse polish notation logic.  Use the financial calculator to find loan payments based on the loan amount, interest rate and number of payments.
  • Google – free.  Touch the microphone icon and speak your search words.  This app then quickly does a Google search and displays the results.  My lunch group buddies crack up every time they ask me to do a Google search such as who do the Arizona Cardinals play next week?
  • PDF Reader Pro – free.  Allows you to open pdf documents.
  • Fake a Call – free?  Maybe this should be in a different category, but you can use it to get out of a meeting.  Set it to fake an incoming call during a meeting so you can excuse yourself.
  • Travel Track Pro – $.  Great for trips.  Enter all of your trip information into this app such as airline flight information, hotel and car rental info and reservation numbers.  All information is then at your fingertips when needed.  It will tell you if your flight is delayed and when it will arrive.  Lots of great information for trips.

News Apps

  • Wall St. Journal – free, but I pay $9 a month to get all of the paper on my iPhone & iPad
  • Los Angeles Times – free
  • New York Times – free app, but $ to get access to all of the content
  • USA Today – free and no charge for a lot of well organized content
Social Media
  • Facebook – free
  • LinkedIn – free
  • YouTube – free
  • Videos – free.  A great way to watch the music, TV show and movie videos you buy from iTunes


  • Solitaire City – $.  21 different solitaire games.  At one time everybody in my family was hooked on Alternations, a great solitaire game.
  • W.e.l.d.e.r. – $.  A fun word spelling game.
  • Wurdle – $.  Another fun word spelling game.
  • Tetris – $  Years ago in the days of playing games on the PC I wasted too much time playing this classic game.
  • Scrabble – $.  The tech version of a board classic.  Play the computer, a random live opponent, friends or join a local multiplayer game.  Way better than the board game.
  • Monopoly – $.  The Parker Brothers classic.  I like to play against two computer opponents and have all the cards dealt at random to the players.

Miscellaneous Apps

  • iPhone Secrets – free.  A great way to learn all the hidden secrets of the iPhone.
  • iBooks – free.  A great place to get ebooks (low cost best sellers and many free books).  I’d rather read a book on my iPad or iPhone than hold it in my hands the old fashioned way.
  • Instagram – free.  It’s Twitter for pictures, no text.  In five seconds you can take a picture and post it to your Instagram account and all of your followers can see your pictures on their Instagrams.  Great for a family.  Make your profile private then only allow your family members to follow you.  Whenever anybody who you follow posts a picture you can see it immediately and so can all all of the other people who are following the picture taker.  You can add captions to your pictures and people can like and comment on other people’s pictures.
  • Facebook Camera – free.  This is Facebook’s version of Instagram, but it integrates seamlessly with Facebook to put your photos on your Facebook timeline.  It is Instagram created specifically for Facebook.
  • Zinio – free.  This is a magazine reader app.  You purchase subscriptions to your favorite magazines and read them on your iPhone or iPad.  Reading magazines on the iPad is awesome.  Links on pages are hot and take you to another part of the magazine.  My favorite magazine is PC Magazine, but a few years ago it stopped making prints and went entirely digital through Zinio.  I love reading PC Magazine using my Zinio reader.  Every issue is retained on Zinio unless I delete it.
  • RedLaser –  free.  This is a must have app.  It scans bar codes on products and then gives you a list of websites that sell the same product and the price of the product.  If you finder the product cheaper online you can quickly buy it using your iPhone or iPad.  Barcode scans can be emailed, sent to Facebook or Twitter or turned into a text message or added to a favorites list.  RedLaser will also scan QR codes and interpret them.
  • Amazon Mobile – free.   This app also scans bar codes, but it only give prices for the products sold on Amazon.  I love this app because Amazon has very low prices.  If you have an Amazon account like me you will be able to instantly purchase a product after you scan and get the results.  Slick.  It has a camera feature that lets you take a picture of the cover of a book, CD, DVD or video game and get Amazon’s price for the item.
  • Yelp – free.  Find local business such as restaurants and read reviews written by customers.  Write your own reviews.
  • iPhoto – free.  PC Magazine’s May 2012 issue gave this app its Editor’s Choice award for being an excellent iPhone/iPad photo editor.
  • Shazam – free.  If you hear a song you like but don’t know its name let Shazam listen to the song.  It will not only tell you the name, but if the sound quality is good it can distinguish between different artists singing the same song.  You can also buy the song from iTunes.
  • Flixster – free.  Great for checking the movies playing at your local theaters.  Lots of information about each movie including start times.
  • Pandora – free.  Create a “radio station” for your favorite recording artist.  Pandora will then play songs by that artist mixed with other artists is selects that have a similar sound.  It’s a great way to listen to your favorites and find other artists and music.  If you don’t like a song press the thumbs down button and you will never hear that song again.  Give your likes a thumb’s up.  If you hear a song you like you can buy it from iTunes at the click of an icon.
  • Sex Offenders – free.  Not an app I use much or that has much value, but it will amaze you when you ask it to search your surrounding area and list all the registered sex offenders.  Here in central Phoenix where I live there are literally thousands of them.  The app shows their locations on a map and via a list ordered by closest to farthest away.  Click on a person on the list and it tells you that person’s address and conviction(s) including a picture.

What are your favorite iPhone and iPad apps?  Please tell us by making a comment.

By |May 2nd, 2012|Ramblings, Stuff We Recommend|0 Comments

44 Must Read Resources on Content Marketing

The secret to getting a lot of traffic to your website is not really a secret.  For those of you who do not know the single most important thing you must do to get lots of visitors to come to your website here it is:

Put lots of high quality content on your blog/website!

The reason my law firm website averaged 163,000 visitors/month during 2012 is because the site has thousands of pages of content.  Yes thousands.  My site is 11 years old and includes eleven separate websites all of which have content and bring visitors to keytlaw.com.

Keyt’s Technology Rule #4 is “If you build it they will not come.”  Yes, your law firm should have a website or blog, but do not be discouraged if it has little traffic in the beginning.  It takes time to create good content.  Your goal should be to add original content on a regular basis – daily is best, but several times a week is better than once a week.  Set a time every day to write content.  I like to get up at 6:15 everyday and spend the first two hours of the day working on my websites.  Over time a regular plan of creating content and adding it to your site will add up to a lot of content, higher search engine rankings, more traffic to your blog or website and more new clients.

To learn more about creating content, read an excellent article published by Kissmetrics called “44 Must Read Resources on Content Marketing.”

By |April 30th, 2012|Blogs, Ramblings, Websites|0 Comments

Email Signature Block Spam

This morning I saw an email message that contained one line of text and FORTY-NINE lines of signature block spam.  Here’s the message (with redaction to protect the guilty) with the same line spacing, but with the 15 html links removed:

Would you be willing to share the language that you use?

XXX XXXXXXXX, Attorney at Law
Quick links:
Prospective Clients
Information and Living Trust Seminars
Existing Clients
Photo & 3 Law related Logos omitted
XXX X. XXXXXXXX, Attorney at Law
Certified Specialist, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law
(State Bar of X Board of Legal Specialization)
address line 1
address line 2
(xxx) xxx-xxxx (office) / (xxx) xxx-xxxx (fax)
www.xxxxxx.com (main website)
www.xxxxxx.net (information website)
www.xxxxx.com (online living trust seminar website)
XX Insurance License #xxxxxxxxxx

Schedule Initial Consultation for Estate Planning
(may also be used to access and download Consultation Packet for consultation)
Schedule Trust Administration Consultation
(may also be used to access and download Trust Administration Consultation Worksheet)

Download Consumer Guide to Wills, Living Trusts and Estate Planning
Register for Upcoming Living Trust Seminar
View or Download Online Living Trust Seminar
Request a Copy of My Living Trust Information CD
Request a Living Trust Seminar for Your Group

Schedule Plan Design Meeting
(may also be used to access and download Plan Design Meeting paperwork if needed)
Schedule Signing Appointment
Member Attorney of the following legal service plans:
Plan 1
Plan 2
Plan 3
Plan 4
Plan 5
Plan 6

NOTICE: This communication may contain client privileged and/or confidential information, including material protected and governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Confidential Medical Information Act (CMIA) of the State of California). If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this message is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please advise the sender by return email and immediately delete the message and any attachments without copying or disclosing the contents. Thank you.
I do not waive attorney client or work product privilege by the transmission of this message. Unless I have been formally retained by a signed fee agreement on file, nothing contained in this e-mail shall be construed as legal advice.
IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: Any tax advice contained in the body of this e-mail (or in any attachment) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by the recipient for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or applicable state or local tax law provisions. If you would like to receive written advice in a format that complies with IRS rules and that may be relied upon to avoid penalties, please contact the author of this e-mail.

Not only does all that signature block spam look ugly at the end of the message, but my guess is that most people will completely ignore it.  What do you think?

I do like to put a substantive marketing blurb at the end of my email messages  My hope is that somebody will click on one of the links and that it might lead to more business.  Does it work?  I don’t have a clue.  I’ve never tested any of my email closings and nobody has ever told me that contacted me because of a marketing line in an email from me.

I believe that when people are given too many choices more often than not they ignore all of the choices and do nothing.   What follows below is my current email signature block.  Am I giving too much information?  Note:  The request that the recipient like my law firm on Facebook works.  Many people will send me an email response that he or she liked us and a lot of people also respond that they do not use Facebook (these tend to be older people).

P.S.  Could you do me a big favor and click on the Facebook icon below to go to the KEYTLaw Facebook page then click on the Like icon?

Richard Keyt
LLCs, Business Law & Estate Planning
Phone:  (602) 906-4953 ext. 1
Fax:  (602) 297-6890

Follow KEYTLaw & Click Like & Google +1
Icons with Links to Facebook, Twitter, Youtube & RSS feeds omitted because I was too lazy to figure out how to put them in this post)

KEYTLaw Websites
AZ LLC Law: www.keytlaw.com/azllclaw
AZ Wills & Trusts: www.keytlaw.com/arizonawills
AZ Landlord Tenant Law: www.keytlaw.com/azlandlordtenantlaw
Law Office Tech & Marketing:  www.keytlaw.com/lawofficetech
Flying the F-4: www.keytlaw.com/f-4

Am I committing signature block spam?  Are you?  Tell us about your signature block and marketing results good, bad or indifferent.

By |April 30th, 2012|Ramblings|1 Comment

What is a QR Code & How Can I Make One?

More and more people are using QR codes.  An example of a QR code is made in one minute is below.  A QR code is a digital method of conveying information contained in the design of the QR code.  It is a great way to quickly deliver key information to another person or his or her phone or electronic device.

Let’s say we just met at a conference and I want to give you the following contact information:

Richard Keyt
Arizona Attorney
602-906-4953, ext. 1
Website: www.keytlaw.com
AZ LLC Law: www.keytlaw.com/azllclaw
Wills & Trusts: www.keytlaw.com/arizonawills

I could convey the above information using the old fashion method and slowly tell you my contact information while you type it into your mobile phone, but why not use a quicker and 100% accurate method, i.e., the QR code method?  Instead of using the old way of conveying information I could just “give” you my QR code that contains my contact info.  I would display the QR code shown below on my iPhone and you could scan the QR code using your QR code app on your mobile phone.  My QR code application is RedLaser, a free iPhone app that scans bar codes and QR codes.


I made the QR code you see above in one minute for free at Kaywa QR Code.Kaywa allows you to quickly and easily create QR codes that are URLs, text, phone number or SMS text.  You can also adjust the size of your finished code.

Although I recently read that the traditional business card is being used less and less I plan to get all of the attorneys in our firm to have a personalized QR code on the back of their business cards and also saved in their mobile phones.

By |April 25th, 2012|Ramblings, Tech Stuff|0 Comments

Google Plus & Google’s Rich Snippet

Do you know what a Google “rich snippet” is?  Should you?  If you want more visitors to your blog or website you need to know what a rich snippet is and how to create them.  There are three types of bloggers and webmasters:

  1. those that are clueless about Google +,
  2. those that have heard about Google + and who are vaguely aware it might be a good thing to understand and use, and 
  3. those who understand and use Google + and related Google features to get more traffic to their blogs/websites.  

Until yesterday I was in category 2.  Now, after reading the two excellent articles listed below I have the knowledge I need to create a Google business page for my law firm, KEYTLaw and implement the suggestions contained in the two articles.  I’m now at stage 2.5.  I just need to implement my new knowledge.

To date Google + does not have the reach of Facebook and Twitter, but we all know Google’s power and innovation track record so it is safe to bet that Google + could be as important blog/website referral source as Facebook.  By the way I have heard many people, including a keynote speaker at the 2012 Infusionsoft convention, say that Facebook doesn’t send much (or any) traffic to their blog/website.  The primary reasons for the lack of Facebook referrals are:

  1. the business does not have a Facebook page (hint:  a page is different from a Facebook account)
  2. the business has a Facebook page, but little happens on it, i.e., not much content.
  3. the person or people in the business responsible for its Facebook page don’t understand how to use the Facebook page to generate referrals to the firm’s website.

My websites get a lot of referrals from my firm’s Facebook page.  Earlier this month I did a blog post on a new law passed by the Arizona legislature entitled “Arizona Legislature Passes Broad Internet Censorship Bill.”  I also put the entire text of the bill on the KEYTLaw blog.  The day that blog post went live it got over 800 visitors, including over 400 who were referred from Facebook!

Here are the two articles on Google’s rich snippets and Google + I recommend:

The second article listed states “according to one study on the impact of rich snippets on traffic, the number of clicks increased by 150% once the rich snippet was added. This is one of those opportunities to give yourself an almost unfair advantage in Google.”

Read also “Google+: Should Lawyers Care?” which states:

“Last week, Google announced that Google+ (aka, “Google Plus” or “G+”) has reached 170 million users.  By any measure, that is a truckload of users; but it is staggering when you consider that G+ is less than a year old.  That makes the infant G+ roughly the size of Twitter (200mm registered users) and larger than LinkedIn (150mm registered users).  And, while G+ is still only 20% of the size of Facebook, it has clearly arrived, requiring lawyers to strongly consider it as part of their online branding and business development strategies.”

By |April 25th, 2012|Blogs, Google, Ramblings|0 Comments

Beware of Nolo / Experthub Paid Attorney Listings

In August of 2011 a good salesman for ExpertHub suckered me into purchasing a listing for estate planning lawyers on Nolo’s website at www.nolo.com.  Here’s a link to my listing.  The “referrals” I got from my listing on Nolo were of no use to me and did not result in a single dollar of income.

I paid ExperHub $750 eight months ago in return for which I would get a listing for estate planning probate and commercial real estate lawyers when people looked for that type of lawyer in Maricopa County, Arizona.  If somebody left an online inquiry about that type of legal service ExpertHub charged me $25 and sent me an email message with the text entered by the prospective client.

Here is a sample of some of the “leads” ExpertHub emailed to me:

  • Father and grandfather passed away on the 2nd. We would like some assistance with the estate and paying final bills and distributing what remains of the estate.
  • Misty said she was underage when her father died and his ashes were given to another person. Now that she is older she wants to get her fathers ashes back. But this other person will not give them back to her.
  • Significant other has been diagnosed with life threatening illness. Need to know how to protect assets upon death. is marriage the only solution?
  • Do I need a living revocable trust if my son is listed on all my accounts as the beneficiary?
  • father died, assigned girlfriend personal rep., she wont answer our calls
  • Review purchase and sales contract to see if earnest money can be returned.
  • My Aunt died and has no will.

The next one is my favorite.

  • I have a judgement against me for $160,000. I am single and make $10 an hour and will not be able to pay this back in my lifetime but what would happen if I were to marry a man with substantial assets? Will he also become liable for my judgement?

Bottom Line

In my opinion the $750 I paid ExpertHub in August of 2011 was a complete waste of money.  Now to add insult to injury I recently reviewed my March 2012 Amex account and saw that ExpertHub charged me another $750 last month. On April 20, 2012, I called ExpertHub and sent an email message asking to cancel my account immediately and refund my $750.  Today I got this message from Maria Albano, ExpertHub’s Billing Analyst, Ad Services Manager:

“We received your request for cancellation that was sent to our Customer Service department on April 20, 2012.

 Per our Terms and Conditions, our Advertising fees are non-refundable. Nolo/ExpertHub will terminate the automatic renewal of services and charges at any time, provided that Company delivers written notice to Nolo/ExpertHub by confirmed email, fax or letter at least two business days prior to the start of the next billing cycle date if paying on a flat rate or before the account balance reaches $0 if paying per lead.

 Because your request came in 4 weeks after we replenished your account on 3/13/12, and after the requirement of notification before your account balance reached $0, I am unable to issue the requested refund. I did however set your profile to deactivate upon reaching $0 balance and you will not incur further charges.

 You will be hearing from your Account Representative Dan Haight on our team for feedback and perhaps to offer suggestions for altering your Campaign to retain better results.

ExpertHub never sent me an email with an invoice that showed the charges and the balance remaining in the account.  Why do you suppose it didn’t do that?  ExpertHub never sent me a notice that my account would automatically renew and be charged $750 unless I cancelled before a certain date.  Nor did it send me a message that it had charged my credit card and renewed my account.  Why didn’t ExpertHub use the power of technology to keep me informed about the status of my account at least once a month.  P U!

Nolo vs. Avvo

For over a year I paid Avvo over $200/month for a priority attorney listing on its website.  I had the same result with Avvo, i.e., a complete waste of my money.  I do not recommend that any attorney pay money to Nolo / Experthub  or Avvo to get client prospects.  My opinion is that the primary reason prospective clients use these types of services is because they are looking for free legal advice.  If your experience is different, please comment.

By |April 23rd, 2012|Ramblings|8 Comments

Leveraging Your Blog to Bring in More Work

In a one hour video LexBlog CEO Kevin O’Keefe provides some tough love and explains how he uses his blog and other platforms on the Internet — like Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, and even text messaging — to build relationships and bring in business.  Blogging is an important piece of my internet marketing solution.  Every lawyer should have a blog to which he or she contributes regularly.  A good blog is a great way to get new business – if you do it right.

Blog Tip:  All lawyers get people who email and call and ask routine questions about their areas of law practice.  When you get one of these emails or phone calls, turn it into a blog post on your Frequently Asked Questions category/topic.  For example, on my Arizona Limited Liability Company Law website I have a blog category called “How Do I” (another name for a FAQ) where I pose a common question and then give the answer.  A great marketing benefit from answering common questions on your blog is that when you do get an email or phone call asking the same question you can send the questioner an email message with a link to your blog post that gives the answer.  Prospects tend to be impressed when they read an answer to their legal question on your blog.  Written content on your blog is a great way to establish that you are an expert on a topic.

By |April 23rd, 2012|Blogs, Ramblings|0 Comments