Subscriptions have been one way lawyers have made money for years. The Atlantic and the New York Times have information about using email newsletters for this purpose. They provide an alternative that may be preferable to social media for some lawyers.
Substack is one way to market your law practice and/or monetize an email list through subscriptions. It is a sort of echo/distribution service for lawyers. You can start a mailing list at no charge, using it to build a community. You have the option to begin charging subscribers for your content. Legal tech guru Tom Mighell uses this service.
Substack is free initially. They provide:
Your own email list
A website archive of all your posts
Control over what’s free and what’s only for your paying subscribers
Setup is quick and easy. Your email subscription list will be in the following format:
There is no fee until you begin making money from your subscriptions. Substack then takes a 10% commission, so it is risk free (except for investing your time).
There are two drawbacks. Their use of the substack.com domain name:
Reduces the effectiveness of your branding, and
Makes it difficult to move your mailing list to another host/sponsor, should you decide to do so later
Despite these drawbacks, Substack looks like a good alternative for lawyers who would like to establish an email mailing list to expand their reach.
This book will make many lawyers think about “cutting the cord” from the major online legal research services, and will be a great starting point for those who try it. Check it out.
Personal Note: The high quality of this book was no surprise to me. I’ve known and respected Carole for over two decades (her Internet for Lawyers website was the Netlawtools “MVP” way back in January 2000). I’m looking forward to meeting Judy.
Because law firms maintain huge repositories of sensitive data, they are particularly vulnerable to such attacks. You may not be able to prevent all attacks, but you should consult with a cybersecurity expert to improve your resistance to them. When all else fails, don’t compound the problem by concealing it from affected clients. If you do, your data breach will morph into a breach of ethics.
Another major incentive to take measures to reduce vulnerability to such attacks. The threat is real and the consequences for your legal practice can be severe.
Is it a good idea to spend a lot of time disinfecting your law office? Possibly not, but make sure your clients are aware of this, and other security measures you take. Security theater is real. Make sure it works for you.
Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell had a nice discussion of security theater in the June 19 edition of the Kennedy-Mighell podcast, prompted by my question. (Yeah, I’m a little behind in my podcast listening). It has become a timely topic in light of Covid-19.
I’ll have some additional comments on their analysis later, but those interested will want to give it a listen. Check out the show notes (i.e., transcript) at the same link if you’d rather read than listen.
[Disinfecting schools] is mostly mitigation theater, taking action that is high profile and relatively easy because things that would actually make a difference are either too hard or have been ruled out in advance because of difficulty or politics. It’s the germ theory version of looking for the missing keys under the street lamp because that’s where the light is.
The bulk of evidence from the Spring and Summer is that COVID transmission is mainly through the air, either exhalation and inhalation of people in immediate proximity to each other or airborne contagion through recirculated air or contagion that persists in the air for some period of time.
Of course, same thing applies to your law office. That doesn’t mean security theater is necessarily a bad idea. If it makes those in your organization or potential clients feel more secure, it could be a great idea.
As explained in Presentation Tip 12, the first step in online training is deciding on your level of ambition. What quality level do you need? What is your level of technical skill? How much time do you have?
Once you decide on your preferred quality level, you can decide what level of equipment you will need. We provided some advice on camera selection in Presentation Tip 12. Let’s consider microphone selection.
Which is more important for online presentations, video or audio?Most lawyers would say video is more important.
Dennis Kennedy knows better: Audio quality is more significant. The microphone in your typical desktop computer or laptop is usually pretty poor. Most computer purchasers prioritize things like processor speed, memory or display quality. It makes sense for them to cut corners on microphone quality.
Unfortunately, it’s harder to get good audio. Again, the Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast provides a good starting point for analysis:
Microphone built into your laptop or desktop. Use this only if high quality is not important to you.
Headset with built-in microphone. These can be better than a laptop or desktop. Exercise some care in your selection. Mighell likes the Plantronics Voyager Focus UC.
Lavalier mic. These are generally comparable in quality to headsets. which then again allows you not to have great microphone technique, but will still pick
Stand alone microphone. The Kennedy-Mighell Report uses a Shure 58. Many other high quality mics are available.
The monthly ABA magazine Law Practice Today always has good articles, but the July issue is something special. It is a compilation of some of the magazine’s best articles. In this case, recycling is good.
It’s hard to pick my favorite article, but a top candidate is the summary of the intersection of cybersecurity and legal ethics by David Reis. He’s written several books on related topics was the featured guest in a recent edition of one of my favorite podcasts, Digital Detectives. The interviewers were no slouches, either, being Sharon Nelson and John Simek of the Ride the Lightning blog.
When I used to do more computer security-related work, my go-to resource was the SANS Institute. It’s discouraging but educational that even top pros like them can fall for a phishing attack.
Phishing attacks are probably the most serious computer security threat out there now.
Dennis and Tom in a recent Kennedy-Mighell podcast noted a recent example that tended to show training employees had only limited benefits. Testers sent simulated phishing emails to a firm’s employees after they had been warned that such a test might be performed. Nevertheless, nearly all the employees fell for the phony emails.
Nevertheless, it’s foolish not to at least attempt to attempt to educate your employees. If it prevents even one incident that otherwise might result in ransomware or worse, it would be worth it.
Threatpost has some other suggested defensive tips.