Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hidden Gems of #LawTwitter: 20 Accounts You Need to Follow


Whether you’re new to #LawTwitter, the legal community’s cherished social media nook, or have some experience navigating through its tangled webs of sardonic jokes and SCOTUS references, you’ve probably noticed that there are a few “must-follow” legal tweeters who tend to dominate the platform. With thousands of followers and a seemingly endless content pool, these esteemed members of #LawTwitter set the community’s topics of discourse each day - and for good reason: I can’t imagine how dull Twitter might be without David Lat (@DavidLat) and Bob Ambrogi (@bobambrogi) among others.

Despite the valuable content that these influential tweeters provide, however, they are certainly not alone in bringing knowledge, humor, and general badassery to #LawTwitter. I’ve discovered quite a few lawyers whose Twitter followings haven’t yet caught up to their posts’ level of excellence, and chose 20 to endorse personally. These writers, listed alphabetically, each have under 1,000 followers*, but tweet actively and contribute unique streams of brilliance that you’ll definitely want to see on your timeline.

*Some of the featured accounts may have surpassed 1,000 followers since the original composition of this list.

Adam Freedman (@adamjfreedman)

Adam’s legal commentary is thorough, stimulating, well-researched, and undoubtedly reflective of his extensive experience in authorship. Many of his tweets are links to excellent reads on political infrastructure and reform, states’ rights, and deconstructions of conservative philosophy.

Alexandra Devendra (@alixdevendra)

As a legal design visionary and founder of Shape the Law Un-conference for health and mindfulness, Alexandra tweets from the intersection of social development, aesthetic and strategic design, and law practice. Turn to her for updates on professional events, enriching resources for lawyers in alternative fields, and connections to her awesome Shape the Law co-founders.

Ambrose Wotorson (@ambrosewotorson)

A trial lawyer by trade, Ambrose certainly doesn’t give up his fight for justice when he exits the courtroom. His tweets, clearly influenced by his determination to empower the voiceless, shed a necessary light on civil rights infringement cases - especially, though not exclusively, as they pertain to historically marginalized communities.

Brian C. Pike (@briancpike)

Brian is a tech pioneer and futurist in every sense; his commentary and speculations show that he not only understands the intricacies of various rising technologies, but can also explain their implications for the legal sphere. Follow Brian if you’re savvy enough to keep up.

Craig Hoffman (@craig_hoffman)

Despite his proclaimed focus on PCI (Payment Card Industry) protection structures, Craig’s technical literacy seems to encompass just about every aspect of data security - including the economic context in which it exists. I recommend his tweet stream to anybody interested in cybersecurity or the changing face of business law. 

Eric Anderson (@ericandersonlaw)

Opinionated, feisty, analytical, and powerfully aware, Eric tweets with conviction, and I enjoy disagreeing with him almost as much as I like agreeing. He covers issues surrounding civil liberty, sociopolitical reform, business ethics, and current affairs (with emphasis on the indiscretions of Donald Trump). Icing on the cake: he also posts pictures of his adorable pup.

Grover E. Cleveland (@babysharklaw)

The volume of professional development materials that Grover produces and shares is impressive, to say the least - but quite what I’d expect from the author of a popular and highly-acclaimed career success guide for new lawyers. Regardless of your practice area, I am confident you’ll find Grover’s material digestible, relevant, and applicable.

Jeff Bennion (@jbennionlaw)

Jeff describes himself as a “helper of people” - and, although I’m sure he primarily meant to reference his career as a personal injury attorney, his Twitter shows that he goes above and beyond to earn this title. From his pro-equality stances on social affairs, to his enthusiasm for legal tech and professional development, Jeff does indeed dedicate his tweets to helping others.

Karl Haraldsson (@kjharalds)

Karl is definitely worth a follow if you’re interested in keeping up with the legal tech market; although he specializes in data tools and applications, his tweets, reviews, and linked articles provide a thorough and comprehensive look at the industry as a whole. 

Katrina Lee (@katrinajunelee)

Next time I visit Ohio, I may have to weasel my way into one of Katrina’s OSU Law lectures. Her timeline is short but stimulating, full of political food-for-thought and links to self-improvement guidelines for legal professionals. Regardless of how long ago you matriculated, I encourage you to follow Katrina if you're interested in building upon your personal assets.

Kim R. Craig (@kim_craig)

As a credentialed project manager, experienced legal consultant, and strong proponent for innovation, Kim has it what it takes to pull the legal industry forward. Her Twitter feed consolidates growth optimization tools and materials about career strategy, legal technology, business development, and more.

Laura Maechtlen (@maechtlen)

Shape the Law founder and outspoken advocate for all things progressive, Laura gives me tremendous hope for the future of law practice. Her primary field of expertise, leadership development, is well-supplemented by excellent resources on legal technology, diversity in law, and industry news.

Mark C. Palmer (@2civilitymp)

Mark is a guru of the legal profession; and I don’t mean that in a light, figurative way - he actually serves as Professionalism Counsel for the State of Illinois. True to his title, Mark pioneers new streams of discourse around rising technologies, industry best practices, and education through mentorship, collaboration, and revised programming.

Mike Lissner (@mlissner)

As the Executive Director of Free Law Project, Mike is all about increasing transparency, accessibility, and innovation in law; and indeed my legal literacy has grown since discovering his account. Mike’s posts are relevant to hot-button issues, but contain statistics and references that major legal pundits tend to miss.

Mike Whelan (@mikewhelanjr)

If Mike turned his tweets into a book, I’d probably buy it. Critical, intelligent, and bitingly funny, his commentary explores every crevice of our sociopolitical landscape and pulls the bullshit to the surface - so the rest of us can laugh, cringe, and question humanity. Your inner cynic will thank you for following Mike.

Peter Macmillan (@pjmcls)

When it comes to legal tech, Peter’s two cents could be among the most valuable on Twitter. His assessments are candid, conscientious, and hard-hitting, launched with the careful scrutiny of a veteran legal strategist.

Ray Brescia (@rbrescia)

Ray is a breath of fresh air on a social platform that’s frequently dominated by cynicism and negativity. He advocates for equality and access to justice, with surprisingly uplifting tweets about news and media ethics, inclusion strategies for legal and political institutions, and the future of the legal industry.

Sara Kubik (@sarakubik)

It’s not often that I come across a Tweeter as multifaceted, accomplished, and dynamically entertaining as Sara; her witty and relatable anecdotes pair well with a supremely-tailored, pertinent flow of tech, business, and personal development resources. Follow her before the election for extra fun - if you’re a Trump supporter, I hope you have thick skin.

Tania P. Shah (@taniapshah)

I’m secretly hoping that this shoutout will motivate Tania to tweet more often, because when she does, she adds depth and versatility to my timeline. A devoted social impact planner, Tania discusses the infrastructural systems and policies that affect diversity, talent acquisition, and workplace culture in the legal industry. 

Willie Peacock (@peacockesq)

One quick glance at his website will tell you: Willie knows what he’s talking about when it comes to legal marketing. The resources he shares on Twitter will answer the marketing and tech questions you probably didn’t even know you should be asking. 

Bonus: MerusCase (@meruscase)

You didn’t think I would end this article without a shameless plug, did you? There are a thousand reasons to follow our Twitter account, but I’ll give you my two favorites:
a) I write many of our tweets, and I’m, at the very least, the best writer to ever tap into my neighbor’s unprotected WiFi network; and, less notably -
b) our Twitter page acts as a centralized hub for legal technology updates, professional development materials, legal/political news and commentary, firm management and marketing guidance, legal humor, and more.

Thanks for reading! I would love to connect with you, whether through Twitter or in the Comments module directly below this post. For advice on legal networking and social media strategy, check out our free and comprehensive Law Firm Marketing Guide.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Is Your Superstar Biller Losing Your Firm Money?

Whether you manage a small firm whose operations are shaped by a strict budget, or a large firm where financial decisions adhere to the best interests of major stakeholders, your bottom line matters - and every member of your firm should be actively contributing to its optimization. Billing attorneys are, of course, at the top of this list; which is why misrepresentations of your primary billers’ true production values are inherently detrimental to the firm’s collective success.

It’s unfortunate, but far from a secret within the legal community, that not all billable charges are actually collected upon. For a variety of reasons (including client bankruptcy, write-downs, etc.), few billers collect 100% of their outgoing charges - indeed, the attorneys who bill the most may even be spending beyond the aggregate of their actual collections, a practice that will inevitably drain your firm’s capital. This risk is amplified if your bonus payout structures and accounting allocations are dependent upon billing results, and even minor discrepancies between charged amounts and actualized collections can rip your financial infrastructure at its seams.

The Problem

For those readers who are unfamiliar with legal billing structures, I’ll break down the relevance of this distinction using a recent example from one of our favorite clients. A partner and pillar at a thriving California Workers’ Comp firm reached out to us with a dilemma that may sound familiar to legal accountants and peers in WC:

“I need to run reports on which clients tend to decline or cut payments, per attorney. This aids in strategizing our marketing efforts and in deciding which clients need to get more love than others. It also goes hand in hand with the reviews I do of the attorneys. Attorneys earn recognition for billing over a certain threshold; so if they have to bill 230 but end up billing 290, they receive bonus credit for the latter. That’s great for them, but not for me if the client has a low effective billing rate.”

What she was asking for, essentially, was a frame through which she could compare clients and review billing attorneys based on their respective margins between intended and actual payments collected. Most Legal Practice Management systems overlook the necessity of such reports; MerusCase, on the other hand, makes it a priority - and we were happy to help our client find what she needed.

The Solution

We’ve always equipped our clients with a diverse suite of features oriented towards measuring and tracking productivity, including our Operating A/R Dashboard. This Dashboard provides a brief but hard-hitting overview of actual payments collected, which can be used to delineate periodic trajectories or identify clients with high risks of defaulting on payments.


Our latest update to MerusCase (Version 4.1) takes this data visibility to new heights with a dramatic expansion of Allocation Mode. In the past, we’ve given MerusCase users a tremendous amount of flexibility in allocating payments to their respective charges. Although this flexibility remains in Version 4.1, we have implemented algorithms that recognize and suggest proper allocation paths for each payment - so accounting personnel only need to verify suggestions in order to finalize allocations.

To supplement this new feature, we have introduced several comparative Report modules that allow for a detailed look into payment collection patterns. For each of these Reports, you may view recorded data on a single user by selecting their name from a drop-down menu, or view a comparative report on all users by ignoring the drop-down altogether.

  1. A/R Receivables (per user): how much each staff member has billed vs. how much has actually been collected upon that charge; organizes your data based on invoice periods - so that you’ll always have a live, real-time update of all collections made towards invoices from your chosen date range.
    This report will distinguish your successful billers from negligent collectors.


  1. Cash Flow by Billing Contact (Payor) - summary of all charges and payments filed against each billing contact - with distinction made between expenses and fees, and clear specifications of any associated write-downs.

This report will allow you to assess the financial value of each of your billing contacts, so that you can make an informed decision before burning any bridges.


  1. Cash Flow by User - summary of all hours and fees recorded vs. hours and fees billed, including receipts and write-downs; like with all cash flow reports, data is independent of invoices and instead reflects non-exclusive payment aggregates.

This report will provide a deeper look into your payment funnel and pinpoint the blockages within each biller’s collection system.


  1.  Cash Flow by Attorney Responsible - how much each attorney has invoiced vs. how much each has actually collected, with distinction between fees and expenses and a clear demarcation of associated write-downs.

This report will highlight major sources of write-downs and failed payments, so you can eliminate the transactions that aren’t paying off.


If you’re a current MerusCase client and would like more resources to guide you through our new and ongoing features, check out MerusCase Insider for release notes, feature breakdowns, and more. If you’re not yet with MerusCase, but want to learn more about our services and uniquely comprehensive LPM system, check out our website, leave your contact information in the Comments section below, or give us a call at (510) 550-5000.

Posted by Sucheta Salgaonkar on Monday September 26, 2016 0 Comments

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