Illinois Bar Journal

December 2015Volume 103Number 12Page 44

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Biz & Tek

Making the Most of Holiday Cards

artwork for article

Making the Most of Holiday Cards

When you get cards in the mail around the holidays, you probably open and read them. Well guess what - your clients probably do, too. That's one of the reasons why holiday cards are a great way to connect with clients in a personal way. But you need to make sure to follow some guidelines to make the most of your holiday cards this year.

In a recent post on Attorney at Work (http://bit.ly/1OjsYGg), Dennis Goris provides six tips for good holiday cards:

1. Keep your message simple and try to focus on health, prosperity, and the coming year. Religious themes should almost always be avoided.

2. Your holiday card should not be a sales pitch. Try to include a personal message and always be as sincere as possible.

3. If your budget allows, use a custom-designed card that's tailored to you and your practice.

4. Don't be afraid to be humorous. Gorris notes that "a little self-deprecation might make you more likeable" and "[p]eople do business with people they like."

5. Don't use a generic electronic card - it defeats the whole purpose of sending a personal holiday card.

6. Make your cards truly personal by addressing and signing them by hand, and using a real stamp instead of a postage meter. To emphasize this point, Gorris asks, "In a pile of mail, what do you open first, the cards addressed with preprinted labels or the handwritten one?"

Robot Lawyers, Part 2

artwork for articleIn the September Biz&Tek column, we highlighted some recent discussions regarding the probability of robots replacing lawyers. This month we'll take a look at what managing partners at large law firms think about the likelihood of robot lawyers.

Legal consulting company Altman Weil recently released its "Law Firms in Transition" report (http://bit.ly/1Ks0KqL), which covers a wealth of information gathered from a survey of managing partners. As a "bonus question," the survey asked: "Can you envision a law-focused 'Watson' [i.e., the IBM cognitive computing system that defeated two former Jeopardy! champions] replacing any of the following timekeepers in your firm in the next 5 to 10 years? (Select all that apply.)" The results were as follows:

Paralegals - selected by 47.0 percent of respondents

First year associates - - selected by 35.0 percent of respondents

2-3 year associates - selected by 19.2 percent of respondents

4-6 year associates - selected by 6.4 percent of respondents

Service partners - selected by 13.5 percent of respondents

To end on a somewhat more-optimistic note, 38.0 percent of respondents selected "Yes, but not in 5-10 years" and 20.3 percent of respondents selected "Computers will never replace human practitioners." But think about that last statistic for a moment - only one in five managing partners at large law firms believe that lawyers will never be replaced by robots!

Sources

Dennis Goris, 100 Percent Open Rate! Rethinking the Holiday Card, Attorney at Work (Nov. 2, 2015), http://www.attorneyatwork.com/100-open-rate-rethinking-holiday-card/.

Altman Weil, Law Firms in Transition: An Altman Weil Flash Survey (2015), available at http://www.altmanweil.com/dir_docs/resource/1c789ef2-5cff-463a-863a-2248d23882a7_document.pdf.

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