How to Place a Bid on Legal Bistro

Bid-for-Placement: what does it mean? Why do we need it?

A bid is a sum of money that a lawyer offers for the opportunity of talking to a client, to receive his contact information and discuss his case (the minimum amount you can bid on is 6 law dollars).

It’s important to remember that a lawyer’s bid on a case determines where in the list of competing, “bidding” lawyers their profile will be displayed to the clients, who posted the case. The profile with the highest bid will be displayed first and the lowest, respectively, the last.

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Writing an Effective Biography on Legal Bistro Helps Attorneys Get New Clients!

Why should a lawyer bother to write an outstanding biography and why is it the most important part of the lawyer profile? It’s so simple!

A bio is a snapshot of a lawyer’s professional experience:

  • who they are,

  • what they do,

  • specialist expertise and

  • examples of client work.

A good biography “sells” their expertise to potential new clients.

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Legal Bistro Elevator Pitch for Lawyers

What is an Elevator Pitch?

An “Elevator Pitch”, also known as an elevator speech or statement, is a short summary used to quickly define a person, product, profession or organization and its Value Proposition.  The name “elevator pitch” conveys that the person who is delivering the message has about the same time that it takes the typical elevator to go from the ground floor the top floor to convince their audience about their proposal.  A well designed elevator pitch should be between 30 and 60 seconds.

How to Write a Good Elevator Pitch

The “Elevator Pitch” on Legal Bistro is five lines (500 words maximum) of text that are displayed to potential clients in what we call the “Short Profile Preview”.  This is the very first thing that a potential client will see about you and your law firm so you should give a lot of thought to what you would like to say.

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Why Consumers Love Legal Bistro

 Do you need a lawyer but are intimidated by the legal process?  Are you concerned that professional legal services may be financially out of reach?  Perhaps English is not your native language and you are having trouble finding a qualified attorney with whom you can effectively communicate.  Don’t worry, if you answered yes to any of these questions you are not alone.

We built Legal Bistro because we were inspired by the contribution that Lending Tree made to the process for finding a mortgage lender.  Lending Tree used the power of the Internet to bring online competition in the mortgage application process. Equally important is that Lending Tree’s website has helped consumers to better understand the process of applying for a home loan. We hope that Legal Bistro can achieve similar results in the legal services market.

When Lawyers Compete, You Win!

The single biggest reason why consumers love our service is because Legal Bistro facilitates lawyers competing online to serve the client.  Our Company motto is that When Lawyers Compete, the Client Wins! Frankly, we believe that both lawyers and consumers win when the competitive playing field has been leveled.

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Why Lawyers Love Legal Bistro

    

Are you happy with the current Return on Investment (“ROI”) for your online legal services marketing dollars?  Are you spending too much of your time qualifying leads? wasting time imagesDo you know anything about the visitors to your law firm’s website besides their IP Address and the date and time of their visit?  More specifically, are you being provided with case specific  facts that will help you evaluate their legal needs?

If you have answered yes to some or all of these questions then perhaps you will appreciate why lawyers love Legal Bistro.

YOU ARE IN CONTROL

You decide what cases you see based on the Practice Groups, Case Types and Tag or Key Words used when defining your Areas of Practice.

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Law Firm Marketing & The Digital Revolution

The above McKinsey Infographic entitled: Are You Ready for the Digital Age? provides some very interesting and important statistics for marketing professionals:

  • 90% of customers trust recommendations
  • 37% of prospective buyers are influenced by word of mouth
  • 70%of customers consult user reviews for informed purchase decisions
  • 10% to 25% of social media users use their social networks to make purchasing decisions
  • 20% of online electronics purchased are from auction sites
  • 60% of consumers who follow a brand on Facebook are looking for deals and coupons

As a Marketing Professional at a medium to large law firm or an attorney at a smaller law firm responsible for acquiring new clients, what conclusions should you draw from these statistics?

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Unsecured Cargo Load Injuries

Trucks have an important function for the country’s commerce system. Every day, hundreds of them travel on the roads, carrying tons of heavy cargo. And it is absolutely necessary this cargo to be properly secured. Otherwise, there is a very high risk of the load to come loose and into contact with another vehicle, bicyclist, or pedestrian, causing very serious injuries or wrongful deaths.

There are many different hazards regarding unsecured truck loads, but the most common include improperly and inadequately held construction equipment being towed, automobiles being carried, and mobile homes being transported. This places obstacles in the road which can lead to accidents and injuries that can seriously injure or even kill drivers and passengers. In addition to being unsecured, cargo loads can also be improperly balanced, which can cause them to shift leading to poor braking, rollovers, and serious crashes on the nation’s roadways.

Drivers and other people using the roads can suffer serious injuries in Unsecured Cargo Load Accidents, such as:Plywood-in-window

- Overturned trucks on curves and corners

- Cargo or tarps falling onto the roadway

- Jackknife accidents when cargo shifts

- Hazardous cargo spills

There are strict limits on the total amount of weight trucks can carry on highways due to federal laws that are in place. Any truck that exceeds these limits are deemed to be overweight or overloaded and are in violation of the federal law because they take longer to stop and are generally harder to control. So, a large number of trucks on the road who are operating illegally, or who have cargo loads that are not properly secured put the public on roadways in danger.

In 2004, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported that 25 000 motor vehicle accidents are caused each year by unsecured cargo loads on highways. According to Bellotti Law Group these car crashes result in 80 to 90 fatalities and many more serious injuries, including broken bones, closed head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, spinal cord injuries, and others.

unsecured cargo loadIn case you have been hurt because of unsecured cargo loads, you have to understand that you have legal rights and you may be able to bring forth a lawsuit to make those responsible account for your injuries. You should turn to a personal injury attorney who specializes in motor vehicle accidents immediately. These professionals can help you to obtain compensation for past, present, and future medical expenses, loss of income, loss of quality of life, pain and suffering.

Cases involving unsecured cargo loads can be quite complex because it is often difficult to determine liability. This is because the truck driver has a particular duty of care to inspect the load before the trip; however, the trucking company is required by federal laws and regulations to ensure cargo is properly secured for the driver. The shipper who arranges the load also has a duty of care to tie down and load the cargo properly. For these reasons, it is recommended not to act spontaneously and file a claim on your own, as you may overlook a responsible party.

Try to find a professional personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Time is of great importance, because evidence needs to be collected, witnesses need to be interviewed, and legal paperwork needs to be filed in time. Various states have different statutes of limitations and missing just one deadline can ruin the chances of a favorable outcome.

Weight Discrimination: Obesity Is More Than Just Health Problems

Obese individuals discrimination. Isn’t that illegal? Do we have laws protecting against weight discrimination?

A recent Wall Street Journal article, entitled: Weigh More, Pay More on Samoa Air, reports that a tiny South Pacific airline is pioneering a radical pricing model that no other airline has dared to try: charging passengers based on their weight.

Samoa Air customers flying on short international distances are set to pay US $ 0.92 per kilogram for each flight.

According to the World Health Organization, about 55.5% of the country’s population over the age of 20 is considered obese, what explains why passenger weight is the matter of great importance for Samoa Air, which operates with smaller planes that seat between three and 10 passengers each. That means a grossly fat passenger could essentially reduce a plane’s capacity, which in its turn could cause a loss of company’s income.

“We are like a shopkeeper; we are selling weight. But with the weight goes the responsibility of being able to seat the passenger comfortably,” said Samoa Air Chief Executive Chris Langton to The Wall Street Journal. He paid attention to the fact that while a 160-kilogram person on Samoa Air will pay four times as much as a 40 kilogram person, the airline would ensure more space for the bigger passenger.

The change caused heated discussion on Samoa Air’s Facebook page, where many called for a boycott of the airline based on discrimination. There were others who absolutely commended the company for its decision on charging by weight.

While Samoa Air could wake up the profit-starved industry, many of the world’s airlines have so far been hesitating to gain advantage from passenger weight because of discrimination concerns.

There is no doubt that a great number of Americans are obese. According to F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2012, a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America’s Health, half of all American adults are expected to be obese by 2030.before

The social consequences of obesity include discrimination in employment, barriers in education, biased attitudes from health care professionals, stereotypes in the media, and stigma in interpersonal relationships.

As most cases involving weight are employment discrimination cases, and many of them are unsuccessful, in an article by Donna Ballman entitled: Is Weight Discrimination At Work Illegal?, are reported the top ways you might be protected under the law against discrimination if you’re overweight:

1. Disability DiscriminationThe Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) protects employees from discrimination due to disabilities. EEOC considers morbid obesity to be a protected disability. If your life activity is essentially limited because of your weight, then you may be protected against discrimination.

Overweight people who are not “morbidly obese” but who experience weight discrimination cannot file claims under the ADA because they are not considered disabled. These unresolved issues, along with public perceptions that blame obese people for their own negative experiences, result in inconsistent court rulings and deter other overweight people from seeking legal recourse at all.

2. Sex Discrimination – Very often, women are expected to be slim but men aren’t. If your employer is holding women to different standards than men (or vice versa) then they may be guilty of sex discrimination.

3. Family and Medical Leave – If you need medical treatment because of your weight problems, you may be protected for days you miss work under the Family and Medical Leave Act. You can get protected leave for each of your doctor’s appointments, for up to a total of 12 weeks per year. You can use both intermittent and continuous FMLA leave as your doctor requires.

4. State and Local Laws – Very few, but nevertheless, some states and municipalities have limitations on appearance or weight discrimination (for example, Michigan has a state law).

However, if you are in none of the protected categories above, that all changes, and you have to fight your battles alone. Despite increased attention to the obesity epidemic, little has been done to stop the discrimination that obese people face every day. No federal laws exist to prohibit bullying and harassment against obese people. Many forms of discrimination are perfectly legal.

However, some of these “legal” kinds of discrimination may also have an illegal effect. Try to look around and see if what’s happening is really about sex, race, age, disability, pregnancy, national origin, or some other type of illegal discrimination.

Obesity is an extremely complex condition and it’s going to require many different solutions.

Dallas Charter Bus Crashes On Way To Oklahoma Casino

In a recent CNN’s article written by Jason Hanna and AnneClaire Stapleton entitled: 2 dead, dozens sent to hospitals after Dallas-area bus crash, is reported that a bus taking people to Oklahoma casinos rolled over on a Dallas-area toll road. The crash occurred Thursday morning.

The bus overturned on President George Bush Turnpike in Irving, Texas after it had slid onto the other side of the highway, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. It’s unclear what caused the bus to veer.

Unfortunately, there are many victims as a result of this accident. Two people died and at least 44 people were taken to hospitals and at least three were in critical conditions, officials said. As the chairman of emergency medicine at Dallas’ Parkland Memorial Hospital said, most of the passengers on the bus were elderly. The bus driver remained alive and was sent to the hospital with other passengers.

According to Dr. Alex Eastman, who treated some patients at Parkland, of the 15 people brought to that hospital, four were in critical condition and 11 had non-life-threatening injuries. Most of the injured were deeply shocked.

This charter bus accident is investigated by The National Transportation Safety Board.

Google’s Most Expensive Key Words – “Attorney” and “Lawyer” Top List

The Infographic above illustrates the most expensive 20 Key Words in Google Advertising.  Google is on pace this calendar year to exceed $40 billion in advertising revenue.  While that is great news for Google and the Company’s shareholders, the real question is how well are Google’s advertisers doing in acquiring new customers online?

2010 marked the first year that online advertising exceeded print advertising.  Law firms are also beginning to commit a substantial amount of their marketing budgets online.  According to the 2012 Legal Marketing Survey conducted by LexisNexis and Avvo, 25% of the respondents to the survey spent 75% of their marketing budgets online.

So what kind of success are law firms having advertising online?  A good conversion rate for leads (i.e. visitors to a company website via a click through from an online advertisement) ranges between 1% and 1.5%.  So for every 100 visitors who click through to an advertisers website, only 1 to 1.5 become new customers.

Let’s assume for the moment that law firm conversion rates are comparable to those of other online businesses, the customer acquisition cost  (“CAC”) for an online advertisement using the word “attorney” ($47.07 CPC) would range between $3,138 and $4,707.  Unfortunately we believe that most law firms are experiencing conversion rates that are significantly lower than other businesses (i.e. between 0.5% and 0.75%).

More importantly, what does a law firm know about the other 99 visitors who or clicked through to their website but did not become a customer?  Unless the visitor elected to complete the law firm’s “Contact Form”, the only information that the law firm would have would be the date and time of the visit; the web pages viewed on the site and possibly the IP address of the computer from which the website was accessed.

Is there a better alternative?  We believe that online communities such as Legal Bistro where information about the consumer’s case has been obtained present a much better alternative to Google for online advertising.  Stay tuned for further information about the benefits that Legal Bistro provides lawyers and law firms in subsequent articles.