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Marshall Davis Brown Jr: February 2013
Should you Brand your Law Firm?
Any business that's serious about
using its reputation and customer association to gain traction is likely
familiar with the benefits of branding. Basically, once you've branded your
company, your brand is more likely to stick in the minds of your potential and
current customers and you'll have given them a fast idea of what your company
strives to do. Some people might question whether or not a law firm is the
appropriate type of business to do this for, but it can truly benefit a lawyer
who wants to take his or her name from local to national the way Marshall
Davis Brown, Jr
and other big-name lawyers have.
The reason so many people seem to
think it's not appropriate for a lawyer to brand him or herself is because
advertising can make lawyers look illegitimate. However, advertising has little
to do with the type of branding that lawyers should do. Rather than being
thought of as an ad, a brand can be thought of as a metaphor that represents
the attorney/business, or even their personality. It's about creating a
positive image for the company that warms the prospects up to them, therefore
So how do you go about
"branding" your name or your firm? You can start by identifying your
best qualities and the ones you want the public to know you for. Are you
aggressive? Professional? Speedy? It should be whichever trait sets you apart
from your competitors. Bear in mind that the general public is intimidated by
the law and its complexities – whatever will convince them that you're
proficient and knowledgeable is good to put toward your brand.
You don't have to advertise to
brand your firm, but you can come up with a slogan, use social media, keep a
law blog, or add personality to your web content. This way, when prospective
clients are looking to hire a lawyer, they can easily pick up on what type of
firm they're working with and get a good first impression.
Branding for any company trying to
sell a product or service is important for setting that company apart. Lawyers
are no different from other types of business when it comes to competition –
keep that in mind when you wonder whether or not it's appropriate for the
Four Reasons Social Media is Important for All Businesses
If you run a business and haven't
yet integrated into the internet world, you're probably one of the few in your
discipline. Having a good web developer on your team can make a world of
difference – after all, phone books are becoming obsolete and prospective
customers are finding businesses through the web more and more frequently these
days. But having social media is one way to take things a step further.
Everyone from lawyers like Marshall
Davis Brown in TX
to large corporations like Target use Facebook, Twitter,
FourSquare, and more to connect with their customers. Here's why:
Make it Easier to Find You
Social media is localized when it
comes to searching, so if someone is looking for a business nearby, whether
it's a lawyer or a pizza shop, they'll be able to find what's local on social
media. If a person's friend uses these local businesses and decides to 'tag'
them, talk about them, or simply 'follow' them on social media, that person
will be exposed to the name through their connection. It's a great way to take
advantage of modern-day word-of-mouth.
Interact with Clients
Your Facebook wall, Twitter
account, Yelp! page and more make it easy for customers to review their
experience with a product or service, whether it's good or bad. This gives you
the opportunity to respond to them publicly so that others can see that the
business cares about what its customers think. It also works well as a
suggestion box, and you can even ask your customers what they'd like to see
Some social media sites let you
promote yourself to targeted customers, whether you're targeting locally or
targeting users who are likely to search for relevant key terms. This counteracts
the dated "megaphone" approach – you're actually reaching an audience
who is likely to be interested, rather than just shouting into a crowd of
people who may or may not care.
If you've got a social media
account, you can easily find the accounts of other businesses in your field.
This way, you can keep tabs on what they're doing as well – what the customers
are liking/disliking from them, what specials they're running, how they're
choosing to advertise, which search terms they are optimizing their company
for, and more.
What you Should Know Before Filing for a Texas Divorce
Though it may be difficult, it's
important to tread lightly when it comes to divorce, especially in a state like
Texas. It's all too easy to let your emotions get the best of you in the midst
of the process, but you'll only regret it in the long run. After you've made
the final decision to start the process and have hired your Texas divorce
lawyer, like Marshall
, remember to take it slow and keep these facts in mind.
Always keep Safety in Mind
Unfortunately, there's always the
possibility for family violence during the process of divorce. Whether you've
got a spouse who has a previous history of violent behavior, or you think the
emotions may be running particular hot and there's a slight chance, always
ensure that children are in safe hands and any disagreements are hashed out in
front of professionals.
Make an Inventory
It's better to start taking
inventory of each spouse's assets, as well as the shared ones, prior to beginning
the process. Remember that Texas is a state that acknowledges any property
acquired during the marriage by either party as "community property,"
and therefore, it is divisible. Property acquired by either spouse prior to the
marriage, however, is separate, and indivisible, property.
Plan Out your New Budget
Going from living in a
double-income household to a single-income household is more difficult than one
might expect. Especially when there are kids involved, work out your new budget
and ensure that you can continue to live your current lifestyle before you find
out too late that you can't afford it.
Be Prepared to be in the Fishbowl
The time period before your divorce
is finalized is considered the "fishbowl;" while this may be the most
difficult time for you, your actions may also be under scrutiny by your spouse
and his or her lawyers, so it's more important than ever to be mindful – and,
yes, as respectful as possible – to avoid bringing up further issues in the
Divorce in Texas: What you need to Know
There's a lot to think about when
going through a divorce on the emotional level. Attempting to disentangle your
life and belongings from those of your spouse is difficult enough, but then you
also have to deal with the lawsuit itself. Finding an attorney and going into
the courtroom can be intimidating, especially on top of the psychological
stress. Aside from having a good lawyer, there's not much you can do to detract
from the demands of the process, but it certainly does help to be educated
about what's about to happen. Here are the basics about Texas family law – just
so that you're prepared.
Filing for a Divorce
The process begins by filing a
petition for divorce. Bear in mind that in order for Texas to recognize your
request, you've got to have a sound rationale, as per the Texas law. It's
perfectly reasonable to file for a "no-fault" divorce which simply
states that there has been a conflict or divergence of personal interest
between the two spouses. A divorce can also be filed as a "fault"
divorce, which would be the case should there be any history of abuse,
infidelity, desertation, sustained separation, crime, et cetera on behalf of
one or both parties. Giving a good reason makes the lawsuit easier to rule
fairly. After filing the petition, there are other documents required by Texas
law, such as the Marital Settlement Agreement, Financial Affidavit, and Child
Support Worksheet if applicable.
Texas is a community property state
and therefore it recognizes any piece of property earned or purchased during
the duration of the marriage belongs to the family as a whole. Any separate
property needs tangible evidence to be proven so. Family property will be
divided evenly in most cases, but in some fault divorce cases, distribution can
A large percentage of Texas divorce
cases involve children. It's important to remember that children take the brunt
of the emotional impact, and to handle the situation with care. If the parents
have not reached a mutual agreement about custody, the court will decide for
them; children 12 years or older have the option to choose. Any non-custodial
parent will have to pay child support to the guardian parent. It's important to
find a lawyer who has the resources for family counseling, such as Marshall
Davis Brown Jr
, if necessary – the psychological effects of a divorce can
be stressful on a child.
Finally, bear in mind that it will
be 60 days until you are finally legally divorced after all court procedures
have taken place. Thus, you have that time period to reconsider. For best results,
hiring an experienced, veteran divorce attorney is highly recommended.
Tips for Choosing the Right Divorce Lawyer in Texas
In the midst of going through the
legal processes of making your separation a divorce, you're bound to be under
some emotional and psychological stress. For you, it might not be the ideal
time to be making difficult decisions, like choosing a lawyer. You hear the
names of family lawyers, like Marshall
Davis Brown, in TX news stories
and ads, but how can you know which one is
going to be the best for your situation? Here are some tips to help you think
clearly and make an educated decision when hiring an attorney.
Wait it Out
Since there are a lot of hard
feelings involved with divorce, it can be tempting to hire the first lawyer you
can find and begin playing hardball when it comes to material and monetary
possessions. In truth, there's no rush to get a divorce – take some space from
your spouse and use the time for both of you to cool your heads. Give one
another plenty of notice when the next step will be taken once you're ready. It
helps to avoid animosity in the future, and reduces the risk of you having to
relinquish more than you'd like to in the divorce.
Know your Situation
What kind of attorney will you need
– a hard, fast, and aggressive one? Or one who will get the process done and
over with as quickly and painlessly as possible? Are there children involved?
You need to have some idea of the special characteristics that your lawyer will
need to have.
Use the internet to find the names
of the most reputable family lawyers in Texas, then read up on each one. Learn
about other clients' experiences with these lawyers and even set up interviews
with them if that makes you feel more comfortable. Call your state bar
association, too. Don't hire an attorney who doesn't make you feel at ease.
Following these tips will ensure
that you've gone through the process thoroughly and that you've made the right
decision. It's not one to be rushed – remember, it's your future and your
possessions on the line.