In this fourth part of a four part series on how to represent a claimant before the VA, Matthew Donald, Esq. Director of VA Services, cuts through the misinformation and provides an overview of what is actually happening with the VA’s proposed rule change.
This time of year, we remember with gratitude the many joys that our families, friends, clients, and neighbors have brought us, and we especially remember the sacrifices of those who have served our country. The Outreach Team at Maryville University has asked us to share this article with you, so that as attorneys, we might have a heightened understanding regarding the challenges that so many veterans face.
– Article courtesy of Maryville University. See the original article here: https://online.maryville.edu/online-bachelors-degrees/psychology/understanding-a-veteran-with-ptsd/
To a large extent, your success is determined by how well you manage your leads and vital relationships, especially referral relationships with allied professionals. Unfortunately, forging and maintaining profitable referral relationships is one of the greatest challenges facing most law firms.
In the coming weeks, we’re going to discuss proven strategies for building a strong referral network. We’ll talk about how to get started on the right foot, the questions you need to ask to qualify your referral sources and properly set expectations, how to track your results, and more.
At the very least, we hope these emails help you understand the importance of the following two concepts:
Contrary to what some potential referral sources would have you believe, your value is not in the referrals you send back. Your value goes far beyond that.
Your goal is not simply to have good meetings with allied professionals. Rather, your goal is to turn meetings into revenue.
Logically enough, building profitable relationships with allied professionals begins with knowing precisely which professionals you should be meeting with. We’ll talk about that next time.
Using state-of-the-art software within an effective system allows you to build a highly efficient team and firm. Each workflow is comprised of a series of steps with a defined set of tasks to be completed at each step. Many of the steps are designed to do things automatically, like assign tasks to staff, send emails to update your clients on progress, and much more. Your staff can easily see the work assigned to them and what they need to do next, while you get a crystal clear picture of the workflow throughout your whole firm. You will see every matter’s progress, who is working on what, the steps that need to be taken next, and what might be holding things up. Armed with information like this, you’ll be able to better hold members of your team accountable and improve overall efficiency.
As we have seen, leading-edge software allows you to generate accurate, customized planning documents following a single client interview. Over time, and with proper training, you may even be able to turn this task over to a paralegal. And in the process, free up more time to pursue new clients and generate new revenue, or to simply work less and live more. The possibilities are limited only by your priorities.
State-of-the-art asset protection software can alert you to potential problems. Case in point: During the interview, LWP software will display “light bulb” icons offering built-in practice tips and pointers that provide background and help you make informed choices. For example, there is a light bulb that displays information about required minimum distributions, which can help you select the best option for how to treat income from retirement accounts. These practice tips can include the language that would appear in your documents based on the selection you choose, references to case law or other legal authority, and sometimes just a simple explanation of the legal concept to help you make the proper selection for a particular client’s needs.
Light bulbs are just one of the safety nets you’ll find in LWP’s cloud-based software. A big, bold warning appears if one of your selections could impact your client’s Medicaid eligibility. It reminds you to use your best judgment to determine whether the warning applies in your jurisdiction and in your client’s particular situation.
The process of creating a customized estate plan begins with the client interview. State-of-the-art software uses a single-entry system; as you work through the interview, you only have to enter information once. That information is later reused in the interview and replicated in the assembled documents.
Another benefit of a single-entry system is that it allows you to easily update necessary information. For example, if you need to change Bob Sample’s name to Robert P. Sample (or make a change considerably more complex), you only have to correct it once. The change will automatically be adopted throughout the interview, and ultimately, across every document included in this particular estate plan.
Additionally, the data collection tools within the software and workflows are designed to make it easier for you to gather the information you need to draft your clients’ documents. For example, when your legal assistant or client services coordinator enters a client’s information into a matter within the workflow, the information will populate and pre-fill some of the choices within the software interview.
Next time: Discover the power of Dynamic Interviews
The Initial Meeting and the Vision Meeting are two consultation-type meetings that are part of LWP’s enrollment process. LWP Implementation Coach Amanda “Mandy” Bossow describes them both and how to utilize them for optimal results.
LWP’s Director of VA Services, Matthew Donald, Esq., provides an overview of the VA Appeals Process.
LWP cloud-based workflows and the Color-Coded Planning System can help you manage time efficiently, monitor cash flow, hold your team accountable, and ultimately, realize your firm’s full profit potential. The more you work with the focusers and your calendar, the better you will get at reading them and pinpointing the areas that must be improved to achieve your goals. As always, if you have questions about these tools, or any of LWP’s systems and processes, we invite you to reach out to us.
Always cheering you on,
Your LWP Team
Green time is the time you spend on serving your clients to provide the value for which they hired you. This requires working with your team, utilizing systems and processes to create consistent quality, and ultimately, reducing the amount of time YOU work every week, every month, every year.
Green time encompasses all of the following:
- Working on client tasks, both products and services (light green)
- Meetings with clients that deliver work/product (dark green)
- Time with coworkers on work/product (light green)
- Review of work/product (light green)
Ideally, 40 percent of your week should be devoted to green time.