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Shelton & Steele

Shelton & Steele offers consulting and programs on subject matter that focus on helping firms and individual attorneys become more successful. This includes profitability, management, strategic growth, increasing individual key performance indicators and more.
Frederick Shelton has been the CEO of a legal recruiting & management consulting firm for over 24 years. During that time, he and his team have discussed and debriefed thousands of attorneys during lateral moves or mergers. The data gathered has included which firm practices increase or deter profitability, what individual rainmakers did differently than other attorneys, and what best practices and most common mistakes occurred when attorneys left BigLaw or MidLaw to start their own firms.
He has been  the CMO of a Litigation Boutique, the Executive Director of an Intellectual Property Boutique, and the National Director of the Legal Division of the largest privately held employment agency in the United States. He and his team of experts provide training and consulting that is easy and immediately usable by anyone from a junior associate to a senior partner.

Best Practices & Mistakes to Avoid When Going Solo or Spinning Off as a Group
Over the last 25 years, we've worked with partners who knew it was time to leave their firm but didn't want to join another one. So they started their own firms with or without our assistance. We have maintained communication with every such candidate possible, and recorded the differences between those that succeeded quickly and those that struggled. These insights can prove invaluable to those seeking to start similar ventures.

Basic & Intermediate Client Development for Individual Attorneys
Since the beginning of business history, specific principles and techniques have proven effective in building a client base for high-end professionals. We show clients how to do SWOT analysis, develop and implement a Busines & Marketing Plan, capitalize on their specific attributes, build and maintain a high value network, effective writing and public speaking and eventually initiate Client Leverage & Cycling.

Brand Development & Maintenance for Individual Attorneys
One of the biggest mistakes that high-end professionals make is marketing (especially social media marketing), without first identifying their brand goals and objectives. Once these have been established, specific techniques for maintenance and enhancement make the difference between those that stagnate and those that grow.

Individual Digital Marketing for Attorneys
Face it, if you're not using Content and Social Media Marketing, you're behind the times. Yet, of over two hundred partners we've interviewed, none could answer this question:

"How is your firm's use of Social Media and Content Marketing, helping you personally, in your client development efforts?"

Social Media and Content Based Marketing have changed everything. They are The Great Equalizers. Never in history have attorneys and other high end professionals had opportunities to build a personal brand that is as or even more valuable than corporate brands using a platform that is free. While in-house marketing departments will build & maintain the firm brand, we show attorneys how to construct and implement Individual Digital Marketing Campaign that attract clients.

Data Analytics for Individual Attorneys
This is going to sound familiar. If you're not using Big Data, you're behind the times. Yet, of over two hundred partners we've interviewed, none could answer this question:

"How is your firm's use of data analytics, helping you personally, in your client development efforts?"

While "Big Data" produces valuable information for the firm, we help individual attorneys and small to mid-sized firms learn and use the tools to convert "Small Data" into increased originations and better, more efficient use of their time. We show them how they can personally use free software and resources to this end, unless and until their increased profits justify investing time and money in something more comprehensive.

Lateral Integration Programs

Data shows firms that have a structured & proven Lateral Integration Program (LIP) realize significantly higher revenues from lateral partners & groups during the first year following their hire. By implementing simple, step-by-step LIP's, the increase in both net revenues and the morale of newly acquired attorneys increases dramatically. Unfortunately, most firms don't offer much more than the following as their Lateral Integration Program:

Welcome aboard!
Here's our platform / expectations.

Here's our software.

These are the attorneys in your space.

Here are a few other attorneys.

We sure do hope things go great!

If you do not have an LIP that ensures the highest probability of success for lateral partners and associates,  you do not make the success of the people you hire your biggest priority. Think about that carefully, because in the upcoming scramble for the best talent and biggest Rainmakers, the premium talent  will examine this aspect more carefully than ever before.  

Virtual Expansion & Management

This is the 21st Century. Telecommuting, In-Sourcing, Virtual and Alternative Platform Firms are becoming ubiquitous. Artificial Intelligence, In-Housing and the trending decline in volume are going to cause a Corporate Darwinism that will struggle and who will thrive in the new legal environment. One factor that simply cannot be ignored is The Virtual Practice Space.  Converting current attorneys or adding new personnel on a virtual platform reduces costs dramatically, thus increasing profits. It also eliminates unnecessary commuting time, and usually affords a better lifestyle for the attorney. But if not managed properly, virtual attorneys can end up being nothing more than a short-lived silo. We provide the experience and insights that help prevent mistakes and increase success in the virtual space.

Bureaucracy Reduction & Partner Autonomy Initiatives

Years of data and lateral partner debriefs show that bureaucracy and a desire for more autonomy are among the most commonly cited reasons for partner or group exits from firms. Our team can evaluate and assess your current structure, processes, number and types of committees, policies, chains of command etc. We may do nothing more than confirm your firm has the appropriate level of management in place. If there are unnecessary layers or funnels, we can demonstrate how firms have successfully modernized and reduced bureaucracy, while maintaining the controls necessary for the security of the firm.

To discuss hourly or flat fee consulting or programs, please feel free to Email Frederick directly.


Law Firm Mergers & Lateral Acquisitions

Legal Business & Marketing Consulting