I’ve written before about the lessons for lawyers of Jay-Z and Aristotle and what Atticus Finch really teaches about persuading a jury. I firmly believe that trial lawyers can learn as much from the great communicators — the entertainers, the philosophers, the writers — as they can from other lawyers and advocates. We may
There’s been a lot of discussion in the blawgosphere lately about Bryan Garner’s interviews with eight sitting Justices of the United States (as of 2007), in which the Justices uniformly agreed that the briefs submitted to them were too long and raised too many issues.
For once, practicing attorneys and law professors have been…
It’s no secret: legal marketing isn’t pretty. Even those of us personal injury lawyers who try to keep our marketing clean, like Eric Turkewitz, hate our marketing copy. There’s no easy way to mix tastefulness, modesty, search engine optimization, and client conversion into one document.
Making matters worse, nobody would ever genuinely link to…
Here are my ideas [to bring in more clients]:
1. Bite the bullet and pay for traffic ticket lists. Do mailings.
2. Pay for SEO to increase my website’s search engine effectiveness.
3. Continue networking as much as possible.
Not the first time someone has discussed marketing for young attorneys on the internet. E.g., see my own Why It’s Hard For BigLaw Associates To Start Rainmaking.
Don’t buy traffic ticket lists, fire the SEO fraud, and yes, network. Buy lunch for people, sponsor charitable events, speak at the local Rotary club, say hello at your kids school, reconnect with old friends, take a small ad out in the local business journal, get on a Bar committee, write about something interesting.
Time-tested advice (though I’ll asterisk the SEO for a moment), as also reflected by Scott Bovitz’s recollections about changes in the legal profession over the past thirty years (found via Legal Writing Prof):
In 1980, a client found a lawyer by reputation and word of mouth. Martindale Hubbell was a daily tool, and lawyer certiﬁcation was still a pilot program. Lawyers promoted themselves by public service, getting quoted in the paper, writing articles, and volunteering in organizations. In 2011, clients still ﬁnd lawyers by reputation and word of mouth. But Martindale Hubbell is now part of LexisNexis. State and national certiﬁcation programs abound, and lawyer advertising is everywhere. But lawyers still like to be quoted.
I’d also add these ten marketing tips for first-year and second-year associates, particularly:
1. Excel at the Basics
Take every opportunity to learn and hone your lawyering skills. Arrive on time and stay until the job’s done. Ask thoughtful questions. Pay close attention to detail. Meet your deadlines. Seek feedback about your performance. As a first or second year associate, your clients are the partners of the firm. Partners notice when associates are in the office late or when they’re slipping out early on Friday afternoons. Make sure you earn their notice in a positive way by just becoming the best lawyer you can be.
2. Find a Really Good Mentor
Don’t wait on your firm to establish a formal mentor program. Identify and spend time with that lawyer who embodies what you want to be and emulate his or her good behaviors. Since you’re asking your mentor to be generous with his or her time and talents, reciprocate by delivering yours. Find opportunities to do good work for your mentor.
The second point also works well for young lawyers who either decided to or were forced to hang out a shingle: find a mentor. There’s no better teaching or marketing tool. Luke Skywalker and the Karate Kid were nobodies until they were trained by their mentors.
If you don’t have a mentor from law school or family relationships, then find one another way. Bust your behind on a political campaign or charitable cause; that’s a great way to start networking among practicing attorneys, since campaigns are loaded with not just lawyers, but connected lawyers who like to make friends and like to connect people.
Didn’t work? Cold-call some lawyers you respect and ask them if they could possibly meet with you just to discuss, briefly, how to get started. Don’t ask them for a job or for networking; if they like you, they’ll help you with the networking. Cold-call some other lawyers and offer to work for them for free in exchange for some guidance. Maybe rent some office space from them, paying your way, and ask them if they’ll help you informally, maybe even refer you a case or two.
Then, with your mentor’s (sometimes critical) guidance and (maybe verging on cruel) tutelage as often as you can get it, build your practice the way you’d built a cake store or a plumbing business: through superior quality, exceptional customer service, making calls and wearing down your shoe leather. Get your name out there and make sure it’s associated with quality.
One of the great weaknesses of the civil litigation process is its near-total reliance on language. The vast majority of civil lawsuits are resolved, either by being dismissed or settled, before any party or witness testifies before a judge or jury, a process which is largely dependent upon written filings, transcripts of testimony given outside…
There are two components of every court opinion: first, the “holding,” which is what the court did — dismiss the case, uphold the jury verdict, remand for a new trial, overturn a sentence, et cetera — and, second, the “reasoning,” where the court explains why it did what it did. For the parties to the…
Lawyers have a lot of technical training and experience. They spend three years in a hybrid humanities / vocational graduation school, devote a few months to cramming a summary of one or two state’s laws into their brains, regurgitate and forget it all over two or three days, then spend a couple years learning, through…
A few months back, Judge Richard Posner and Professor Albert Yoon posted their draft of What Judges Think of the Quality of Legal Representation, their forthcoming paper in the Stanford Law Review.
Legal scholarship is prone towards omphaloskepsis and metadiscourse, so it’s refreshing to see a paper coming out based on real, honest-to-goodness…
The internet has not been pleased with the proposed settlement reached between Lowe’s — which denies ever selling any tainted Chinese drywall — and the plaintiff’s attorneys in a Georgia state court class action.
There’s two problems with the proposed settlement, which has not yet been approved by a judge. First, the settlement is a…