Email Marketing and the power of permission

(As originally posted on Above the Law September 16, 2010)

In a classic Seinfield episode, Jerry gets the phone number of a girl he is interested in from off of a list of people donating money for the AIDS Walk. Jerry does his best to keep this a secret from the girl, but eventually he lets it slip to George, who lets it slip to Susan, who tells her friend, who spills it it to the girl. The girl ends things with Jerry, although she is more offended about him lying about his jean size than how he met her.

Why was Jerry getting her info from the AIDS walk list even an issue? Because the way people get our information and how they use it matter to us. People hold on to their contact info as if it were solid gold. You give up your phone number and email address too easily, and you will be forever harassed by spam. Read more

Personal or group blog?

(As originally posted on Above the Law September 9, 2010)

Are you a superstar or a team player? When it comes to law blogs, the question is: do you have your own blog, or are you part of a team that writes a group blog? With over 45% of the Am Law 200 now using blogs, amid mounting evidence that blogs bring both publicity and business, many firms are trying to figure out the best way to build a successful blog.

For those of you who have been living underground for the last year, here is how the two different types of blogs work. Read more

Give your legal writing 9 lives

(As originally posted on Above the Law September 2, 2010)

“If you build it, he will come.”

– Voice heard by Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams

Writing a book, blog, article or white paper are all great ways to get noticed and build relationships in the legal industry. Unfortunately, practicing lawyers confront great demands on their time, and even though they have good intentions, the work of creating this type of content is often delegated to associates or put off altogether. Part of the problem is that writing blog posts and articles is a loss leader. You spend too much time writing without business coming in, and soon enough you’ll be out of business. Read more

Social Media Lessons from a Russian Sniper

(As originally posted by Above the Law on August 26, 2010)

The opening sequence of Enemy at the Gates begins with a volunteer Russian soldier named Vassili being forced into the range of German machine guns in the Battle of Stalingrad. Unfortunately for Vassili (played by Jude Law), the Russian army has more soldiers to spare than guns. So although all the soldiers are given bullets, only half the soldiers, excluding Vassili, are given a gun.

In response to last week’s post, “The All-or-Nothing Social Media Skeptics,” a few lawyers expressed frustration that I didn’t provide more concrete strategies, case studies, and tactics on utilizing social media. I won’t cover case studies on this post, although you can find some here, but I will give some specific tactics…. Read more

The all-or-nothing social media skeptics

(As originally posted by Above the Law August 19th, 2010)

Bureaucracy destroys initiative. There is little that bureaucrats hate more than innovation, especially innovation that produces better results than the old routines. Improvements always make those at the top of the heap look inept. Who enjoys appearing inept?

– Frank Herbert, Heretics of Dune

“Don’t turn the TV off!”

My Dad insisted he was recording the football game.

“Well, can I at least change the channel?”


What my father didn’t understand is that the VCR could record his game, even if the TV was displaying a different show. For those who don’t remember the old invention called the VCR, it could record one show while you watched another on the TV. It could even record the show while the TV was not on. That completely blew my father’s mind, so just to “be safe” he left the TV on and kept it on the channel he was recording.

Technology and social media can be scary to the ruling class, and we even see that among the legal blogosphere. Take one of my favorite law bloggers, Scott Greenfield…. Read more

For law firm salaries: bigger is better and men still make more

I’m thrilled to be headed back to New York City next week for the Law Firm Leadership and Economic Forum where David Brown, editor in Chief of The National Law Journal will be presenting some of the key findings from the ALM Survey of Law Firm Economics. You can follow my live tweets at the conference under the hashtag #ALMecon. If you don’t know what a hashtag is or how they work at conferences- CLICK HERE.

According to the 2009 ALM Survey of Law Firm Economics there was a specific recipe for an attorney to maximize their income in 2009. Read more

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