When Engagement Isn’t Enough

In a recent study of lobbyists it was discovered that in almost every conceivable way lobbyists were just like the rest of the population.  They weren’t any smarter, faster on their feet, or better negotiators.  They did have one factor in common however, they all shared an extremely high tolerance for rejection.  Tolerating rejection is an incredibly important thing online and off.  But what does it have to do with engagement?

There is a myth out there that the secret to success online is engagement, but that is really only a half truth.  The secret to success online is effective engagement.  What is the difference?  Effective engagement requires that you actually put yourself on the line.  And that requires the possibility of being rejected.   Read more

Facebook and the Fear of Worlds Colliding

(As published in the National Law Journal November 18, 2010)

In a classic episode of the TV show Seinfeld, George Castanza’s friend Elaine calls Susan so that they can go see a show together. It is kind of Jerry’s fault — after all, he suggested Elaine call Susan. George is not happy about this. You see, George has two worlds. The world with his friends Jerry, Kramer, and Elaine, and his world with his girlfriend. Keeping these worlds separate is extremely important to George. George tries to explain this to Jerry and by the end of his conversation yells, “It’s just common sense — anybody knows you’ve gotta keep your worlds apart.”

As attorneys and professionals, George’s “worlds theory” also applies to us. Some of us like Facebook — we check it in the morning, we talk about our weekends, share the odd Youtube clip. We feel safe in our Facebook world of friends and family. Then one day, our best client sends us an invite on Facebook. Read more

Which Law Firm Owns the Most Digital Real Estate?

(As originally published in the National Law Journal on November 15, 2010)

“The two most important requirements for major success are: first, being in the right place at the right time, and second, doing something about it.”

— Ray Kroc, builder of McDonald’s, the most successful fast food operation in the world.


Why are the firms of Big Law so successful?

They have powerful relationships with old and very large institutional clients, they have name recognition and good will that has been built up over more than a century and they have impressive real estate, with offices in prime locations in the major cities of the world.

Smaller firms aren’t likely to steal the institutional clients or spend the money to gain the same type of name recognition. They certainly can’t afford the real estate prices of New York City or Tokyo. But there is one type of real estate that smaller firms are gobbling up at an impressive rate, with most of the larger firms lagging behind.

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To Kill a Marketing Campaign

In the classic 1962 film, To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus Finch (played by Gregory Peck) is an attorney that defends a wrongly accused African-American man.  At the end of the jury deliberations, Atticus learns his client has been found guilty.  As he walks out of the courtroom the Rev. Sykes says to Scout, “stand up. Your father is passing.”

Scenes like these show lawyers at their best.  Years ago, that was all attorneys had- their reputation.  There was no marketing allowed- but many of the great attorneys didn’t need marketing because of the respect and esteem with which they were held in their community.  This seemed to work really well for some, those with connections- and those who were truly outstanding attorneys.  Then came Bates v. State Bar of Arizona.

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