Scott Greenfield brings us a concise summary of a now suspended lawyer who played the marketing game like a symphony.
As first described by the Legal Profession Blog:
The attorney had, among other things, advertised his practice as himself "& Associates" when in fact he had a solo practice. He also had a video linked to his web page in which a non-attorney was presented as a member of the firm. The web page listed non-existent firm practice groups, and falsely indicated that he had three office locations and decades of experience.
Are you thinking "I do that?"
You do that thing where you don't list when you graduated because it was 3 years ago? You claim experience you don't have because your hired marketing dude told you how to "differentiate yourself?"
Or do you call your 8 month stint at a law firm a career that ended in 2008, without telling anyone when it started? (Tip: 8 months is not a career, it's, well, 8 months)
Now the response to this from my good friend Adrian will be that "anyone who wants to know how long I practiced law can"... wait for it.... "find it on the internet."
This was the response from Grant Griffiths of Blog for Profit, who upon being confronted as to why he was telling people he left law practice because he wanted to start a blog-for-sale company, when he actually left the profession for another reason.
But as Greenfield rightly says, and people like Adrian and Grant live by: On the internet, we can be anything we want to be. Reality doesn't matter any more. We are what Google says we are, and Google will say we're whatever we want to be.
My question, after all this time of lawyers calling out other lawyers for unethical and cheezy marketing, is where are the marketers?
When stories come out like this, and Greenfield and I and other lawyers write about them, I get these individual e-mails and private messages from marketers telling me "I don't advise my clients to do this type of marketing.
But I have a bigger question, a larger issue with the marketers:
Why don't you, the marketers who privately claim to reject these tactics, publicly call them out when you see them?
How come I rarely see blog posts critical of this type of marketing, from marketers?
What's with the silence?
Are you looking at this case and saying "what an idiot, he got caught?"
Why are you not trying to find out who this lawyer's marketing consultant was and calling him or her out?
Hello, are you there?
Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint.