Lawyers at their core are advocates. They speak out. They take positions. Some take on cases and clients that are controversial, tough, and unpopular. Others toil in the background, but represent clients nonetheless.
The others are not lawyers. They are businessmen and women with law degrees who check under their fingernails throughout the day to make sure there's not a speck of dirt. They work "in" the legal profession, so they say, as they try to make a buck off their brethren with their consulting, marketing, and books.
Staying silent is a marketing tactic these days. Anyone in the blogosphere or on social media has seen the fear that defines today's marketing lawyer. The scared silent ones are not here to advocate, opine, or take a stand for anything - they are here to create a personal brand - to make everyone like them, to enjoy their irrelevancy in the Happysphere.
And so young Joseph Rakofsky has filed suit against 74, no 75, no 76, no, wait, between 74-80, and more to come defendants known simply as "the internet."
In response, "the internet" has spoken.
Since the filing of the lawsuit by Joseph Rakofsky, real lawyers everywhere have weighed in.
So I checked around to see what some of the "others," those with law degrees who are in the business of selling to and writing for lawyers were saying about this lawsuit.
Surely Susan Cartier Liebel, head cheerleader of Solo Practice University, where lawyers pay to learn about, well I don't know what they learn because I'm not a student, would have something important to say about this young solo's collapse:
And social media "expert" Adrian Dayton, who calls himself an "experienced corporate lawyer" after a total sum of 8 months at his law firm. Here's what he had to say:
Which Movie Does Your Law Firm’s Social Media Policy Most Closely Resemble?
Kevin O'Keefe, who sells blog platforms to lawyers?
Facebook for lawyers : Wonderful relationship building medium for business development.
Larry Bodine, one of the premier lawyer marketers in the country? Surely he would want to comment on the biggest marketing fiasco in recent history?
Love it or hate it, Avvo.com is a force to be reckoned with in Law Firm Marketing
Niki Black, the queen evangelist of tech for lawyers who occasionally writes advice posts for young lawyers?
Well, maybe young Joseph needs a Droid: Droid Apps for Lawyers
The "others" have made sure to say nothing. It's not an accident. It's intentional. They would never weigh in on something this controversial. It's not good for business, for the "personal brand." Maybe they'd get sued and then that would be just so awful, wouldn't it?
They've decided that staying out of real legal issues, issues of the day that are controversial, is better for their brand. Their relevancy exists only to those who think they are fabulous, and that they hold all the secrets of tech, marketing, and social media. They have their own vision of their importance to the legal profession.
Those of you who remain silent, congratulations. I'm sure your personal brand is meaningful. To whom, I have no idea.
Fear has its use but cowardice has none.
- Mahatma Gandhi
Non-anonymous comments welcome. Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint.