Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Silence Of The Lambs

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.Share/Save/Bookmark


BL1Y said...

I think your characterization of lawyers are primarily advocates is incomplete. Advocacy is just one side of the legal profession; the other side is counseling. The person who drafts your will or advises you on the best structure for your private equity firm for tax purposes is every bit a lawyer, but in no way an advocate.

However, your characterization of social media marketing snake oil salesmen is spot on. I'd say we need to wipe out the whole lot of them, except that the only people they harm are idiots who deserve to be ripped off.

Brian Tannebaum said...

Geez. Do I have to read the entire post for you?

"Others toil in the background, but represent clients nonetheless."

It's there BL, right in the first paragraph. Step off the ledge, slowly.

David Fuller said...

Here's the response that very few of my peers want to hear and none of those social media jackasses want spread around.

You can't build a law practice in 90 days, 180 days, or 1 year. I've spent the last three years building my practice; and, I still have work to do. A great website won't make you successful; instead, you'll be successful, when you can honestly demonstrate your ability to represent a client. A law practice guru won't make you a good lawyer. Hell, I used a "guru" to start my practice - mistake - and the best she could do was a book on networking by a former car salesman and some patently bad trust accounting advice.

So to sum it all up, I wouldn't take a Murder 1, no matter how much the client liked my website.

Brian Gurwitz said...

I hope Liebel, Dayton, O'Keefe, Bodi, Black & Joseph file a class action against you.