The horse is dead, its carcass unidentifiable. The "older" lawyers lay scorn on the younger generation of lawyers, while the "newbies," "millennials," whatever we want to call them, tell "us" that we're "over," our business models are dead, we are about to be run over by iPads, virtual offices, and clients looking for competent counsel at the rate of 35 cents an hour. No one succeeds anymore by just doing good work and getting good client referrals as a result. No one. Nope.
Scott Greenfield is public enemy one of the new generation of lawyers. That stupid old man. So he's been-there-done-that and may know a thing about trials, clients, and business. So what? He started practicing law when cars had 4 wheels, and law was a part of the practice of law.
Scott's in need of a nice ice pack for his head lately, engaging with those who continue to convince themselves that "we" don't understand, and if we couldn't get jobs in law firms out of law school, we'd be in search of really bad advice from people who never found success in the practice of law.
It's of no matter though, I've been told repeatedly that "it doesn't matter" if the person who is giving, selling the advice, has no track record of using that same "build your dreams" advice to their benefit in the practice. If the "fake it till you make it" crowd can help young lawyers "fake it till they (flame out) make it," so the hell what?
It also doesn't matter that the reality is that people who sell advice about how to become successful, usually are doing so because they weren't able to use that same advice to find success in their own business.
Successful people give away advice on success, unsuccessful people sell it.
Scott, and me, and others, just need to shut up, go away, and stop trying to tell the younger generation of lawyers that taking advice from those selling it to make a buck, because they didn't make it in practice, is a bad idea.
If the advice is good, so what if it costs a few bucks and those few bucks are going to a liar, or perceived success?
It all comes down to the same question I ask every budding law student or young lawyer who seeks my advice: "What kind of lawyer do you want to be?" The wrong answer normally comes first in the form of "divorce lawyer, criminal lawyer, corporate lawyer." My question seeks a deeper answer - "how do you want to be viewed in the profession?"
Those that cry "you don't understand," don't understand. People like Scott, and I, we understand. There are few jobs. There is great debt. There is a desire to pay that debt. Within that desire for some is the goal of becoming a respected and zealous advocate as well.
More and more though, the goal is to make money. Google can't be wrong when it tells me the most prominent search terms that bring people here is "how to make money as a lawyer."
No one wants to hear about the young lawyer I met, got to know, invited to meet some people, who began to "mine the field" of relationships with other lawyers and now has a job with BigLaw. What does that have to do with gaining followers on social media, or spamming blogs with comments in order to gain Google juice? Are lawyers like me really telling young lawyers that the old way of doing things still works?
But I digress.
Don't mind me, or Scott. You go, praise the losers that pretend to have the keys to business success, and kill the dinosaurs.
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.