Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Real Problem With Lawyers: Pure Stupidity

Today, a member of the Bar is giving a seminar on how to start and manage a law firm. His partial qualifications? He failed in private practice, had his license administratively suspended for failure to complete CLE requirements, had a foreclosure, and operates his business out of a UPS store.

There will be a room full of young (and old) desperate lawyers who have paid money to hear him, and are awaiting eagerly, like panting dogs, to hear all the secrets of success.

None of the people in that room know any of this.

Yesterday, a member of the Bar jumped on the ABA story that shocked the legal marketing world when it concluded that blogs, twitter, Facebook, or other forms of "you better get on the train or you'll get run over," marketing, are secondary to word of mouth referrals.

This member of the Bar stated that whenever there's a story on social media (seemingly where it disputes his claims that it is a requirement for the wanna-be successful lawyer), lawyers "from all over the world" call.....him.

Sure they do. And why wouldn't they? He practiced law for 8 months, really 6, got laid off, and then became a self-proclaimed rainmaker. He also lied, and continues to lie about his experience, saying he was part of a $450 million deal while a newly minted associate, when all he did was review documents. He brought in no business as a lawyer, ever, but if you pay him, he will teach you all the tricks. The Aussie legal community is apparently so impressed with his vast experience and personal success, they paid for him to spend a month down under spreading his knowledge to the legal community.

Another lawyer will soon speak on the ethics challenges lawyers face with cloud computing. Except the lawyer doesn't use cloud computing as part of any established law practice. Oh well, it'll all sound relevant.

Then there's the disbarred lawyer who lied about why he left the profession (he stole money from a trust account set aside for kids, among other things) and now sells a blog platform so you can blog for profit. Lawyers snap this up, without concern that they are putting money in the pocket of a disgraced liar. Nothing wrong with being disbarred, but in this age of transparancy (and the marketers cringe) an affirmative lie about your past should cause the discriminating lawyer to pause.

But why would we expect this? The largest group of people who fall victim to those Nigerian email scams? Lawyers.

We have become a bunch of blithering idiots, so desperate for money that we're willing to listen to anyone who pretends to have the ability to put some in our pocket, regardless of who they really are.

People ask how I know all these things, how I find them out? I look, I Google, I read. Why don't I link these people in this post? Because I'm tired of doing your work. I'm tired of the emails saying "oh my God, I had no idea, and I was going to hire him!" You look like idiots.

We live in a generation where lawyers have all but lost any reputation for high honor. Lawyers are viewed as liars, scumbags, thieves.

I'm just glad most don't realize how stupid we all are.

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


crank said...

It continues to blow my mind that people pay for this advice. It is NOT complicated.

David Fuller said...

I'll resolve the ethics of cloud computing right now; and as a bonus, I use it in my law practice. Use JungleDisk, they're owned by Amazon, the uploads/downloads are encrypted, and you can put an encryption key on your data at no extra cost. Alternatively, do 20 minutes of research on your own. Are the free cookies at these seminars really that good?

Also, you can get clients using a blog. It's the only way I market. Here's how. Don't write mindless puff pieces that are 800 words of nothing. Spend some time actually writing about your practice area, the issues that your clients face, provide useful information for other lawyers like case law updates, remember that people can smell spin from a mile away. This means that you have to do a little bit of research, write it yourself, and know your audience. Much like practicing law, it's hard work, it is a pain, and there is usually something more entertaining.

Anonymous said...

But we who have been following know who you're taking about.

My Law License said...

Yes, you do. But the larger picture is those out there who don't know, and worse yet, don't ask. These scam artists survive on the stupidity of lawyers who fail to ask basic questions like "tell me about your practice."

Anonymous said...

Great YouTube video... Very Fitting!