Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Turkewitz & The Southern Belle: Listen Up Young Lawyers

One thing about lawyers, is that they have found a way to use the internet, to use everything about the internet, to try and make money. There is no shortage of "how to make money" articles regarding every single new website and social media platform out there. Former 8 month practitioners are ready to sell you the secrets of social media and formerly practicing lawyers are making sure you know everything the iPhone and iPad cam do for you, as a lawyer of course.

Every so often, real lawyers looking to build or improve their real practices, can find real advice to use in representing real clients.

Like the two I found today, for example:

Eric Turkewitz, of "outsource your marketing, outsource your ethics" fame, writes some advice for new lawyers. Be forewarned, there is no advice regarding your internet presence, your use of a shiny electronic advice, or musings on the future of law that have no basis in fact.

While Eric has some misguided notion about proper footware, he provides the following sage advice:

Find a good mentor.

Let me elaborate.

Find someone who has been practicing law for a while. A mentor is not someone you buy, not someone who designs websites or sells you advice regarding SEO or "keywords." A mentor is someone you call, have a meal with, and generally ask advice of because you want to be better at lawyering, or you don't want to make things worse.

Eric adds something you'll not see from most of those "former lawyers" selling practice-by-point-and-click:

I write from experience.

Did you hear that? He writes from experience. Now go ask your social media guru or iPad licker whether they "write from experience." Don't hit yourself too hard when you get something that sounds like someone wants to avoid the question.

Eric is a good read, a good guy, but unfortunately for the kids, doesn't play well with the cheesy marketers out there. If you want to be a good lawyer with a respectable practice, Eric is a good guy to follow. If you're looking to pretend you're a good lawyer, go elsewhere.

And let me welcome the Southern Belle to the blawgosphere.

I hope this blog will accurately (and entertainingly) chronicle my forthcoming adventures in indigent defense. I’ve wanted to be a public defender for a long time. I actually went to law school for that express purpose. So, as you can imagine, I’m beyond excited to begin this journey.

Notice anything? No mention of the internet, or a shiny toy? Some more bad news for you hucksters out there - appears Ms. Belle isn't following a single one of you on twitter. Her only interest seems to be real lawyers with real practices. Sorry. Those of you selling the dream of "success by Google and things with power switches" will have to find some other sucker to which to peddle your wears.

While I don't agree Ms. Belle has to be anonymous for "ethical" reasons, I look forward to reading about her experiences as a newly minted public defender.

So take a gander, read these posts. Be happy there's still a few real lawyers looking to talk about the real meaning of being a lawyer.

Anonymous comments are welcome as long as they say something relevant and half-way intelligent and arent a vehicle for a coward to attack someone. I trust you understand.

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


shg said...

Shouldn't the Southern Belle have "hilarious mishaps" before she titles her blog about them? I realize that she hasn't yet started the job she intends to write about, so it strikes me that she might want to find out whether she has mishaps, and just how hilarious they are, beforehand. Maybe they won't be very hilarious at all, you know.

Just a silly cart/horse sort of thing.

My Law License said...

There you go, you just blew your chance to get this week's lotto numbers from her. Nice.

Anonymous said...

I like it. And I'm checking out Southern Belle immediately!

Christopher Hill said...

Thanks for pointing these out Brian. Glad to see there are others out there just posting for the fun and information of it.