Can You Beat this 25-question Sales Training Quiz?

In the 16 years I've been in law firm marketing, I've seen at least 25 scenarios where law firms need sales training.  Typically, it's the reason that a partner or marketing director calls me in the first place.  These situations are found in law firms of any size, any practice and any location. 

Take this 20-question quiz to see if any of them apply to you. If you check off 3 or more, you need sales training.

  1. Most of our rainmakers are over age 65.
  2. Few mid-level partners have opened a file on their own.
  3. The firm recently lost a top 10 client.
  4. Roughly 10% of our partners generate 80% of the new files.
  5. Most partners are content to be "service partners" and only bill hours.
  6. Lawyers resist developing new business, saying "I went to law school so I'd never have to sell," or something similar.
  7. Our associates are not encouraged to generate new business
  8. Business development does not come up in lawyer compensation reviews.
  9. There is no incentive or bonus (besides an origination credit) for generating new business.
  10. Few or no partners have individual business development plans in writing.
  11. About half of the lawyers are willing to market, but they don't know where to begin or what to do.
  12. We have an eat-what-you-kill compensation system.
  13. Our lawyers belong to many organizations as members, but few of them are in a leadership position or on the board.
  14. Cross-selling is a goal of the firm, but it doesn't seem to happen.
  15. Our lawyers have referred a client to another firm for a matter, even though we have partners who could do the work.
  16. Most of our lawyers are active in only bar associations and lawyer groups -- not in any organizations of clients.
  17. The firm has no client teams, or else they are inactive.
  18. The firm does not premeditatedly identify industries where it has experience with the aim of pursuing potential business clients in those industries.
  19. Our lawyers decline to pursue a potential client, because they say another law firm already has all their their legal work.
  20. We do a lot of marketing -- seminars, brochures, sports tickets, sponsorships, public relations and advertising -- but can't track any specific client to the initiatives.
  21. We reimburse the business development expenses of partners, but few of them spend all of their account.
  22. Business development time spent by lawyers is not tracked.
  23. The firm has never broadcast a Webinar.
  24. The firm has no blog.
  25. Our lawyers meet to discuss business development, conduct research and make plans -- but don't act on them.

Sound familiar? If you saw your firm in 3 or more of these scenarios, it's time to train the lawyers how to sell legal services and to coach them to write personal business development plans.


    Free Call to a Client in Europe

    Skype_logo I just had a "wow" experience on the Web when I tried the free Skype Internet long-distance service.  I spoke live to a client in London, continued with an instant-message conversation, and discussed at the client's photos on Flickr.  It was the highest and best use of the Internet I've had in years.

    I needed to find an inexpensive way to reach my clients in Europe, other than adding an expensive long-distance package from my wired phone provider.  Email was not doing the job -- we were each not getting the other's messages.

    Greencallbutton So I downloaded and installed the 3.0 version of Skype software, which took all of three minutes. I entered my client's London phone number and clicked the green "call" button.  The client answered, and I could hear her voice over the speakers on my laptop.  I responded via the built-in microphone on the laptop and she could hear me clearly.

    My client was also a Skype user and switched to the online chat feature.  We sent instant messages back and forth, discussing document she had received from Flickrlogome and new ones she needed.  In the conversation, she gave me a link to photos she had stored on Flickr. We viewed them live on the Web and discussed the merits of each one.

    Did I tell you that this was all FREE? (After the first 5 minutes the cost will be 2 1/2 cents per minute!) Business users make up over 30% of Skype's 171 million users worldwide. Skype allows unlimited free voice, video and instant messaging communication between Skype users.  Skype, an Ebay subsidiary, makes money through its premium offerings such as making and receiving calls to and from landline and mobile phones, voicemail, call forwarding and personalization including ringtones and avatars.

    Skype took off in 2004 and I feel as if I'm late to a party.  Nevertheless, I am now at the party and loving it.


    The Dreadful Boeing RFP

    Boeing How would you like to be judged by the "supplier management group"?  That's what happened to law firms that bid on the October 6, 2006 RFP issued by Boeing & Company.

    The RFP was sent to "100+" law firms.  Asked how many firms responded, Bryan Baumeister (the Chief Counsel Airplane Programs, Contacts, Sales, and Marketing & Global Partners in Seattle, WA) would not say.   A gag rule forbade bidders to ask any questions of the in-house lawyers.  If a firm tried, it was disqualified.

    Speaking at a program at the Marketing Partner Forum in San Diego, he admitted that there "was a lot of friction between us and our partners," in the process.

    A partner at a 400-lawyer firm who participated complained privately, "it was a complete hose job."   Law firms had to bid on 9 areas of law in an 18-column Excel spreadsheet. No doubt this made it easy for the company to merge the files and have a complete database on law firm prices.

    All the warning signs were there:

    • Boeing's "supplier management group" -- the purchasing department -- advised on the bid.
    • Boeing hired a national consulting firm to run the RFP.
    • Boeing's goal was to cut spending and reduce the number of outside law firms.
    • Bidders had to sign a confidentiality agreement.

    Law firms were notified starting on October 6, the RFP was emailed on the 10th, Boeing held group conference calls (with dozens of competing law firms on the line at the same time) from October 16 to November 16, and responses were due by November 16. Winners were notified on December 15.  The exact number and their identities were kept secret.

    The ACC/Serengeti annual survey of in-house counsel reported that nowadays, few law firms respond to RFPs.  Res ipsa loquitur.


    Marketing Partner Forum Awards

    Ed_schechter_1 Marketing Director of the Year: Ed Schechter, CMO, Duane Morris, Philadelphia.   (In November the firm's marketing program was ranked No. 1 by Marketing The Firm.)

    During Ed's tenure, the firm created 50 client teams, it was the subject of a Harvard Business Review study, all marketing activities were pursued on the basis of what produces the best ROI, and the firm actively surveyed clients about their satisfaction. Sheldon Bonovitz, Chairman of the firm said, "our increasing revenue is also, in part, attributed to our marketing and business development personnel."

    Scott_sorrels_1Marketing Partner of the Year: W. Scott Sorrels of Powell Goldstein of Atlanta, GA.

    During his two-year term, the firm doubled the size of its marketing staff to 12, marketers were given a career path and they were protected by him from abusive lawyers.  The firm trained 72 partners in business development in 2006.  Powell Goldstein's marketing focuses on face-to-face contacts, leadership (not mere membership) in client organizations, plus writing and speaking for reputation building.

    Marketing initiative of the year: video podcasts by Torys LLP of Toronto and New York.  Stuart Wood, the Director of Strategy and Business Development, said the firm launched several 4-5 minute podcasts in May 2006 on merger and acquisitions topics.  "The videos were a convenient and new way to deliver content on a broader scale," he said. 

    Visitors to the firm Web site can watch the podcast, listen to only the audio or download a PDF transcript. The videos, which showed partners answering predetermined questions,were filmed on site by a professional videographer.

    The podcasts picked up widespread publicity, including the Globe and Mail which headlined their story "Torys Tunes in to Latest Pop-tech Craze."  Bloggers offered many comments.  Positive opinions complimented the brevity, professional quality and simplicity of the podcasts.  A negative opinion was that the podcasts were a cure for insomnia, which got a hearty laugh from the Marketing Partner Forum attendees.

    Marketing Partner Forum

    I'm reporting live from the Marketing Partner Forum in San Diego.  There are 400 attendees here -- making it the biggest conference in this series.  It is so big, it rivals the Legal Marketing Association annual conference.

    What I like is that marketing partners (just had breakfast with one this morning) and Chief Marketing Officers are everywhere.  Lotta smart people here.

    Coming up for today:

    • Break out session on RFPs, featuring the notorious Boeing RFP sent out in October 2006.  It was a nightmare for lawyers. The RFP went to 100+ law firms in an apparent fishing expedition to learn law firm rates.  One partner told me it was "the biggest hose job of the year." 
    • Marketing Director & Marketing Partner of the Year.  Awards will be given out at lunch, about an hour from now.  You'll get the full report on the winners.
    • New Media Marketing,  discussing blogs, podcasts and Webinars.  Patrick J. Lamb, author of "In Search of Perfect Client Service" is moderating the session and as one of the panelists, I'll be offering my best tips.

    Best Performance by a Partner in a Leading Law Firm

    Oscar On the LawMarketing Listserv, the question arose: "One of our entertainment/IP partners is receiving honors from two different trade publications this March. We plan to attend the related functions, place congratulatory advertisements, order reprints, and send
    an announcement to relevant contacts. Any additional thoughts for how best to maximize the PR benefits from this success -- say, an innovative party idea?"  The query was posted by a Manhattan law firm.

    The answer came quickly, "It's March...and entertainment...tie it in with the Oscars," from Teri Ghaemmaghami, Regional Marketing Manager, Morrison & Foerster.

    Marketing consultant Cecilia Alers of Melville, New York recalled a party a law firm threw to announce and celebrate an achievement.  "It was packed!  It was great networking among the clients, great promo for the law firm and we were able to express appreciation to our network of clients and friends -- those for make referrals or endorsements and tell them how integral they are to the firm's success."

    "There are lots of party themes you could create around the "Hollywood" idea. You could theme it to replicate the big party that they throw right after the Oscars -- what is it called, the Governor's Ball? You could call it the Partner's Ball or something with the invitations proclaiming him as Best Performance by a Partner in a leading law firm."

    Teri G. added, "Also, there are trophy shops that sell "Oscar-looking" statutes that you
    can customize.  If you want to have fun with it, try "Best Dressed Partner" in the male category; "Trendiest Partner" in the whatever category...and who can forget "Best Marketing Partner"...of course "Best Marketing Attorney in a Supporting Role"...can't forget those associates."

    If you want answers to your marketing questions, join the discussion on the LawMarketing Listserv at www.LawMarketing.BIZ.  It's the best investment you'll make in your firm's growth.


    How to Find Time to Market

    Tom_bennington135Tom Bennington, our keynote speaker at the recent workshop "Developing Your Personal Marketing Plan" in Chicago was able to double his revenue in nine months, by finding the time to market.

    Tom is a partner at Chuhak & Tecson, a full service law firm in Chicago, and he practices in buying and selling businesses, commercial real estate and business succession planning.

    He's and elected member of the DuPage County (Illinois) Board and a slew of organizations like the DuPage Workforce Board, University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service Board, Illinois Prairie Trail Authority, DuPage Community Development Commission, and the DuPage Homeland Security Coordinating Council.

    His first years in practice he billed an astounding 2,400 hours per year. How did he find time to market?

    First he wrote down 11 marketing activities and wound up concentrating on only six.

    Second, he set "give-up" goals, to cut back on time-wasting activities.  He analyzed every organization he was part of to see if (a) it was good for his law firm (b) it was good for his community and (c) it was good for his political career.  He reduced his time on every time-wasting activity.

    Third, he filled out internal monthly reports on his marketing activity.  He resented this at first, but finally saw that it helped him sort out what was working and what wasn't.  For example, he dropped $1,000-per-month radio ads that produced no good result.

    Fourth, he turned over his calendar over to his assistant.  It was her job to set up multiple meetings back-to-back in the same location, further cutting wasted time.

    Fifth, he started thinking about marketing on a daily basis.  It made him want to market his practice more.  He wrote a personal marketing plan composed of activities he enjoyed doing, became comfortable asking for referrals, and asking prospects for their business.

    And the number of dollars coming in doubled.


    Berrian to Jones to Benson: Marketing Lessons from Da Bears

    Temp_1 I was sitting in the snow on a freezing January afternoon, watching Da Bears kick the stuffing out of their opponents and win a spot in the Superbowl.  That was 21 years ago, and I just saw it happen again.  With a quarterback who delivered, a defense that forced four turnovers and an opponent whose wheels came off, Da Bears will be in Superbowl 41.

    Thank you Bernard Berrian, Thomas Jones (twice) and Cedric Benson for the touchdowns and Robbie Gould for three field goals. I wasn't even in law firm marketing in 21 years ago (I was editor of the ABA Journal) but I drew several lessons from da game:

    • Persistence pays. Don't give up even if your quarterback is unpredictable. The Rex Grossman on your team just needs to deliver when it counts.
    • Capitalize on your opponent's mistakes.  You don't have to be that great when your competitors make errors.  Find a pro-wrestler lookalike such as Brian Urlacher to cause your opponent to trip up.
    • Rely on people who are better than you at what they do. You can stick to strategy if that's your strength when you have a quick teammate like Thomas Jones.
    • Ignore the skeptics.  It is not the critic who counts. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, who, at the best, knows, the triumph of high achievement, according to Theodore Roosevelt, America's quarterback from 1901-09.
    • Do the little things right.  This includes being humble, avoiding mistakes, ignoring your competitor's goal-line somersault, surrounding yourself with fans and performing well on a slippery surface,
    • Use orange and navy as your branding colors.  They're very memorable as you go to your crowning achievement.

    Why a Seminar is a Great Marketing Technique

    Michael Cummings and I presented a successful workshop recently in Chicago, "Developing Your Personal Marketing Plan" for lawyers.  It brought home why a seminar is a top-notch marketing technique for law firms.

    Our conference was held at the Gleacher Center of the University of Chicago (an academic backdrop) on a Saturday (so as not to cut into billable time) with a nice spread (catering by Wolfgang Puck).  During the program I noticed four powerful forces at work:Larry_bodine_lmane_082

    1. During the first break, attendees were making friends and trading business cards. It was spontaneous networking.
    2. Our luncheon speaker was a client, who got attendees to talking about how they had heard of us, read our newsletter and blog.
    3. By the afternoon, when an attendee asked a question, other classmates would speak up to answer the question and offer tips.
    4. At the end of the program, there was a feeling of community.  Responding to this, I collected each person's business card and emailed a list of classmates with their contact information to every attendee.

    "I enjoyed the seminar and thought that it was terrific -- potentially career changing. Thank you," a Chicago lawyer wrote in an email to me.

    Law firms that conduct marketing via educational programs will enjoy the same benefits.  And of course, the ultimate goal is to interest clients to retain you for more services and to get prospective clients to try you out.


    Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds Knows the Elements of a Fun Holiday Message

    Table_of_elements It's mid-January now and we have to deal with the endless gray skies and full year of work ahead.  We have to wait until President's Day on February 19 for the next day off.  It's hard to believe that three short weeks ago we were dining on Christmas goose and enjoying the holiday lights on houses.

    To bring back some of the cheer, I'm celebrating the holiday card (click on the picture to see it full-size) of Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds, an intellectual property law firm in Concord, MA.  It features a delightful "Periodic Table of Holiday Elements."

    Devised by the firm's clever Marketing Director Audra Callanan, the oversize 10"x7" card show 103 elements like:

    • Li for litigation
    • Ho for hot toddy
    • Tb for Tannenbaum
    • Es(q) for "that's us"
    • ...and of course H for Hamilton, Br for Brook, Sm for Smith and Rn for Reynolds

    So as you contemplate the sunless days of early 2007, have a Mo (macaroon), light some Cs (candles) and enjoy a Ni (night cap) of Ru (rum).


    Favorite tips for building an audience for a blog

    Scoble A columnist on the San Jose Mercury news sent out a call for help: Specifically he was asking for help in building an audience and also getting his blog's audience to engage -- very few people were leaving comments.

    The famous Microsoft blogger Robert Scoble responded with 13 tips (that garnered 59 comments at the moment I read it).  The tips are on practical and powerful -- any blogger can use them to promote his/her own blog.

    My favorites are:

    • Cause some heck.
    • Write better headlines.
    • Link to other bloggers you like (or hate).
    • Pick a niche and own it.
    • Know how Google/Yahoo/Live/Ask will find you.

    Who doesn't need a bigger audience.  If journalists need help, lawyers and legal marketers do too.


    Preston Gates becomes K&L Gates

    Klgates_home_03 Preston | Gates | Ellis of Seattle is now K&L Gates, a 1,400 megafirm after its merger with Kirkpatrick & Lockhart.  The size vaults the new firm into the top 10 of the National Law Journal 250 and its income puts it within the top 20 highest-grossing firms in the American Lawyer 100 with $750 in revenues.

    Headquartered in Kirkpatrick's home office of Pittsburgh, K&L Gates has 22 offices located in North America, Europe and Asia (the newest office is in Berlin).  Kirkpatrick & Lockhart was #45 on the AmLaw 100 list, and Preston Gates was #106.

    Interestingly, the seven-person Executive Committee includes two women, one Asian American man, and one African American man, making it one of the most diverse governance bodies in law firms, according to Jeffrey J. Berardi, Chief Marketing Officer.

    The firm will focus on the industries central to the global economy: technology, financial services, manufacturing, energy, transportation and life sciences.

    Their new Web site at is in German, Chinese and English. It's 3,378-word "Our Firm" page promotes the tech advantage of the firm, having won CIO Magazine's prestigious "CIO 100 Award" three times.

    Here they are: Secrets to Profitability

    Bryan_schwartz As the chairman of Levenfeld Pearlstein PC in Chicago, Bryan Schwartz has been managing firms for 16 years. The firm's net income per partner has more than doubled over last 8 years "and we don't bill more time than anyone else," he said.

    Speaking today at the Chicago Bar Association's  Law Practice Management & Technology Conference, he said the secrets to higher profits are:

    • Hire the best staff and lawyers, who will attract the best clients and most interesting work.
    • Specialize and charge higher rates. "Who will get more money on an environmental matter -- someone who dabbles in it or someone who eats, drinks and sleeps environmental law?"
    • Don't focus on revenue or origination.  Instead, determine your costs and focus on each lawyer's profitability. (It's no good for a lawyer to bring in $1.5 million but cost the firm $2 million.)
    • Don't focus on cutting costs, focus on providing resources for lawyers to make profits.
    • Have a business plan, and say "no" to new clients that don't fit the firm strategy.
    • ...and most importantly, firm leaders must create a culture that energizes the lawyers and gives them a reason to stay with the firm. "It makes a big difference in profitability. An inspired group of people can make a lot more money than people who are trying to bill a lot of hours."

    Following these practices his firm grew from 26 to 80 lawyers in eight years. "Most law firms' plan to increase profitability is to bill more time -- it's ridiculous. It's a lose-lose end game.  You have to work hard, but more it's important to work smarter," he said.

    Culture is key.  "Our lawyers are the most competitive people, but it's a culture where everybody helps the other person, they don't compete against each other," he said.


    N.Y. Court System Rules Hit Lawyers' Internet Practices

    Warren That's the headline in Warren's Washington Internet Daily, a newsletter for Washington, D.C. insiders.  Rules governing bloggers and Web sites are going from bad to worse.  Here's their story:

    In a move that could cripple legal blogging and reduce consumer convenience, N.Y. amended rules on lawyers' ads. Curbs taking effect Feb. 1 limit attorneys' ability to solicit potential clients and use marketing that may deceive. Several N.Y. law blogs slammed the changes as unfair, although the N.Y. Appellate Div. presiding justices formally reworked the rules after receiving complaints about proposed restrictions from lawyers and the FTC.

    The amendments define an advertisement as a "public or private communication made by or on behalf of a lawyer or law firm about that lawyer or law firm's services, the primary purpose of which is for the retention of the lawyer or law firm." Critics called this definition ambiguous because it is unclear how an ad's "primary purpose" is determined.

    The definition may include attorney websites and blog posts, Larry Bodine, a marketing consultant in Chicago, told Washington Internet Daily. Blogs and websites shouldn't be deemed ads because they are not pushed at consumers like television and newspaper marketing, he said.

    The definition is less vague than its initial form, said Nicole Black, who writes N.Y. law blog Sui Generis. The court added a sentence saying the definition doesn't include communications such as those directed to existing clients or other lawyers, she told us.

    The amendments set style rules for law ads. The rules bar testimonials relating to pending matters. Lawyers must ensure that testimonials have factual support and attach a disclaimer that "prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome." Ads must identify paid endorsements and testimonials, as well as dramatizations and use of actors. Finally, advertisements not running in periodicals or on radio or television must be labeled "Attorney Advertising" on the first page or in the subject line.

    These style rules don't necessarily target deception and may restrict ads that aren't misleading, FTC staff said. The rules could prevent online transmission of useful information to consumers and impair competition, it said.

    On the Web, the rules restrict pop-up or pop-under ads appearing on sites other than a lawyer's or law firm's home page. And lawyers must make records of a website's content at its creation, after any major update and at least every 90 days. The last obligation could be a hassle for large sites that may have hundreds of pages, Bodine said.

    The amendments also prohibit solicitation "by real time or interactive computer-accessed communication unless the recipient is a close friend, relative, former client or current client." If this means online attorney matching is illegal, the costs of finding a lawyer could rise significantly, FTC staff said in comments to the N.Y. Unified Court System (WID Sept 26 p4).

    The new amendments are final, but Bodine predicts legal challenges. They likely will be fought as unconstitutional in general, or a lawyer will be cited and appeal the decision, he said. "It's ridiculous to have courts govern advertisements," Bodine told us: "Courts should get out of the lawyer marketing business because they don't understand it."

    New Yorkers for Free Speech, a group of N.Y. State Trial Lawyers Assn. members who opposed the amendments at their debut, and at least one other group already have considered bringing suit, Black said. Floyd Abrams, a First Amendment expert with New Yorkers for Free Speech, since has told the N.Y. Law Journal the amendments' final version is a "significant improvement" and that the group is considering a formal response.

    Similar rules exist in Florida, Texas and Iowa, Bodine said. More states likely will follow N.Y.'s example, he said. California, Indiana and Rhode Island have plans similar amendments, according to The National Law Journal. Texas and Missouri also recently updated their ad rules.


    17 Important Points To Consider Before You Hire A Law Marketing Consultant

    Trey_ryder Marketing consultant Trey Rider has come up with an excellent list of criteria to consider when hiring a marketing consultant. Trey started his marketing career in 1972 and is a prolific writer.  I reproduce his insightful tips:

    1. Objective Advice. Consultants who are paid fees are more likely to give you unbiased advice than consultants who earn commissions based on the amount of money you spend. If the consultant profits from ad agency commissions, he has an inherent conflict of interest because the more you spend, the more he makes.

    2. Experience. Marketing is so specialized and complex that I recommend you hire someone who has provided marketing services for a minimum of 15 years. But, don't assume that because the person has been in business 15 years, he has the knowledge, skill, judgment and experience you need. Make sure you thoroughly interview all consultants you are considering.

    3. Workload. Does the law marketing professional do the work for you? Or does the marketing person serve as a coach and simply tell you what you should be doing?

    4. Service. Do you feel that the consultant wants to provide you with the help you need to make your program succeed? Or do you get the impression that he is looking for bigger fish to fry and that you're just a small fish in the ocean?

    5. Access. Is the consultant hidden behind a wall of secretaries, account executives and administrative assistants? Or is he readily available to you by phone, fax, and e-mail?

    6. Stability. Has the consultant been providing marketing services for some years? Or is he new to marketing -- or new to lawyer marketing -- and just waiting for the opportunity to move on to something else?

    7. Marketing Focus. Is the consultant a full-time marketing professional? Or does he offer advice in other disciplines, such as management, human resources, training or finance?

    8. Authority. Does the consultant have enough experience that he is a recognized authority in his field? Or is he still a relative unknown?

    9. Size and Efficiency. Does the consultant have a large staff and/or a penthouse office that his clients pay for? Or when you write a check, are you paying for his high level of knowledge, skill, judgment and experience?

    10. Markups. Does this consultant mark up outside services he hires on your behalf, such as graphic artists, printers, photographers, web site technicians, and so forth? Or does this consultant provide those services to you at cost?

    11. Travel. Does the consultant travel around the country from one client to next, running up airline bills? Or does the consultant keep costs down by working efficiently with you by telephone, fax and e-mail?

    12. Coverage. Does the consultant have a competent marketing specialist who covers for him when he travels? Or are you relegated to an account executive or administrative assistant who takes messages and tries to relay them to the consultant while he is on the road.

    13. Attention. Does the consultant have so many clients he can't provide you with the personal care and attention you deserve? Or does he limit his services to a few select clients who receive the best he has to offer?

    14. Work. Does the consultant himself perform the work on your behalf? Or does the consultant delegate your work to a junior associate?

    15. Marketing Specialization. Is the consultant a marketing professional who works only with one type of marketing? Or does he try to be a "jack of all trades" so he can provide whatever marketing services you want to buy?

    16. Writing Skills. In marketing, nothing is more important than for your consultant to have superior writing skills. And don't expect the consultant's writing to follow the rules of what you and I learned in school because marketing writing is different from academic writing. To sample your consultant's writing style, read published articles and marketing materials that your consultant wrote. You'll know right away whether they come across as warm and friendly -- or if the writing seems cold and impersonal. The way the consultant writes for himself will be similar to the way he writes for you. So make sure the consultant you choose has a writing style you admire.

    17. Testimonials. Does the marketing consultant have comments from other lawyers you can review? The consultant you're considering should provide you with at least 30 or 40 testimonials from other lawyers. If he provides only a few, you may be reading comments from his in-laws.

    CopyrightTrey Ryder LLC, Education-Based Marketing for Lawyers, Trey Ryder is the Lawyer Marketing Department Sponsor For Jersey Justice.


    5 Law Firms make 'Best Places To Work' list

    Fortune_logo Law firms Alston & Bird, Arnold & Porter, Nixon Peabody, Perkins Coie and Bingham McCutchen made the Fortune magazine "Best Places to Work for 2007" list.  This is a major marketing accomplishment that will draw top talent, which will draw top clients.

    Law firms can be notoriously difficult places to work, with the classic lawyer/non-lawyer divide, the pressure to bill time or be considered "overhead," and the imperious nature of many management committees.  Therefore, making a list of desirable places to work is a highly notable achievement.  Here's how they ranked:

    No. 19   Alston & Bird      Employees: 1,598
    No. 25   Arnold & Porter  Employees: 1,292
    No. 49   Nixon Peabody    Employees: 1,511
    No. 64   Perkins Coie       Employees: 1,519
    No. 94   Bingham McCutchen  Employees: 1,618

    Law firms topped the list for highest average compensation for salaries employees.  Associates earn:

    Nixon Peabody          $181,099
    Bingham McCutchen  $180,050
    Alston & Bird            $166,300

    What makes them so great?

    Alston & Bird: At this 113-year-old Atlanta law firm, hourly employees get annual bonuses up to 9% of salary, an onsite center cares for 130 children, and a few years back the executive dining room was opened to the whole staff.

    Arnold & Porter: Ever hear of onsite child care at a law firm? This Washington, D.C., partnership has a center caring for 44 enrolled children and also provides backup care for employees whose regular arrangements fall through.

    Nixon Peabody: The 600 lawyers at Nixon Peabody--a leader in diversity, pro bono work, pay, and benefits--actually seem to like one another, saying, "People sincerely care about each other" and "Politicking is virtually nonexistent."

    Perkins Coie: The Seattle law firm, with clients such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Starbucks, has anonymous happiness committees that roam through the office spreading cheer (often in the form of small gifts left on desks).

    Bingham McCutchen: The Boston law firm has tripled in size in five years thanks to mergers. Women outnumber men two to one at Bingham, and make up 23% of partner ranks, believed to be the highest percentage in the industry.

    Congratulations to the firms! They set a standard for all law firms to aspire to.

    Final NY Advertising Rules are Atrocious

    Judge The revised New York attorney advertising rules are out, and they're just awful.  Could the courts come up with anything more anti-marketing and more prehistoric? The rules go into effect on February 1, and there are no more comments allowed or hearings scheduled.

    New York is beginning to look a lot like Iowa, the most restrictive state in the country for lawyer marketing. The worst part is Section 1200.6 [DR 2-101] which forbids:

    • Use of "actors to portray the lawyer, members of the law firm, or clients, or depictions of fictionalized events or scenes, without disclosure of same." Hello! Don't the rulemakers ever watch TV? Whom are they protecting? People who have never seen a TV ad?
    • "A lawyer or law firm shall not utilize: (1) a pop-up or pop-under advertisement in connection with computer-accessed communications, other than on the lawyer or law firm's own web site."  Do the courts have nothing better to do than monitor pop-up ads?
    • "A copy of the contents of any web site covered by this section shall be preserved upon the initial publication of the web site, any major web site redesign, or a meaningful and extensive content change, but in no event less frequently than once every 90 days." Talk about an undue burden! What a waste of time and effort. Aren't there lawyers stealing from trust accounts that the courts should focus on?
    • "A lawyer shall not...engage in real-time or interactive computer-accessed communication unless the recipient is a close friend, relative, former client or current existing client."  However the rest of the world can send emails and make comments on listservs.  Just not those crafty, golden-tongued lawyers.

        Attorney Roy D. Ginsburg noted, "I think it likely that certain interested parties will file lawsuits seeking to enjoin certain provisions of the rules on constitutional grounds once they do go into effect. Which parties will sue and what provisions will actually be challenged is anyone's guess.  In any event, it's likely the courts will be busy with this stuff sooner rather than later over some of the rules. Alternatively, a party could challenge a certain provision once he or she gets disciplined for violating one of the rules."

        "In terms of litigation challenging the Rules, note this irony. If a provision of the Rules is challenged -- even if a lower court upholds the challenge and declares a rule unconstitutional -- if there is an appeal, the judges reviewing the appeal at the Appellate Division level will be the very same people who wrote the rules in the first place! How will the Appellate Division deal with that conflict?"

        "O" No: Dewey Orrick Dies in Discussions

        NoThe merger was supposed to "change the face of the legal industry." But Dewey Orrick never happened.  Law firms Dewey Ballantine of New York and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe of San Francisco announced yesterday that they have called off their merger discussions.

        The combined firm would have had more than 1,200 lawyers and nearly $1 billion in revenue, based on Am Law 100 data.

        In a joint statement, the firms said, "A combination of this size and scope posed significant challenges. While both firms tried their best to work through these challenges, we were unable to bring the merger to completion." They added that no one issue led to the end of the negotiations, according to

        Since September, when the two firms confirmed that they were in discussions, key partners have abandoned ship at Dewey.  I guess they didn't think the combination was a great idea.

        Back in October the firms issued a statement saying that the management and executive committees of both firms intended to recommend approving the combination. Dewey chairman Morton Pierce said the merger would "change the face of the legal industry, serving as a model of what law firms need to look like in order to anticipate their clients' needs in a national and international marketplace."

        The firms had already decided that the new firm would be called Dewey Orrick and would retain Orrick's green 'O' logo.

        Baxter told that Orrick had a stellar year in 2006, with revenue up 20 percent, to $666 million and profits per partner up 15 percent, to $1.4 million.

        One key issue that the two firms had to resolve was how many of the partners in the combined firm would have full equity status. Together they have 260 equity partners and 155 nonequity, with Orrick having the most nonequity partners, according to

        Typical Law Firm Website Gets 8,000 Visitors Per Month

        Primary_research_logo_2 Primary Research Group has published a new study -- The Survey of Law Firm E-marketing Practices.  Data in the report is based on a survey of 46 (mostly major) law firms.  A few results are presented below:


        A shade less than 20% of the firms in the sample published their own blogs. Firms with 20 or more distinct practice groups were the most likely to publish blogs, and nearly forty percent of the firms in this category did so.

        More than 37% of the law firms in the sample plan to increase their spending on blogs as promotional vehicles, although close to 44% have not used blogs for this purpose.


        More than half of the firms in the sample hired a consulting firm when they overhauled (or initially created) their firm's website.  Only a shade less than 12% of firms in the sample did most of the website design or overhaul work in-house, and these were mostly smaller firms

        Mean spending on website overhauls was $40,583 for the firms in the sample, with median spending of $27,500.

        The firms in the sample received a mean number of 27,462 unique monthly visitors to the firm website, with a median of 8,000.


        Close to 60% of the firms in the sample published e-newsletters, as did nearly 90% of the firms with 200 lawyers or more. The mean number of e-newsletters maintained by the law firms in the sample was 7.45; the median, 4. 

        Nearly 58% of the firms in the sample use opt-in email marketing to promote the law firm. 


        Mean spending by all firms on banner ads and website sponsorships within the past year was only $2,038.50, a figure that also incorporates the many firms that did not spend anything on banner ads or website sponsorships.   


        Only 12.5% of the firms in the sample have paid search engines for higher search engine placement, a practice that was more common among smaller than larger firms.                           

        A bit more than 32% of the firms in the sample say that it is "likely" or "very likely" that within the next two years that they will hire a consultant to help the firm to appear higher in search engine rankings. 


        Less than 3% of the firms in the sample have ever done a podcast to help market the law firm.

        Primary Research Group publishes research reports, surveys and benchmarking studies for businesses, colleges, libraries, law firms, hospitals, museums and other institutions. "The study presents more than 175 tables of data describing the use of various emarketing practices by major law firms.  Data is broken out by firm size and by the number of distinct practice groups," said James Moses, Research Analyst with Primary Research Group Inc. in New York.  For more information visit or contact Moses at 212-736-2316.


        Sonnenschien Centennial Report Features Client Testimonials

        Scan0004 In one of the finest pieces of print marketing, Chicago's Sonnenschein has published a glossy, perfect-bound centennial report that features pictures and glowing quotes from 25 clients from an A-list of corporations. (Click on the picture to see it full-size.)

        The 46-page report traces the firm's origin from 1906, when law graduates Edward Sonnenschein, Maurice Berkson and Isadore Blumenthal pooled their assets to open the law firm in a three-room suite in Chicago's Old Stock Exchange Building.

        Today the firm has 700 lawyers and other professionals in 10 U.S. cities and Brussels, and a global reach throughout the Americas, Asia and the Middle East.

        Brilliantly, the firm turned its focus on its clients, as opposed to focusing on itself.  This makes for a highly effective, client-oriented marketing document that can replace any other print collateral.  The clients range from Fortune 500 executives, board members and in-house counsel to banks , funds and entrepreneurs.

        The list starts with Morris Kaplan, President and CEO of Sealy, Inc., saying, "the long and successful relationship we've built is a result of not only the legal and business knowledge their attorneys possess, but also the dedication they have demonstrated...", includes Kimarie Stratos, General Counsel of the Miami Children's Hospital (shown in the picture) saying, "Sonnenschein attorneys listen carefully and respond extremely effectively to our needs," and concludes with Karen Flax, Assistant General Counsel/Litigation of the Tribune Company, saying "Sonnenschein is a firm with a true moral compass.  It is serious about values like diversity..." 

        Anybody reading these testimonials will be impressed.

        This publication is a model for other firms, which should stop focusing internally and start injecting the voice of the client in their marketing materials.  Kudos to Chief Marketing Officer Robyn Radomski and her able team.


        Wolf Greenfield Advent Card Shows Humor & Creativity

        Scan0001_1 The über-marketers at Wolf Greenfield in Boston have shot a hat trick with their 2006 holiday card, which is an 11x17-inch advent calendar depicting a Currier and Ives woodcut scene. (Click on the picture to see it full-size.) There are at least six panels that open up with messages underneath:

        • A cast iron stove opens up to reveal a pie and the message, "Our Chemical Group wishes you a

          C12H22O12  sweet  holiday and a New Year filled with high yields."

        • A sleeping cat, which underneath reveals 12 mice huddling around her and the message, "For 2007, our Biotechnology Group hopes your best ideas replicate themselves."

        • "Home Sweet Home" embroidered in a frame over the fireplace, which lifts up to show a wall safe and the message, "Our Trademark & Copyright Group sends goodwill to you and your b®ands.  May they be at least suggestive of a fanciful and safe holiday."

        • A control box for an electric train opens to show the wires inside and a message, "Our Electrical and Computer Technologies Group sends its wishes for charged capacitors, error free code & terabytes of holiday cheer."

        • A boy and girl throwing snowballs opens up to show the kids building a snowman and the message, "May all hostile activity toward you cease and desist this holiday season. -- From our Litigation Group."

        • A greeting card duplicating the Wolf Greenfield card opens up to say, "Holiday Greetings," and shows signatures from friends at the firm.

        A "hat trick" is hockey slang for three goals in a row.  Wolf Greenfield, a 64-lawyer intellectual property firm, has done it again.  It previously sent out holiday cards depicting a Mad magazine fold-in (see see "Wolf Greenfield Goes MAD With Holiday Greetings" at and a holiday card designed as a "patent" on the "invention" of the holiday card complete with inventors' names such as Holly Day and Isabella Ringing.

        "Every year, Sally Crocker (Director of Client Services) pulls together a crack team of attorneys, graphic designers and illustrators to come up with the concept and deliver it as a holiday card in a short period of time," Jay Wager, Senior Manager of Business Development.  "Her efforts have developed an "anticipatory" mindset with our clients, colleagues and friends.  Our attorneys are frequently asked, "So what's your card going to be this year?"  Sally has successfully differentiated Wolf Greenfield amongst a sea of generic holiday marketing."