Law Marketers on You Tube!

Jeffreade1 There's a wickedly funny video mockumentary on YouTube about life as a law firm marketing director, entitled "Truth Justice & Credibility."

Jeff Reade of Cole Valley Software plays the sadistic managing partner who sighs when the marketing director interrupts his reading of a cartoon book to talk to him, and who gives credit for the marketing director's ideas to consultants he hired.

Michele Golivesky (who in real life is the Marketing Director for Swift Currie in Atlanta) plays the suffering marketing director. Senior partners introduce her as the "chief party planner and napkin folder" to clients.  The killer scene is when the managing partner goes manic with his idea to give out cheap "red hots" candy as the firm's signature gift -- for the ridiculous theme "hotlaw."

Michelegolivesky The marketing director is found passed out, asleep on her desk, after staying up all night to complete an RFP.  Then a partner walks in and says "get over that, my contact called and we don't need that RFP."  The marketing director scrambles to find a cup so she can take some ibuprofen.

For all of us who have the lash marks on our backs to prove we were marketing directors, we thank you, Jeff.  The truth is funny...but this stuff really happens. Ya gotta see it.

Terri Gavulic, Vice President of Hildebrandt, Inc. in Marietta, GA, co-wrote the script with Jennifer Manton, Chief Marketing Officer of Loeb & Loeb in New York and Jeff Reade. Terri also co-directed it.


Death of Jenkens & Gilchrist

Today we learned that the law firm Jenkens & Gilchrist will shut its doors after being ordered to pay $76 million in federal penalties for its alleged role in creating illegal tax shelters. In January 2006, Rich Klein, President of Riverside Public Relations LLC in New York, wrote about the firm here to point out how a law firm cannot afford to ignore a brewing crisis that can  ultimately destroy its long-held reputation.

Even the U.S. Attorney who announced the agreement with the firm today referred to the fact that the firm "has recognized ... that its tax-shelter practice has caused serious damage to its reputation, revenues and stability, and that as a result it ultimately cannot continue in business."

Dmncharlie_2 The Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service have spent four years investigating Jenkens & Gilchrist and its promotion of shelters used to shield billions of dollars from taxes.  Once numbering 611 lawyers, today the firm Web site lists only 163 lawyers.

The IRS said an estimated 1,400 wealthy individuals were affected by the firm's advice on tax shelters and will owe interest and penalties for underpaid taxes.  Jenkens & Gilchrist, a 56-year-old national law firm based in Dallas, has been sued in recent years by wealthy investors who followed its advice and purchased the shelters.

Incredibly, the firm says nothing about the closure on its home page. There's only happy talk about "Gilchrist stays up on Main Street" and "Guidance to Summer Associates." The Web site's News section has an ironic item, "Corporate Relief After Hurricane Katrina (and other major disasters)."  The Recent News & Information" has 378 items, none about the firm closing.

Denial is not a good marketing technique.

Larry bodine was a mutant with the ability to manipulate light

Larrymutant I knew I had "arrived" when a friend told me there was a Wikipedia description of me. I was thrilled until I saw that the reference was to a Marvel Comics character who first appeared in New Mutants #45. The character had the ability to create solid light sculptures, which I thought would be a cool way to get the attention of lawyers and clients. 

The entry states, "Larry Bodine was a mutant with the ability to manipulate light, and even build sculptures out of it."

I wish the entry were about the $1 million I helped a law firm bring in, or the lawyer who I trained so that she multiplied her revenue from $200,000 to $2.5 million in one year.  Alas, I'll have to get by with my ability to create light sculptures.

The lesson I drew from this is to look up yourself onlineYou should Google yourself and see what turns up.  You better see links to your bio and practice, articles you've written and speeches you've made.  If you don't turn up in the Internet's largest resource, you are totally invisible to potential clients. 

Lizard_2Also search Google Images to see if your photo can be found.  I was able to locate numerous photos of myself plus a picture of a yellow lizard.  Owners of Apple computers will believe this is an accurate depiction. 

Be sure to check Google Blogs (you do have a blog, don't you?)  Not only did I find my latest post, but all the other bloggers who made reference to it.  You can really find out which of your blog posts are catching people's interest.

Heck, check Wikipedia to see if there is a description of you. You could be a mutant too.


How Not to Structure the Marketing Department

A chief marketing officer was on the phone with me, looking for research on how to structure a law firm's marketing department.  The Made Guys at the firm had just separated marketing from business development.

I didn't need to find any research.  The decision of the partners made as much sense as separating a fisherman from his lure.  Marketing and business development ("sales") are vitally intertwined.

Business development cannot succeed without marketing. Direct mail, advertising, newsletters, email broadcasts, events, print collateral, public relations, branding and the Web site make the law firm a known quantity.  Without marketing, business developers are facing this guy in the chair:Temp_3

From marketing you get strategy, without which sales has no direction. From marketing you generate leads, without which the sales pipeline is empty. From marketing you identify a firm's unique sales proposition, without which business developers have nothing to say.

Marketing is the hook and Business development is catching the fish.

Business development is creating personal sales plans that the attorneys will carry out to generate new files.  BD is training attorneys how to fish and showing them which techniques to use to acquire a target client. BD is rehearsing the partners before they go out on a sales call. BD is meeting the prospect face-to-face, asking questions to determine client "pain," and offering to help.  BD is asking for the business.

Without fishermen there is no catch. Should law firms separate marketing from business development?  Only if they want to sleep with the fishes.


Coaching Lawyers to be Rainmakers

Southwestlma Join me  at the Legal Marketing Association, Southwest Chapter Luncheon, on Thursday, April 19, 2007, where I'll show how Marketing Directors can get out of the "overhead" category and into the "revenue" category by coaching their lawyers to be rainmakers. 

The program runs from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Gallagher & Kennedy,  2575 East Camelback Road, Suite 1100, Phoenix, Arizona.

In the presentation, I'll show marketers how to capitalize on the lawyer personality, how to interest lawyers in business development and how to conduct a one-on-one coaching session with a lawyer.

Other topics include:

  • The seven most effective marketing techniques.
  • How to find leads.
  • How a lawyer can get a meeting with a prospect.
  • What to do and say at the new-business meeting.
  • How to close the sale.

Attendees will see how this really works, including case histories where marketers turned themselves into stars. 

The program is free to LMA Members, and costs $25 for Non-Members.  RSVP by April 16, 2007 to Kathleen Brieske or 602.351.8215


Clever Blog about "The Office" Spotlights Real Client Liabilities

Julie_elgarYou've got to check out the blog "That's What She Said," which analyzes antics on the TV show "The Office" and assesses what they would cost a real live employer in workplace lawsuits.

Talk about a great marketing technique!

The author is Julie Elgar, a labor and employment attorney at law firm of Ford & Harrison in Atlanta, Georgia.  She  represents management in companies that have been sued by their employees and former employees.

"When I'm home, I like to relax in front of the TV. NBC's hit show, "The Office" with Steve Carrell is a draw -- not just because it's so funny -- but also because it is fascinating to consider how many zeros a company would have to add to the settlement check if the antics of the folks at Dunder Mifflin appeared in a real lawsuit," she says.

For example:

  • Announcing "we're screwed" is not the best way to tell employees that the company is closing down its branch. LITIGATION VALUE: $150,000 in defense costs -- unless the WARN Act applies.
  • Nothing says "I love you" quite like a legal contract acknowledging that you weren't coerced or enticed into having into a relationship with your boss, and that if it doesn't work out, you won't sue your employer. Courts generally don't take much stock in agreements that waive your right to sue for wrongs that haven't even happened yet.  LITIGATION VALUE: $75,000.
  • If an executive learns that a regional manager has sponsored a bachelor party in the warehouse, hired a stripper, offered to "deflower" the bride, taken an employee to a sex store, received a lap dance, and allowed a pervert dressed up like Benjamin Franklin to make a lewd statement to the receptionist, she should fire him. As this episode colorfully illustrates, it is not enough to have an anti-harassment policy. LITIGATION VALUE: $800,000+

Dang. Where was Julie Elgar when we needed her at the office holiday party.


Law Firm Web Site Online in 60 Days!

Millerlawlogo_2 At many law firms, getting a Web site online takes many months and is a process involving committees, multiple levels of approval, re-designs and rewriting.  But the Chicago litigation boutique Miller Law LLC got their site online in only 60 days, proving it can be done. 

The site lists industry experience, many case histories, and biographies that disccuss results. It's everything a referral source needs to know.

Here is the chronology:

January 20, 2007: First Step Internet, a Web site developer for law firms, creates two home page mockups based on Web site usability and marketing principles. We notify the managing partner to take a first look.

February 13: The developer incorporates revisions from the managing partner into the mockup.

February 16: The managing partner and I meet to discuss additional changes and features in the site.

March 2: We begin putting content on the draft site, based on biographies, firm resume and case histories supplied by the law firm.

March 8: Add new text and photos to the draft site.

March 12: Revise text and check the site for compliance with ethics rules.

March 13: Hold a conference call with the managing partner, and we make numerous revisions.

March 19: Correct typos and formatting.

March 20, 4:45 PM Central Time -- the site goes live.  See

If you'd like your own Web site online in 60 days, visit me online.


More evidence that 2007 will be an Excellent Year for Law Firms

This will be excellent year for law firms, based on trends that started in 2006.  This is according to a new client advisory issued by Hildebrandt and Citigroup.  I pointed this out myself in an article in January.

The advisory is a numbing 6,000 words long plus 17 footnotes. Here are the high points:

  • The average profits per partner (yes, I know the number can be easily manipulated) in 2006 were up a healthy 10.6%.
  • Revenue growth was driven largely by a rebound, which continues in corporate and M&A practices.
  • Revenues overall will grow in the 8 - 10% range in 2007.
  • In 2006 there was a 7% increase in legal spending by US corporations over 2005.
  • 59% of what corporations buy is litigation.
  • Raising rates works -- with law firms annually imposing 6-8% rate increases across the board.
  • To cut expenses, a number of firms have begun to experiment with "outsourcing" as a means of controlling costs -- re-locating various back office and support services to lower cost providers or lower cost locations.
  • Mergers of law firms were numerous in in 2006 with 58 completed mergers and acquisitions involving US law firms, up from 49 in 2005. 
  • There were only 2 law firm dissolutions worth noting in 2006, those of Weinberg Richmond in Chicago and Miller Shea in Detroit.  This total was down from the 4 dissolutions in 2005 and the 5 dissolutions in 2004.
  • There was a significant expansion in the number of domestic branch office openings by US law firms -- a total of 82 new offices, as compared to 66 in 2005. (Soon there will be as many law offices as Starbucks.)
  • The biggest firms are getting bigger.  The average size of the 250 largest firms in 2006 grew to 486 lawyers, up from 467 in 2005.

"Looking ahead to 2007, we believe that healthy growth will continue," the advisory concludes (with caveats).

Oh No! Cold Callings Works

ColdcallImagine my dread when I read new research by RainToday that cold calling works.  I hate cold calls. So do most people. It reminds me of my first job selling encyclopedias. I hated that job.

But there it is in "What's Working in Lead Generation" by Mike Schultz, Andrea Meacham Rosal and Jone Doerr:

"Cold Calling is second only to referrals as the number one lead generation tactic. While there is much debate over the topic of cold calling - if it works, if it is worth it, how to do it "right" - the data here is clear: cold calling does work for a number of firms."

The data came from 730 leaders of professional services firms. So why do lawyers hate making cold calls? The researchers said, "because people are doing it the wrong way. The purpose of a cold call is to set a meeting to introduce yourself, and to learn about the prospect... not to go into a detailed sales pitch.

"All too often, business developers try to pitch their services over the phone, rather than approaching their targets with a value based offer for the meeting (research, industry insights, best practices, etc.).

"If you...'do your research' before the call, offer something of value, keep it conversational, listen, keep good notes, and follow up - then cold calling can and does work (and it may even become your #1 tactic)."

The full 221-page report has 42 charts and graphs, 90 data tables and 22 pages of verbatim comments and advice.  The downloadable version costs $345 and is available in the LawMarketing Store.


"On the Cover of the ABA (Journal)"

Coverof_theaba_1If you want to see something really funny, go to YouTube and watch comedian Bob Noone sing his song about getting "On the Cover of the ABA" (Journal).  It's a spoof on the 1972 song "Cover of the Rolling Stone" by Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show.

Comic Noone was performing at the Greenbriar Hotel, a five-star luxury resort and hotel in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.  One verse is:

"I've got 10 paralegals
to make me cappuccino
I keep winning cases but I can't my face on
the cover of the ABA.

It's the journal of the legal profession
I would make such a fine impression
I want to see my pinstripe suit
on the cover of the ABA."

Noone also pokes fun at law firm marketing consultants.  Lord knows, us bigheaded know-it-alls can use it. Thanks to reporter par excellence Terry Carter for tipping me off about this.


Gordon Gekko Rules Big Law Firms

GekkoThe one thing we can learn from Mayer Brown's decimation of partners is that what Gordon Gekko said in the movie "Wall Street" governs large law firms: "Greed is Good."

The AmLaw rankings and profits-per-partner statistics count with your firm's rulers. If you are a partner or chief marketing officer, you must focus on these numbers, or risk losing your job.

Learn where your law firm makes its money.  If your practice is not near the top of the list, then you are outside of the firm's long-term "strategy." If you are generating lower profits than the firm average, you will be de-equitized.

It's up to you to learn business development on your own.  With a few exceptions, your colleagues will not help you or train you in business development.  You must spend the money to hire a trainer, attend law firm marketing conferences and get to know the firm's rainmakers.  Learn everything you can. Then write your personal business development plan. Attend marketing Webinars and learn how to target and land a new large business client.

Business development counts more than ever.  To keep your job you must bring in new business and revenue.  If you are a partner who has no clients of your own -- you are at risk.  If you get all your assignments from another partner, or work only on the cases of others, you are deadwood.

Has your practice area gone cold?  See Robert Denney's article "What's Hot and What's Not in the Legal Profession" in the Jan/Feb 2007 issue of the ABA's Law Practice magazine. Woe to you if you are in medical malpractice, consumer bankruptcy, insurance coverage or environmental law.  Learn something new, or else get a cup and start begging by the train station.

Count heads.  If there is one partner for every associate, management will thin the partner ranks. They won't fire those $160,000 associates, because they're money-making machines who are so greedy, they'll suffer being overworked. Further, see which practices have too many partners, because the extras will be given "early retirement."

Also, there is no point in being loyal to your firm.  Today's colleague will be tomorrow's executioner who will vote you out of the firm.  Your partners really do not care about you.  They care about your book of business and whether you are a drag on profits.  If you can get a better-paying partnership, go for it.  Have no hesitation to leave your "colleagues."  They won't miss you.

It's a cruel world out there.


Profits Per Partner is a Joke

Bloodinthestreets I'm not the only one who smells blood in the hallways of Mayer Brown.  "In case you missed it, Mayer Brown fired 45 partners--men and women who have sacrificed for the firm and who have families to feed and kids to put through college.  The reason?  Well, Mayer Brown's profits per partner were only $1.1 million per partner," wrote my friend and cohort Patrick Lamb wrote his his blog.

Regarding profits-per-partner as a lure for recruits and laterals, he adds, "PPP is a joke.  And what's more of a joke, lawyers either are so stupid that they can't see behind the manipulation or they know how meaningless the statistic is, in which case law firm managers are fools for running their firms based on a bogey everyone knows is so malleable.  Seriously, senior firm managers really have to ask themselves, if a prospective partner is attracted to them because of their PPP and doesn't know how the firm's "stock price" is so easily manipulated, do they really want such a fool as a partner?"

"Mayer Brown just killed whatever semblance of institutional loyalty that might have existed."


Decimation at Mayer Brown

Romansoldier Two thousand years ago, the Roman army had a form of extreme military discipline to punish mutinous or cowardly soldiers. They would be lined up along a cliff's edge and every tenth soldier would be killed. The word "decimation" is derived from Latin meaning "removal of a tenth."  A modern analogy would be Mayer Brown's termination of 10% of its partners. 

Just as the Roman emperor was asked in the arena whether a gladiator would live or die, bloggers are judging the law firm's workplace death sentence. Here's a roundup:

Thumbs up:

  • Above the Law: "You handed a bunch of unprofitable geezers their walking papers. So what? That's the way the Biglaw works in this day and age. You don't attain profits per partner in excess of a million by coddling the useless. "
  • Legal Week editor's blog: "Mayer Brown Cull is Long Overdue.
  • Life in the Great Midwest: "the logical action to take is to cull the less-productive partners to make slots for the up and comers, even though the firm isn't facing any lack of overall profitability."

Thumbs down:

  • Minding the Law's Business: "Mayer Brown still gets an "F" for public relations in my attempted to justify the move in a manner that screamed simple "denominator management" in order to line further the pockets of a bunch of greedy lawyers who'd eat their young and, to paraphrase Chuck Colson, would walk over their own grandmothers for more money."
  • In Search of Perfect Client Service: "Mayer Brown fired 45 partners--men and women who have sacrificed for the firm and who have families to feed and kids to put through college.  The reason?  Well, Mayer Brown's profits per partner were only $1.1 million per partner."
  • LawBiz: "Mayer Brown's rationale, to be more competitive, is a sham and for public consumption."
  • Lawfuel: "The purge of almost 10 per cent of the Chicago partners - almost Stalinist in scope - is unprecedented."
  • Greedy Associates: "I work at MB. It's a sinking ship. The fired 45 partners. Associates will be next. Huge problems in the NY office - rumors are that they will "restructure" it (i.e. fire everybody and rebuild it). Everybody is good place to work."
  • Greedy Associates again: "MB is letting go of 45 partners and may turn on associates next in its search for the success that has deservedly eluded it for a significant period. The firm appears to have no direction and I would think you're better-off elsewhere."
  • Carolyn Elefant: "what comes around goes around. By firing partners to retain more profits, Mayer Brown may someday find itself on a client's chopping block, terminated from service because it charges too much."
  • Legal Pad: "Such cold-blooded calculation is nothing new for firms."
  • Futurelawyer: "They Shoot Horses, don't they?"
  • Eric Mazzone's blog: "Don't get too comfortable."
  • Amazing Firms, Amazing Practices: "This sudden and public move sends a message that is less than positive.  Why?"
  • The Legal Marketing Blog: "The biggest injustice..for which the firm is most likely guilty is both its failure to train these partners earlier in their careers about marketing, and for not insisting that they actually carry out effective business development techniques..."

No guts, no opinion:

  • The Volokh Conspiracy - an academic affiliate for Mayer Brown: Nothing. Not a word. 
  • Professor Stephen Bainbridge: "Did Mayer, Brown comport itself with "the punctilio of an honor the most sensitive"? Is that really the relevant standard? Discuss."
  • Ideoblog: "this situation doesn't involve an abuse of open-ended fiduciary discretion, and therefore is inappropriate for a Meinhard-type fiduciary analysis....Any questions?" (He goes on for 500 words like this.)

If I missed your post, please email me and I'll include you in the list.

A Marketer's Take on the Mayer Brown Layoffs

JonathanaspergerWhat's the marketing impact of Mayer Brown's elimination of 45 partnerships?  Why not ask than longtime MBRM Marketing Director Jonathan Asperger, a veteran of seven years at the 1,500 lawyer firm?

(Note: Mayer Brown has been Jon's client and will be in the future, but he has no current engagement.)

The firm had too many partners -- roughly one per 1.7 associates. "Relative to the firms with which it competes on a national and global basis, Mayer Brown was underleveraged. Some of these firms have 4, 5 or 6 associates per partner," he said, "and leverage has a big impact on profits per partner calculations."

Now a business development coach and captain of Asperger Partners LLC, of LaGrange, IL, Jonathan thinks Mayer Brown's clients will be sympathetic. "An enlightened corporation will say 'we face the same market pressures. If you feel this will enhance your ability to attract and hold top talent, do what you need to do.'"

The layoffs keep the survivors loyal.  The remaining partners will be sharing the pie with fewer people, thereby giving them the equivalent of a 10% pay raise.  "That assumes the departures have no significant effect on revenues, which is a fair assumption. This isn't a firm in trouble. It's a firm whose profitability keeps growing, but at slower rate than some of the firms with whom they compete," Jon said.

He was not surprised by the layoffs.  "The partner-for-life arrangement has become anachronistic.  Most lateral moves are initiated by the departing partner, but it's a two-way street - if lawyers can pick up and go to other firms, firms should be free to tweak their partnership ranks," he said.

Were so many layoffs at once necessary?  "They could have stretched it out over a year or two, but by doing it in one, fell swoop they bump up their PPP immediately while creating less uncertainly for those who remain.  It says, 'we've raised the standards of partnership here - and you make the grade.' It's not unlike former GE Chairman Jack Welch's practice of firing the bottom 10% of his managers each year. Some of Mayer Brown's remaining partners may find it disconcerting, some may find it motivational.

In fact, the layoffs could be good for recruiting.  "While the security of a Mayer Brown partnership may have slipped, the value of the partnership just went up.  That makes it more enticing to laterals and, arguably, more attractive to recruits. Lawyers and law school students do look at PPP as a measure of firm prestige," he said.

Were the layoffs based on greed?  "It's easy to say 'you're making $1 million year, isn't that enough?'  But many of the top lawyers in the world, at Mayer Brown and elsewhere, make far more than $1 million a year. What drives them isn't so much greed as it is ambition.  They want to be the best."

Mediocre AmLaw Ranking Sparked Mayer Brown Layoffs

Mayerbrown_3 I just got off the phone with Doug Kramer, Director of Global Communications for Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw, and he put the firm's decision to lay off 10% of its partners -- a total of 45 people -- into perspective.

I invite your comments. Click on Comments at the bottom of this post.

The causal event was that the firm was No. 51 in the AmLaw ranking of profits-per-partner. "When we rank 51st, well behind our peers, it raises a big issue in terms of attracting top talent and keeping it," Kramer said.

Wachtell, the No. 1 firm, makes an eye-popping $3.79 million in profits per partner ("PPP") in 2005. The No. 10 firm, Davis Polk, made $2 million in PPP.  At a mere $1 million in PPP, Mayer Brown had to keep up with the Joneses.

Turning to the firm's image, I asked if the decision was motivated by greed.  "I can understand how someone who wasn't aware of legal marketplace would feel that way.  Why would the firm need any more? It's all relative. We badly want to keep our best talent and attract the best talent, and PPP is a key metric that the marketplace looks at.  So when we're 51st compared with other firms that we're just as good as, we had to take decisive action," he said.

So the idea is that the layoffs will make the firm more attractive to laterals and ivy league law grads -- it's a chance to make a 7-figure income.

He said Mayer Brown's clients were reacting well.  "We're getting a lot of empathy from clients, saying they've been there, done that. They say 'we understand pressure you're facing.' Clients are not viewing it as a negative, business people realize this has to be done to achieve long term growth and profitability.  Not to say it wasn't painful, it was. These are great lawyers -- but their practices weren't in the strategic direction the firm wants to go -- it's not a comment on their performance."

Unlike other corporate layoffs, Kramer stressed that Mayer Brown is treating the castoffs humanely:

  • They have the rest of 2007 to find another job.
  • They're getting outplacement support.
  • Their names have not been revealed, even internally.
  • Mayer Brown did not leak the story.  Ameet Sachdev of the Chicago Tribune learned about the layoffs by himself on March 1 and called the firm. Only then Mayer Brown distribute an internal memo, which appears on the Wall Street Journal law blog.

"These are talented lawyers who will land on their feet. It's no reflection on their performance. It's that their practices were not within firm's strategy.  In some areas we were overstaffed and we had to do what makes sense from business standpoint from long term growth point of view," he said.

"Being a partnership need not be antithetical to being a well run business."

$1M in Profits Per Partner is Not Enough for Mayer Brown

Mayerbrown_2 I'm working to get comment from Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw's on its decision to axe 45 partners.  I'd like to know how they think this affects:

  • The firm's image.
  • Recruiting of ivy league law students.
  • Lateral partners with books of business.
  • The opinion of clients.

"We want to drive our stock price up," chairman-to-be James Holzhauer told the Wall Street Journal law blog.

Their recruiting slogan is "Don't Just Work. Thrive." My guess is that federal court clerks, law grads and lateral partners won't believe the slogan just now.

Holzhauer will be viewed like Tom LaSorda, Chrysler chief executive officer, when he announced 13,000 job cuts.  The stockholders loved it, but the people who lost their jobs felt that they had been stabbed in the back. One comment on the WSJ blog said, "Cue the Death Star theme music..." 

Unlike Chrysler, Mayer Brown had record earnings in 2006: $1.1 billion, up 11% over 2005.  In fact profits per partner exceeded $1 million.  So this means the decision was motivated by avarice, insatiable greed for riches, and an inordinate desire to gain and hoard wealth.

If I were a client of Mayer Brown, I might be thrilled that my law firm was run by bloodthirsty cut-throats who will jettison longtime colleagues for money.  But maybe I'd be a little scared of the firm too.  Mayer Brown has signaled that its firm culture is a money-hungry, ruthless sweatshop. That would give me the creeps.

I guess I'll never get a project from Mayer Brown after this post. But then again, I don't take jobs from Huns, Goths or Vandals.


Toon into Funny, Visual Marketing

Larryadvertoon Dan Guttman of New Jersey noticed that most advertising was ubiquitous, boring and forgettable. This is especially true with most law firm advertising.  So how is a marketer to break through the clutter and get their firm's message across with fun and panache?

In response, Dan (who has has an MBA from New York University and is President of Business Management Solutions, Inc., a management consulting and marketing company) developed hundreds of single panel cartoons like the one you see here (click on it to see it full size).  The "Advertoons" cover many subjects including business, medicine, education and family.

His cartoons appeared in many magazines around the country including New Jersey Business, Shuz, Physicians Money  Digest, USA Table Tennis, and more. They are also licensed for presentations and sold as hanging wall art. 

Because everybody loves cartoons, many of Dan's clients started asking him for custom cartoons to help brand their businesses and before he knew it a new illustrated industry was hatched. And now they are available for law firms. Visit the LawMarketing Store to order one for yourself.

Dan was uniquely qualified to develop Advertoons. Possessed of a sense of humor sharpened to a razor's edge in his youth by surviving by his wits in the streets of Brooklyn, Dan has also had a wide ranging business career and has published comedic short stories and a children's book.

As Dan likes to say, "Everybody loves an Advertoon."

"I Want to be a Rainmaker"

Rainmaker I just love it when the first thing a 26-year-old associate tells me is, "I want to be a rainmaker." This actually happened at a recent business development training session I just held at a major law firm.

This shows that the kid has ambition. He has the entrepreneurial spirit to not only do the work but to get it too.  He doesn't want to be in the subservient role of having a partner put work on his desk. He wants to take charge of his own destiny and build a business around himself.  He definitely will be a rainmaker.

For a warhorse like me, it's a thrill to see youthful enthusiasm.  I've been at other firms where older lawyers glared at me with their arms and legs crossed, making it clear they were forced to attend the training session.

What makes rainmakers so successful is that they know every influential person in their city or industry.  They have huge networks, so I told the young rainmaker-to-be to start making friends and building his own contact list.  I advised him to copy all the information on the business cards he collects into his Outlook contact list (a step that many lawyers forget).  This way he can make notes as he learns more about his contacts (their likes, favorite activities and family member names), and can search his contacts by city and company.

I advised him not to bring clients in just yet.  If he were to do so, he would only make a bad impression on the partners by showing that he could bring in small accounts.  I told him to wait until his contacts had moved up the corporate ladder, and then ask them for big files.

Shortly I'll email him the Associate Marketing Checklist.

He should join one single trade association of clients, I advised, and show up at every meeting.  He should get to know the board of directors and volunteer to take on a job.  I warned him that the first job would be scut work, but he should take it cheerfully anyway.  The next job would be program director or newsletter director -- his ultimate targets.

Finally, I recommended he make friends with the partners who are rainmakers.  Every time he gets an assignment, he should specifically ask the partner how the work came in.  He should take the rainmakers out for coffee or lunch, and ask them how they get new business.  As he's learning his job, he should learn the job he wants to have.

Then I told the kid he'd get what he wanted. He was a natural.