Larry Bodine Law Marketing Blog

Good Law Schools Make For Bad Marketers

Peter Darling observes in the Business Development blog that "if you go to a hot school, you will get a much better job out of the gate, if "better" means big firm, big city, high salary. However, you will also have a harder time, I think, learning to market yourself."

Good law schools make for bad legal marketing, he says.  I'll go further: ALL law schools are useless when it comes to legal marketing.

I joined in the research supporting the article, "91% of Lawyers Unhappy about Lack of Marketing Training in Law School."  The article states, "The only conclusion we can draw is that after law school, most lawyers, to use a Nixon-era phrase, are left twisting slowly in the wind. Some have been fortunate to find marketing mentors after graduation, and 61% have taken a post-graduate course or training session in marketing. Nevertheless,

  • 41% don't get good marketing results, don't know how to market or don't bother to do any marketing at all.
  • 37% manage to just generate enough business for themselves.
  • Only 22% of respondents consider themselves rainmakers."

Event at elite schools, Darling says, when students are ejected out into big firms, first of all, they often have no idea how the "soft" part of a career functions -- interpersonal relationships, strategy, networking, etc. They're not used to being treated as cogs in a much bigger machine. And finally, they have absolutely no idea of how to market themselves, or, fatally, why it matters.

They've always done well. They've always made it to the next step through sheer performance. But as I've written many times, the real world, the marketplace in which they function, is not that way at all. It's chaotic, and requires skills -- like selling, and networking -- that they've never needed. The result can be trouble."

I've given up on the law schools.  Their response to marketing training has always been lame, and it won't change.  Lawyers are better off doing what the rainmakers do: getting business development training or coaching once they're in practice.

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