Blogosphere Abuzz about JD Supra Launch

The launch of JD Supra is the talk of the bloggers everywhere.  You owe it to yourself to visit the site where a lawyer can post a court filing, opinion or article, for free, that links to a profile of the lawyer -- also free -- where clients, prospects and lawyers can search the database -- also for free. 

Among the bloggers to comment about JD Supra so far are:

The Wall Street Journal blog

ABA Journal Law News Now

Robert Ambrogi's Lawsites

The National Post

Lawyer KM

My Shingle

The LawMarketing Portal (which I operate) 

Law Firm Web Strategy Blog

WisBlawg From the UW Law Library

Law, Technology & Legal Marketing Blog

ABA GP|Solo Technology eReport

Techlaw Advisor blog

Interest in the site has been so strong that JD Supra launched it's own blog, "JD Scoop," which you can find at


Bingham Sweeps New England LMA Chapter Your Honor Awards

The Legal Marketing Association’s New England Chapter named the winners of its Sixth Annual Your Honor Awards at a gala event held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston.

The Your Honor Awards recognize law firms that have demonstrated excellence in marketing and business development during the preceding year. Twenty-two firms submitted 68 total entries across 13 possible categories.

“These awards demonstrate in technicolor the talent and breadth of the legal marketing industry in New England,” said Jeff Scalzi, Director of Marketing at Foley Hoag LLP and President of the LMA New England Chapter. “We are especially pleased this year to have entries from all six New England states, underscoring the continued growth of our profession in the region and the sophistication that law firms in New England are applying to innovative marketing and business development initiatives.”

The Sixth Annual LMA New England Your Honor Award winners were as follows:

Identity: First Place: Bingham McCutchen LLP for its brand relaunch; Second Place: Hamilton Smith Brook Reynolds, PC for its brand relaunch; Third Place: Foley Hoag LLP for its “Driving Business Advantage” brand launch.

Promotional Materials and Communications/Brochures and Collateral Materials: First Place: Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C. for its 2006 Mintz Levin Pro Bono Report; Second Place: Bingham McCutchen LLP for its “Who we are” booklet; Third Place: Foley Hoag LLP for its practice group brochures and eBook series.

Promotional Materials and Communications/External Communication: First Place: Hamilton Smith Brook Reynolds, PC for its “Freedom from Drab-Giving Thanks and Building Brand”; Second Place: Patridge Snow & Hahn LLP for its Annual Review; Third Place: Preti Flaherty LLP for its 2006 Annual Report.

Promotional Materials and Communications/Internal Communication: First Place: Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C. for its MintzKids Art Contest and Gallery Installation; Second Place: Foley Hoag LLP for its “Living Our Brand” internal brand launch campaign; Third Place: Robinson & Cole LLP, for its “The Source” internal business development and marketing newsletter.

Advertising: First Place: Bingham McCutchen LLP for its “Bear and Baby” ad; Second Place: Wiggin & Nourie, P.A. for its “Conflict Campaign”; Third Place: Goulston & Storrs for its “Donedeal Campaign”.

Web Sites: First Place: Choate Hall & Stewart, LLP for its new firm Web site; Second Place: Foley Hoag LLP for the new

Media/Public Relations: First Place: Bingham McCutchen LLP for its “Firm-wide Media Program”.

Community Relations: First Place: Robinson & Cole LLP for its “e-Pal Program”; Second Place: Bingham McCutchen LLP for its “Say Yes Partnership”.

Sales/Business Development: First Place: Lahive & Cockfield, LLP and Seltzer Design for its “Lahive Litigation Tree Books”; Second Place: Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, P.C. for its “Bio Royale” event.

Recruiting: First Place: Choate Hall & Stewart, LLP for its recruiting program; Second Place: Bingham McCutchen LLP for its recruiting “Web and Collateral”.

Gimme Award: First Place: Hamilton Smith Brook Reynolds, PC for its “Biotechnology Mega-Conference Kits”; Second Place: Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, P.C. for its annual holiday card.

Best in Show/Less than 75 Attorneys: Hamilton Smith Brook Reynolds, PC for its “Making a Mega Presence at a Mega Conference”.

Best in Show/76-300 Attorneys: Robinson & Cole LLP for its “e-Pal Program”.

Best in Show/301+ Attorneys: Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C. for its “MintzKids Art Contest and Gallery Installation”.

A panel of six judges composed of marketing executives from professional services industries and B2B-focused companies selected the award winners, including the “Best in Show” to extraordinary entries.  The award ceremony was The evening was sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, and account manager John Jardin served as the master of ceremonies.

With more than 225 members, the New England chapter is one of the largest in the country. Through monthly educationalprogramming, network opportunities, a growing annual conference, and other value-added member services, the New England Chapter brings law firm marketing professionals, service providers and lawyers from across the six New England states together to promote the profession. For additional information about the Legal Marketing Association’s New England chapter, please visit its Web site at

7 Principles of Client Development: Making Their Bottom Line Yours

By Darryl Cross in discussion with Larry Bodine  

Darryl Cross is Senior Vice President of Business Development of Concep, Inc. in New York. The company does client surveys/market research, communications, client relationship management (CRM), graphic design, holiday cards, marketing, survey software and web site development.  He can be reached at (212) 925-0380 and

Darryl Cross:  We're talking looking at things from the client's bottom line point of view instead of ours. That idea leads to seven principles of client development, consistent principles that we see on a regular basis, whether they are a 30 lawyer shop in Dallas or a big New York City law firm. 

Number one is leveraging our existing assets.  There is so much content and so much information available at law firms about clients; they're swimming in it.  We're talking about things like what relationships do we have?  What is the billing history of some very large maybe pharmaceutical clients?  It tells us a lot about what kind of problems they have.  We also look at things like who are the other people we know outside of here?  What is our matter history?  What part of our existing client base could be duplicated?  We have all this content at our finger tips.  A lot of times it's out of context, but we can bring that together using technology and some good old fashioned elbow grease be able to make some sense of it. 

Principle two is once we start compiling information and seeing all those assets, we have to have the ability to think small.  Think about last time you were asked to write a short 400-word article.  Hard, isn't it, Larry? 

Larry Bodine:  It's much harder than writing a 2000-word article. 

Darryl Cross:  It's a great exercise to take a 1000-word article and nail it down to 500, then 250, and then a 50-word synopsis.  It's a great exercise in thinking small.  Here's another one you should take back to your law firms to illustrate the need to think small when it comes to business development:  When you have a gathering of lawyers in the room, ask every lawyer to pull out of piece of paper and take 15 seconds to write down 5 clients they've never done work with before.  I've never run into a group that can't.  The world is way too big, and there are too many opportunities and too many possibilities. 

For the rest of the article visit the Originate Web Site at  An annual subscription costs only $397.



User-Generated Site JD Supra Goes Live

law firm marketing, JD Supra, legal marketingLaunched today, JD Supra offers lawyers a free platform to post official court filings and articles that can be accessed without fee by anyone using its site –   It is one of the first Web 2.0 businesses designed expressly for the legal community. 

“In a world in which YouTube and Google have established new rules for user-generated content and universal search, JD Supra hopes to redefine those two key concepts for the legal profession,” founder Aviva Cuyler said.

44 million research the law and lawyers online

According to a recent study by Web research firm ComScore, more than 44 million people now use the Internet to research the law and seek legal services in their area.  While most law firms have Web sites and many attorneys are active bloggers, JD Supra creates a central site where legal content is aggregated for easy research and one-stop shopping for legal counsel. 

Attorneys who post content can create in-depth professional profiles highlighting their practice expertise and experience along with latest postings. The profile is available by browsing or keyword searching, as well as via link to posted documents. All documents are connected to contributor profiles. Thus, when potential clients research a subject, they are can connect to an attorney they can see has experience with their particular issue.  

Aviva Cuyler, law firm marketing, legal marketing“Someone conducting legal research or investigating a particular topic online is much more likely to then contact a lawyer who has posted relevant documents,” Ms. Cuyler said.


JD Supra also works as a qualified resource for the media. Reporters can use the site to find a lawyer with experience and point of view on a specific issue for possible commentary.  In turn, attorneys can direct journalists to newsworthy court filings, decisions and verdicts simultaneous with their filing. Contributors can designate a posting as a “Hot Document” for added urgency.  Users will be able to flag it in the “Scoop” section, available from the home page. Additionally, journalists and other interested users can subscribe to an RSS feed of these hot documents to stay current on issues of concern to them.

For the rest of the story, visit the LawMarketing Portal.


The Latest issue of Originate! is Now Online

The newest issue of the online rainmaking newsletter Originate, is now online at  Here's the lineup of articles aimed at helping individual lawyers get more clients and make more money.  Get your own subscription and don't miss an issue.

Featured Articles

7 Principles of Client Development: Making Their Bottom Line Yours
Darryl Cross sees 7 key principles in successful client relationships and client business development, whether you're an individual, part of a small firm, or in a big city one.  The attorney's bottom line gains from focusing energies on improving a client's bottom line.
Generating Business: Doing What Does NOT Come Naturally

Most of us assume that rainmakers are fundamentally different from them, that they enjoy natural advantages we can only marvel at. The truth is very different, according to Michael Cummings. Most attorneys simply have to leverage their personal strengths and their existing professional skills in new ways. Learn from one non-natural rainmaker how you too can succeed in getting business .

Memo to Senior Partners: Motivate Younger Lawyers for Your Business's Sake

Motivating younger lawyers to get business is possible, says Larry Bodine, if you take some simple but powerful steps. Start by recognizing how much their world and their experience differs from their seniors in the firm. Then mentor and involve them so you stir their interest and build their capabilities. The result will be rewarding for both the firm and the individual lawyer.

Marketing Partner of the Year: What Does It Take?

In January, Mark A. Long, managing partner and head of marketing at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, earned recognition as Marketing Partner of the Year at the Marketing Partner Forum. What he did to merit that accolade was not revolutionary; mainly he did some important things well. Barry Schneider reviews what it took, and what you or your firm can learn from this example.

Ten Most Effective Marketing Techniques for the Little Guy
Larry Bodine presents a brief and pointed podcast in which he identifies the ten most effective marketing techniques for solo lawyers and small firms. Learn what your priorities should be and what it takes to get results, even if you're a small part of a big firm.
They Say They Want a Revolution: Reconnecting Legal Costs to Value Delivered

Amy Spach reports on the sparks generated by a new initiative from the Association of Corporate Counsel, one that aims to narrow a perceived gap between billings and value received. Hear now what your clients may be telling you soon about your worth to them.

Best Practice Tips

Case Study: Nothing Succeeds Like Your Clients’ Success

Charlie Miller, Esq., Deputy Managing Partner of Patton Boggs, recounts two specific stories that illustrate how the firm wins by helping its clients win.  Here’s how their lawyers actually listened to the Voice of the Client, how they put themselves in position to gain new work and how they actually landed two major new clients.

A Day in the Life of a Rainmaker...and How You Can Do the Same
Are you missing out on Business Development opportunities today? Definitely, unless you heed the simple guidelines that rainmakers set for themselves. Michael Cummings looks at the day-to-day life of some rainmakers you can emulate for your career success.
A Shout out to Younger Lawyers: Business Development is the Key to your Destiny

Larry Bodine shouts this message from the rooftops, telling his tale of how younger lawyers must and can take charge of their own destiny.  Don’t let your career just happen to you; get into the arena.  Seize on the work that you want, make strong contacts, and do what it takes to become the captain of your own destiny.

Relating through E-mail: Talk to Your Clients, Not at Them
E-mail newsletters and alerts can be a great way to communicate with clients, and complement other business development activities. But Darryl Cross laments that too many lawyers lose a great opportunity by delivering the equivalent of junk mail. Here are some hard facts about using e-mail effectively, and what to do about it.
Make Your Garden Grow: 10 Ways to Invigorate Your Referrals

As in cultivating a thriving garden, there are no "secret shortcuts" to generating referrals. Clients and colleagues most often refer business to lawyers they know, respect and trust - and such relationships take time to cultivate.  Carolyn Elefant, Esq. offers ten tips you can use though to nurture future business from referrals.

Market Beat: Hildebrandt Report Warns of Services Downturn

In its first downbeat client advisory in 10 years, Hildebrandt warns that law firms are in an economic downturn that has not been accompanied by the usual upturns in litigation, bankruptcy or reorganization.

Subscribe to Originate, the only newsletter aimed at helping an individual lawyer get more clients and earn more revenue. Simply visit here or go to and subscribe today.  The newsletter is 100% original, new material that will show you how to boost your practice.


Get Smart on Marketing with Technology at ABA Techshow

Marketers will find a feast of programs on how to use technology to connect to new clients at the annual ABA Techshow 2008 coming up on March 13-15 in Chicago.  More than 1,500 people will convene at the Chicago Hilton.

There are 16 educational tracks including Advanced IT/Security, Client Relationships, E-Discovery, Going Green, Internet, Large Firm/Corporate Counsel, Litigation, Mac Track, Microsoft Office, Mobile Technology, Paperless Office, Records Management, Roundtables, Show Me How, Solo/Small Firm I and Solo/Small Firm II.

Among the programs that caught my eye were:

  • 60 Sites in 60 Minutes with speakers Tom Mighell, Reid Trautz and Craig Ball. This perennial favorite is always one of the best attended sessions. The panelists will review the hottest new websites for lawyers and legal professionals -- great web resources on legal technology, practice management, research, ethics, and they'll toss in some practical and fun stuff, too.
    4:15 PM, Friday March 14
  • Lawyering In a Virtual World: How to Snag the Connected Client, with Judge Monty Ahalt, Will Hornsby and Greg Siskind
    8:30 AM , Friday March 14
  • Working Together from Wherever You Are: The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaborating on the Internet, with Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell
    1:00 p.m. Friday March 14
  • Winning the Beauty Pageant: Catching Corporate Counsel’s Eye with Technology, with Ted Banks and Toby Brown
    1:00 p.m. Friday March 14
  • law firm marketing, internet privacyMatchmaker, Matchmaker: Connecting with New Clients Using Technology, with Kevin O’Keefe and Greg Siskind
    8:30 a.m. Saturday March 15
  • Client Retention: Technology to Avoid the Seven-Year Itch with Toby Brown and Carolyn Elefant
    9:45 a.m. Saturday March 15
  • Who's Watching You? A Conversation About Privacy on the Internet
    ABA TECHSHOW 2008 Keynote Address: Marc Rotenberg is Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC.ORG) in Washington, DC. He teaches information privacy law at Georgetown University Law Center and has testified before Congress on access to information, encryption policy, consumer protection, computer security, and communications privacy.
    1:00 PM, Thursday March 13

You can register for ABA TECHSHOW 2008 online at


Three Things Clients Look for on Law Firm Web Sites

The Internet has changed a lot since Web 2.0 began to catch on in 2006.  But all the videos, podcasting blogs, online discussions, mashups and jamming don't mean a thing if they don't utilize basic marketing principles. 

No matter how kludgy or cool your web site is, in-house counsel and corporate executives still want three basic things from a law firm website.  To find out, watch Three Things Clients Look for on Web sites (1:58 minutes). You need RealPlayer to view it.


Law Firm Requires New Associates to Have Sales Background

Pam Scholefield, law firm marketingSan Diego construction law firm Scholefield Associates, P.C., is hiring new associates with a unique requirement -- a sales background. The firm says it is is borrowing heavily from the corporate world where the role of technical sales is fundamental to most successful business plans.

The 3-lawyer firm is molding their “sales attorney” role to be very similar to that of the typical sales engineer. Both positions require individuals with specialized training to understand the clients’ needs.

“I see no difference in comparing our role as an attorney to that of an engineer solving a problem,”  said Lead attorney Pam Scholefield. “The job function is to offer a results-oriented service that the client needs or wants. It doesn’t matter if it’s legal advice or some sort of technical solution.” 

"It is almost unheard of that a firm of any size would dedicate a new attorney to the role of bringing in new business. Most small firms feel they cannot justify allocating manpower to non-billable tasks," said spokesman Bryan Weaver.

Scholefield herself was once a sales engineer for the General Electric Co., eventually becoming an Area Manager in Southern California. She even holds a Professional Engineer’s (PE) license from Colorado.  “Today, my clients are builders, architects, engineers, contractors, and equipment suppliers, these are the same types of clients I had when I was a sales engineer,” says Scholefield. 

A visit to the Careers page of the firm website reveals an opening for:

Associate Attorney- Client Development

  • This is an unprecedented opportunity for the right individual with an outgoing and dynamic personality. If you see yourself more as a rainmaker than you do a litigator, we are interested in your future with us.
  • You will be working under the direction of the firm's business development manager, and be a key player in the firm’s client development and legal marketing activities.
  • We are looking for professionals with experience technical sales, sales engineering, legal marketing, or executive level business development.
  • Previous experience or knowledge of the construction industry is a major plus.
  • You will be the first point of contact for prospective clients, so a good first impression is important.
  • You will not let your law school education go to waste as you must be admitted to practice in California, and may be expected to advise clients and attend hearings.

Interestingly, new research by Suzanne Lowe of Expertise Marketing, reveals that among professional service firms, 86% of respondents want their firm to hire fee-earners who want to market and sell, 51% have made formal efforts to hire fee-earners who want to market and sell.

Suzanne writes, "First, it’s a challenge to find the right set of marketing and business development capabilities, especially if the firm has yet to define them for itself! A firm’s recruiters and hiring staffers need standards to objectively evaluate marketing and business development skills. They can’t be expected to conjure them up in a vacuum. This viewpoint repeats a theme that, by now, rings loudly through this entire survey: there are widely varying definitions of marketing and business development, and a general lack of understanding of the value these functions could deliver in a PSF."

Meanwhile, Scholefield Associates, P.C., isn't waiting. “We are not your typical law firm,” notes Scholefield, “so we’re not going to follow archaic unwritten rules that say a young attorney’s primary role can’t be a rainmaker.” 


90% of Lawyers Missing Out on Blogging

Only 10% of lawyers have their own blog, according to a survey LexisNexis conducted a survey at LegalTech on the adoption of Web 2.0 capabilities in the legal market. And only 17% of the respondents' firms have a blog, according to the survey. though it isn't clear from the results how many might once have had a blog, but gave it up. LN's Sami Hero says the results "reflect well last year's ABA Tech Survey and demonstrates a hesitation to "jump in.'"

This is an improvement over the findings in the ABA's 2007 Legal Technology Survey Report from July 7, 2007.  Bob Ambrogi summarized it, "Perhaps the most surprising finding is that blogging..."is not catching fire just yet." Only 5 percent of lawyers say their firm has a blog, and only 5 percent say they maintain a personal legal-topic blog."

My friends, it's time to put away the quill pen and buggy whip.  Join the 21st Century.

Blogs are an excellent way to bring in new business.  You are proving that you are a marketing Luddite by not having one.  As I've been telling audiences for years, there are 7 compelling reasons to start a professional blog:

  1. They are easy to set up and use. Simply go to Blogger at or TypePad at and open an account. Once the blog is established, you can simply type in the text of your post in an online box.  You don't need to know HTML code. To put your message online, just click on the appropriate button. The software will select a Web address.
  2. They are cheap. Some are free and others offer a month's free trial.  You can get a Typepad account for only $15 per month. This is much cheaper than hiring a developer to create a Web site for you.
  3. They are highly visible and quickly draw visitors. Search engines rank blogs highly because they contain predominately text and they are updated frequently – two things that attract search engines.
  4. Blog programs allow multiple authors to update the blog, so that a firm can launch a practice group blog and enlist numerous authors to share the writing duties.
  5. The topic can be about anything. A blog can simply recount a lawyers thoughts, viewpoints and news. They can also be used for firm announcements, client newsletters, legal updates, and answers to common client questions.
  6. They give the author instant credibility and expert status on the topic.  Journalists read and subscribe to blogs, so be ready for phone calls from reporters looking for a quotes.
  7. If you fail to set up a blog on your special topic, someone else will claim it before you do. The attention and traffic goes to the early adopters, not the lawyers who wait to decide to join the trend a year later.

Hildebrandt Sees Economic Downturn for Law Firms in 2008

In its first downbeat client advisory in 10 years, Hildebrandt warns that law firms are in an economic downturn that has not been accompanied my the usual upturns in litigation, bankruptcy or reorganization.  See below for info about the upcoming Webinar: Business Development in a Down Market
It cites:
  • The precipitous drop off in structured finance work triggered by the sub-prime mortgage crisis.
  • A decline in M&A and transaction work.
  • A drop-off in litigation, particularly in Texas and California, based on new federal court case filings in many areas of law.
  • Work once thought to be complex, like project finance, is now viewed as routine and is priced accordingly.
  • Corporate procurement departments are getting involved in hiring law firms, and demanding rate freezes or discounts.
  • There were 19 reported dissolutions of law firms in the US in 2007, up from the 9 reported in 2006.  "We may well see a further upturn in that number during 2008."
The recession began in the third quarter of 2007, according to the report, to which Citi Private Bank also contributed.  Here's what's ahead:
  • There will be cuts in marketing budgets.  "In periods of economic downturn, there is always a temptation to cut expenses,and the first expenses to be trimmed in many law firms relate to marketing and client relations. While we believe that some marketing and branding efforts have been misguided and highly wasteful, a period of economic slowdown is, in our view, precisely the wrong time to be trimming marketing and client relations budgets. As noted below, the competition to win and keep clients is intensifying notwithstanding the downturn, and firms would be well advised not to be “penny wise and pound foolish” in this area.48% of new partners among AmLaw 200 firms over the last 7 years have been laterals.  "History has shown that in tough times it is often the laterals who bolt for the door first," the report states.
  • Firms will be looking to weed out low-performing non-equity or "income" partners. According to the report, associates work the most hours (roughly 1770 hours a year), followed by partners (1732 to 1,666 hours), with Income partners bringing up the rear with 1,600 hours a year.
  • Firms that grew too far or opened too many office will have to make painful cutbacks.  In 2007, there was an 11% increase in the total number of lawyers practicing in foreign offices of NLJ 250 law firms -- 15,231 in 2007 compared with 13,707 in 2006.
"We believe it would be prudent for leaders and managers of law firms to assume that the current economic slowdown is likely to have a detrimental impact throughout 2008," the report concludes.

Don't miss the upcoming Webinar: Business Development in a Down Market

Professional Business Development Institute
SPEAKER(S): Sara Kraeski, Director of Business Development, Davis Graham & Stubbs; Larry Bodine, Esq., and Michael Cummings
DATE: February 26, 2008; 12PM - 1PM Central Time

CONTACT: Program Director Laura Kresich; (Tel) 773-966-9273 or

Sara Kraeski, law firm marketingOnce thought to be recession-proof, the legal profession is now in a downturn that will including a drop in profits per partner, declining spending for legal services by corporations and attorney layoffs. CMO Sara Kraeski, Esq. reveals 10 of her strategies to survive -- and thrive.


Sonnenschein Hires New CMO

Brian LambertIn case you missed the news item, Brian Lambert of from Charlotte, North Carolina, has been selected by Chicago-based Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP to be their Chief Marketing Officer. The firm has 700 lawyers in 13 U.S. cities and Brussels.

Prior to joining Sonnenschein, Brian headed the Business Development Group for Wachovia's Treasury Services Division. He has a Harvard law degree, an engineering degree, and was a consultant at McKinsey & Company. Brian can be reached at 704.972.9056 and

Sonnenschein has been without a CMO since May 2007 when visionary litigation partner Duane C. Quaini stepped down as Chairman of the firm in March 1, 2007, after 10 years in the leadership role.

Brinks Hofer Shows a Great Example of Follow-Up

Brinks Hofer, law firm marketingHow often do general counsel wish they had a quick desk reference to get a quick definition of a legal concept outside their practice area.  Real often. They don't want to appear stupid in front of their colleagues and don't want to pay their outside law firm for an explanation.  The Web may have the answer but lawyers don't believe it's authoritative.

Suppose the in-house lawyer just wants to know in a few paragraphs about the novelty, non-obviousness and utility requirements of patentability.  If he is a client of Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, which cleverly can be found at both and also, he can simply check the 51-page pamphlet "the Basic principles of Intellectual property Law" that the firm sent them.

Brinks Hofer, a Chicago firm with 150 lawyers, was a Gold Sponsor of the Association of Corporate Counsel annual meeting last October in Chicago.  At the conference exhibit hall the attendees loaded up on pens, mousepads and useless junk that are typically given out at booths.  Then they went home and eventually forgot about the conference.

Waiting until after the beginning of the new year, Brinks Hofer sent out the pamphlets over the signature of Gary M. Ropski, the President of the law firm, who offered to answer any questions regarding intellectual property. The booklet was written by Steven L. Oberholtzer, managing partner of the firm's Ann Arbor office.

Kudos to Joy Long, Director of Business Development and Sydney Iglitzen, Public Relations Manager, whom I credit with this smart marketing technique. The booklet is a great example of follow-up, adds another "touch" between law firm and corporate law department, and delivers an added value.


See What We're Talking about on the LawMarketing Listserv

Thanks to a cool breakthrough in technology, you can now see live what topics members of the LawMarketing Listserv are talking about.  Just go to and read the TV screen.

The LawMarketing Listserv is a friendly collection of marketers, practicing attorneys, experts and journalists.  If you've got a question we can answer it.  If you're facing a challenge, we'll get you through it.   Click to see what people are saying about the Listserv.  

Lawmarketing listserv, law firm marketingIn contrast to other listservs, we don't ask dumb questions "where can I make a restaurant reservation in San Diego?" or answers you can find in Google or the phone book. Our members tend to be more senior, more experienced.  You don't need to belong to any marketing trade association to be a member, so you can say what you really think.

Our hundreds of expert members include marketing experts at Drinker Biddle & Reath, Carlton Fields, The BTI Consulting Group, LexBlog, Schmidt Marketing, The National Law Journal, Duane Morris, Greenfield Belser, Bracewell & Giuliani, Ropes & Gray, ConsultWebs, Morrison & Foerster, Proskauer and many more.  You should be in this group.

I tip my hat to the web engineers at First Step Internet for creating the digital window for people to see into the Listserv. 


For Valentine's Day, Give the Gift of Business Development

Forget the flowers, cards and Godiva chocolates. What your valentine really wants is more clients, new business and increased revenue.  So on Valentine's Day, February 14, plan to attend the webinar Crafting Your Personal Marketing Plan for 2008.

It is natural at this time of year for us to think about setting goals for ourselves for the upcoming year. Recognize that that it is especially vital for you to increase your business development proficiency in 2008. Marketing and selling are professional skills that attorneys must master now in order to thrive.

Taught by sales expert Michael G. Cummings and myself , attendees of this LIVE Web conference will learn what the rainmakers know about getting new business, and the make-or-break steps that rainmakers take, the steps that can also generate a record-breaking year for you in 2008. See the full webinar details right here.

Register Now for this key skill-building seminar, just in time for advancing your career right now in 2008. Any number can attend in one room. Just Click Here.


Those "You've Been Sued. May I Assist You?" Messages Don't Work

law firm marketing, marketing director, junk e-mailAlmost every law firm I know subscribes to a docket alert system that notifies the firm when a company has been sued in their jurisdiction.  As a marketing technique, the firms email the defendant companies informing them that they've been sued and offering to help.

The recipient companies consider this approach to be "ambulance chasing" by the defense bar.

Tonight I was talking with the Senior Counsel and Director of Legal of a Fortune 500 company, and he told me he considered these messages to be junk mail.  "My first reaction is 'I don't know you,'" and then he forwards the email to his current law firm.  The Senior Counsel and his outside law firm joke about how many "hustle" emails they get.

"It's like a stranger saying to me, "Because you are on the New England Patriots, I wanted to notify you that you've been challenged by the New York Giants in the Superbowl in Phoenix, Arizona, in February.  I offer to be your quarterback in the game.  Let me know if you are interested."

The missing element, of course, is that the lawyer notifying the in-house lawyer has no relationship with him.  If you as the lawyer don't have a relationship with the company's lawyers, you have no chance of getting the work. It's not enough that you alerted the company about a problem they were unaware of.

The situation is very different if a lawyer who has spent the time to get to know the in-house counsel, or is recommended by a person the in-house lawyer knows.  In this case, the company will be very receptive to the offer. 

This anecdote illustrates a couple of points.  First, don't make cold-calls; they don't work and the recipient hates to get them.  Second, if you were astute enough to discover a business problem a company has, be sure to take the next step of getting an introduction.



Best Law Firms for Women

Working Mother has released its brand new list of best firms for women lawyers to practice.  As we know, law firms tend to be family-hostile places to work.  Once you go on the "mommy track," years have been added to your time to become partner. 

Further, women have to break the very real "glass ceiling" that prevents them from advancing in their careers. Though almost 50% law school grads over the past 15 years have been women, they make up only 16 percent of equity partners.

"For real-life female lawyers, and millions of working moms in other high-pressure fields, balancing work and family may be the toughest part of the job. Law firms are starting to recognize the hard choices their female attorneys face. In this, our inaugural Working Mother & Flex-Time Lawyers Best Law Firms for Women list, we salute those firms with groundbreaking programs to help women strike a better work/life balance and climb to the top. Our winning firms have taken the lead in implementing penalty-free flex schedules and mentoring, networking and leadership programs," wrote editors Suzanne Riss, Teresa Palagano and Angela Ebron.

To see the list of the top 50 firms, please visit the LawMarketing Portal.

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Tips on Preparing for a Pitch Meeting with a Prospective Client

Stacy West Clark has a great list of 19 tips to follow when you are getting ready to go to a beauty contest, or have a new-business meeting set up with a prospective client.  The full article is on  Here are the highlights:

Once you have an appointment set up with the target, follow this step-by-step guide to preparing for and holding a pitch meeting with a prospective client:  

  1. In advance of the meeting, learn everything you can about the target -- both the person you are meeting with and his or her company. Understand how they make money. Read their Web site -- especially their "press" or "news release" section. Google the company and the individual. Use Westlaw/LexisNexis or all available search engines to identify current and past legal issues, obstacles to the company's success and other "pain points." (A pain point is something that keeps your client up at night -- like dealing with a regulatory inspection or handling a tough internal political situation.) At the end of your research, you should be fully conversant about the company's business.
  2. If you are not familiar with their industry, go to some of the trade group Web sites and learn what the pressing issues are that face companies in that area.
  3. Based on your research, consider some free advice or handouts you can provide at the meeting that might help with a challenge they face or save them dollars or legal fees in the future.
  4. Get a handle on work the firm is doing for similarly situated clients in all areas. Know your firm's practice areas, recent successes and more. Review your firm's Web site and newsletter or walk down the hall to find out what hot areas your firm is involved with right now. You never know what issues the target may raise at such a meeting, so be prepared to cross-sell your firm.
  5. Think of questions you will ask the target at the meeting that demonstrate your knowledge of his or her business and industry and your concern for it.
  6. Alert the receptionist (if the meeting is at your office) that your guest is coming and explain how to greet him/ or her. "Welcome Ms. Clark. We are so glad you are here." I call this the "Cheers greeting." Remember how great it felt to hear the whole bar in the comedy TV show say "hi" to Norman and personally greet him when he walked in the door? It really does make a difference if your guest is made to feel special. Note: Also check that the magazines/firm materials in your reception area are current and your receptionist looks and acts very professionally.
  7. Inspect where you will be meeting. Sit where the target will sit. Make sure the walls are not scuffed, paintings are hung straight and there is not clutter or garbage in their view.
  8. Let others in the firm know whom you are meeting with in case they have any connections or intelligence that might be helpful.
  9. Make sure your appearance is immaculate. Check your clothes, teeth, breath and hair. Check for dandruff or hair strands on your jacket. Even if you think you look fine, double-check it.
  10. Practice your handshake. According to an article that appeared in "Marketing the Law Firm" newsletter by Olivia Cabane, "A Fortune 500 CEO once said that when he had to choose between two candidates with similar qualifications, he gave the position to the candidate with the better handshake." Make sure you have a firm handshake and that you take steps to ensure your hand is not clammy. (Yes, there are steps you can take.) Don't be afraid to shake.
  11. Once there, ask questions about the business, its goals and the target's legal need and then listen, listen and listen. Learn as much as you can. Maintain eye contact.
  12. To the extent you can, offer free advice or cost-saving tips at this initial discussion.
  13. Demonstrate how you have helped other clients facing the same issues as the target.
  14. State that you would very much like to help him or her reach their objectives.
  15. Never say you are "swamped" with work. Make the target feel like his or her case would be the highest priority on your desk.
  16. Discuss and give examples of "value-added" services your firm provides.
  17. Include in your discussion, if possible, your personal client-service protocol such as phone calls returned within four hours and emergency plans in place for your secretary to find you.
  18. After the meeting, follow up with a handwritten note and/or a phone call. Send the target information or news that somehow has an impact on them or their business. Copies of news articles, press clippings, proposed legislation or firm white papers would do the trick. Place the target on your Google-alert list so that Google can notify you whenever the person's name is mentioned on something on the Internet.
  19. Finally, if you do not get the representation, ask why and indicate you would be happy to help them in the future. Use this information to inform your other marketing activities. 

Business Development in a Down Market

Law firm marketing, business development in a down marketPatrick J. Lamb says law firms are in the "perfect storm": clients are angry at law firms and want to cut their spending for outside legal services.

I call it a recession.  We're in one already, but the slow-moving National Bureau of Economic Research won't announce it for another nine months.  That's why PBDI is presenting the webinar Business Development in a Down Market at noon (Central time) on February 26.  Don't miss it or you'll wind up like the little boat in the giant wave from the movie "The Perfect Storm." 

Here's how Patrick sees it:

  • Last August, Gerry Riskin predicted bad times were ahead for the profession, using the terms doom and gloom.  "He looks like an awfully good soothsayer," Patrick says.
  • Citibank's Law Firm Group is predicting hard times. "It sent chills down my spine. 2008 is not likely to be a year lawyers look back at fondly," Patrick writes.
  • Clients are the ones being clobbered by the bad economy, and they're the ones who want to "drive up productivity without increasing legal spend... many clients will face CEO demands to dramatically lower legal spend."

"You know the old saying that firms are never fired, they just aren't hired for new matters?  If the Perfect Storm develops, 2008 could turn out to be the year that the old saying was put to rest and firings became prevalent."


What's New in LawMarketing Store

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How To Win A Competitive Proposal Process
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Take the RainToday Fees & Pricing Survey

The good folks at are conducting their next benchmark research report on Pricing and Fees in Accounting and Professional Service Businesses, and you can contribute your input. They are requesting you take 20 minutes to share how you go about pricing your services.

You can access the survey here:

As a reward for your time and input, upon completion you will receive a complimentary gift of your choice of one’s most popular reports, worth $79 at retail, including:

  • The Professional Services E-Guide To Online PR (PDF)
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  • How To Set Appointments Through Cold Calling E-Guide (PDF)
  • Marketing Strategy, Planning, and Budgeting for Professional Services (Webinar Recording)

Feel free to pass it on...   Your colleagues can qualify for the gift as well. The answers you provide are strictly confidential and will be reported in aggregate only. Your answers will never be associated with you or your company, nor will you or your company be associated with this survey, without your consent.

I read the RainToday e-newsletter and follow their material all the time.  I heartily encourage you to participate in this survey.


Average Size of Megafirm Marketing Departments: 28

Megafirms in the AmLaw 100 are well-known for having well-staffed marketing departments.  In fact the size ranges up to 113 people at one firm, according to Wisnik Career Enterprises, Inc. in a new factsheet the company released at the recent Marketing Partner Forum.

law firm marketing, marketing director

The most interesting takeaway is that firms on average have one marketer per 27 attorneys -- a ratio that exists for firms of all sizes.  But alas, the tenure of the highly-paid marketers is short. Following is the average tenure of law firm marketers by title:

  • Chief: 3.76 years
  • Director: 3.66 years
  • Manager 3.14 years
  • Specialist: 2.75 years
  • Coordinator: 2.79 years
  • Assistant 2.15 years

For more information you can contact Eva Wisnik, President at and Jennifer Johnson, VP Recruitment and Strategy at  Their phone number is 212.370.1010.