Economic Hell Coming in 2009 for Big Law Firms

James Jones, law firm recession, economic downturnTwo leading advisors to major law firms predicted a declining demand for legal services, a 15% drop in net income from 2008, the inability to raise rates, additional layoffs, salary freezes and cost cutting, heavier fee discounting, expenses rising faster than revenues -- and a long wait for better times.

"This recession is significantly different that prior recessions and could lead to fundamental changes in the law firm business model," including more contract and temp lawyers and fewer full-time partners and associates, said James W. Jones of Washington, D.C., Managing Director of Hildebrandt International, speaking yesterday at the Marketing Partner Forum in Dana Point, CA.

Joining him was Lucinda J. Tambourine, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor of Citi Private Bank.  "We are in a shift from a decade of growth and expansion to an extended period of reduced demand and resistance to increase in costs of legal services," she said.

2009 will be an extraordinarily bleak year because of one key factor, according to Jones: "The single factor that worked consistently to drive profitability in the past was the ability to drive up rates 6% to 8% per year, regardless of what else was happening.  As we are entering a period of extended softness in demand, corporate clients are going to be more resistant to the overall cost of legal services.  You are looking at a fundamental shift in the law firm economic model we've lived with for many years.

They also offered these new business models for law firms to respond to the recession. "Firms that are willing to think outside the box will come out of the crisis better than they went into it," Jones said.

For the full story visit the LawMarketing Portal at


Marketing Excellence Awards - Marketing Partner Forum

At tonight’s Marketing Partner Award excellence in marketing awards, the winners are:

  • Marketing Professional of the Year: Deborah Grabein, Director of Marketing at Andrews Kurth in Houston.
  • Marketing Initiative of the Year – Private Eduqity and Banks Initiative: Goodwin Procter
  • Best Use of Technology to Support the Marketing Efforts – Patton Boggs for a weekly “Capital Thinking” podcast and radio show hosted in house. It all began with the magazine of the same name.

For the full story, visit the LawMarketing Portal at

4 GCs Describe How They Pick Law Firms

law firm marketing, general counsel, business developmentFour in-house counsel gave their views on “The Changing Paradigm: What Will Drive Outside Counsel Selection, Retention And Profitability in the Future?” at the 2009 Managing Partner Forum in Dana Point, CA, today. They were:

  • Michael Gruskin, Managing Attorney, Commercial and Product Litigation, General Motors
  • John E. Page, VP, GC and Secretary of Golden State Foods
  • Michael Roster, former Managing Partner of Morrison & Foerster, and former GC of Stanford University and Golden West Financial
  • Susan J. Hackett, Senior Vice President and GC, Association of Corporate Counsel

Here are the highlights, which I tweeted on Twitter today:

Page: The firms that do Golden State Foods work understand the GSF's philosophy, and they know what makes us lose money and make money.

Gruskin: 40% of GM's legal budget is spent on an alternative fee basis.

Hackett: the ACC started it’s "Value Challenge – Reconnecting Costs to the Value of Legal Services " to cut law firm costs in September 2008 because of $1,000/hr partner fees, high associate salaries, high profits per partner and arguments over bills.

Gruskin: Firms are deaf as to how their performance is being perceived by the client. 

Roster: Lawyers should spend a week at a client’s premises to learn what they do. You’ll learn a huge amount about them and how to get a great deal of that company’s business.

Page: It is essential that lawyers discuss staffing and billing at the outset of a matter.

Roster: Most law firm brochures and newsletters go straight into the wastebasket.

Roster: I watched which lawyers attended our trade association meetings. Those are the ones I hired.

Gruskin: When a law firm comes in and it’s clear they don’t know what our business is, it takes us 30 seconds to move on

Roster: Firms with an eat-what-you-kill compensation system or origination credits will not deliver the best value to us.

Gruskin; GM has only two law firms nationwide to handle all of our premises liability cases, and they do so on a flat fee basis .


Reflections at the Marketing Partner Forum

marketing partner forum, marketring director, cmo, law firm marketingThere are 250 attendees at the 16th Annual Marketing Partner Forum in sunny, balmy Dana Point, CA.  Though the group is smaller than in the past, these are people from the law firms that will stand tall after the recession ends. They see the importance of spending money on marketing in an economic downturn, and have sent their partners and talented marketers to a conference to learn how to stay ahead of the pack. They are here in the hope that things will get better. The absent firms are no doubt busy cutting marketing budgets and staff and laying off lawyers. They are at home in the fear that they won’t survive.

It’s also a senior crowd, which I like. The networking breaks are filled with people with lots of experience and perspective, as opposed to the conferences that draw 21-year olds fresh out of college. The dominant topic of conversation is the recession, the highly-publicized law firm layoffs, the firms whose CMO left, and all the bad economic indicators. But as the attendees talk on cell phones among the palm trees and chat over drinks overlooking the rolling ocean, they can see that there is prosperity to be had. There’s a resoluteness that I hear, where people talk about how they’re going to market their way through this lousy economy.

The legal industry is valued at over $200 billion and employs more than 1 million professionals. The average lawyer has a net worth exceeding $1.4 million and an annual household income topping $293,000, according to incisive media. This is a profession that’s here to stay.


Law Firm Marketing Message Should Be "We want YOU to be satisfied"

law firm marketing, marketing directorHere's something refreshing: the General Counsel of AutoZone described in 20 words or less what his company does.  He said:

"We are in the customer satisfaction business."

Notice that he didn't say he was in the business of selling auto parts. The company was all about making customer happy.  And this quote is from a company lawyer, not a salesperson.

I read this in the new issue of momentum, the annual report magazine published by the Nashville law firm of Bass, Berry & Sims.

Law firms can learn a lesson from this client service attitude. Imagine if a law firm's marketing message were, "We're in the client satisfaction business, and do so by providing personalized legal services." 

But instead, most law firms roll out a version of,

"For nearly two decades, our firm has been known as a premier law firm. Each of our practice areas is highly regarded, and our lawyers are recognized for their commitment to the representation of our clients’ interests throughout the U.S." 

The difference is clear: one message focuses on the client, the latter focuses on the law firm.

To get a copy of momentum -- a beautifully produced 29-page glossy magazine -- contact Eddie Bowen, Communications Coordinator, (615) 259-6447 and E-mail.


5 Tips for Better Business Cards

law firm marketing, larry bodine, business developmentIf you think business cards aren't important marketing tools, you're wrong, as reported by Kimberly Atkins in an interview with yours truly in Lawyers USA:  

"Yet too may lawyers simply stick to the old, outdated format of white card stock with a name and number printed in boring black letters. Bad idea, says Larry Bodine, business development advisor at Larry Bodine Marketing and owner of the popular legal marketing site"

"A business card is like a mini-capsule of yourself," Bodine says. "Why not make it interesting?"

"Here are his suggestions for doing just that:

1. Add some pizzazz.

One advantage that smaller firms have over their white shoe counterparts is the ability to break away from the old black-and-white, block-letter mold.

Use color to make your cards pop. Add memorable pictures, and think of printing cards portrait style instead of the traditional landscape shape. Try using a glossy finish and nontraditional fonts – just make sure they are professional and easily readable.

2. A name and number isn't enough.

Your cards should include things like Facebook pages, LinkedIn profiles and twitter and blog addresses.

"Make an effort to show that you are technologically hip," Bodine says.

And of course, don't forget your firm website address and email address – you'd be surprised how many lawyers omit such crucial information.

3. Make them user-friendly.

Print lines on the back, which allows the receiver to jot down notes.

"I always record the date and where and when I met a contact on the back of a card I receive" for easier reference later, Bodine says.

Make it easy for your contacts to do the same.

4. Banish cards from the wallet.

No one wants to wait for you to rustle through your pants or jacket pocket for a wallet, then watch you rummage through money and pictures of your kids before handing them a beaten-up, dog-eared card.

"That blows any classy impression you were trying to make," Bodine says.

5. Make the experience special.

One hugely important – yet frequently overlooked – tool for good business card marketing: a card case.

Not only does it eliminate the wallet problem, but "when you pull a card out of a card container, people feel you are handing them something special," says Bodine.

A leather case, silver card holder or even something more adorned – some cases look like "pieces of jewelry" Bodine notes – makes the experience memorable for the receiver.




Bankruptcy is a Growth Area for Law Firms

When I teach lawyers how to sell, I advise them to ask questions to discover client "pain."  In this recession, there is an ocean of pain for businesses and individuals that can't pay their landlords, have run up debt so high it can't be paid off and revenue has dropped drastically.

Among the companies that filed a petition in bankruptcy in 2008 included Tribune Co., Bally Total Fitness, Tweeter electronics, Circuit City, Mervyn’s, Bennigan's & Steak & Ale, Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual bank, Linens 'n Things, Frontier Airlines and Sharper Image.

Bankruptcy filings in the U.S. rose to 91,355 for the month of November 2008, cresting at more than 1 million filed in 2008, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

bankruptcy, law firm marketing, growing practice area










If there was ever a time for lawyers to brush up on Chapters 7 and 11 of the bankruptcy code, this is it.

As Mergers and Other Work Dry Up, Bankruptcy Becomes Lawyers’ Oasis is a telling headline in the January 24, 2009 New York Times.  There are more than a million potential clients for small firms serving consumers and mega-firms representing giant corporations.

"At some firms, seasoned bankruptcy partners hold seminars and host brown bag lunches to introduce Chapter 11 proceedings to associates more accustomed to carefully planned mergers than to corporate fire sales. Some firms have poached bankruptcy experts from rivals in a bid to bolster business and to bring in a source of knowledge for lawyers new to dark times," quoth the Times.

The people who are most successful are the counselors, who know a little bit about everything,” Said Kenneth A. Lefkowitz, a partner at Hughes Hubbard & Reed in New York, told the Times.


5 Ways Blogging Can Make a Difference for You in This Economy

Dan Schwabel, law firm marketing, marketing directorBy Dan Schawbel, from the ProBlogger blog. Dan is the author of Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success, and owner of the award winning Personal Branding Blog.

If you ever were scared or intimated of a blog, now is the best time to flush away those fears and start a blog. Forget about the economy and start thinking about how you can make a difference in your life and that of others. Blogging is a proven way to become extremely successful, no matter what the economic condition is. Today, I want to give you five ways that blogging can make a huge impact for your personal brand during this economy.

1. Protects you from Threats

Your name is your most important asset on the web, followed by your picture and then your positioning. Blogging allows you to own your Google results, which, in return will allow people to find you. I promise you that people are already searching for your name in Google and if you aren’t there, it’s a missed opportunity. Blogging is extremely powerful for search engine optimization (ranking high in Google), which means you can make your blog rank #1 for your name and have people find you every single time. Competitively, you need to blog because you don’t want anyone else claiming that top position from you, especially if they share your name.

2. Allows you to Network

By having a blog, you already have something in common with more than 100 million people across the world, which means each and every day you can connect with one or more faces, without leaving your computer chair. Networking with other people is the only insurance policy you can have during a bad economy and if you’ve already been networking online, you’re way ahead of the game. See, when you aren’t looking for a job, and you network, it comes off authentically and increases your chances of opening up a new opportunity. A blog is content driven and conversations are started around content, which gives you the ability to comment on other peoples blogs and then further that relationship off-blog with an email or message on social networks. In this way, your blog becomes the ultimate networking device for keeping you connected with people that can make you succeed!

3. Keeps your Skills Up

The two most crucial skills to have are writing and verbal communication skills. The best way to get better at both is to practice and by writing blog posts and filming podcasts, you are able to hone these skills and get better over time. This is extremely important when it comes to writing a resume, interviewing for a job, forming relationships with coworkers, writing to other bloggers online and commenting. By forcing yourself (hopefully you’ll be passionate enough about the subject not to be forced to write about it) to blog, your writing will get better and people will take notice. Think about how significant email is in our lives. If you’re currently employed and your writing isn’t satisfactory, then it will negatively impact the brand called you.

4. Promotes Brand You

When you’re sleeping, your blog is working for you overtime and you don’t even have to pay it! That’s right; a blog is an incredible marketing tool for your personal brand. Every blog post can be found in Google, commented on, shared and so on. A blog is an advertisement and, for those who read and craft a blog that looks professional, your blog is your resume. People are getting jobs all the time from their blogs and they aren’t even applying for them. Blogging is a form of attraction marketing, where people get interested in your content (that you give out for free) and then either hire you or give you an opportunity that can help you build your brand, such as a speaking gig. One of the main benefits of blogging, aside from positioning yourself as an expert, is the added visibility to your brand name. With a blog, you can rank high in search engines and have people link to you. You can spread your message to thousands of subscribers in a single post if you work at it.

5. Relieves you from Stress

Blogging is very good for the soul and keeps you active, to a point, where you’ll forget we are even in an economic recession. When you start blogging, you’ll realize that it really consumes your time and, in a sense, this is a very good thing for you when you hear stories of people getting laid off, left and right. A blog will settle you down, make you concentrate more and allow you to flush your ideas out, which can turn into new business ventures! Forget a stress ball and any other infomercials you might see on TV. A blog will actually help you become more of who you are and you can form relationships with people just like you. In this way, you have a whole choir to preach to, instead of just your family and friends.


Make Four Personal, Face-to-Face Contacts Every Day

Found on Peter Darling's blog:

Your goal should be to make at least four personal, face-to-face contacts every day.  They should include:

  • 1 prospect, to determine needs, present a proposal, or close a sale1 existing customer, to maintain the relationship, deliver on promises, up-sell and gather testimonials and referrals
  • 1 lost customer, to see how they are doing and to remind them you haven’t forgotten about them
  • 1 professional colleague, to ask how you might help them further their career (don’t worry, they will offer to help you too)

If you do enough of this, you will soon have to see 2 existing customers each day because there won’t be very many lost customers to win back.

Contact.  There ain’t no other way.

In marketing professional services, which is all about relationship, this is even more the case. It is all about regularly, systematically making contact.

Whom are you going to contact today?


Dr. Evil Appears in Law Firm Marketing Ad

When I first saw the law firm advertisement in American Lawyer magazine I had the following impressions:

1. Omigod! A law firm has used Dr. Evil from the the Austin Powers film series in an ad!  How much did they have to pay to get comedy actor Mike Myers? Wait a minute...why would a law firm want to depict themselves as finger-biting terrorists who want to take over the world?  Where is his cat Mr. Bigglesworth and his side-kick Mini-Me?

2. Then I looked closer and noticed that a creepy alien worm had wriggled under the man's skin.  Omigod! A hideous larva has slithered subcutaneously next to his brain, just like in horror movies.  Why would a law firm want to depict itself as a writhing invasive creature? What's the branding message?

3. Then I pulled away and notice that the bulging blue blood vessel resembled the filament in a light bulb. The man's head shape resembled a light bulb, kind of. Maybe the image was meant to suggest the "light bulb" that goes on in cartoons when a person has an idea.   So how does that connect with the firm's tagline, "Consider it solved"?  It appears to me that this man needs treatment at a varicose vein clinic.

Ahh those wacky Finns.  It was an ad for Borenium & Kemppinen, attorneys at law in Helsinki and cities called "Espoo" and "Tempere."  Established in 1911, B&K lost its mind in 2008 and is one of the largest law firms in Finland.  For more bizarre images I recommend you visit their website.  The flash video features flying insects hovering around Dr. Evil's head.

I am not making this up.

Top 10 Marketing Blunders of 2008

From the Collateral Damage blog:

Special Jury Awards

Co-Branding That Shouldn’t Have Been

The Alpha & Omega of Over-reaching

Product Failure

The Penguins Of Irony “Oh NO You Din’t” Awards



Law Firms Could Rock the Train Station with Guerilla Marketing

T-Mobile rocked the Liverpool Street station in London with a guerrilla marketing campaign filmed at 11am on Thursday January 15, 2009. They cast some hundred people and had them dress in normal work attire while passing through the rail station.

Suddenly a mix tape started over the loud speaker and these people got into formation and began performing their choreographed show. Many people in the train station joined in. I’m sure the people in that station that day will be talking about this for weeks.

Notice all the people making cell phone calls and taking cell phone pictures.


Couldn’t a law firm do the same thing?


Baby Boom Generation Now Outnumbered

Ever since I was born, the Baby Boom Generation ruled.  What we decided was the majority rule.  Our worldview prevailed and our music, fads and hairstyles were always dominant. What we did  defined the news and ultimately, history.  There were always more of us than any other age group.

It was very cool.  Every time my friends and I would start doing something, I'd read in the Wall Street Journal that it was a nationwide trend.  Marketers researched our every thought and invented products and services just for us.

But now a sea change has occurred and it's time to wake up and smell the Internet.  The Net Generation, also known as the millennials, is now the biggest generation in history, according to a new book, Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World by Don Tapscott. More than 81 million people in the US were born from 1977 to 1997 and they now make up 27% of the population.

By comparison, the Baby Boomers, born from 1946 to 1964, were 77 million strong and are now only 23% of the population. 

The Net Generation is quite different. Just as Boomers grew up with TV, the Net Generation grew up with the Internet, computers and video games. The book identifies eight norms of the Net Generation:

  1. They prize freedom.
  2. They want to customize things.
  3. They enjoy collaboration.
  4. They scrutinize everything.
  5. They insist on integrity in institutions and corporations.
  6. They want to have fun even at school or work.
  7. They believe that speed in technology and everything else is normal.
  8. They regard constant innovation as a fact of life.

As I expected, my 24-year old son is taller, faster, stronger and smarter than me. I could always type fast, but he is lightning at the keyboard. In the gym he warms up with a 100-pound bench press, which is my maximum weight.  Whereas I study installation manuals in detail, he opens a computer program and intuitively knows how it works. Naturally he lacks the perspective and experience that 50 years of life give a person, but he'll get that over time.  (Criminy! That's what my Dad would say about me.)

The marketing lesson is that the Net Generation communicates differently. To reach them, you send a text message; to reach me you make a phone call. The Net Generation is all over FaceBook, viewing the Web on a handheld device and getting music and information on an iPod.  The Net Generation downloads movies, music and information -- they don't buy the hard copy.

Now more than ever marketers must stay in touch with younger people. Don't become one of those people who can't work a digital camera, set your cell phone voicemail or program your DVR.  Be current. Stay relevant. Try new things.


Guerilla Law Firm Marketing Idea for ACC Convention

guerilla marketing, acc convention, law firm marketing, marketing directorWhy doesn't a law firm use guerilla marketing tactics at the next convention of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC)?  Or any of the 48 ACC chapters in the US and abroad?  We all know the ACC annual convention is going to be in Boston on October 18-21.

Here's what a group of entrepreneurs did in New Orleans:

Hospitality entrepreneurs take convention recruitment into their own hands
By Jaquetta White, The Times-Picayune
Monday January 12, 2009

Last week was the series of mysterious e-mails. On Sunday came the costumed roller-bladers. Tomorrow there is the party at a local nightclub.

These episodes and events are the work of a small group of business owners who are working outside the auspices of the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau to recruit conventions to the city. They have organized a reception for Tuesday evening at which they hope to entice 3,000 members of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) to steer millions of dollars in business to New Orleans.

"We all got together and said 'We all have to get involved. We have to do something,'" said Thea Pagel, an event planner and one of four people coordinating the guerilla marketing effort. "This is a big event. We wanted to participate."

The PCMA consists of meeting planners and executives who together book $40 billion in convention business every year. Seventy percent of the membership is in New Orleans this week for the group's annual event, which the local visitors bureau refers to as the Super Bowl of meetings for its potential to draw future convention business to the city.

The Super Friends, all of whom work in some realm of the hospitality industry, began sending e-mail blasts late last week to PCMA members who they thought might be in town. The foursome has sent out more than 5,000 e-mails daily since Thursday, each emblazoned with a cartoon drawing of a superhero. The initial e-mail was vague, but subsequent missives grew progressively more detailed.

"We wanted to get their attention," said Pagel, who owns Thea Pagel Productions, an event planning company. "It's like a comic book, and we're slowly unfolding the story we have to tell."

On Sunday, the Big Easy Rollergirls dressed up as superheroes and met the conventioneers as they prepared to enter a private reception at Blaine Kern Studios. The costumed skaters handed them flyers promoting Tuesday's private reception, which will take place on the same evening -- but at a later time -- than a dinner for the conventioneers at the Louisiana Superdome hosted by the visitors bureau.

"It's grassroots and guerilla marketing," Pagel said. "We're entrepreneurs by day, but we've taken on this crazy project."

"There are a lot of people who work very hard to bring conventions to the city. But this is a story we wanted to tell," Pagel said. "We're entrepreneurs, and we've all been in the hospitality industry for a long time."

Mary Beth Romig, a spokeswoman for the visitors bureau, said her organization did not know about the plans until the e-mails began appearing last week.

Tonight's reception will introduce PCMA members to representatives from a handful of local organizations, including the Downtown Development District, the Canal Street Medical Corridor and the LSU Health Sciences Center, each of which offered some small financial support to pay the cost of hosting the event.

"It fit in with what we want to do. We want to brand downtown as innovative and creative," said Valerie Robinson, director of marketing and special projects for the development district. The Super Friends campaign is "creative and innovative and everything you want people to think about downtown."

Pagel said those institutions were selected because they portray a side of New Orleans that might go unnoticed by conventioneers. The group wanted to illustrate that the city functions outside the hospitality industry.

"The people here know our culture. They know the layout of the city. They know our restaurants," Pagel said. "But I don't think they know the vision of where we're going and how we're going to be a better and smarter city."


My 2009 Tech Resolutions

Earlier this year I bought a webcam, and it’s been staring at me, sitting in the package.  My 2009 tech resolutions include breaking open that package and learning how to use it. I saw myself on a webcam at Radio Shack and looked like a character in Grumpy Old Men. "Why so serious?" the Joker asked.

Most importantly, I resolve to get better at Yahoo Fantasy Football.  My team, the Screaming Macaws, finished with a .500 record.  All my opponents were 24-year old friends of my son, who is the League Commissioner.  Now that I'm better at it, I’ll invite clients to join my own league.

 Getting hip on Twitter, start tweeting and making connections with it.  Done.  Follow me at  I heard about a lawyer who was watching a golf game on TV, tweeted “do you think Tiger Woods will make this putt?”  He got a response immediately from across the country, inquired about his business needs and opened a $250,000 assignment as a result.

 I resolve to re-examine my connections on LinkedIn, and weed out the random connections that don’t relate to business. Done.  I'm down to 254 connections. I am not impressed by other people who have 500+ LinkedIn connections; they have online garbage dumps.  I will be more strategic in accepting invitations to connect.


Top 10 mistakes People Make on LinkedIn

Christine Pilch, Linkedin, law firm marketing, technology marketingChristine Pilch of Ware, MA, a co-owner at Grow My Company says "LinkedIn is such a wonderful tool to sell yourself to prospects and potential customers, clients and employers. Unfortunately, a lot of people make a lot of mistakes and don't fully utilize LinkedIn to its full potential. Here are the top 10 mistakes that I see people make:"

  1. Unprofessional photo. LinkedIn is not Facebook. This is not a place where you should have on a baseball cap or be dressed inappropriately for your position. You should be represented exactly as people see you in your day-to-day work environment. If you're a police officer, you should be in uniform, and a banker better be in a suit and tie.
  2. Not using a custom URL. You can change your URL where it says Public Profile/edit. Use your name, because this is a public link that you can use in marketing materials. Do this now before somebody else takes it.
  3. Incomplete employment history. Your employment history is a powerful tool for people to find you. It is common for people to search employees of companies they worked for in the past to reconnect with old friends and associates. If you're not there, you can't be found as easily.
  4. Not listing your specific URLs. Don't be satisfied with the default, "My Company," or "My Blog." By simply dropping down to "Other," you can customize these links to read your company's name, for example, "Grow My Company."

To read the rest of the story please visit the LawMarketing Portal at


Blagojevich impersonator says, "Impeached? For being Awesome?"

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For a great laugh, follow  govblago on Twitter -- the writer is pretending to be the F*%#ing corrupt governor of Illlinois -

Here are some samples:


After all of this political BS, I am thinking about becoming a Spokesperson for Mantyhose  I do have great F*%#ing legs
I whooped Milt Patterson's ass in a "best of 3 series of drunken Wii Bowling", w/ a Beer Bong after each frame. He had to vote to keep me in.
Impeached for what, baby? For being awesome?!?
I am starving, and these $#^%ing interns are complaining about the snow, why they're late and why my Latte's cold! F&$%!
They can take my office, BUT THEY'LL NEVER TAKE MY Wii!!!!! *
Ok, Wii Tennis anyone? 
Who wants to go somewhere warm with me?
Didn't even get no static from the cowards, Cause just yesterday them fools tried to blast me, Saw the police and they rolled right past me.

Sixteen Reasons to Tweet on Twitter

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Twitter is the newest tech sensation in legal marketing. Lawyer Robert Ambrogi explains how to use the microblogging tool to mold your image, distribute news and attract new clients:

So I strapped on some wings and gave it a try. In no time at all, Twitter turned me into a songbird ready to sing its praises.

First, a few words about how it works. After you sign up and create a user name, you can post short messages, called "tweets," of no more than 140 characters. These messages appear on Twitter's Web site and can also be tracked through mobile phones and other applications.

Bob Ambrogi, twitter, law firm marketingOnce you are a member, you can follow other members' messages. When you come across someone you know or find interesting, click the "follow" button to add their messages to your feed. (Find mine at, Law Technology News's at Others can do the same to receive your messages.

If you prefer to be less public, you can limit the visibility of your messages to people you approve. It is simple in concept, yet surprisingly versatile in potential uses. Here are 16 that stand out for me.

1. Expand your network. With blogging, writing, speaking and various bar committees, I consider myself pretty well networked. So I was surprised upon joining Twitter at how many new contacts I made, how quickly I made them, and their potential value to me as a professional.

2. Discover new blogs. Everyone on Twitter has a profile page where they can link to their Web site or blog. As interesting tweets catch my attention, I sometimes click through to find equally interesting -- and previously unknown to me -- blogs.

3. Mold your image. Those who post regularly to Twitter provide others a glimpse of their daily lives. That glimpse can help shape your public image. Do your posts paint you as a high-powered professional -- now writing an appellate brief, now preparing for a deposition -- or as a trivia-obsessed slacker, now breaking for lunch, now off for drinks? By thinking before you post, you can shape how others see you.

4. Distribute your news. Lawyers and law firms already use Twitter as a vehicle to distribute news and press releases. Even though Twitter limits posts to 140 characters, posts can include Web links. Thus, post the headline or a brief description together with the link to the full item.

To read the rest of the article visit the LawMarketing Portal at


GCs Face Budget Cuts Averaging 11.5% for 2009

75% of responding General Counsel indicated that their law departments are facing budget cuts averaging 11.5% for 2009.  An additional 15.6% reported that their budgets would increase by a smaller percentage than in prior years.

Follow this link to read the Altman Weil research.

budget cut, corporate counsel, law firm marketing


Attorneys Flocking to Twitter for Marketing

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From where I’m sitting, 2009 will be the year Twitter becomes the major business development trend.


  • Because lawyers don’t have time to update their own bios.
  • They don’t have time to write articles.
  • They don’t have time to update a blog.

But they DO have time to type 140 characters. And lawyers can search twitter to find clients. 


twitter, lawyer marketing, law firm marketing, business has identified more than 500 lawyers and legal professionals using twitter


Attorneys are part of a massive increase in professionals using the website as a marketing tool, according to Lawyers USA. Twitter had 282,000 users at the end of 2007, but will boast over three million by the end of 2008, according to the third party site TwitDir.


Twitter is essentially micro-blogging based on a simple question: "What are you doing?" The site then allows the user just 140 words to answer.  Through Twitter, friends or colleagues can monitor these brief alerts, known as "tweets."


Shortly after graduating from the Oklahoma City School of Law, Chris Moander of the Moander Law Firm in Milwaukee signed up for an account on  Within six weeks, the business attorney had added a host of new clients thanks to the site.


"I found that Twitter isn't full of teenagers or time-wasters," said Moander. "There is this whole demographic of local bigwigs, decision-makers, entrepreneurs, people who have an influence on economic life. That's an appealing demographic for me."

@LeeRosen  talks about his practice area divorce law. There are 279 people following his tweets, it’s a small community that literally have “online conversations.”


Twitter is valuable to legal professionals as it shows reaction with current trends, many of these posts are made from mobile handheld devices, so not having access to your desktop is no longer an excuse to blog. There has been a lot of reaction from lawyers on the global recession and how it has affected the legal world. It’s not all legal talk on twitter. It is not uncommon to see legal professionals tweet about their hobbies or funny family stories from the holidays.


LMA Abandons its Listserv

After trying for years to compete with the original LawMarketing Listserv, the Legal Marketing Association will shortly abandon its listserv, according an online press release.

The LMA launched its members-only listserv in 2002.  It will be "decommissioned" on February 1, 2009 and all the archives will be lost. In contrast, LawMarketing Listserv archives of law firm marketing content continue unbroken since November 2001.

The LMA 'serv is being replaced by LMA Connect, a "collaboration center." 

 Read LMA members' comments about this blog post below.

Blogger Timothy Corcoran wrote, "it's hard to replace the simplicity of threaded conversations that take place in your own email inbox. I've registered for the new site and I understand and respect all the tough design decisions -- but I prefer to see all legal marketing conversations in one place rather than reading, and posting in different locations depending on the topic. The posts will apparently replicate to your email so you may not need to sign on if you just wish to read, but for some reason my current PDA won't display these at all... which means at the moment it's useful to me only when sitting at my computer."

The LMA even admits on YouTube, "The new system might require subtle changes to your typical routine. Please go with the flow."

LawMarketing listservMeanwhile, the LawMarketing Listserv, which has been in continuous operation since 1996, remains an easy-to-use e-mail discussion list. Members include high-level marketers and lawyers who want strategic conversations, tips on job openings, hot news, invitations to write articles for major publications and the opportunity to write reviews of new books.

"I like this good 'ol traditional format and the high caliber of people on it!" said a LawMarketing Listserv member in California. "Thanks for not changing your format in an effort to fix something that isn't broken."

Everyone -- lawyers, marketers, consultants, journalists -- is welcome to join the LawMarketing Listserv.  It even features a cool TV screen so that visitors can see what we're discussing right now. Membership dues are $125 per year -- only $10.42 per month -- which law firms reimburse or members deduct as a business expense.

Read LMA members' comments about this blog post below.

Top Reasons To Join The LawMarketing Listserv 

You’ll get the first chance to see job openings – with salaries listed -- before they are posted publicly. No one else lists the salaries.

The Listserv operates 24 hours every day.

We are independent. You don't need to be a member of any marketing association or any other organization.

You’ll read first-hand reports about marketing conferences around the country. You'll always know what's going on in the profession.

You’ll get invitations from editors of national magazines and newspapers to write articles.

You’ll get a chance to write a review of new books on marketing, get the review published on the LawMarketing Portal, and keep the book!

You’ll get invitations to attend marketing programs free with a press pass and have your report published on the LawMarketing Portal.

We have a sense of humor, and let members tell "Friday Funnies" jokes once a week.

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Wishing You a Prosperous 2009