Chief Legal Officers Don't Think Law Firms Are Serious About Change

Dan DiluccioOnly 5% of chief legal officers at corporations believe that law firms are serious about changing the value proposition in their legal service delivery, as opposed to simply cutting costs, a new survey by Altman Weil reveals. 


“This year, in the midst of an unprecedented financial shift, we wanted to learn if the talk about a changing model of legal service delivery – in terms of pricing, staffing and law firm selection criteria – was being translated into action,” DiLuccio said.  But cleints don't see it happening.


Heavy pressure to change


The survey asked Chief Legal Officers (CLOs) to rate how much pressure corporations are putting on law firms to change the value proposition in legal service delivery, as opposed to simply cutting costs. CLOs responded across the board, with:

  • 25% rating the pressure as high – or between 8 and 10 on a zero to 10 scale
  • 37% rating the pressure in the mid-range at 5, 6 or 7
  • 38% rating it low, between zero and 4. 

However, when asked how serious law firms are about changing their delivery model, the answers were in sharp contrast.  Only 5% of CLOs assessed law firms as highly serious, scoring them between 8 and 10.  Twenty percent gave firms credit for some level of effort, rating them 5, 6 or 7. A full 75% rated law firms between zero and 4 on the scale, indicating little or no interest in change.

This is a dramatic vote of no confidence from Chief Legal Officers,” observed Altman Weil principal Dan DiLucchio.  “Either many law firms just don’t understand that clients today expect greater value and predictability in staffing and pricing legal work, or firms are failing to adequately communicate their understanding and willingness to make real change.  In either case, it’s a big problem.”

For the rest of the story visit the LawMarketing Portal at


Virtual Law Firm Collects 250 Clients with Fixed Fees

Frank NatoliExcerpted from the National Law Journal:

Attorneys Frank Natoli and Moshe Lapin launched their new law firm Natoli-Lapin LLC in 2008, building a niche in low-cost legal services for entrepreneurs, artists and others launching new business ventures.

"We're growing pretty fast," Natoli said. "For us, it was perfect timing. There are more entrepreneurs right now because so many people have lost their jobs. We're the go-to guys for that scenario."

Natoli credits the firm's success thus far — it soon will have collected 250 clients — to its business model.

  • First, the two-attorney firm follows the virtual law firm model, wherein most business is conducted via the Internet and telephone rather than in a traditional office setting. This keeps overhead extremely low; 80% of the firm's revenue is profit, Natoli said.
  • Second, the foundation of the firm is unbundled, flat-fee basic services geared toward new business owners. For example, the firm's Web site advertises incorporation filings for a single-member limited liability corporation starting at $395. It also offers trademark, patent and copyright services in flat-rate packages. The firm handles only basic filings, and hands off the business to other attorneys if a matter becomes complicated.

Clients have responded favorably to the firm's flat-rate offerings, he said, and he and Lapin are busier than they expected to be when they started out. While the firm's staple clients are start-up business or solo entrepreneurs, established businesses have sought out its services because of the low prices.

Natoli acknowledged that his firm isn't alone in offering flat-rate legal services, but claimed that it is unique in pinpointing the entrepreneurial community.

That focus is a smart move, said law firm marketing expert Larry Bodine of Larry Bodine Marketing in Glen Ellyn, Ill.

"Nobody wants to hire a generalist," he said. "You don't want a guy who knows a little bit about everything. It's a benefit to have a specialty like entrepreneurs. That's big right now because people are losing their jobs" and starting their own companies.

Solo practitioners and small firms have been increasingly open to flat-fee arrangements, Bodine said, although he warned that it might not be the best idea to post rates on a firm's Web site, as Natoli-Lapin does. Advertising bargain basement prices could create the perception that your law firm is akin to a legal clinic, he said.

"Generally, you don't want to talk money until you have them on the phone," Bodine said. "You are going to attract people who are shopping around just based on price, and that isn't necessarily what you want."

But it's the fees disclosure that brings in clients who are sometimes intimidated by the process of retaining a lawyer, Natoli said. Figuring out how to set prices low enough to lure clients but high enough to sustain the firm was a learning process that took six months, however. The firm didn't necessarily make money on the first matters it handled because its initial flat rates weren't high enough. However, Natoli remains optimistic about the future of the firm and believes that more attorneys in small firms will have to take creative approaches to thrive.

"I think you will see more of these types of practices emerge," he said. "There are a lot of displaced attorneys out there, and they are going to have to look outside the box."


Corporate Counsel Want to Hire Virtual Law Firms

virtual law firm, law firm marketing, FSB legal counselFrom the Fulton County Daily Report:

Here's a formula for success in a brutal economy: Figure out a way to save general counsel money on their outside legal spending. The attorneys who have done that are growing their revenue while others are not.

"We are keeping costs down by using in-house attorneys as much as possible and using sole practitioners or nontraditional law firms with big firm experience," said Kristen K. McGuffey, executive vice president and general counsel of Simmons Bedding Co.

One of the non-traditional firms McGuffey uses is FSB Legal Counsel, founded seven years ago in Atlanta by two of her former law firm colleagues.It's a "virtual" firm of former big law attorneys working remotely to offer clients the same services as before at half the rate -- or less.

"We didn't plan this economic situation. We're just benefiting from it," said James M. Fisher II. "In a time of lawyers being laid off, we're increasing our size."

Fisher said FSB is growing as fast as they can find attorneys who meet their standards -- which include seven years or more of big law experience. Some have decades with big law firms, and some are former corporate GCs.

Fisher worked for Holland & Knight and Baker & McKenzie before joining Morris, Manning & Martin, where he met Broyles. They started FSB in 2002 with six lawyers in Atlanta. Last fall they had 27 lawyers, and now have 41. They expect to have 50 by the end of the quarter and 75 to 100 by the end of the year.

They work in their home offices or other quarters of their own choosing. They do their own typing and answer their own phones. Their only firm office is an executive suite at an office park that is rented for specific occasions only -- like a hotel meeting room. They stay in touch through e-mail, cell phones and the Internet.

"What we've done is taken a big law firm and taken away the ivory tower, the mahogany desks, the expensive artwork, the young associates being trained on the clients' dime and the redundant support staff," said Fisher. "The clients are really only paying for what's between our ears."



Look! A See-Through Plastic Post Card

plastic see through direct mail postcardHere's something I've never seen before: a plastic see-through post card.  I liked it as a marketing tool because it really popped out of all the other mail I get. Appropriately, it promotes a $100 discount to a marketing conference in Chicago in July.

The text and graphics are painted onto the oversize 6"x9" card, and the address appears to be laser printed onto the card.  Created by ShipShapes, the "ClearCard™ is a rectangular direct mail piece that captures attention, evokes a response, and sticks around while conventional mail gets tossed in a recycle bin or trash can."

"ClearCards are unconventional post card mailers that not only get noticed, they influence response, generate word-of-mouth advertising, and encourage recipients to hold onto them. In test campaigns, ClearCards consistently outperform control pieces with 3 to 10 time higher measures." 

plastic see through direct mail postcardYou can put a dinosaur, water bottle or castle as the graphic on the ClearCard. The company says the cards generated a 49% response rate for a sports team ticket promotion and the best ROI and 320% lift for a telecom company seeking new ISP subscribers.


Having a Wikipedia Entry can be Good for Getting New Business

Carolyn ElefantCarolyn Elefant makes a great point on Nolo's Legal Marketing Blog that you need to pay attention to your Wikipedia entry.  Not sure if you have one? You better check.  I looked up my own name and was surprised.

A Wikipedia entry can help your law firm generate new business. "If you're like most lawyers, you probably use Wikipedia for a variety of purposes.  Some of you may be avid enough users that you may have even registered for a Wikipedia account and contributed to some of the entries.  But chances are, you never considered creating a Wikipedia page for yourself or your law firm," Carolyn writes. 

Most major law firms already maintain pages on Wikipedia.  What's more, the
UK Law Society points out, Wikipedia has enormous reach: 

Wikipedia is one of the largest reference websites -- 684 million visitors yearly. For a sniff of its power, whether you like it or not, cogitate on this snippet from the New York Times 'Bits' technology blog on 30 March, entitled 'Microsoft Encarta Dies After Long Battle With Wikipedia': 'Microsoft delivered the coup de grâce Monday to its dying Encarta encyclopedia, acknowledging what everyone else realized long ago: it just couldn't compete with Wikipedia... In January, Wikipedia got 97% of the visits that web surfers in the United States made to online encyclopedias, according to the internet ratings service Hitwise. Encarta was second, with 1.27%.' That's how powerful Wikipedia is.

"With that kind of traffic, a listing on Wikipedia could theoretically bolster a firm's search engine visibility.  So I decided to test my theory and ran a couple of searches on some of the law firms listed in Wikipedia.  Sure enough, the firms' Wikipedia listings came up within the top five to ten front page search results on Google," she writes.

"Many large firms with long histories describe the firm's origins and provide bios of firm founders and well known alumni.  A smaller firm might also link to reported cases or cross reference practice areas described on Wikipedia.  For example, a bankruptcy lawyer could cross link to the entry on Bankruptcy in Wikipedia, thus providing a good resource for clients with basic questions," she writes.

"Ultimately, I don't think that Wikipedia is an indispensable component of a lawyer marketing portfolio," she says. "But for lawyers looking for something different or who can devise a unique use for Wikipedia, it might be a marketing tool worthy of further consideration."


Billing Clients for Computertized Research - and how it Hurts Law Firm Marketing

Lawyers USA has a great article on the effects of billing clients for certain costs. In the case of a major New York law firm it led to a class action lawsuit. The plaintiff argues that the firm violated California’s ethics laws as well as the state’s unfair business practices statute by overcharging him for computerized legal research.

It's also really bad for law firm marketing.

Granted, the bonehead who filed suit is in my opinion pursuing a nuisance lawsuit that he deserves to lose.  He's claiming that the firm buys its Westlaw and Lexis service in an annual contract but didn't pass along the savings to him.  When they throw his case out, I hope they hit him with attorney fees too.

By my point is, when you got to the UPS store and they mark up the cost of US Postal mail, you feel like you're getting gypped.  The same thing when they charge you $5 a page to send a fax to Europe.

Hotels have been charging $7 for a tiny bottle of scotch in the mini-refrigerators for years.  Airlines now charge $5 for a mediocre box lunch when you used to get a hot meal served for free.  Customers don't like it when a business passes on its own cost of doing business.

The best practice for attorneys is to build computerized legal research costs into their overhead costs and not break them out separately in the bill. Clients hate seeing charges for copying or postage. If you break out every charge, it makes you look like you are trying to milk every nickel and dime possible out of the client.

Instead, build the cost of the research into your hourly time , but be sure to explain it to the client. 

And in the current economy, it might be worth simply not charging the client for the cost of research. Just eat the cost. Charge for your time doing legal research, but don’t charge the client for the cost of the service. Just be sure to say … on the invoice that you didn’t charge them and let them know that’s something you do for valued clients.”



Blogger Not Surprised that Black Lawyer was Hired as "Marketing Tool"

Heather Milligan, law firm marketing, marketing directorFormer associate Venus Yvette Springs, an African-American lawyer at Mayer Brown’s Charlotte, N.C., office has filed a Title VII discrimination suit that claims the law firm used her as a “marketing tool” before firing her in 2008.

So what? says Heather M. Milligan, Director of Marketing at Barger & Wolen in Los Angeles, and author of The Legal Watercooler. She derided  the claims in the lawsuit, saying, "I hate to break the news to anyone reading this: EVERY lawyer in the firm is a potential “marketing tool” for the marketing department."

Springs, a magna cum laude graduate of Duke Law School, alleges that when she was hired in 2007 there were only two other African-Americans at the firm’s Charlotte office and no others in the real estate practice group where she worked. (For a copy of the complaint, visit Above the Law).

“Springs was hired, in whole or in part, because the Charlotte office needed to increase its number of African-American attorneys,” the suit says. “Upon information and belief, firm documents refer to the hiring of an African-American as a ‘marketing tool.’ Springs was used as a marketing tool, asked to attend on behalf of Mayer Brown bar and other functions where diversity would be perceived as a positive.

Springs says she was fired despite high marks from her superiors in part to make way for a white female employee hired to bring in business from Bank of America. Above the Law reported that there were significant layoffs at Mayer Brown in November. Charlotte and New York were hit hard when the firm let go of 33 attorneys just before Thanksgiving. Mayer Brown said in a statement that they believe her claims have no merit.

"Grow up," Milligan wrote. "We’re all tools of the firm because we are part of the firm’s success or lack thereof (yes, even I am a tool of the firm). "I hate to break the news to anyone reading this: EVERY lawyer in the firm is a potential “marketing tool” for the marketing department.

  • You write well? I’m making you editor of the blog. Tool.
  • You speak well? You are off to that conference. Tool.
  • You present well? You are representing the firm at the exhibit hall table at the industry conference. Tool.
  • You social?? I’m sending you to any and every cocktail party, table of ten I need to fill. Tool.

"We all have a role to play. Those who embrace these roles will find success within the firm's political structure, and through their business development efforts. Those who reject it ... well, good luck finding a new job once your lawsuit hits the Internet."


The Little Black Book: Creating a Marketing Habit in 21 Days

Paula Black's Little Black BookFor the next 48 hours Paula Black will be offering an impressive opportunity to anyone who purchases “The Little Black Book: A Lawyer’s Guide To Creating A Marketing Habit in 21 Days.” Readers who purchase the book will receive “The Smart Lawyer’s Toolkit,” a compilation of advice from more than 30 of the most sought-after experts in the legal arena (including myself!). Click here for details.


OMG! Womble Carlyle Releases Clever Texting Video! ROFLMAO!

Womble Carlyle Texting VideoAden Dauchess,  Director of Digital Marketing, and the tech wizards at 530-lawyer Womble Carlye will release a funny  video of two laywers texting each other about the sale of a factory.


To the tune of Leroy Anderson's orchestra music "The Typewriter," it shows the shorthand used in the text messages and a polite translation below.

At the end, Burley Mitchell, former Supreme Court Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court and a Womble Carlyle attorney appears, snapping his cell phone shut.

To see it visit  The video, titled "The Future is Now" was created by Robby Merritt of Merritt Videoworks.



Mobile Version of LawMarketing Portal Now Online

LawMarketing Portal, mobile web, blackberry, iPhoneI have seen the future of the Internet, and it will be viewed on a 2 by 3-inch screen.  New research shows that most people will view the web on their smart phones and PDA -- instead of computer monitors. Accordingly, visitors to the LawMarketing Portal can now see a special mobile version of the site specially designed for their handheld devices.

Like, the New York Times online and Google, the LawMarketing Portal displays neatly on the screens of iPhones, Blackberrys, Treos and other handheld PDAs that can access the web. By simply visiting on your handheld, you'll see all the articles on the home page in a minimalist display that includes text, links and graphics.

No downloads nor special software is required. Simply open your device's browser and point it to Your PDA will automatically pick up, the address of the handheld-friendly site, allowing you to see all the latest articles on the home page.

Mobile devices will be primary web viewer

Mobile technology has reached an inflection point where the mobile Internet could be another viable consumer resource for online shopping and purchasing. According to’s Mobile Shopping Behavior Survey, 58 percent of US online consumers already own a Web-enabled mobile phone. Furthermore, of those consumers that own a Web-enabled mobile phone, one in 10 has purchased products and/or services with their device.

Of the online consumers with web-enabled phones:

  • 21 percent own a smartphone
  • 8 percent own an iPhone
  • 29 percent own another type of web-enabled phone
  • 42 percent of survey respondents said they own a non-Web-enabled phone capable of using voice and text service plans only.


For the entire article, visit the LawMarketing Portal at

California Law Firm is First to Get Bailout Funds from Law Firm Economic Assistance Package

Jim Hammond, Rainmaker SoftwareAn 85-lawyer firm is the first recipient of RainMaker Software’s $1 million Economic Assistance Package for law firms. So far RainMaker has awarded $228,164 in economic assistance, as much as $30,000 per firm. 

Law firms get the funds in the form of a discount on the company’s software and must agree to “pay it forward” by devoting the benefits of the bail-out to their local community, for example, identifying new pro-bono work initiatives for laid-off workers, or assisting families dealing with potential mortgage foreclosures. The amount of the bailout package for each firm is based on their size and the commitment they make to “pay forward” these benefits.

Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman, headquartered in Los Angeles, was the first to receive the bailout money. The firm has offices across California, Arizona, Las Vegas and Denver. “As our firm continues to grow and open new offices, we see this as a great opportunity to help our communities,” said Kelli Moorehead, IT Manager of Wood Smith. The firm has agreed to pay it forward by contributing volunteer time and resources such as Adopt-A-Family for the Holidays, Race for the Cure, Children’s Foundation Career Fair, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and Habitat for Humanity and VIP Mentors.

RainMaker says it is committed to helping law firms become financially healthy, no matter what the state of the economy, by offering the $1 million package. "We all need to look for ways to pull out of this economic slump together," said Jim Hammond, President of RainMaker Software.

Law firms can apply for the funds at

“You may ask if this isn’t just a publicity stunt. My response is that there is no free lunch,” Hammond said. Most legal market vendors and law firms are being impacted by the current economic crisis. We all read the headlines where firms are laying off both attorneys and staff. The Economic Assistance package will provide firms an additional incentive to invest money today to improve their infrastructure tomorrow. We’ll be able to keep our people busy, and while we’ll make less money in the short term, in the long run we’ll all be better off, as will the communities that benefit from the ‘pay forward.’ It is that simple.”

Rainmaker Software sells financial and practice software for mid-to-large sized law firms. Founded 40 years ago, RainMaker also offers a business intelligence toolset with no custom programming needed.


Rainmakers of The Year Offer Tips for their Success

Enter the 2009 Rainmaker of the Year Awards, Originate Rainmaker of the Year Awardssponsored by Originate! Newsletter and the Legal Sales and Services Organization.

The newsletter is now soliciting entries from lawyers, firms, marketing specialists, recruiters and advisors in six categories:

  1. Associate
  2. Small firm lawyer (30 or fewer lawyers)
  3. Partner – transactions
  4. Partner – litigator
  5. Woman Lawyer

Enter Today!

From the LawMarketing Portal:

When Peter Bilfield won the Originate! newsletter Rainmaker of the Year Award in 2008, he was an associate at a large New York Law firm.  Since then he parlayed his practical selling skills to become a partner at Shipman & Goodwin in their Stamford, CT, office last April.

He used his top rainmaking skill of focusing on getting work within his own network of friends, family, clients and prospects, and capitalizing on them by listening to what they have to say so that he can expand the relationship.

Bilfield was one of four rainmakers who spoke at a panel discussion at the annual Legal Sales and Services (LSSO) Raindance Conference in Chicago. The three day conference focused on law firm sales, marketing tips from general counsel, advice from managing partners, and sales process improvement.

The panel was moderated by Gabe Miller, General Counsel for the Law Offices of Jim Sokolove, and it also included rainmakers:


  • H. Patrick Callahan, Partner at Baker & Daniels in Indianapolis
  • Lorelei Graham, Partner at Miller Thomson, Ontario, Canada.
  • Wilton McDonald II, head of investment funds at Higgs Johnson Truman Bodden & Co in Grand Cayman.

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

2009 Rainmaker of the Year Award

Originate! Newsletter & Legal Sales and Services Organization
Present the 2009 Rainmaker of the Year Awards

Click Here for an Entry Form.

Entries now being accepted. Deadline is Wednesday, July 15th. No fee required.


Reed Smith LLP Partners Deploys Concep Email System to Streamline Client Communications

Reed Smith, law firm marketingReed Smith LLP, one of the 15 largest law firms in the world, has deployed the Concep Campaigner e-mail marketing communications across 23 of its offices globally.

The product is an interactive e-mail marketing communications platform, designed specifically for busy law firm marketers to deliver content-rich, company-branded e-mails to target audiences.

Concep, law firm marketingThe firm engaged with Concep to provide the Campaigner technology because effective digital communication is a major component of Reed Smith’s marketing strategy. Concep’s extensive expertise, honed from working with 15 of the global top 30 law firms over the past seven years, appealed to Reed Smith.  Campaigner was necessary  to help support the rapid growth the firm has experienced following a number of mergers and acquisitions.

With lawyers across the U.S., U.K., continental Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Reed Smith is known for its experience across a broad array of industry sectors. Reed Smith clients include 28 of the top 30 U.S. banks and 10 of the world's 12 largest pharmaceutical companies.

Mike Scherpereel"We need a way to capture client attention and cut through competing channels and cluttered in boxes. In order to do this, we have to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time, in a consistent, compelling and user-friendly format,” said Mike Scherpereel, director of branding & communications for Reed Smith. “The powerful reporting features of Campaigner enable us to evaluate how successful our campaign has been and to gather data for business development purposes.”

Campaigner allows Reed Smith to gauge e-mail effectiveness through an advanced reporting utility.  Speed of deployment was a priority, and Reed Smith’s 23 global offices were up and running quickly because Campaigner is a web based, SaaS solution. Additionally, as the platform has an emphasis on templates and simplicity for the user, Reed Smith marketers were able to use the solution immediately with minimal training.

Concep delivers marketing services and technology globally through offices in London, New York and Sydney. For additional information, please visit


Bank Abandons Outdated Logo that "Looked Like a Law Firm"

A Massachusetts credit union got rid of its old logo because it made them look like a law firm, which doesn't say much for law firm marketing logos.

When the officers at the First Citizens' Federal Credit Union in Massachusetts decided it was time for a new bank logo, they embarked on what can be a risky enterprise. Business people know that these things can go very, very wrong.

At right, First Citizens Federal Credit Union CEO Peter Muise stands next to a poster bearing the new company logo.

But some of the competition had already thrown down the redesign gauntlet. In particular, said Nora Ganim-Barnes, director of the Center for Marketing Research at UMass Dartmouth College of Business, Fall River Five Cents Savings Bank had recently transformed its name and its look to the new Bank Five.

First Citizens', meanwhile, was still using a maroon logo with script lettering dating back 30 or 40 years that President and CEO Muise says "looked like a law firm."

Old logo looks like a law firmBarnes said, "You look at the competitive environment and see whether or not you're looking tired and old and you need to shake things up a little bit. You do a competitive analysis. There are times when it is appropriate and times when it's inappropriate."

The old lawfimmish logo is shown above.


Really Bad Direct Mail Marketing

Sometimes I get direct mail marketing that is so bad, it hurts.  Ordinarily, when a person sends me a hand-addressed, stamped envelope marked "Personal," I expect a personal message. I anticipate reading the handwritten note inside.

But today I got five hand-addressed, stamped envelopes all marked "Personal," each one to someone who didn't live at my address.  The names were all people I knew -- in Boston, Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco and Raleigh, NC. My first emotion was to feel sorry for the poor drone in Denver who had to hand-write and affix stamps to hundreds of these letters. 

My second emotion was contempt for the cheesy marketer who bought or used a really lousy list, and went through the phony ruse of sending me a personal letter.  Inside was a printed flier advertising space in an office building.

Please tell me in your comments: should this direct mail dreck to the manager of the office building and have their marketing company fired? Or should I be nice and just toss them?

Really bad direct mail marketing

More McDermott layoffs

Harvey W. Freishtat, McDermott Will, layoffsMcDermott Will & Emery issued its second layoff memo this year on Thursday. The grim news: the loss of 25 lawyers and 47 administrative staff.

The elimination of 72 people is on top off a reduction of 149 jobs in February, which included 60 attorneys. The combined hit represents about 8 percent of the 1,100 attorneys the firm had in February. 

The lack of work in the recession remains the culprit. As Chairman Harvey Freishtat explained in the memo: "This difficult decision results from a careful review of the current and projected needs of our clients. While we are seeing signs of recovery in some practice areas, demand for transactional-related services continues to lag."

The firm, as usual, did not break down the layoffs by office. But some of the victims included first-year associates who started last fall.

For more info see the Chicago Tribune article.

10% of active users are responsible for over 90% of all Tweets

Twitter LogoA study conducted by the Harvard Business Review reveals that most Twitter users don’t actually use the service much, or even at all. In fact, 10% of active users are responsible for over 90% of all Tweets.

According to the research, conducted on a random sample of about 300,000 Twitter users in May 2009, 25% of Twitter users don’t tweet at all, while 50% of users tweet less than once every 74 hours. Active users, on the other hand, tweet a lot, which makes Twitter a lot more like Wikipedia than an average social network (see graph below, courtesy of HBR).

Although this may sound strange at first, Twitter really is more like Wikipedia than, say, Facebook. Twitter is not so much about connecting with your friends, it’s about broadcasting information. Although it doesn’t necessarily take much creativity to create a tweet, only the most creative users actually persist in tweeting every day over a longer time period.


A separate study by Twitterati, young people don’t like Twitter.

They prefer social networks. The survey by Pace University and the Participatory Media Network found that 22% of people between 18 and 24-years-old had a Twitter account while 99% had a social network profile.

Of the young folks using Twitter, 85% of them follow friends, 54% follow celebrities, 29% follow family members and 29% follow companies.

"It may mean that younger people get their “micro fix” from text-messaging and SMS as opposed to Twitter. It could suggest Twitter hasn’t trickled down to this particular demographic just as it took some time for Facebook to gain traction among older people after being the hot platform for university students."


Mayer Brown Lawyers Take $100,000 Pay Cut To Avoid Layoff

From the Chicago Tribune:

Mayer Brown is paying some of its associates to work in-house at corporate clients such as United Airlines parent UAL Corp. and Kraft Foods Inc. But there is a catch: The associates' pay is reduced to $60,000 plus benefits, from about $160,000, and the jobs last one year with no guarantee of further employment.

But for the associates, it's an alternative to joining the ranks of the unemployed.  "These are young lawyers, and they are not going to find another $160,000 job out there," said Art Gunther, a Chicago legal recruiter who places associates at firms. "It's a creative idea."

In the last month, eight of Mayer Brown's lawyers have gone to work at three other Chicago-area companies besides UAL and Kraft: Fortune Brands Inc., Baxter International Inc. and W.W. Grainger Inc. according to the Tribune.

"The vast majority took the job offer," said Paul Crimmins, a Mayer Brown partner who coordinated the program. "I really think it's a good situation for the associates because the job market is so tough right now."

Major law firms are suffering from the searing recession as much as any other industry because some of the financial institutions they rely on for lucrative work have imploded. Historically, layoffs at top-tier firms like Mayer Brown were kept quiet. This time around, firms are owning up to the fact that they are not as recession resistant as some thought.

This year, major firms have laid off nearly 4,000 lawyers and nearly 6,000 staffers, according to the legal blog Law Shucks.  In April, Mayer Brown eliminated 45 lawyers and 90 staff at its U.S. offices. The reduction is the second since November.


Yet Another Twitter Worm

Twitter wormAccording to Nerino Petro’s, as Twitter becomes more popular with lawyers, it becomes a larger target for people with malicious intent to use for their own nefarious purposes. The latest round of attacks has been occurring in the form of a worm which attacks when users click the shortened URLs in a Tweet. 

Ryan Meray of TechNibble said the worm began on May 31 compromising the accounts of people who clicked on a link to a video on the domain. These zombified accounts were then used to post another link to the video. “Best Video:…” tweets began to spread across the twittersphere.

It appears that unlike previous twitter worms, this one doesn’t work off of cross-site scripting (XSS) but instead installs some sort of malware to compromise your account details. Further, it appears to be able to grab Facebook login information as well, and it has begun to propagate on that network as well.

There is no defense against this worm. Firefox users have a tool that can be used to expand these shortened URLs before they're clicked but it isn't a cure because you need to know that the URL is in fact beforehand. If you use TweetDeck (or one of the other Twitter readers) as your primary reader, you're out of luck.


Martindale Connected Membership More than Doubles

As of today, there are approximately 7,500 members of Martindale-Hubbell Connected.  When I joined back in March there were 3,000 members of the company's online social network.
Granted, it's far from the 563,000 lawyer members that LinkedIn has, according to Steve Matthew's Stem Blog. Yet Connected's growth numbers are impressive for a site that launched officially two months ago.

Martindale launched a beta version of Connected last May, 2008 with about 20 members.  The beta grew from 20 to about 3,100 over a period of about 10 months until official launch.  
Also interesting are Connected's international community statistics.  Over 16 percent of the Martindale community members are international (non-US) lawyers, representing 111 countries.

What lawyers like about Connected is that (a) it's for lawyers only and (b) all members are authenticated to be who they say they are.  Any lawyer can join at