Lawyer Finds Empirical Proof That Twitter Doesn't Produce Results

Mark herrmann, above the law, lawmarketing blog, twitter, blogsMark Herrmann is the lawyer who writes the "Inside Straight" column on Above the Law, a legal tabloid that covers colorful personalities and powerful institutions. His column is promoted with their Twitter account @atlblog, which has an impressive 12,656 followers.

But the tweets make no difference. "I’ve concluded that Twitter doesn’t work: People don’t read what the Twitterers recommend," he says. He is the Vice President and Chief Litigation Counsel at Aon Corporation.

He has written 50 columns and "As measured by my readership numbers, do more tweets yield more pageviews? And the answer: They do not," he says. Google Analytics and Twitter statistics on his author web page show that Twitter has virtually no impact.

His most widely-tweeted column on blogging for business development got a measley 41 tweets, and produced only 4,000 page views. There is a "Tweet this" button right on his column.

His most widely-read columns ordinarily get 12,000-14,000 page views. "Because those were my most widely-read posts, you might expect them also to have been my most widely-tweeted posts, which would suggest that Twitter drives readership. But they were not, and it does not."

He adds, "But, if you’re looking for a correlation between popularity on Twitter and readership on columns at Above the Law, you can’t find it here. “Followers” on Twitter do not seem to click through links very often to read original source materials. And that suggests that Twitter may not be a great tool for developing legal business. If I were still in private practice and trying to make a name for myself, I’d stick to blogging."

"You can’t exactly prove your expertise in 140 characters. You can’t prove that you can write with clarity or grace. And you can’t even summarize information on the web to which you’re linking. All you can really prove is that you follow a topic and aggregate an interesting collection of stuff; you recommend things that you believe are worth reading. If you’re aggregating the good stuff in a particular field, then your followers should be clicking through your links to read what you’ve recommended," he said.


Tully Rinckey Puts QR Code in Advertisement for Law Firm Marketing

Tully Rinckey, qr code, law firm marketing, legal marketingTully Rinckey, a marketing-savvy law firm in Albany, NY, has added a QR code in an advertisement. QR codes, which can contain a website, v-card or custom Google search, are the red-hot new law firm marketing trend.

Kudos to the firm's marketing whiz kid, Chief Marketing Officer Graig D. Cortelyou. The code in the Tully ad can be scanned with an app on a smart phone. It transfers viewers to the home page of their website.

Did you notice the cool little saber-and-pen tweak in the code?

The 30-lawyer firm vigorously uses social media, TV publicity and publishing to grow its practice. The firm has created an impressive YouTube channel with more than 150 videos -- one of which has been viewed more than 90,000 times.

Attorneys Mathew B. Tully and Greg T. Rinckey joined forces in 2004 to launch the firm, which has made a big impact in upstate New York.




Top 10 Icebreakers in Law Firm Marketing Situations

Small talk, networking, law firm marketing, legal marketing, lawmarketing blogFrom Mary Ellen Sullivan, a Chicago-based freelance writer, on AttorneyAtWork:

Some people are born schmoozers and like nothing more than to meet and mingle at professional events. For others, making small talk is as painful as watching a “Kardashians” marathon at gunpoint.

If you fall into the latter category—and most of us do to some extent—it pays to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Debra Fine, author of The Fine Art of Small Talk, offers her top 10 icebreakers. She suggests using them at those ubiquitous business/social occasions like fundraisers, association cocktail parties, conferences and dinners where you need to start a conversation with a colleague or potential client you don’t know well or would like to meet.

  1. What is your connection to this event?
  2. What keeps you busy outside of work?
  3. Tell me about the organizations you are involved with.
  4. How did you come up with this idea?
  5. What got you interested in  … ?
  6. What do you attribute your success to?
  7. Describe some of the challenges of your profession.
  8. Describe your most important work experience ….
  9. Bring me up to date.
  10. Tell me about your family.

According to Fine, what all of these have in common is that they are personal, but not too personal. “Your goal is to build a business relationship,” she says, “while still getting to know more about a client or potential client. If you are talking to an existing client, they probably already know you are good at what you do, so you just want them to see you on a more human level.” It’s this connection that will most likely cause them to refer you to a friend or associate.

The other thing to note about these icebreakers is that they give control to the other person, allowing them to decide just how much information they are willing to share and where they want to set the parameters of the conversation. “Your job is to help the other person feel comfortable in what could be a potentially uncomfortable social situation,” says Fine. “You never want to put them on the spot.”

For the rest of the article visit AttorneyAtWork.


Take the Survey on the Best Way to Regulate US Lawyers

Your vote counts, LawMarketing blog, law firm marketingWhat is the best way to regulate lawyers in the US? The ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 is considering a new proposal for uniform regulations for the delivery of legal services. Now you can have your say in a public online survey expressing your point of view.

Simply visit:

and take 2 minutes to complete the simple 8-question survey. Please spread the word about the survey and give your colleagues the link.

23 major law firms have joined business clients in the Association of Corporate Counsel to call for a uniform set of lawyer regulations, so that American lawyers can compete in the global economy. See

The results are public and you can see them by visiting


Clients and Law Firms Call for a Uniform Set of Lawyer Regulations

deregulation of the legal professionIn a stunning move, 23 major law firms have joined business clients to call for a uniform set of lawyer regulations, so that American lawyers can compete in the global economy.

“We are convinced that the current array of regulations governing lawyers in the U.S. significantly hinders such flexibility, results in inefficiencies and higher costs in the delivery of legal services, and ultimately will lead to U.S. law firms being placed at a competitive disadvantage in an increasingly global market,” reads the proposal submitted by the Law Firm General Counsel Roundtable. See

The proposal was sent to the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20.  Unless there is a groundswell of support, the Commission is likely to defend state bar associations, which promulgate the patchwork quilt of conflicting regulations governing lawyers. 

This is an idea whose time has come: 

  • US lawyers need to compete with firms in Canada, the UK, Europe and Australia. State-by-state regulations put US lawyers at a big disadvantage.
  • Business clients represented by the Association of Corporate Counsel called for deregulation in a proposal sent to the ABA Commission in July 2010.
  • Deregulation of businesses, like law firms, is a growingly popular position in many economic circles. There already is growing deregulation of legal markets in the UK, Europe, Australia and Canada.
  • Multi-state and multi-national companies need lawyers who can practice across state lines.
  • State-by-state regulations hurt lawyers’ ability to rebound from the recession which ravaged the profession in 2008.  The recession has eliminated 9,500 jobs at the country’s 250 largest law firms in 2009 and 2010.
  • Uniform national regulations will likely make it easy for law firms to market and grow their business, without running afoul of contradictory and anti-business regulations in states like Florida and Iowa.

The roundtable's proposal to the commission was signed by general counsel or risk management counsel from 23 firms around the US, including such legal giants as Nixon Peabody, O'Melveny & Myers, Baker & McKenzie, Latham & Watkins, and Bryan Cave.

The proposal also calls for: 

  • Freedom of movement for lawyers. Any lawyer in good standing should be free to practice across jurisdictional boundaries and be admitted to practice in any other state. “In an age when the business activities of large commercial enterprises routinely span both state and national borders, it is anomalous that rules of practice across the U.S. routinely inhibit such representation,” the proposal states
  • Separate regulations for “sophisticated clients.” Big businesses should be able to “agree with lawyers that it engages to limit the liabilities of such lawyers or to indemnify them in connection with the engagement, including with respect to the nature or extent of such lawyers’ liability towards the client.” A corporation or other entity should be presumed to be a sophisticated client if: 
    1. It is publicly traded; or
    2. It is a repetitive user of legal services and has had a reasonable opportunity to obtain the advice of independent counsel of its own choosing (including its own in-house counsel); or
    3. It has a balance sheet showing assets in excess of $25 million; or
    4. It has an annual budget for legal services (including expenditures for in-house and outside counsel) in excess of $300,000; or
    5. It operates in at least five jurisdictions; or
    6. It is a governmental entity with power to consent to waivers of conflicts of interest.

In my opinion, it is clear that law firms engage in interstate commerce and should have the right to practice under federal or uniform national regulations.  There is also no compelling governmental interest in restricting a lawyer’s right to movement – and state bar rules that require out-of-state lawyers to take the state bar exam restrict a lawyer’s right.  Accordingly a constitutional argument can be made to support a uniform set of rules of professional conduct.

“Our activities are focused on striving to conform the conduct of our law firms and of the individual lawyers within our firms to the myriad and frequently inconsistent regulations governing the provision of legal services in the United States, as well as in foreign jurisdictions,” the roundtable of law firms declared.

State-by-state regulations “do not work well when applied to relationships between large commercial enterprises and their outside counsel. Indeed, the effects of such application is to drive up the cost of legal services for such clients and, in some cases, to restrict the ability of clients to select the counsel of their choice,” the group stated.


Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Blogs for Law Firm Marketing

It's no surprise that the top four social media tools used by marketers everywhere (not just the legal profession) are, in order: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Blogs, with YouTube close behind.

The hidden gem in the study by the Social Media Examiner blog is that video marketing is on the rise.  A  significant 77% of marketers plan on increasing their use of YouTube and video marketing, making it the top area marketers will invest in for 2011. Businesses with 1,000 or more employees indicated YouTube is a key area of marketing activity.

Facebook, twitter, linkedin, blogs, YouTube

 Respondents said:

  • The #1 benefit of social media marketing is standing out in an increasingly noisy world.
  • 2/3 of marketers said a benefit of social media marketing is a rise in search engine rankings.
  • More than half of marketers found the social media generated qualified leads.
  • 72% of marketers who have been using social media for more than three years said it helped them close business.
  • Nearly all marketers report it generates increased exposure for their business.
  • B2C marketers focus on Facebook.
  • B2B marketers focus on LinkedIn and video.

Social Media Examiner's survey had 3,342 participants.


QR Codes in Business Cards for Law Firm Marketing

Law firms are starting to put QR codes on the back of lawyer business cards. When you use a smart phone app to read it, the code show you the lawyer's biography on a web page. (See here for apps for an iPhone, Android and Blackberry.)

Lawyers are putting QR codes on their business cards at the following firms -- to name a few:

  • Odin, Feldman & Pittleman in Fairfax, VA
  • Sherin and Lodgen in Boston
  • Duane Morris in Philadelphia
  • Novak Druce in Houston
Sherin Lodgen QR code, lawmarketing blog, law firm marketing


law firm business card, QR code, law firm marketing, legal marketing

Clever Law Firm Marketing: Goulston & Storrs Puts QR Code in Ad

Always on the leading edge, the law firm of Goulston & Storrs in Boston has once again shown its tech-savviness by putting a QR code into an ad about the firm. (Scroll down to the bottom right corner.) You can use a smart phone app to scan it, and the code will lead you to the firm's "What's News" web page. Kudos to Director of Business Development Beth Cuzzone, an early adopter of several kinds of cool technology.

Goulston & Storrs, lawmarketing blog, law firm marketing, legal marketing

Greenberg Glusker Lands $600K+ in New Business by Ravamping CRM System

Jonathan Fitzgarrald, Director of Marketing, Greenberg GluskerCRM is the red-headed stepchild of law firm marketing. Lawyers are by nature reluctant to share their hard-earned contacts with others.  CRM is a headache for marketing departments, which have the thankless task of updating the databases. CRM rollouts have an 80% failure rate, according to

But impressively, a Los Angeles law firm "rebranded" its CRM system, presented it as something new and inspired widespread usage of the system by the firms lawyers and staff. "Greenberg Glusker transformed its CRM from DOA to BFF," quipped Director of Marketing Jonathan R. Fitzgarrald.

It took 12 months -- but new business linked to the initiative includes representation of investment banker in $150M financing, with more than $600,000 estimated in attorneys’ fees.  And the firm won an LMA Your Honor award to boot.

Greenberg Glusky CRM CPR campaignThe 70-lawyer firm called it C-P-R (Clients, Prospects, Relationships) for CRM. "Our strategic objective was to identify and promote cross-selling opportunities across all practices of the firm, and increase efficiency and effectiveness of practice development efforts by leveraging a CRM application," Fitzgarrald said. "Our marketing goal was to foster a firm-wide, cross-selling culture by building trust and confidence in a CRM application."

It took an internal marketing campaign featuring posters and "desktop drops" to get skeptical lawyers and secretaries to come to training sessions. IT and marketing put their heads together to create a new user interface and navigation. The firm use real-life scenarios to train their people on creating a new company profile and creating a person profile.

And by the end, the firm got an astonishingly high participation rate. To find out how the firm did it, visit the LawMarketing Channel to read Greenberg Glusker Transforms its CRM from DOA to BFF.


Business development is a team sport

super rainmaking, lawmarketing blog, business development, law firm marketingThis is an excerpt from Super Rainmaking: 10 Secrets To Raising the Bar In Your Professional Practice, a new book by By John C. Yates, Esq. Chair of the Technology Practice, Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP, and Robin M. Hensley, Business Development Coach, Raising the Bar.

Think of business development as a team sport. If you have a person on your team that continually shoots the ball and misses, provide constructive guidance and explain the importance of passing to others. In business development, the equivalent may be the team member who talks too much or interrupts just before the prospect has a chance to present his greatest needs.

The guidance and coaching of a senior member can be very important, because not everyone has been trained in the art of business development. Very few of us receive any formal business development classes in grad school – we are forced to learn on the job.

Provide candid feedback that will help others and your team to succeed, such as, “Listen to the prospect first before adding your two cents. Let the prospect tell you about his problems and issues and then adjust your response accordingly.”


Would your lawyers benefit from business development training? To learn about a custom program for your firm simply click here.


Or, ”When you’re making your presentation to a prospect, sit on the edge of your chair. Don’t rock back -- it makes you look like you’re uninterested. Show a level of enthusiasm and attention that will impress the prospect.”

Or, maybe your constructive comments are: “When we are having lunch with that prospect, don’t gobble your lunch down in the first 30 seconds, before anybody else has even picked up his fork.”
You may communicate, eat or relax that way at home, but you need to be aware that a client prospect setting is different. Unless you provide your colleagues with candid feedback, they will not be able to improve in business development.

It goes both ways, too. You, as a business development leader, must be willing to receive constructive feedback. It is going to make you more effective. One of the best ways to get honest feedback on this subject is to ask your clients. It is very hard to do, but necessary if you are to improve in business development. Ask your prospects and clients several simple questions:

  • What do you like about the service we deliver?
  • What do you like about the way we provide services?
  • What did you like about that pitch that we made?
  • What did you not like?

Asking for feedback is the best way to improve the way you make a presentation and deliver services to clients.

You can get a copy of the book at 


Six Steps to Change Cross-selling to Co-selling

Peter Scott, cross selling, co-selling, law firm marketing, legal marketingOne of the most common complaints from managing partners of law firms is that they cannot get their partners to open up their client bases to partners in other disciplines so that the firm can successfully ‘cross-sell’ other practices. This remains a tricky challenge for business developers and marketers across the law spectrum.

On the LawMarketing Channel, Peter Scott lays out six steps to change cross-selling into co-selling:

  1. Map the client base (or say the top 50 clients by revenue) against the range of services/practices they have used from the firm in the last 24 months.
  2. As a pilot, take stock and brainstorm potential key issues for six clients.
  3. Identify gaps and potential areas of interest based on an initial view of likely issues for that client
  4. Undertake client reviews to ascertain what is of true value to the client
  5. Take each partner in turn and identify say six clients each of which is spending a reasonable amount with the firm already, but for whom the firm is only providing a limited range of services but where your research shows that each of those clients are likely to have other law needs (even if those services are provided by others.)
  6. Identify a group of ‘hungry’ partners from each of the areas of work represented in the ‘gaps’ to meet with each individual partner. Marketers may want to facilitate the discussion (or use a 3rd party) and discuss in detail:
    - the needs of each of the six clients serviced by that partner as revealed by the research carried out;
    - ways in which those other partners can be carefully introduced to the six clients with a view to getting to know them and their businesses and hopefully then winning work from them;
    - how many of the key decision makers are known to the firm and where gaps exist;
    - approaches to build a broader relationship.

To read the entire article please visit


Martindale-Hubbell #1 Directory for Law Firm Marketing

In a new study abut the role of legal directories and online lawyer profiles, the BTI Consulting Group found that:

  • 77.1% of in‐house counsel and staff use a legal directory or online lawyer profile to validate the credentials of a referral.
  • 80.8% of corporate counsel and staff use online lawyer profile services to identify attorneys in unfamiliar jurisdictions or areas of expertise when a referral is unavailable.
  • In‐house legal departments use online lawyer profile services for an average of 4 key activities when selecting, evaluating and hiring outside counsel.
  • Absence from a legal directory hinders up to 51.4% of clients from hiring a law firm.
  • 90.4% of in-house counsel have used Martindale‐Hubbell at least yearly. If choosing to appear in just one legal directory, 71.2% of in‐house counsel and staff recommend a law firm select Martindale‐Hubbell.
  • 67.7% of in‐house counsel and staff have used LinkedIn at least yearly.

Law firm marketing and legal diectories

Get your copy of BTI’s How Clients Hire: The Role of Legal Directories and Online Lawyer Profiles.


Wolf Theiss Lands New Clients at Business Development Retreat

Wolf TheissTraining 300 young lawyers in business development at once is impressive.  But inviting in-house corporate counsel to the training retreat and getting new business from them is over-the-top fantastic.

“Our biggest ROI was not only the business we received as a direct result of this exercise, but seeing what we had accomplished for these young lawyers. Priceless...” quipped Chief Strategic Officer Janis Nordstrom of Wolf Theiss, headquartered in Vienna.

Wolf Theiss' annual three-day retreat presented a platform for practice development never before seen in central, eastern and southeastern Europe. The firm, with more than 300 lawyers from 30 different nationalities, speaking more than 25 languages in 12 offices throughout the region, is composed of the first generation of lawyers to practice law following the collapse of communism. The average age of their lawyers is 34.

"Over the course of three days, we presented a program designed to unite the firm's highly diverse talent, with the goal of transforming these young country-specific 'technical' lawyers into more global 'trusted advisors' before a live audience of 8 corporate general counsel," Nordstrom said. "Unlike their western counterparts, our lawyers had never before been exposed to any high-level business development training, let alone undertaking in-depth market research and case study analysis in preparation for pitching to some of the most prominent General Counsel in the world."


Would you like to train your lawyers in business development at a retreat? Please see here to find out how you can.


To facilitate this effort, Wolf Theiss brought in eight General Counsel from world-renowned companies such as Siemens, EADS, Borealis, plus the Association of Corporate Counsel to work together with their lawyers. The GC panel included representatives from Germany, Belgium, France, Russia, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States. In a region that had no formalized legal business development instruction before, it was a coup to work hand-in-hand with lawyers of this caliber.

Five of the GCs gave the firm business after the retreat!

Preceding the training exercise, the General Counsel discussed topics in a panel discussion, such as:

  • The characteristics they seek out in lawyers and firms they retain
  • What lawyers consistently do to irritate in-house lawyers
  • How firms have been able to favorably differentiate themselves from the competition
  • The trend in moving away from hourly billing.

The firm lawyers were then broken up into eight groups with each group being represented by lawyers from different countries, practice groups and seniority. In the exercise, the lawyers had  to create a road map of solutions for a client’s multijurisdictional legal issues and to provide advice on how to achieve the most successful business result. This exercise fit the firm's goal of breaking down silos, drawing upon diversity to achieve a "one firm, one voice" culture with similar standards of excellence in all offices.

Each group was sequestered to take on the case studies, working with one of the General Counsel inside the room. This was a true test of real diversity with lawyers from traditional "hot-spot" countries such as Kosovo, Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia working together towards a common goal.

The results of each case study were then presented the following day to the General Counsel, who then selected the legal team they would have hired, provided the reasons why had won and why the others had not. It was stipulated in advance that partners were not allowed to play major roles in the pitch to the panel, only associates.

As the EADS General Counsel said, "The Wolf Theiss retreat was an unforgettable event for me. I envy Wolf Theiss for having such a young and enthusiastic lawyer community which brings across the message of unlimited energy and commitment to the client with the optimistic spirit of emerging Eastern European countries." 


Market without Leaving Your Office by Presenting a Webinar

webinar, web seminar, larry bodine marketingMore law firms are offering Web seminars as a way to reach a large number of people because no one – neither the presenters nor the attendees – is required to travel to see the program. 

You have probably attended a "webinar" yourself. Attendees simply log in to a website to see your slides and they call a toll-free number to hear your voice. 

Now you can present a webinar to clients and prospective clients inexpensively and without having to learn the complicated technology. By working with me, you can focus on your presentation and leave the logistics to us. Click here to get a quote.

 7 Reasons a Web seminar is better than traveling to make a presentation:  

Testimonial from a California appellate lawyer
Thadd BlizzardI put on a highly successful and well-received webinar under Larry's guidance, that brought me significant additional recognition as an appellate lawyer.  I immediately got calls referring files to me in my area of specialization, indicating the success of the guidance Larry was providing. There was no question for which Larry didn't have some helpful answer. --Thadd Blizzard, Esq., Former Partner, Weintraub Genshlea Chediak.

  1. You'll get new files from clients without needing to leave the office.
  2. Prospective clients -- whom you could not otherwise reach -- will call you after they have seen your slides and heard you speak.
  3. Eliminate the expense and hassle of travel.
  4. Save your valuable time. You will focus on your presentation, not the room setup.
  5. You'll expand your geographic footprint and reach clients and potential clients across a wide area.
  6. Online seminars position you as being tech-savvy.
  7. You'll get a list of email addresses, mailing addresses and phone numbers of all the attendees for follow-up contact.

Working with me, all you will need to do is to prepare a PowerPoint slide show, and then present it using a telephone and your computer. You don't even need to be at the office. Click here to get a quote.

On your behalf, we will:

  • Create a custom program description on the web, using your branding, logo and pictures.
  • Create an online signup page where people can register to attend.  The signup page will be tailored with your logo and pictures.
  • Charge attendees a small fee to recover your costs.  Attendees can pay online using their credit cards.
  • Promote your program with a custom invitation using email addresses that you supply.
  • Notify you regularly about the number of attendees.
  • Furnish the complete contact information of registrants: name, company, address, telephone and email address.  This will help to start building your email list for promotions.
  • Lend you the use of our webinar host at cost, getting our negotiated low fees.
  • Make a recording of the program, which you can send to clients who missed the program, email to prospective new clients and place on your website.
  •  Assist you and your co-presenters with formatting the PowerPoint slides.
  • Hold an advance run-through to make you comfortable with the webinar system.
  • NO long term contracts to sign.

    NO minimum number of programs.

    NO need to set up a merchant account.

    NO "flying solo" with Gotowebinar or Webex.

    NO high fees from web hosts that offer no help.

    Act as the “emcee,”
    opening the program, introducing the speakers, advancing the slides and fielding questions from the audience.
  • Advise you every step of the way and answer every question you have. Why take a chance with services Gotowebinar or Webex, which provide no personal assistance?

Our experience includes presenting at least 100 web seminars over the last seven years.

How many clients and prospects would you like to reach without leaving your office? Click here to get a quote to present your own webinar. Or call me at 630.942.0977. There is no risk and no downside.


Three Easy Ways Law Firms Can Get More Clients from their Websites

lawyer marketing, law firm marketing, lawmarketing blogAs part of my work conducting website audits, I've observed that many fail to offer the basic information that makes visitors pick up the phone and call.

Lawyers often call me when they are upset that visitors to their beautiful new websites look at one page and move on. This is called a high "bounce" rate in Google analytics. 

Typically lawyers want to know if they should hire an SEO expert or buy pay-per-click advertising. I will perform a manual examination of their site and regularly find that this is not necessary. Instead they simply need to reorganize their websites to present visitors what they are looking for.

A new nationwide survey conducted in by online marketing specialist WebVisible finds that consumer clients look for three things on law firm websites:

  1. Details about credentials and experience: 68%
  2. Personal referrals or recommendations from network: 58%
  3. Information about legal procedures and answers to common questions: 52%

“Getting found online is just the first step,” said Ron Burr, WebVisible CEO.  “Law firms have to make sure the information they provide online will help close the deal with a potential new customer.  Just as important, they need to give people a way to take action in that moment – with a phone call, email, SMS text message, form fill or printed driving directions.  It’s the combination of giving people the right information to make a decision and the option to act now that will help law firms to turn online traffic into new business.”

Here is what I recommend lawyers should do with their websites:


To get an expert opinion by a human being who operates several websites -- and to have your website make the phone ring -- just contact me. There is no downside to ask for a quote.


  1. Beef up your bio. Add information about deals you have closed or cases you have settled. What is compelling are case histories. What is boring are lists of jurisdictions admitted, articles and honors from law school, and bar association memberships. Credentials must have meaning for a potential client (not the lawyer).
  2. Testimonials are very powerful. If your state ethics rules permit them, your website should carry positive comments from clients, and identify the clients if possible. Further, you should create a profile on LinkedIn, which connects to your website, and invite your clients to make recommendations. My favorite example is a Phoenix lawyer, Brian Burt, who has 51 recommendations. Can you top that?
  3. Write FAQ files that deal with common questions.  When searching online, potential clients want to know what the law is and how it works. Lawyers should compile the questions they get from new clients and publish the answers on the web.  This way, a lawyer can demonstrate their expertise and answer all the preliminary clients of a potential client. All that's left for the client to do is call.

I know there are a lot of free auto-website-audits available. Typically a web developer will run a computer program on your website and give you machine-generated results. This is not the same as having a trained professional personally examine your site and make recommendations.


Less than 1% of Web Site Visits Come from Social Media

True or false, lawmarketing blogI was surprised to read read that less than 1% of web site visits come from social media, according to research findings released by ForeSee Results and reported by The Social Graf

I'm not sure I believe the results because this would mean that online social networks are a flop at driving traffic to websites. 

Checking my own traffic logs for this blog, I find that Twitter is among the top ten sources of visitors. I use Twitter a lot and include headlines and links to new posts on this blog, so readers are definitely clicking on the links.

Yet The Social Graf blog reports that fewer than 1% of visits to Web sites come directly from a social media URL.  When I read the actual ForeSee report, it says that "Only about 5% of online holiday shoppers report being primarily influenced to visit top retailer sites by social media." So somebody doesn't have their facts straight.

The alleged disparity between the proportion of Web site traffic coming from social media and search is even more remarkable when you remember that people spend more time overall on social media. Clearly, search remains a more effective platform for connecting consumers directly to Web sites (provided, of course, marketers are diligent in areas like SEO and SEM.)

For more on these surprising findings see here. Tell me if your experience matches what the reported statistics claim.



Women Lawyers Have Lower Billing Rates than Men

Glass ceilingYes Virginia, there is a glass ceiling in the legal profession. It’s invisible, but it highlights the disparity between men and women lawyers. The latest evidence that women are shortchanged in the law is found in the 2011 Billing Rates & Practices Survey published by ALM Legal Intelligence.

Across the board, the average billing rates for women partners and associates are consistently lower than those of their male counterparts.

The average billing rate for males is $312 and for females it is $259 at a national level, representing more than a 20 percent gap, according to the ALM survey. The highest average hourly rate is $935 for males and $625 for females.

Women are never going to achieve equality in the profession until their fees match the rates of male lawyers.

  • Females have consistently lower average billing rates than males, across all firm sizes and titles (equity partner, associate, etc.)
  • The top specialty areas with the highest average hourly billing rate for males include commercial/contract litigation ($352), intellectual property non-litigation ($341) and real estate non-litigation ($333). 
  • Females have the highest average billing rate for intellectual property non-litigation ($316), trusts/estates/probate non-litigation ($287) and commercial/contract litigation ($286).

Copies of the report can be purchased at

The survey focused on the billing practices of attorneys in small, midsize and large practices. Only U.S. law firms are included in this study. Sole practitioners were excluded from this report. A total of 176 firms provided usable standard hourly billing rate data for hourly billing rates for 10,913 lawyers, including 3,712 associates, 6,236 partners/shareholders (equity and nonequity), 608 active counsel and 357 staff lawyers. The standard hourly billing rate is defined as the most commonly assigned (standard) hourly rate.

GCs Describe How to Win Their Business - or Lose It

general counsel, value added solutions, lawmarketing blog
GCs Jeff Novak, John Lewis, Jr. and Stephen Kaplan.

"We got sued in New York," GC John Lewis said. "One firm came to us and said they knew the judge and had beaten the opposing counsel.  I had heard that pitch before. But I was impressed when they said, 'we are so confident we can win a motion to dismiss, we've already drafted it. We'll charge you a flat fee of $25,000 if we win. If we don't win, you don't have to pay us anything.'" He hired the firm, which won the motion, and his company now uses the law firm.

Three GCs speaking at the LMA national conference in Orlando described the novel approaches that are required to displace an incumbent law firm.  The program was sponsored by InsideCounsel, and the discussion was led by Group Publisher Tom Duggan and Editor-in-Chief Cathleen Flahardy.


The GCs were: 

  • Jeff L. Novak, General Counsel, AOL Paid Services. He was a partner at McGuireWoods, and he has cut company's outside legal spend in half.
  • Stephen B. Kaplan, Senior Vice President & General Counsel of Connextions, Inc.
  • John Lewis, Jr., Senior Managing Counsel-Litigation of the Coca-Cola Company.

Legal fees

"Firms we have grown relationships with understand that cost is a big issue," Novak said. "Few of our firms actually ask us 'how do you measure out success?' 'How can I make you look good?' That's the law firm's job."

"Marketing is a core competency that is missing among lawyers," Lewis said. "You can't find unmet client needs unless you get to know the client. Law firms are spectacularly bad at asking 'what keeps you up at night?'"

"When my budget was cut, some law firms stopped calling," Kaplan said. "Other firms took the law firm and thought about what complimentary things they could offer me, and make me look good in my desperate hour. These are the firms I will be hiring in the future."

Novak said lawyers should be like a therapist to in-house lawyers. Law firms should look for work that can be "de-lawyered" and transferred to a paralegal.

"I could tell a firm was worth the spend when they asked me, 'what does a win look like for you?'" Kaplan said. "I thought that was novel thinking." He added that other law firms that charge $1,000 per hour have "self-selected themselves out of my work."

"We have changed from a profession to group of vendors who compete against each other based on price, and that is a race to the bottom," Lewis said. "Think of the airlines. They used to compete against each other based on the level of service." 

Knowing the client's business

"I hired a young lawyer to work in-house at the company. She did something no one else did: she read our 10-K form. She came in prepared. It's not acceptable today not to know about the company."

"I need to know what's going on with the company if the CEO gets on the elevator with me," Lewis said. "I appreciate when a law firm tells me, 'here's something you may want to see.'"


"I don't know when the talent pool for diverse lawyers is ever deeper. Not having a diverse law firm is unforgivable," Kaplan said. "We always ask ourselves how can we sell to an emerging market? How can we look like them? Law firms have a disconnect with reality on that point."

"85% of the purchasing decision are made by women. Latinos will become the dominant demographic in this country," Lewis said. "Law firms need to reflect that."


Your Honor Awards

The Your Honor awards category I follow is practice development, a/k/a sales, a/k/a business development.  The winners are: 

  1. Janis NordstromWolf Theiss of Austria (and all of Eastern Europe) for their Lawyers Retreat organized by Chief Business Development Officer Janis Nordstrom. The theme was "The Power of Relationships."
  2. Burns & Levinson for their "110% Business Development Challenge."
  3. Greenberg Glusker for their "A CRM Receives CPR."



Do Law Firm Marketing Like it's 1979

With the death of the phone call (i.e., you call and leave a voicemail and get an email in response) and the rise of social media (you have 1,000 twitter followers whom you've never met) it's time for a new approach to law firm marketing.

I recommend he head straight to the past. In fact, market like it's 1979.

Okay, I know that a lot of you were little kids or maybe weren't born then, so here's a refresher.  There was no social media -- there weren't even websites -- in fact, there wasn't even an Internet.  There were no cell phones -- if you were away from your office you had to use a "pay phone" that you put coins into for a dial tone.  In fact, there wasn't any voicemail, so if you called someone and they were on the line, you got a repeating tone called a "busy signal."

Legal marketing had been "legal" for only two years. The US Supreme Court allowed lawyer advertising in 1977 but hardly any law firm dared to us it. Marketing was still seen as unethical.

Now for the shocker -- there was no text messaging. In fact there wasn't any email. There was no way to use a computer to send a message. You could buy a computer from Apple -- they had first appeared right around 1979 but were considered a crazy novelty.

So how did people market legal services? It was primarily done in person, face-to-face, which is still the most effective way to generate new business. People had "connections" and "friends" but they were in real life, not online.

The Bell telephone system had been broken up only 5 years earlier. People were adjusting to the fact that they owned their phones, not the phone company.  You didn't need caller ID because there were hardly any telemarketers.  People used the telephone to have a conversation. Typically, you would call someone you knew or were introduced to.  This is still the most effective way to start relationships and get a face-to-face meeting today.

It appears that the bewildering choices of social media, online marketing, and technology tools have confused us. It doesn't really matter how many LinkedIn connections, Facebook friends and Twitter followers you have. What counts is how many people you've met face-to-face or with whom you've had meaningful, conversational phone calls.

Just like in 1979.


1,000 Attendees at LMA

LMA, TwitterIt's hard to believe but this is the 25th LMA national conference. 1,000 people registered to attend here in the deliciously warm and humid fantasy land of Orlando. The first LMA meeting started when the Internet Mail Access Protocol opened the way for E-Mail, and today's began with a Tweet-up social media meeting.

Social media is the dominant theme of the conference. I am currently sitting on the floor at the back of the room for a program on the topic. There are 200 people here, every seat is taken and people are sitting in the aisles.

Josh Fruchter, a lawyer who is head of E-Law Marketing in New York, is moderating. His firm builds blogs which statistics show are the #1 most effective social medium. He recommended using Twitter Feed which takes a blog post and syndicates it to Twitter and Facebook. Further, he advised lawyers to upload articles, pleadings and newsletters to JD Supra, which will re-distribute it to Linked In, Twitter and Face book.

Russell Thomas, National Director of Digital Media & Public Relations of Womble Carlyle, has gone so far as to hire Adrian Dayton, a social media consultant, who coaches their lawyers on how to use Linked In and other social media. The firm also has a staff videographer to create marketing videos for their own channel You Tube. The firm is aggressive in posting videos online and has even gotten its lawyers to record funny skits.

All of the business development and sales people at Womble are skilled in social media. The firm trained the sales people in social media to make sure their time is not wasted.

Andrea Stimmel, Business Development/Marketing Director at Curtis, Mallet-Provost, Colt & Mosle, said that when her firm is involved in an RFP competition, her firm starts feeding information into social media about the relevant industry or type of business, so that the potential client will see the form's name pop up on line.

The marketing staff working with Melanie Green, Director of Business Development & Marketing, Baker & Daniels, is conversant with social media so that they can go into a lawyer's office and instantly show them how to get the biggest payoff. Social media have been integrated into the firm's overall marketing.

When lawyers send out social media messages, Melanie advises lawyers to ask a question, asking them what they think of the post. This has increased interaction between the lawyers and readers.


Mind-Blowing Statistics Every Law Firm Marketer Should Know

surprise, lawmarketing blog, law firm marketingSocial and mobile technologies have rebooted the law firm marketing landscape over the past few years as early adopters have turned novelties into mainstream essentials. 

"Still, there are plenty of traditional marketing stalwarts out there who aren't buying all of the social media hype or can't convince their boss or marketing team to experiment in the brave new world of inbound marketing," according to Hubspot.

They rounded up several powerful stats that are sure to be eye-openers, if not total mind-changers.

  • Businesses that blog get 55% more web traffic. The more you blog, the more pages Google has to index, and the more inbound links you're likely to have. The more pages and inbound links you have, the higher you rank on search engines like Google—thus the greater amount of traffic to your website. Which is why we repeat: Blogging is good.
  • 78% of Internet users conduct product research online. That means your law firm website stands a good chance of being a prospect's "first impression." That also means your new business card isn't a business card—it's Google.
  • In the past year, Web-based email usage dropped a staggering 59% among young people who prefer to communicate via text, instant messaging, and social networks. Web-based email usage has been on the decline among ALL Internet users under the age of 55. And by the way, today's kids are tomorrow's customers—and they're probably not going to be reading your email.
  • 78% of business people use their mobile device to check email.  So that means pretty much everybody that can check email on a mobile device, does. Is your email newsletter optimized for mobile devices?
  • 91% of email users have unsubscribed from a company email they previously opted-in to. We're getting savvier with technology and less patient with unwanted solicitations. And it's just so easy to hit 'delete'.
  • 57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their company blog. Blogging is good. Intrusive ads are bad. 
  • 41% of business-to-business companies and 67% of business-to-consumer companies have acquired a customer through Facebook. If this stat doesn't poke a hole in the "Facebook is not useful for B2B companies" myth, I don't know what will.
  • The number of marketers who say Facebook is “critical” or “important” to their business has increased 83% in just 2 years. That's right—critical or important. When a channel generates not only leads, but real revenue, you can't call it "experimental" any longer.
  • "Inbound marketing" costs 62% less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing," according to Hubspot, which offers inbound marketing. They say the average outbound lead costs $373 and the average inbound lead costs $143.

You can find sources to all of the above stats along with a boatload more eye-popping facts, figures, and how-to's here, or you can join Hubspot next week at 12pm EST for HubSpotTV where they'll share hundreds of tips.