Recipe For Success… Lawyers, Brand Thyself!

I ran by an article this morning on Law.com (no idea how I got there). In it, I was intrigued by the dichotomy that law students or law grads have struggled with forever – Law can be a VERY profitable career, BUT it’s frowned upon to aggressively market your services.

Doctors market themselves with very little push back. Accountants and credit counselors market themselves (especially these days). So why, if lawyers market themselves, do they come off as ambulance chasers or some kind of smarmy worms in Brooks Brothers’ suits?

Shai Littlejohn, from The National Law Journal outlines a simple solution,

“…Although you may be able to do anything with a law degree, a law degree and solid experience alone will not do it for you. For those young attorneys who dream of becoming top lawyers, the key is to be three parts lawyer and one part marketing agent.”

She continues with,

“Through expertise, involvement and shared values, top lawyers continuously cultivate reputable self-brands. It’s the essence of those brands that separates top attorneys from colleagues destined for repeated lateral moves or career stagnation.

Using personal branding (for recent grads) and professional branding (for established careers and firms) to build a “reputation” that becomes marketable for growth — what a novel idea…

Throughout the article, while including networking, charitable involvement, and family activities, Littlejohn continues to support branding in the legal profession to benefit and advance careers and service to clients.

It makes perfect sense. In these times of exploding growth in social media networking, aggressive advertising and promotion by virtually every industry on the planet; lawyers need the same skills to build a brand that will be beneficial to their careers as well as benefit the service they can provide to their clients – without the concern for guilt or stigma of impropriety.

Hmmm. Sounds like a recipe for success to me.

Let’s cook up some conversation… I’d love to get your input. Do you know a lawyer that utilizes personal or professional branding to enhance their exposure and growth? Do you think lawyers that aggressively market their brand come off smarmy or cheap?

Keep Cooking!
Andrew B. Clark
— The Brand Chef

2 Comments
  1. That is a pretty broad question. It is a lot like asking whether attorneys sound smarmy or cheap when they use the telephone. Some do. Some don’t.

    Social media (SM) is merely a tool. For attorneys who know how to use it effectively, SM can inform, enlighten, entertain, building solid relationships with colleagues and clients.

    If a lawyer is only “selling” or self-promoting, SM is a waste of time. Lawyers need to learn how to leverage SM to transform their service into an client experience.

  2. Hi Brett —

    I love that you incorporated “client experience” and building relationships with Social Media promotion.

    Personal branding isn’t so much about telling people about your brand, rather providing the opportunity to become “part of the brand.” Everyone has different brand experiences. With one person (i.e. – a lawyer) the experience may be smarmy or cheap. With others, the engagement is what’s needed to assure professionalism and respect.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I knew your input would be dead on…

    Keep Cooking!
    Andrew