On May 18th, I had the privilege of being honored by the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Division with the Samuel S. Smith Award, recognizing an individual who has demonstrated outstanding lifetime achievement in the field of law practice management.
In serving as an issue editor for the Marketing-themed March 2023 edition of the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Today webzine, together with my co-issue editor Jason Marsh, we tried to put together a collection of articles that would prove both timely and informative.
My article contribution, Marketing Your Practice in 60 Minutes or Less, is not rocket science. But people read this stuff (click bait? Perhaps?). And it is designed more to encourage doing something, rather than simply doing nothing. Sometimes I too should follow my own advice. We’re all busy. But if we can just carve out a little time for business development each week, we’ll be the better for it. My wife keeps asking me when I’m going to get around to updating my own website and writing some fresh content. Soon. Soon. Maybe I should do it one hour at a time.
Paula Zirinsky writes on Marketing Opportunities in a Slow Market. And there is nothing more timely than Abbey Block of the Ifrah Law Firm in Washington, DC, writing on Can My Lawyer Be a Robot? We’re reading about issues surrounding artificial intelligence every day now, and the impact that it has, and will have, on the legal profession. Addressing some similar themes but from a total different angle—law marketing and AI—is Chat GPT, Your AI Friend in Content Marketing? For Lawyers, It Depends, by Marina Wilson of Justia.
In my March/April 2023 marketing column in the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Magazine, I address the pros and cons of organizational involvement in Guilt by Associations.
It should come as no surprise that I tout my ABA involvement as a core component of my own business development strategy. At some point, I decided I was going to go “all in” on ABA activity—and it has been beneficial on so many fronts. For me, as an attorney, I wanted to network with other lawyers. And because my own business and practice is national in scope, a broader-based organization made more sense. As a bonus, many of my closest friends today are people I met through ABA activity.
Now my home for most of the last 20+ years of ABA membership has been the Law Practice Division. But choosing the right places to hang your hat have a lot of variables—geography, practice type, cost, ability to travel, ability to meet on nights or weekends, ability to build a referral network, exposure through writing or speaking, and opportunities to be a leader. Are you an introvert or extrovert? Who else is active in the organization? The thinking should go well beyond, “I live in Chicago. I should join the Chicago Bar Association.” Or “I’m an IP lawyer, I should go to INTA.” It might involve a women’s initiative, or something outside the scope of legal, like a House of Worship or Museum group. Some of the wisest moves in organizational involvement is to sit on a board with huge potential clients on the left and right of you—but in a completely non-work, non-legal setting.