Many of you have friends working for companies that already have a lawyer You want to know how to get those potential clients to switch to your firm. Like many things, it is easier to tell you how NOT to do it than to tell you how to do it.

Once again you can learn how not to do it from politics Here is a case in point. How many of you think you will convince a client to hire you by mocking or putting down the law firm that is currently representing the client? I bet none of you think that would be a successful strategy. But, every single week political figures do just that. Here are two recent examples of what I consider to be very poor persuasion.

During the recent CPAC meeting in Washington, almost every speaker mocked President Obama, rather than just criticizing President Obama’s policies. The New York Times reported CPAC Speakers Mock Obama’s Teleprompter.

Dick Armey said: “You’re intellectually shallow. You’re a romantic. You’re self-indulgent. You have no ability,” Armey said, calling Obama “the most incompetent president perhaps in our lifetime.” While the far right might have cheered, most people in the United States who watched likely cringed. I believe most independent voters, especially those who voted for him believe President Obama is a smart guy and not the most incompetent president in our lifetime. Most people who watched or heard this personal attack on the news likely thought less of Dick Armey.

Just to show mocking goes both ways, Robert Gibbs somehow believed he could make points with independent voters by mocking Sarah Palin. Here is a video of his recent attempt. Listen as the reporters gasp at his lame attempt at humor.

Do you think his attempt at humor actually helped the President? I don’t. If anything, it elevated Sarah Palin in the eyes of independent voters and made them think less of Robert Gibbs.


Experts claim “going negative” in elections works. But, I don’t believe it works when the candidate going negative comes across in a way that the majority of people cringe while watching.

Going negative never works in law practice. I have been a partner in a large (600+) law firm. I have been a partner in a small firm and I have started my own firm. I have never tried to persuade clients to hire me by mocking or personally criticizing another lawyer. I have seen other lawyers try it and every time I witnessed it, the potential clients cringed while listening and never once hired the lawyer. I believe they thought less of the lawyer who had criticized or mocked their company’s current lawyer.

In a future post I will share with you three ideas to get the opportunity to do work for your friend’s company