Are blogging? Are you are using social media? if you are using those tools to benefit your clients, that will also benefit you. Because we tend to think in the present, let me give you a little history.
I have to confess. After, 2020, if I had my way I would like to go back to the Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best days. Many of you never watched either show, but if your parents, or maybe grandparents are still alive, you can ask them about the shows.
One thing that seems funny now is the men wore ties and the women wore dresses while at home.
I liked it when I didn’t have a computer on my desk, a tablet and a smart phone.
I liked four channels on my tv, no 24 hours news stations and when I didn’t know whether Walter Cronkite, Huntley and Brinkley or Peter Jennings were democrats or republicans.
I liked it when republicans and democrats put the country first by for example passing the civil rights bill. I fear those days are gone for the rest of my lifetime.
Life was more simple and more civil then. But, clients in those days had no idea what they were getting when they needed to hire a lawyer or a law firm.
When I began practicing law clients were pretty much in the dark about lawyers and law firms. I suppose the sophisticated clients who had access to Martindale Hubbell books could do limited research and at least determine the peer ratings of lawyers and law firms they were considering. Even then, how would a client distinguish one A-V rated lawyer from another?
I always thought that when clients were left to guess which lawyer or firm would be best for them, business clients at least would tend to select larger firms, or firms from certain cities, assuming they must be better.
In the 90s law firms began to create websites. At the beginning, lawyers merely copied the bio they had provided Martindale Hubbell and placed a photo on their website bio.
At the beginning, clients were not any better informed than they had been before law firms created websites. Later, websites were upgraded and there came a time when lawyers could actually add links to articles they had written or presentations they had given.
At that point law firms began sending email client alerts using the software that permits several hundred to go out at once. So, business clients were inundated with unwanted alerts from many law firms.
Around 2005 or so lawyers and law firms started blogging, giving webinars, doing podcasts and using social media tools for client development. Here are some of the ways clients benefitted from this advancement. Business clients could:
- More effectively and more efficiently do research on the lawyer or law firm they are considering.
- More effectively determine what the lawyer knows about the client’s industry and their business.
- More effectively determine the lawyer’s background and experience in the specific legal area of interest.
- Get a sense of the lawyer’s personality and better determine whether the client will have rapport with the lawyer.
- More readily and easily compare lawyers and law firms.
- Make determinations on whether a smaller firm or a younger lawyer can handle a matter as well as a larger firm or more senior lawyer.
- Choose what to read or review rather than receiving unwanted emails from law firms.
- Learn from the content provided by the lawyer how to avoid certain problems or what opportunities may be out there.
- Receive a legal slant on a business topic of interest.
- Engage in a discussion by providing a comment on a blog or social media page.
- Determine what others are saying about the lawyer or law firm.
- Most importantly, make a more informed decision when hiring a lawyer or law firm.