I recently had the opportunity to discuss shy lawyers—yes, there are shy lawyers!—with ABA Journal podcast moderator Stephanie Francis Ward and Dalhi Myers, who practices law with Gaffney Lewis & Edwards. Previously, we considered ways to overcome the stigma of business development, finding the right people, targeting fertile markets, noninvasive ways to meet targets, ethical incentives for referrals, marketing to other lawyers, and online referrals. Here we continue our conversation:
ABA Journal: What do you think about the publications like Super Lawyers. Are they effective for marketing? Should attorneys try to get themselves featured in these publications?
Larry Kohn: Once again, it depends upon your target. If your targets are really interested in those status issues, then they can be very important. But then again, it varies on who it is. If it’s Chambers, which is a highly regarded organization that in-house counsel really value, then it’s extremely important and very worthwhile. Some of these Super Lawyer things could be pay-to-play, where they’ll list you because they’re hoping to sell you an ad in their publication, and I’m uncomfortable with that. But at the same time, lots of people are “Super Lawyers” and pay for it and find that their clients are very impressed with that and they like to be able to put that on their bio.
So I think it’s a cost/benefit issue. If it’s not a lot of money and your clients like it a lot, then it might be something worth doing.
Dalhi Myers: I would just say that it’s been my experience that it matters more to lawyers than it does to even some of their lawyer clients and certainly their nonlawyer clients. … At least the Super Lawyer designation, that is done by the ABA group, it’s peer-reviewed and there are other things that go into it, but we all also know that, at the end of the day, clients don’t rely on that to pick a lawyer. And we think it’s great for our firms, but clients rely on your marketplace track record, which doesn’t necessarily come exclusively from your peers, which that might.
And certainly, if they’re pay-to-play Super Lawyer designations or other accolades that you’ve received, it’s not hard to figure that out in the marketplace, either; so I would say [that] as you practice and you spend your time dedicating yourself to becoming an expert in this area of law, it certainly makes you feel good to have that designation, but I don’t know that it carries over into actually translating into business.
For more tips, check out ABA Journal’s “Shy Lawyer’s Guide to Becoming a Rainmaker” podcast.