Rachel Rodgers Responds to Me and Scott Greenfield… Kinda…

In response to what I wrote last week, first Rachel Rodgers blocked me on Twitter. I guess criticism is bad for business?

Today Rachel Tweeted this, perhaps in response to articles Scott Greenfield and I wrote:

@RachRodgersEsq Rachel Rodgers
‘Closing The Deal’ – The Lawyer’s Versionsolopracticeuniversity.com/2012/02/02/clo… <– Check out Susan’s comment if you’re offended by the idea of selling.

Rather than actually responding to the substance of the articles, Rachel directs everyone to a comment made by the Momma Hen, Susan Cartier Liebel. On Rachel’s own blog. Where no one criticized her.

Susan writes:

Although I only see the word ‘leads’ in the comments, for those who seem to be getting in an uproar over the word and devaluing the sentiments of this post based upon what they think it implies, I thought I’d provide this link and relevant definition:

http://searchitchannel.techtarget.com/definition/lead

A lead is nothing more than a potential client and every lawyer, BigLaw or solo, seeks them out every day. The fact that someone puts what lawyers do everyday when meeting potential clients into stark language is nothing but refreshing.

To those who think lawyers don’t make calculated assessments when meeting with potential clients as to the case’s financial viability…that’s just plain ridiculous. To claim it is demeaning to the profession to make such calculations along with assessing one’s professional responsibilities to a potential client (like conflict-checking) is equally silly and bad for one’s practice.

None of these ‘calculations’ undermines professionalism or compromises ethical obligations. It’s the business side of running a practice. If the word ‘lead’ offends you, call them what you will. But a rose by any other name….

It seems a little, shall we say, unlawyerly, to block your critics and then direct them to a comment made by an adult on your own blog.

But more importantly, Susan misses the point. The problem with Rachel’s article wasn’t lawyers finding new clients or trying to make money. It wasn’t the wisdom of rejecting a client who can’t afford legal services. It wasn’t even Rachel’s unfortunate and inappropriate use of terms like “leads” or references to “milking cows.”

Rachel claims her method of knowing how much money she wants to make “keeps closing at the top of my mind at all times.” According to Rachel’s blog post, lawyers should always be closing. Focused on selling, selling, selling…

Just one problem with that. As Eric L. Mayer pointed out: “Our potential clients aren’t looking for something to buy. They’re looking for help. The fact that she doesn’t grasp the considerable difference between these concepts is disconcerting.”

Remember, it’s the practice of law first, Rachel. Not the business of law. Despite what you may have heard.

2 Responses to Rachel Rodgers Responds to Me and Scott Greenfield… Kinda…

  1. Leo M. Mulvihill, Jr. says:

    Here’s another Blake line she can use:

    “I made $970,000 last year. How much you make? You see pal, that’s who I am, and you’re nothing. Nice guy? I don’t give a shit. Good father? Fuck you! Go home and play with your kids. You wanna work here – close! You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you cocksucker? You can’t take this, how can you take the abuse you get on a sit? You don’t like it, leave.”

    Clients are not leads. They are people. With problems that we’re entrusted to solve. You can’t treat them like a sale.

    From Wikipedia:
    “Glengarry Glen Ross is a 1984 play written by David Mamet. The play shows parts of two days in the lives of four desperate Chicago real estate agents who are prepared to engage in any number of unethical, illegal acts—from lies and flattery to bribery, threats, intimidation and burglary—to sell undesirable real estate to unwitting prospective buyers. The play draws partly on Mamet’s experiences in a Chicago real estate office, where he worked briefly in the late 1960s. The title of the play comes from the names of two of the real estate developments being peddled by the salesmen characters, Glengarry Highlands and Glen Ross Farms.”

    Not a good example for lawyers in any sense.

  2. shg says:

    While Rachel is a twinkie of Susan’s creation, Susan has a business to run, and it’s not doing well. It’s her duty to rush in on behalf of her protege and do damage control. But then, as you and Leo point out, poor Susan hasn’t grasped the problem, just as she didn’t when Solo Practice University became Solo Marketing University.

    Susan realized that to save her ailing business, she needed to manufacture the appearance of immediate results. That’s why she seized upon someone like Rachel, young and foolish, to serve as an example of the fine work she was doing. When someone calls her baby ugly, she must defend her baby’s honor as best she can. That’s what Susan did to the best of her ability.

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