Differentiating Attorney Advertising and Blogging – The California Bar Thinks People Are Too Stupid to Use the Internet

February 25, 2015


I’m an attorney. I have a blog. What do I write about? Whatever I feel like writing about. Sometimes I write about cats. Sometimes I write about cheesesteaks. Sometimes I write about law stuff.Β I don’t wake up in the morning and say “I should write an article about such and such topic because it will generate more clients.”

Do I get clients from writing this blog? Indirectly. I get very few calls that go like this:

“Hey, I read that post about cheesesteaks on Philly Law Blog.”
“Oh yeah? Did you like it?”
“Yeah, it was great! By the way, my son got sick from a cheesesteak and we need someone to represent us. Clearly, you are a cheesesteak lawyer and an expert in your field. I also hear you like cats. Can you help us?”

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Should I Start a Law Practice? (Redux)β€”Retrospective, Dec. 31, 2014

December 31, 2014
The Author with an Author

Sometimes real lawyers agree to slum it with the likes of me.

The practice of law is about relationships“.
-MeΒ (And Brian Tannebaum, and probably plenty of other people much smarter than I am).

About two and a half yearsΒ ago, Jordan wrote a post called “Should I Start a Law Practice?” It remains one of our most-viewed articles on this blog. Because it’s the end of the year, Β rather than being creative and thinking of a new and exciting topic, I decided, now concluding my fourth year of practice, and having started as a true solo fresh out of law school, to revisit the topic Jordan discussed back in 2012. I’d intended to write this follow-up to his post way back then, but simply never got around to it.

My perspective is different that Jordan’sβ€”partly because I graduated in 2010, when the market had tankedβ€”and partly because I did not work at a firm before I hung my shingle.

Here’s my point: You should start a practice if you want to, and if you understand that the practice of law is all about relationshipsβ€”with your colleagues, with your mentors, and with your clients.

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Of Unreasonable Searches and Seizures and Twitter fights.

April 2, 2013

Of Unreasonable Searches and Seizures and Twitter fights.

I get into a twitter fightΒ over the illegality of Stop and Frisk as implemented by the PPD with the Philadelphia District Attorney, and next thing I know I’m on Philebrity.

Maybe Twitter is useful for more than sharing cat pictures.*

*Like sharing dog pictures.

P.S. Stop and frisk is still bullshit.

Tell the Truth About Your Experience. β€” the Young Lawyer Chronicles.

October 21, 2012

This hangs right over my desk. I was admitted in 2010. I am not ashamed.

There’s been a lot of discussion in the last week on the legal blawgosphere about the truth.

Josh King wrote a post about truth and ethics in attorney advertising. Scott Greenfield discussed truth and numbers on Simple Justice. And the concept led to the most active Lawyerist comment thread I’ve ever seen.

I think it all started with a simple e-mail in my inbox.

But before I begin my story, let me digress: as an attorney, you’ll find that everyone wants your money. The most egregious offenders are legal marketers. They’ll e-mail and call you relentlessly, promising β€œX new leads” in exchange for the low low price of several hundred dollars per month for a featured profile on their attorney directory website.

So here I was, minding my own business, when I get an e-mail solicitation: Read the rest of this entry »

Another conversation I’ve never had…

October 11, 2012

“Law office, Jordan speaking.” (Ha! Ha! no one knows I’m just here on my couch and this routed to my cell phone! Hey! Bad cat! Get off that client’s file!)

“Yes, my name is Jim and I’m calling from The Cool Company, where I am the General Counsel. Do you have a second to chat?”


“I read your blog post about Facebook. I gotta tell you, it was a great post. Your Twitter feed is also really awesome, and so is your LinkedIn profile. Our company also noticed that your Klout score is very high, which is important for a lawyer. So, I’ve been thinking… we are a little unhappy with our outside counsel. Would you be interested in representing us?”

“I’m sorry, I was distracted by my cat, errr… something important. Could you say that again?”

“Yes. Based on your blog post, Twitter feed, LinkedIn profile, and stellar Klout score, I’d like to hire your law firm to represent us.”

“Okay, but what type of wo… errr, sure! I’d love to! Thanks so much for the call!”

“The pleasure was all mine.”

Spend More Time at the Bar

September 29, 2012

You are not cool enough to hang at my favorite local bar.

Imagine this: It’s Friday night. You’re at a bar having a good time. It’s the same bar you go to every Friday night. You’re talking sports with your friends, doing shots, and hanging out. The bartender knows you’re a lawyer because you’re usually in a suit and tie, and often complaining about taking a whooping at trial. She trusts you because you always tip well, you don’t act like you’re better than everyone else just because you’re a lawyer, and you both are secretly huge Dawson’s Creek fans. One night the bartender asks if you handle custody matters because she is having an issue with her former husband. You help her out as a favor because she doesn’t make much money, and she always makes your drinks stiff. The bartender tells her patrons, friends and family what a great guy you are – you’re the guy who saved her kids. Six months later, her friend calls you because they are looking for someone to help negotiate a big car accident settlement with an insurance company. On another Friday night you’re at the bar watching the Eagles game. A bar patron who knows your face pulls you aside at halftime and says, “Hey, can I ask you a lawyer question? My friend got into a big accident over the weekend. The insurance carrier won’t negotiate with him. Do you think you could help him out? The bartender told me you’re a good lawyer.”

Sound familiar?

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Social Media: New Addendum to Our Engagement Agreement

May 9, 2012

Here’s your free legal advice for the day.

It’s come to my attention that many don’t understand the devastating effects that social media posts can inflict upon a criminal or civil matter. Only today, I saw someone who’s currently involved in litigation post something on Facebook that would make opposing counsel squee with delight.

So I’ve decided to add a Social Media Clause to my engagement agreements. This is still a work in progress, but I hope it gets the point across.


While your case is active, do not use social media.

Don’t. Period. This includes everything from Facebook, to Twitter, to Instagram, to blogging β€” even if you’re β€œanonymous” or doing so under a pseudonym. We are not joking.

The opposing side will be able to find anything you post and will use it against you. You should pretend that anything you post will end up on the front page of the newspaper. We may fire you as a client if you do not follow this rule.

Finally, don’t ever send us confidential information over social media. Social media is never confidential!Β 

The Biggest Loser

May 4, 2012

Inquiring minds want to know.

How to Build the Practice of Your Dreams – Listen to George Harrison, Not Rachel Rodgers

April 30, 2012

Since I’m usually mean to Rachel Rodgers, I will start by saying something nice about her (even though she blocked me and Leo on Twitter. And Leo’s not even a jerk like I am.) Rachel’s branding is very polished and her website looks great. Last weekΒ she wrote an article about technologyΒ that gave me some ideas to implement in my own physical, as in, not virtual, practice. I wasn’t even dumber after I read it.
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