Poll: Marketing vs. Serving Clients

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Free: 10 Things the Best Law-Firm Website Designs Have in Common

For seven years, Lawyerist has published an annual list of the best law firm websites. Now, you can find out what they have in common.

Some lawyers, like the outspoken bloggers Scott Greenfield and Brian Tannebaum, believe the legal industry is suffering a plague of lawyers—especially new ones—who think that all there is to lawyering is throwing up a website and signing up for Twitter. They believe these lawyers focus on marketing and technology, and don’t spend enough time becoming competent or focusing on serving clients.

While I agree that much of the blogosphere tends to focus on marketing and technology rather than client service, I disagree that “most” lawyers suffer the same problem in their practices. Many of the lawyers I know don’t even have a website, haven’t got a clue how to go paperless, and consider Twitter a mystery. They don’t have time to spend on these things, because they are too busy serving clients. That’s probably why they like to read blogs about marketing and technology; those blogs are a shortcut to things they don’t have time to learn about themselves.

What do you think? Click here to let us know. We’ll share the results next week.

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/teflon/140407237/)

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  • I practice in Maryland and I get the sense that lawyers here who have been practicing for 20 years or more are frustrated not with the marketing techniques or attitudes of young attorneys, but the fact that they are taking some business away by charging less.

    While practicing isn’t about twitter and marketing and you must concentrate on client service, marketing is a reality and if you don’t get good at it quick, you won’t make it.

    On other hand, since there is so much marketing and competitiveness out there, sometimes I feel as though the client is treating me like a used car salesman. Perhaps lawyers are just responding to what the potential clients want.

    • Or perhaps clients are just responding to what lawyers put out there.

  • I’m interested to see the results of this poll. I suspect that many lawyers attribute whatever success they’ve had to serving their clients. As a result, they develop a pattern of serving the client, serving the client, serving the client. Nothing gets in the way of serving the client.

    But let’s face it: Clients die. Clients merge. Clients leave because a new decision-maker chooses another lawyer. While there may be some friendship among clients, there is often very little loyalty, and it is unbelievably dangerous to allow your career to be dependent upon the whims of existing clients. So it’s fundamental to any business to be diversified. It is remarkably dangerous and irresponsible for lawyers to depend on this pattern of client-servicing as the path to success.

    Yes, serving existing clients is important, but so is finding new clients.

  • Terry.A

    I do believe marketing AND client service go hand in hand. One cannot be achieved without the other. Its the chicken and the egg debate. No marketing = no clients to provide excellent service to. No Client service means u might last a little while in the market but you’ll soon be foun out as to how bad u truly are!

  • 4ALAW

    I have done some marketing but no where near as much as many big talkers. In fact I am frequently til that if my marketing was as much as the amount of experience I have (well over 11 years) I could make a serious impact in the legal industry.