Bright Idea for Law Grads: Market ‘Brand You’
From today's headlines in the ABA Journal, a suggestion to lawyers to promote themselves. "In one of the toughest job markets in decades, law graduates advised that a juris doctor degree, which would qualify them for a multiplicity of careers, are finding that, even with experience, it can be hard to find work of any kind."
"Unfortunately, a law degree does not even guarantee an opportunity in law, let alone an entree into a different field," reports the National Law Journal.
But attorneys can boost their chances of longterm career success by making time to market themselves, advises author Shai Littlejohn, who serves as general counsel for the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission.
Cultivating "brand you," in part, depends on a reputation for thoughtful, timely work, she writes. It also requires community involvement and personal networking. "For those young attorneys who dream of becoming top lawyers, the key is to be three parts lawyer and one part marketing agent."
In a difficult economic climate, advertising, marketing, and promotions may be an appropriate vehicle for even the most seasoned professionals. Some may promote their practice by capturing public records and sending out brochures for their practice after people are arrested. Others may choose to promote a legal blog which seeks to disseminate information and ideas to the community in an educated and respectable manner. Both are legitimate marketing tools. Neither warrant censure or public approbation for being 'sellouts.' They are business techniques which, like cause marketing, can also serve a public interest in disseminating legal awareness. It is sheer naivete or inexperience to suggest otherwise.
An online approach to marketing is the wave of the future. As a former print publisher, I have seen how newspapers are crippled in their ad revenues. Another post on a different blog talks about more potential layoffs at the Sentinel, and early term buyouts at the Herald have been going on for years. Alternative weeklies across this country are on the verge of financial ruin. Radio stations I represent have also advised how the economic downturn has driven their rates down and promotions up. It is all part of adapting to a new economic environment.
If you can serve the public and still promote your profession, and the services you offer, good for you. ,