Monday, November 21, 2011

An Open Letter To Legal Marketing Conference Organizers: Dear Morons,

It's getting pretty pathetic out there, and you, ALM, Lexis, and the other organizations serving the legal profession have been throwing together conferences for lawyers desperate to market themselves chocked full of a happy group of idiots as speakers.

Failed lawyers, lawyers who haven't seen a client in years, non-practicing lawyers whose ethics raise more questions than an episode of Jeopardy, losers.

Why are you putting these empty, unemployed, conference grasshoppers in front of lawyers? Why aren't you spending 5 minutes on Google checking these frauds out?

Do you actually sit in the room and listen to these people? Is it really worth an hour of some lawyer's time to hear that we used to ride horses to work and now we drive cars? Does that have anything to do with representing clients with legal problems? Does it matter to a practicing lawyer that the fax machine has been replaced by the scanner? Do we not know this? Is this earth shattering, worthy of a conference fee?

I know, I know, they'll speak for free, they seem to have important followings on twitter. They'll travel on their own dime. They begged to speak. It's cheap for you.

But do you ever wonder why an unemployed lawyer peddling social media or tech tips would fly a few hundred or even thousands of miles just to take a microphone for a panel discussion for an hour?

Are these the important "futurists" of the legal profession that you are happy to have your conference attendees pay good money to hear? Are you really OK having people spend a few hundred dollars, take a day or two off work, travel to another city, and all just to hear from a bunch of people who couldn't make it as practicing lawyers?

Do you have no shame?

This garbage should stop, and stop now.

I know the economy is in the crapper. I know you know that marketing conferences are all the rage and all you need is someone to say that social media is the future and that the iPad has replaced the stone and chisel. I know.

But wouldn't it be great to have one conference where none of these fakers were invited? Wouldn't it be awesome to have a conference where you could say "all our speakers actually represent clients and have real law practices and exist on a daily basis without praying to the Gods of Apple or social media?"

No?

Try it. Just once.

Anonymous comments are welcome as long as they say something relevant and half-way intelligent and arent a vehicle for a coward to attack someone. I trust you understand. Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint.Share/Save/Bookmark

4 comments:

Victor Medina said...

"all our speakers actually represent clients and have real law practices and exist on a daily basis without praying to the Gods of Apple or social media"

Damn, almost nailed it with my little conference. Got as far as "without praying to the Gods of Apple" and then I crapped out.

Maybe next time.

Brian Tannebaum said...

Victor,

I would hope any conference I envision would include an hour on "lawyers who actually represent clients and have real law practices and exist on a daily basis while praying to the Gods of Apple."

I believe it would only be fair, and it would give me an hour to go sit by the pool or get a drink or something.

Jamison said...

The problem for the conference organizers, as I see it, is that the lawyers with real practices aren't going to many conferences. They are too busy staying on top of their practices. And the lawyers who are actually successful in bringing in business aren't looking for speaking opportunities in which they can attract new clients. So you can't get them to come either.

Never having been to a conference on social media, I can only speculate. But I would imagine that most of the attendees at those things -- at least from the big firms -- are very junior associates who have talked their bosses into allowing them to attend. The senior partner has no interest whatsoever in anything having to do with social media. But they've read something about it somewhere and are vaguely concerned about being out of the know. So they make themselves feel better by footing the bill for some young and eager associate to attend.

Brian Tannebaum said...

Jamison,

I don't think it's that lawyers are too busy to go to conferences. I think that the conferences are just not attractive to those who are building real, word of mouth referral based practices. Those are the types of lawyers who would love to attend a conference where the agenda was filled with successful lawyers with real practices who could offer meaningful advice.

Having spoken at a social media seminar (you can imagine the gasps) I can tell you that they do not attract firm associates. Those people are prohibited from attending any conference that may teach them anything outside of the firm script. The attendees are two types - young guns overly concerned with how many hits they are getting on their various crappy websites, and older lawyers who are scared to death by the "future of law" liars that have convinced them they need to "get on board."