There is a great profile in the Boston Magazine about attorney James Sokolove, a guy that advertises his legal services on T.V. so often I just assumed he didn’t actually exist.
Apparently, he does exist, but his legal services don’t, at least not in the traditional sense:
Despite his prodigious success and his omnipresent image as a bulldog attorney, Sokolove hasn’t seen the inside of a courtroom in nearly three decades. Truth be told, he’s argued only one case before a jury; it was back in the early 1970s, and he lost. It wasn’t tenacious lawyering that allowed Sokolove to build a legal empire, but rather his prowess as a businessman and an innovator. He and his staff of 80 don’t try cases; instead they connect prospective clients to other lawyers, who pay Sokolove a cut of their fees for ginning up business.
Sweet. The only thing better then an unabashed “ambulance chaser” is an unabashed ambulance chaser who doesn’t know where the courthouse is located.
But after the jump, what’s really fascinating is that this guy really does have a system.
Sokolove, a graduate of Suffolk Law School, figured out a very straightforward way to generate business:
Sokolove has since also discovered that his most successful ads are the most formulaic. Unadorned with fancy graphics, they speak to very specific audiences (patients who once took a drug the FDA has pulled off the market is a big one). These ads always display his toll-free phone number and website address for the duration of the segment, to allow plenty of time to write it down. Sokolove–wearing his lawyerly suit–speaks directly to the camera, in a style he describes as “serious but not stern.” He knows from his research that most people think hiring a lawyer means paying up front, so he always explains that it costs nothing to talk to him. He never brings up any of his affiliates, because that only confuses viewers. And he always, always mentions the potential rewards. The message behind his ads, he says, is simple: Injured? Free money.
Briliant! No suspense, no drama, no intellect, no prestige. Just “me get money, give to you.”
And all the criticism and the fact that most lawyers look down on him doesn’t bother him one bit. He’s rich b&*^h.
You can read the full profile here. It’s a good read and a great reminder that there are so many ways to make money with a law degree.
He’s Attorney James Sokolove [Boston Magazine]