We all know that the legal market is dismal these days. People will go to almost any lengths to land jobs. A perfect résumé touting your strongest attributes is key. Most lawyers implicitly understand that this means legal attributes – you know, things that portray a sense of professional competence. But every now and then we come across a special someone who throws conventional wisdom out the window and provides us with a perfect example of what not to do.
Today’s special someone is David M. Anderson of Mahoney Anderson LLC in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. A perusal of the Mahoney Anderson website raises several questions – not the least of which are who the Mahoney in Mahoney Anderson is, where Mr. Anderson went to law school, and what Mr. Anderson might have done in his legal career prior to working for his current mysteriously-named firm.
Thankfully, we have David Anderson’s marketing ad (gavel bang: An Associate’s Mind). It is a gem. It might not answer any of these questions, or, quite frankly, tell you anything that might make you want to hire Mr. Anderson. But it is certainly the
worst most unique approach to attorney advertising I have seen in quite some time….
Now, brochures are a tricky business, because you only get a precious few paragraphs to put forward your strongest selling points. You can see the full ad here. Let’s see what Mr. Anderson chooses to focus on.
First, he assures us that he “has successfully practiced law since the early Reagan administration.” As vague and unclear as this assertion is, it’s all we’re going to get about David Anderson’s illustrious legal career. Because clearly there are much more important things to cover in the remaining available paragraphs.
After providing a brief overview of irrelevant skills — meant, presumably, to make him seem incredibly well-rounded (he speaks unidentified languages! he plays piano! he runs!) — things start to get good.
First, we learn that Mr. Anderson has a sexual prowess that belies the Midwestern wholesomeness suggested by his photo:
On a personal level, before his marriage in 2000 to his wife Lori, an RN and former International Fashion Model and Miss Minnesota World, David dated women who went on to positions on the Federal Bench and National Anchor spots on FOX News.
If that doesn’t make someone a great attorney, I don’t know what does. But, on the off chance that his dating history hasn’t already made you want to hire him, maybe his not-at-all-biased opinion of his offspring will:
His 2 perfect children, Hannah and Chase, both embarrassingly attractive and intellectually gifted, are further proof that God is unfair, although infinitely wise.
After reading the brochure, and after overcoming my initial desire to vomit, I was left with several questions: Is this a joke? Who would hire this guy? What is Miss Minnesota World? Why, exactly, is God unfair?
Thankfully, we live in a world where the internet can answer some of these questions for us. The first result in a Google search for “Miss Minnesota World” is a Facebook page for Miss Teen Minnesota-World; the second is…David Anderson’s online business card.
The online business card presents the same information in a slightly different order. Most notably, it more strongly plays up Mr. Anderson’s many talents, providing support for his belief in God’s “unfairness”:
Tri-lingual and an accomplished Jazz Pianist and 3-Time Marathon Finisher, David continues to wonder in awe at his endowment of excessive gifts and talents, when so many others have been apparently deprived of any.
Wow, so talented and yet still so modest and humble… Apparently Mr. Anderson felt that this bit needed to be toned down for the brochure. Maybe he realized that his potential clients might be among the mass of ungifted and talentless mortals that he pities, and that might be bad for business. The revised brochure makes his ego seem oh so much smaller.
And let’s not forget that Mr. Anderson is also a published author and public speaker, although, let’s be honest, that’s way less interesting than the other information he’s given us.
So, if Mr. Anderson’s list of lovers makes him seem like the right attorney for you, he’s ready and willing to handle all of your business law needs. Just give him a call or find him on Facebook. You’ll just have to guess at where he went to law school.
As for your own ads, creativity isn’t always a good thing. Maybe stick to your own accomplishments rather than those of your exes or trophy wives.