Bad Ideas, Lawyer Advertising

How Many Lawyers Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?

Ah, the good old “how many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb” joke. It’s pretty stupid, but all of its variants never seem to get old.

For example, here are a few from James Fuqua’s Law Jokes:

Q: How many lawyers does it take to [change] a light bulb?

A1: How many can you afford?

A5: Three. One to change it and two to keep interrupting by standing up and shouting “Objection!”

A8: You won’t find a lawyer who can change a light bulb. Now, if you’re looking for a lawyer to screw a light bulb…

Well, thanks to a mid-size firm in Minnesota, we now know that it takes exactly five lawyers to change a light bulb….

A marketing video from Nilan Johnson Lewis, P.A. is being discussed over at Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites. Check it out for yourself:

The firm website tells us that this is “excellence in action.” And if by “excellence,” the firm means “redundancy,” then they are spot on. I just feel bad for the poor maintenance man. Don’t these lawyers have people to sue?

I mean, I guess it’s funny in a cutesy sort of way, until you break it down to what it’s really saying, as Robert Ambrogi has done for us:

I like humor. Really I do. But even if the firm’s intent was to poke fun at itself, at what cost? Is the predominant message here a positive one? Isn’t the message, “Our firm will use five people to do the work of one”? The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t and shouldn’t take five lawyers to change a light bulb. If that’s how many lawyers you use to change a light bulb, how many are you going to send to a deposition?

This marketing idea was good on paper, but not in practice. So lawyers, take a note from Nilan Johnson Lewis: it shouldn’t take five lawyers to change a light bulb. If it does, then you’ve got a serious problem at your firm.

Is This a Good Use of Video for a Law Firm? [Robert Ambrogi's LawSites]

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