Small Law Firms

Size Matters: What Do You Get When You Combine a Drug Dealer With a Career Coach?

After writing months’ worth of columns for Size Matters, I now consider myself somewhat of a career coach for small-firm attorneys. It is the perfect coaching relationship: I give unsolicited advice to no one in particular and assume that my advice was followed and successful. Last night, I learned about another career coach (slash Headhuntress) who may be giving me a run for my money. Luckily for me, Wendy Doulton does not specialize in career coaching for small-law firms.

There is, however, someone who does (other than me). His name is RJon Robins. His website guarantees that clients will learn how to successfully start, manage, and expand their own small and solo practices. He also promises that he can show lawyers how to have fun while practicing, and how to write a bio that “doesn’t suck.” I was intrigued and decided to check out the website to see if RJon was going to get his own reality show and force me to get out of the advice-giving business….

After spending thirty minutes on RJon’s website, I decided that not only should I keep doling out my homespun wisdom for small-firm attorneys, but that I should give a few tips to old RJon.

(1) Despite your claim, your lawyer bio does suck

Why? There are at least 4 reasons.

(A) His Bio Lacks Qualifying Biographical Information

I have always been under the impression that a lawyer bio, like any professional bio, should explain one’s qualifications and provide examples of successful outcomes. Based on his bio, I think RJon disagrees. The most obvious example of his disdain for such bios is the fact that he hides his biography (i.e., his qualifications) in the middle of the “About” section as a postscript.

Oh, and in case it still makes a difference to you at this point, I earned an interdisciplinary undergraduate in Communications, Law, Economics & Government from The American University in Washington D.C.; I earned my J.D. from Nova Southeastern College of Law in Ft Lauderdale; In addition to my Membership in The Florida Bar I am also admitted to practice before the Southern Circuit Federal Court, I am a Member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and I am a published author of several books on law office management and law firm marketing including being a contributing author to the American Bar Association’s “Flying Solo”.

(B) His Bio Contains Irrelevant and Questionable Information

Another indicator of his belief that bios need not contain real qualifying information is the fact that he includes irrelevant and questionable information in his “bio.” For instance, did you know that RJon “kick[ed] the can out” of the Florida bar on the first try? Apparently he did. That, however, does not seem to qualify him to be a lawyer coach. Further, that does not seem to be that impressive. After reading the bio, we also learn that RJon broke up with “his wonderful girlfriend” and likes to eat a lot of Chinese food. I cannot help but wonder why RJon thought these facts would inspire people to pay him to coach them.

(C) His Bio Suggests That He Learned His Skills Using Free Resources

RJon learned how to run his law firm by utilizing the Florida Bar Law Office Management Assistance Services (LOMAS). He used their services so much that he eventually started working there. Or, as he put it:

I called LOMAS for help so many times. I just kept calling for help. I’d go back, implement what they told me to do, I’d get results and then I’d call back for more. I called so many times and got such good results they eventually made me an offer I couldn’t refuse!

The only problem is that if his great advice came from the Bar Association — that offers FREE advice and services — who would pay for RJon? Other than people who love Chinese food and ditching their girlfriends, of course.

(D) His Bio Makes Me Uncomfortable

The most troubling part of his bio is the video he provides. I do not want to watch a middle-aged man floating in the water, breathing heavily, and showing me the contents of his nostrils while talking about his “passions.” RJon chides traditional lawyer bios and claims that a client would not want to be represented by “that guy.” However, naked RJon does not really instill a desire in me to be coached by “that guy.”

(2) I have no idea what services RJon provides to his clients, or how much they cost

Another problem with RJon’s website is that it is bereft of any real information. The site claims to coach lawyers to be happy and “high performance” lawyers. Lawyers are made happy, per RJon, by doing three things: getting the work in, getting the work done, and getting paid for the work. And this gets done using “systems and procedures.” What are those systems or procedures? How do you get the money in? Or get the work done? Or get paid for it? I do not know. Other than knowing that RJon loves to create successful firms, “gives a cr*p,” and has created the “leading resource” for creating successful small and solo firms (at least according to him), I know nothing about what services he provides.

(3) I fear that RJon is a pusher

RJon does not give very much information about his services. The vast majority of his website is self-promotion: testimonials from happy clients (without knowing the proportion of happy to unhappy), and unsubstantiated claims that he is the best (e.g., “I served as the only lawyer in history to work as a Law Practice Management Advisor for the Florida Bar’s world-famous Law Office Management Assistance Service (LOMAS)”). RJon claims that the website “gives you a taste” of what he can do. And, he encourages you to stop wasting his time and just take a free sample.

Wow! You either got this far because you are REALLY thorough or hopefully you landed here by accidentally dragging your scroll bar all the way to the bottom. Reason I say hopefully it’s the scroll bar is because if you’re the type who has to invest a dollar before taking a fifty cent risk I’m pretty sure we’ve probably identified a BIG part of the reason why your law firm isn’t exactly setting the world on fire if you know what I mean, eh? Click HERE and get your free samples now because it will probably take you longer to keep reading & listening to what others have to say about my 15,000 hours of doing this, than if you just get your FREE Samples now and decide for yourself

I saw a movie like this in Health class in high school. It ended up with the quarterback becoming a meth addict.

So, RJon, if that is even your name, I think you might want to make your website read more like a professional website and less like an infomercial or Virginia Slims ad.


When not writing about small law firms for Above the Law, Valerie Katz (not her real name) works at a small firm in Chicago. You can reach her by email at Valerie.L.Katz@gmail.com and follow her on Twitter at @ValerieLKatz.

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