This is my favorite time of year. The ABA TechShow and the Legal Marketing Association Conference will headline a slew of multi-day conferences for very successful lawyers, some with clients, to mix with very successful, genius, game-changing marketeers and tech hacks, some who don’t work from their dining room tables or live at home, while hanging out in vendor halls looking for free coffee and a sponsored meal in between listening to the next law futurist spew stats on how clients they don’t represent want to receive legal services or hire lawyers.

If you’re on Twitter (which I am, even though I say in my bio here that no client has ever asked me if I’m on Twitter — because I enjoy the genius commenters saying, “But you’re ON Twitter dude?”), you can follow the dribble enlightening thoughts by searching #ABATECHSHOW. (That’s a hashtag. See, I’m one with the future.) In the coming weeks, you’ll find #LMA13, or just look for a bunch of people predicting the future of law and crying about “why lawyers don’t listen” to them.

When you look through the tweets, disregarding the vendors begging you to “come visit” their booth for a free Tootsie Roll and a chance to win the most important tool for any lawyer, the iPad, and the requests from very successful professionals to “share a cab” from the airport, you’ll come to something like this….

Average age on Twitter is 35 and average income is $75,000.

I found this interesting, mainly because I don’t remember entering my birthdate or income when I signed up for Twitter, but hey, if it gets a marketeer to convince you to respond to his email or return his call saying he “have clients” for you, so what?

Or:

20% of legal consumers would consult Facebook to find an attorney.

This one caught my attention. It doesn’t mean there weren’t other wildly interesting and earth-shattering tweets offering essential advice like:

For iPhone, get the latest model — iPads — Jeff loves the iPad Mini (thinks his full iPad is heavy now!?)

Back to the Facebook stat.

Before you run to Facebook to start typing away about your law practice at a feverish pitch, I have some bad news for you. I responded to that stat with this question:

“Says who?”

There I go again, Mr. Negative. Why can’t I just join in on the chorus of the law futurists preying on the hopes and dreams of desperate lawyers? Why am I not drinking at the “New Normal” trough?

Oh, the response to my question?

Crickets.

Now I’m sure there was a survey, maybe some of the people actually spoke English, maybe some hadn’t just been asked if they “want fries with that.” And I’m sure there’s some piece of paper with the Facebook logo that marketeers looking to sell you on a Facebook Page for your law firm (which you can set up for free — sorry marketeers) will now shove in lawyers’ faces.

But let’s go back to the stat.

That tweet kept getting posted, and no one questioned it.

No one.

When no one responded to my question, I responded that 43% of law futurists readily admit not having spent much time in the future. That got some laughs. The Facebook stat — and my question about the Facebook stat — didn’t. It was simply seen as a way to get into the hearts and minds of lawyers. Tell a lawyer 20% of anything is anywhere, and they’re there. Lawyers are huge fans of finding a new toy or piece of tech and thinking out loud about how it can make them money.

You’ll hear that Facebook stat again, as well as the Twitter stat. Marketeers will post about it, you’ll read it, you’ll be interested, and bingo! Tell a lawyer you can make them money, and the only question they’ll ask is, “Do you take credit cards?”

But you won’t ask about the stat. It’s a happy stat, and it helps you believe that if you just accept it, you’ll be on your way to straight cash, homie. I mean, hey, knock yourself out, go throw up all over Facebook about your law practice; wait by the phone, maybe I’m wrong.

See, as lawyers, we’re trained to ask questions, to spot issues, but when it comes to making money, we’ll take the unverified stat and run with it. I know, you’re thinking, “Wait, he’s right, I went to law school because they told me 145% of all graduates are placed in Biglaw within three hours of receiving diplomas.”

I did get a response as to whether there was a tech tool to help console clients in your office who are crying.

Yes, I drone on about tech and toys and failed lawyers selling the dream. None of you care (except the ones who email me and ask me to “please keep this confidential, but I bought into the dream, bought the toys and the tech, and it was a complete waste as I still have no clients.”)

But it’s marketeer season again, and the marketeers are looking for new and creative ways to grab your dollars. Before you hand it over, remember that the free part of the relationship is you asking the tough questions.

I hear 100% of those that ask tough questions of marketeers wind up either not hiring them, or finding one that actually isn’t full of crap 50% of the time.


Brian Tannebaum will never “get on board” at the advice of failed lawyers who were never a part of the past but claim to know “the future of law.” He represents clients, every day, in criminal and lawyer discipline cases without the assistance of an Apple device, and usually gets to work (in an office, not a coffee shop) by 9 a.m. No client has ever asked if he’s on Twitter. He can be reached at [email protected].


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