Lawyer pitches

HiResThe New York Legal Marketing Association hosted its annual General Counsel Forum last week, featuring three prominent GCs from major New York industries: Jason Greenblatt of The Trump Organization, Ed Holmes of AIG Investments, and Scott Univer of the accounting firm WeiserMazars. Aric Press, editor in chief of American Lawyer Media, served as moderator.

Obviously, the industries and firms of all three GC panelists were rocked by the “dark, demanding and sleep-disturbing downturn in recent years,” and this forum — titled “What Keeps You Up At Night?” — was meant to provide them a chance to share their experiences and concerns with the packed house at the NYSSA. The conversation was a lively and wide-ranging one, covering such topics as reputation management, legal risk across multiple jurisdictions, the increasingly complex regulatory environment, and, most of all, how frustrating it is to deal with clueless law firms (and what the firms might do to alleviate this). Here are some highlights:

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Last week, I addressed how technological advances and freer access to information can help ex-Biglaw partners like myself transition to a boutique practice without disruption — from the standpoint of being able to conduct a litigation practice in much the same way it was conducted while in Biglaw. As I said, it has become much easier to gain access to the litigation work product of Biglaw firms, for example, reducing Biglaw’s edge in knowledge management over a start-up firm like ours.

Of course, how best to exploit that work product requires training and skill, and to some extent a Biglaw-caliber background to begin with. In other words, the information may be more accessible, but it does not come with an instruction manual. At least when it comes to patent litigation, everyone needs to learn the trade the hard way.

But there is another important area where Biglaw’s edge is eroding….

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What’s the key to good writing?

It turns out that it’s also the key to giving great speeches.

And to making great pitches for new business.

And to impressing clients, and your boss, and anyone else who matters to you.

Now that I think about it, it’s not a bad guide to planning your business development activities, ginning up theses for your articles, and plotting your blog posts. It would be a great way to design your firm’s website, too.

Eureka! The key to all professional success on earth!

And, of course, it’s just common sense . . . .

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* I’m not sure what it takes to be a top “Global Thinker,” but I’m sure these law professors are worthy. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* Good to see that I’m not the only one who gets crazy pitch letters from lawyers. [Popehat]

* If somehow this results in a Simpsons episode where the 11th Circuit rules on whether or not the family can have another Snowball, I’ll be happy. [Find Law]

* No joke, the “things you can’t do on a plane” series is probably my favorite thing in the blawgosphere right now. [Legal Blog Watch]

* Keith Magness, the lawyer accused of masturbating on the office furniture of girls in his firm, entered Alford pleas. But the pleas kind of stuck together. [Times-Picayune]

* But really, how is anybody going to get trial experience if everybody is entering pleas all the time? [Underdog]

* Could a benevolent monopolist fix legal education? Perhaps. But I’d vote for a malevolent blogger instead. [lawprofblog]

* This law student is worried about the tax implications of getting free donuts. He’d better be worried about letting me know that he can get donuts whenever he wants. (Yes, I make the jokes so you can’t hurt me, then go home to bacon-wrapped, fried steak wedges, which don’t judge). [Tax Prof Blog]

* I was on Geraldo at Large for about 30 seconds this weekend telling a gun range owner that guns should be regulated while standing in the middle of his gun store. I wore bright orange because, well, I didn’t want to get shot. [Geraldo at Large]