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Rethinking Personal 'Branding' for Lawyers

Last week, Above the Law ran this post about a lawyer-turned-life coach who encourages young attorneys to develop a personal brand, including a catchy tag line, before the powers that be at a law firm choose one for them.

The reaction in the comments -- to the extent it evolved beyond calling poor Karen Shapiro a chipmunk -- was that the idea didn't hold water.

Today, at Real Lawyers Have Blogs, Kevin O'Keefe, who admits to having pushed the idea of personal branding in the past, writes that he's come to the realization that it may not be a good idea. After reading Doc Searls' take on branding, O'Keefe seems to have done a 180. He writes that the fundamental elements of the sort of "brand" he had been encouraging lawyers to develop were better categorized as "expressions of humanity and integrity." To wit:

  • Build a reputation by doing good work.
  • Put that work where others can judge its value.
  • Contribute to the success of others, and credit others generously for their contributions to your success.
  • Never promote for its own sake.

Touché. Where, though, Kevin, did you ever get the idea that lawyers were human beings and/or possessed of any detectable degree of integrity?

Posted by Eric Lipman on April 16, 2010 at 03:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)


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