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'The List,' by Unwashed Advocate: Lessons Learned and Shared

Last week, I was pleased to stumble upon the Unwashed Advocate, an interesting law blog that I had somehow never come across before. The blog is written by Eric Mayer, a criminal defense lawyer who describes himself on Twitter as "an Unwashed Advocate, Living in Bat Country" (i.e., Kansas).

One of the most interesting items I read on UA is something called 'The List,' a running list of lessons learned in Mayer's first year of solo practice which he believes should apply to anyone "practicing law–whether solo, small, or big." The List is now up to 20 separate entries, and I encourage you to read them all. Here are five of my favorites:

  • You’re just as smart as self-titled gurus, business practice experts, SEO gurus, solo practice experts, and law office startup coaches, unless you hire them. Mayer also warns that if any such guru or coach has "been licensed to practice law for less than 5 years, they have no business giving advice. They know precisely squat." And if "they’ve never established their own long-term successful practice, they don’t know anything more than you."
  • Blogging is great if you like to write. Blogging to market yourself is stupid and disingenuous. Your mileage may vary, of course, but Mayer says that to date he has gotten a total of zero clients from his blog (or as Monty Python might put it, "nearly one"). "If you don't love to write," he says, "don't waste your time."
  • Find a mentor. Be honest with them. Prepare for them to beat you about the head and neck. Learn to enjoy such treatment. Mayer emphasizes that a good mentor will have over 10 years of legal experience. "5-9 years are merely experienced peers. Less than 5 years means that they are still searching for the courthouse bathroom, just like you," he writes.
  • Treat everyone at the courthouse like they are a judge. "They deserve respect," he says, "and they tire of dealing with every self-important esquire in the county."
  • Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, 4Square, etc., are not good marketing tools. Mayer says these tools are most effective not for legal marketing but for being "stalked by ex boyfriends/girlfriends." I assume he throws Twitter in with these, as well, in the "etc."

Finally, The List incorporates another great list compiled by Mark Bennett on how to best deal with crazy people, which seems to provide excellent advice for lawyers in both their professional and personal lives. To read the complete version of UA's The List, please visit this link

Posted by Bruce Carton on January 30, 2012 at 04:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)


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