Let Your Younger Attorneys Participate in the Firm’s Marketing
May 6, 2013
I have conducted numerous marketing surveys of lawyers within a firm, and the same message rings true in each associate and young partner survey – “I WANT TO PARTICIPATE.
Many of the firms that we have helped over the years come to us with the same issue, “Our young attorneys don’t market, they don’t write articles and they don’t get out and shake hands with potential clients.”
While this statement may seem to be true, it is not a reflection of a young attorney’s ability to network in person. Instead it is the reality that technology has taken networking to a different platform.
The young lawyer generation was born and raised with computers, Internet, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, email and text messaging all in their iPhones, iPads and Droids.
We don’t know how to do anything different. We don’t know how to type on a typewriter. Many of us have never used one. We don’t know how to burn the rubber on the soles of our shoes while running from networking event to networking event.
We do, however, know how to set-up a blog, shoot website video, write blog content, design PowerPoint presentations, Google anything in a matter of seconds, and many of us learned to write HTML code in our high school website design class. We are fluent in the world’s new technology.
The foundation of a law firm has been built on the older generation’s blood, sweat and tears. They have created the word-of-mouth referrals and personal relationships that actually make a successful law firm.
Younger partners and associates agree with, and appreciate, the older generation providing them with the amazing opportunity of practicing law at their firm. Many times, the next generation just wants the same opportunity to bring new life and energy into the firm through new marketing ideas and techniques.
Technology is a crucial, and often missing, part of a firm’s marketing. Young lawyers understand that buyers, both consumers and in-house alike, credential and retain their lawyer through online vetting.
With all that being said, we do believe that the business of law is, and always will be, a relationship business. We hang out with classmates just as our mentors did. Technology does not excuse younger attorneys from making personal connections and creating relationships with individuals. Ideally, technology should be allowed and encouraged to create and simplify marketing opportunities.
If an associate can make their required billable hours while sitting in their office, and at the same time connect with and set up lunch with two law school alumni on LinkedIn, why not allow this type of networking?
The generation gap has caused significant disruptions in every size law firm for years. This can be addressed by encouraging the traditional model of personal networking, while embracing the ease that technology and innovation now provide lawyers of all ages.