Ben, We Invited You to Speak But We Are Concerned About What You Will Say

So I was invited to speak about marketing to the young lawyers at the Fairfax Bar. They invited me months ago and, of course, I readily agreed.

I sent them my materials a couple of weeks ago. As you know, for anyone who bothers to look, its not hard to find out what my positions are on some subjects.

The night before I am scheduled to speak, at 5:30, I get a call from the President of the bar.

He, apparently, had just figured out that I was about to be unleased on the young lawyers.

He called to express "his concern" over my speaking. It wasn't real clear, at first, what his "concern" was.

He said that he had seen some of my Great Legal Marketing marketing pieces and he was "concerned."

(I LOVE it when people get right to the point!)

I asked him "what are you saying, you invited me, I've got other things to do for a couple of hours tomorrow afternoon, just tell me whether you want me to show up or not."

It finally came out: He began to read from some old marketing piece (he must have saved it from somewhere) where I had said that it is a myth that joining and volunteering for committees is a good way to advance your career.

He told me that I was afraid that I was going to tell a roomful of lawyers that at HIS event and that I needed to remember that they (the bar) relies on people volunteering their time.

I'm not sure why he was so nervous and unwilling to get to the point. I'm also not sure why he waited until the last minute to raise this with me but I reassured him that I had a bunch more important things to talk about than what NOT to do with your marketing. I suspejct that at this event there will be others who will talk about what NOT to do.

I'll give them good information they can use the very next day to advance their businesses. He need not worry.

By the way, I am right and he is wrong about this issue. In deciding what to do with your limited time and money, there may be many good reasons to volunteer your time for the bar but in terms of building your practice and making more money, that one doesn't rank in the top 100.

Ben Glass
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Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.
For young lawyers, bat association CLE is probably a wise investment of time because young lawyers come out of school with so few real skills, and mentoring done in firms tends to be "this is how we do things here" and getting new perspectives is valuable. But as far as being a business generation tool, pretty worthless.
by Barry Doyle May 1, 2014 at 12:44 PM
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