I wanted to provide a quick update of what I’ve been working on and what I will hopefully be sharing more of on this blog in the near future. I have been finishing up a new book on the topic of online marketing tools for lawyers. If all goes well, it should be out by the spring.
In the course of researching for this project, I’ve studied and registered for accounts with companies that provide online legal services to the public and seek to collaborate with lawyers. This process has only increased my excitement and optimism about the future of online delivery. The book covers the many ethics questions that come up with respects to these models and provides best practices for lawyers to follow. However, the focus is on lawyer collaboration with the new models of online delivery.
These companies have found ways to engage with the public in a larger online conversation about the law and legal services in a way that the legal profession has not succeeded in doing. Our existing rules of advertising and different state restrictions on various online models of advertising have caused many lawyers to continue to stay out of the online conversation.
This is not good for the public because it limits their awareness of and ability to find qualified legal assistance, and it keep our profession isolated from understanding the needs of our clients. The book looks at how lawyers may create a different kind of marketing strategy by working with rather than ignoring or trying to compete with these third-party platforms for legal service delivery. This strategy will generate leads for a lawyer’s practice, giving them a competitive edge over firms that do not engage with the public online. But it may also serve the purpose of improving public opinion about lawyers and the legal profession.
As with my other two books, I’ve reached out to experts in related fields to contribute their opinions. I also have the participation of many of the companies seeking to work with lawyers online. So the conversation on this topic is not completely one-sided. I’ve also spent a lot of time reading about new online marketing concepts in other industries that I believe may be successfully and ethically combined with our legal profession’s cautious approach to online advertising.
Hopefully the conclusion to the book, which I’m finishing up now, will provide some different ways for lawyers to think about using online marketing tools to grow their practice. It’s not going to be your typical marketing book. I aim to avoid fluff and inspirational platitudes and will stick with practical how-to guidance and advice. That said, I’m hoping this book will generate some productive debate on a long overdue shift in the way we think about online delivery and marketing our services to the public. More to follow. Suggestions, reality checks, and challenges to my ideas are always welcome.