Why you should spy on other lawyers


If I ask you to name a lawyer you admire whom would that be? Maybe you admire their lawyering skills or their marketing acumen or the way they run their office. Maybe you know them and are impressed with their interpersonal skills.

Write down the names of lawyers you would like to emulate and then set up a file for each. Add notes about what you see them doing. Study their website. Search for articles about them and add them to your file. Find their ads or marketing documents and add those, too.

Study them so you can get ideas and inspiration and model their behavior.

What do they do differently from other lawyers, including yourself? What do they do that other lawyers don’t?

Study attorneys in your practice area and in other practice areas. Study some attorneys for their marketing prowess, and others for their speaking or writing or courtroom skills.

Find attorneys who are good at marketing online and digest their websites and blogs. How are they organized? What kind of content do they write? How often do they post? Study their headlines, bullet points, and calls to action. Do they publish a newsletter? Subscribe to it and see what they send to their list.

Study their social media platforms. Observe how often the post and how they engage with their connections.

You might study another set of lawyers about how they manage their practice. Study their fees and billing and payment options. Study their office hours and parking policy.

If you admire attorneys for their speaking and writing abilities, read what they write, find where they are speaking and show up to listen. To study trial lawyers, you might reach out to them, compliment them, and find out if you can attend their next trial.

As you do this, no doubt you’ll get a lot of ideas. You’ll also find inspiration as you realize that you can do what they do. Don’t accept everything as gospel, however. They may be successful not because of what they do but in spite of it.

The biggest benefit of this exercise is that you may find out how much you’re doing that is as good or better than what they do.

You’ll be inspired to keep doing it, and someday, other lawyers will study you.

Marketing is easier when you know the formula