What’s wrong with this picture?


I saw a post on Flakebook this morning that made me want to scream. It said, “If anybody needs to reach me today, I won’t be available until Noon.”

What’s wrong with that? It’s terrible posture.

It says, “I’m online most of the time because I’m not very busy. I’m not very busy because I’m not very good at my job and don’t have a lot of clients. I hope you need me and will contact me and give me some work. Please?”

Yes, you want clients and prospects to know that you can be reached if they need you, but not like this.

Let them know you have office hours. If there’s an emergency, they can reach you through an assistant or answering service (if you have that kind of practice). Otherwise, they should contact your assistant and see if they can help them. Or make an appointment to see you or speak to you. Or leave a message for you and you’ll get back to them as soon as your schedule permits.

Bad posture: Call me any time. Email me any time. Message me any time. And expect me to be available at any time.

Good posture: I’m busy. In high demand. My time is valuable. You can talk to me but you have to get in line and follow the rules.

If you’re not busy, don’t tell anyone. Nobody wants to hire an attorney that nobody else wants to hire.

If you are busy, let people know it. It will make them want you even more.


Marketing your legal services with the right posture


Lawyers don’t cold call to sell their services. Aside from the ethical issues it’s bad posture.

You don’t want to chase clients, you want them to chase you, yes?

Last week I saw a posting on a forum where “people with work” and “people who want work” meet. A woman in Los Angeles posted, “I need an attorney to do an ex parte”. (That’s all it said.)

Two attorneys replied. One said, “I am very familiar with many kinds of ex parte motions (reviewed them, as a law clerk, at Los Angeles Superior Court, for 8 years). Feel free to call me for a consultation. xxx-xxx-xxxx.” The second one said, “Can you please call me at xxx-xxx-xxx for details? Maybe I can help! Thanks.”

What’s wrong with this picture?

  1. The “best” clients usually don’t hire lawyers by posting on a job board, and
  2. The “best” lawyers usually don’t get clients by responding to posts on a job board.

But work is work and if a young lawyer can get some business this way, so be it. When I was starting out, I got a few clients (and a whole lot of experience) by volunteering at a legal clinic. Not great posture but my other clients never knew, unlike a job board on the Internet where everyone can see.

The problem is that lawyers who respond to these postings tell the world they need work. Successful lawyers with more business than they can handle would never look at a job board, let alone respond to a posting.

If you want the best clients, you have to have the right posture. People need to see you as busy, successful, and highly sought after. The busier and more successful you appear, the more people want to hire you, yes?


They’ll also pay more to have someone like you as their lawyer. That’s a good thing.

Be the pursued, never the pursuer.

But what if you are just starting out and you do need the work? What do you do?

Here’s what I would do: Get someone else to reply to the posting. A friend, a good client, another attorney. Anyone but you.

They say nice things about you, offer a testimonial or otherwise endorse you and your abilities, and recommend that the job poster call you. If they can add something about how busy you are, even better.

Not only does your posture as a successful professional remain intact, it is enhanced because what someone else says about you is always more powerful than what you say about you.

Didn’t your mom tell you it was important to have good posture? I think this is what she was talking about.

For more on creating the right posture, get The Attorney Marketing Formula.