Over at Lex Blog, Kevin O’Keefe posts about some of the negative reaction to his earlier discussion about how younger lawyers are using MySpace for advertising. Seems that some marketing experts don’t find MySpace a sufficiently dignified or suitable marketing tool.
While I find much value in the advice that practice management advisors and experts have to offer and indeed, follow much of that advice, I never take it as gospel. Because for every rule, there’s an exception, for behind every exception there’s an amazing success story.
For me, Tom Goldstein’s amazing success as a Supreme Court practitioner (he’s now at Akin, Gump, after running Goldstein Howe, now Howe Russell)
for several years is the best reason not to listen to experts all of the time. As this article reports, Goldstein got his start by identifying cases
involving circuit splits and cold calling the losing party, offering to
handle their Supreme Court case for free. I remember reading about Goldstein in the Washington Post years ago, before he’d even argued his first case (his very first argument was in the Supreme Court). That article quoted Goldstein’s white shoe colleagues who called him an “ambulance chaser.” Today, many firms have changed their tune, because they’re also willing to grab Supreme Court cases at no charge to bulk up their resumes.
In addition, Goldstein’s willingness to work for free also runs up
against the advice of most marketers who will tell you to never cut
your rates and (horrors!), certainly never to work for free. But Goldstein’s free work paid off, by buying him something that no CLE could: actual Supreme Court experience. Today, he’s racked up at
least 20 arguments before the court, and with his experience, he can bring value and name his price.
Can you think of a way to practice law that no one’s ever done before?
One that experts sniff up their nose at, one that your colleagues
mock? If you can, go for it, because I’m sure it’s going to be a winner.