Like anyone else, even rational, bright, ever-skeptical attorneys are vulnerable to high-cost, low return coaching, consultant and marketing programs.  As I wrote  here  six years ago, there are plenty of reasons why attorneys are easy prey for questionable, pricey programs. 

For starters, many lawyers running their own firm particularly during economically-shaky times like these naturally feel anxious, making them vulnerable to quick fixes from professional salespeople who are trained to pounce when they detect a whiff of desperation.  Even those lawyers who undertake the legwork of seeking out recommendations or program reviews don’t know what they’re up against in the world of online influencers who surround themselves with a cadre of cultish followers who willingly provide puffed up testimonials. And most influencers aren’t immune to quid pro quos by offering favorable reviews to one coach in exchange for positive reviews in return.

Moreover, some lawyers often don’t get results even with coaches and marketers who have integrity and reputable programs and don’t engage in deceptive marketing practices. That’s not surprising. After all, coaching and marketing are an inherently personalized services with success dependent upon the right fit, which is entirely subjective.  Unfortunately, many attorneys who don’t succeed in a program are often unwilling to share their specific experience candidly because they feel ashamed of having wasted money, or a sense of failure for not getting results — even though the problem may have simply been due to lack of fit than lack of skill or determination.

For all of these reasons, I am reluctant to either promote or critique most of the available online marketing, consulting and coaching programs available in the legal space – even if some of the programs are potentially valuable to readers. Moreover, in these times, I would like for MyShingle to serve a a source of information on quality programs by lawyers and professionals of color that do not have the visibility that they deserve. Our profession continues to be dominated by white men, and to a lesser extent white women and we need diversity in the law practice management, innovation and entrepreneurship space in legal who aren’t Jay Foonberg and who can speak to the experience of building and growing and innovating in a world that is so different from how it looked thirty years ago (this isn’t a dig on Mr. Foonberg to whom I’ve given public props  for being  an innovator in his time – but we need to pass the baton).  

 Therefore, as a precursor to sharing information on ANY coaching, marketing, law practice or other programs, I would like to offer some guidance to lawyers on what to look for when choosing a law practice management, coaching, marketing or other money making program to ensure the right fit and to avoid wasting money.  Click to read in Part II.