The Latest: Blog


Holiday cards. Don’t sign them? Don’t send them.


Are You Sending a Generic Unsigned Holiday Card? I always get a year-end holiday card from my best friend, a terrific lawyer I’ve known for 40 years. We shared our first beer together. I refer him lots of business. The card, his 17th-consecutive snowy Chicago skyline, wishes me “Happy Holidays from [his law firm],” signed Read more >>


Good Ads and Websites Don’t Work.


“Good” Ads and Websites Don’t Work. [2016 update] More creative is cheaper. Stronger visuals cost less. Here’s why: See this ad? It’s one previously used by a client, Lorne MacLean, a small firm in Vancouver, BC. Nice guy, great lawyer, handsome photo (man in suit looking at paper), and a simple message that is clearly detailed Read more >>


Great Website Design Isn’t Pretty. It’s Effective.


Great Website Design Isn’t Pretty. It’s Effective. What’s nice about eye-track testing is that it shows precisely what grabs your viewers’ attention, what they see, in what order, and how long they linger at each point. That’s incredibly powerful data. In important cases, trial lawyers don’t guess what’s going to work with the jury, they Read more >>


Donating hotel toiletries to poor schools or women’s shelters.


Donating hotel toiletries to poor schools or women’s shelters. [2016 update] I left a three-day conference at a 5-star resort and packed up two nights’ worth of quality hotel soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, shower gel, shower caps, sewing kits, and pocket combs to bring home and donate to poor schools and women’s shelters. Many years ago, a Read more >>


Law Firm Holiday Cards – Do’s and Don’ts


[This is an updated repost of a popular pre-holiday rant] Law Firm Holiday Cards – Do’s and Don’ts Q: Are holiday cards effective? A:  I think that they can be considered one more nice way to stay in touch, to send a friendly communication to a large number of clients and prospects all at once.  Read more >>

Client is a friend with a problem

A client is a friend with a problem.


What is a client…? One of the best definitions I’ve seen came from the website of Denver law firm Fairfield and Woods, quoting one of its long-time partners: “A client is a friend with a problem.” – Charles J. Beise, 1909-1983. This is something every associate should keep in mind while learning to practice law.   Read more >>


Rebranding After a Merger is Harder Than You Think


Rebranding After a Merger is Harder Than You Think In the freshly redesigned October 2016 issue of Chicago Lawyer, I wrote a Letter to the Editor that I hope management committees can benefit from, and marketers can use as ammunition with their marketing committees as they develop the merger-marketing budget (particularly if you’re the firm getting “bought”). Read more >>

pexels-photo-large free stock

Best Marketing Committee comments EVER. #1


Best Marketing Committee comments EVER. #1 True Story: Many years ago, we were having some trouble getting a branding campaign and website executed for a small firm; the Marketing Partner’s busy trial schedule kept him from meeting deadlines. The project was stalling. I suggested that we might want to bring in some more help.  The Read more >>

Gavel scales books

Awful law firm websites: The ‘Small-Firm Trifecta.’


Awful law firm websites: The “Small-Firm Trifecta.”  Nothing says “Small, mediocre law firm” like a website home page full of obvious stock photos and free clip art. And in my opinion, the worst of the worst are those that combine multiple clichés in a single photo.  The most popular of these photos for law firms is Read more >>


“How will prospects know I’m awesome if I don’t tell them?”


“How will prospects know I’m awesome if I don’t tell them?” Hi. It’s Ross. Let me tell you a few things about myself: I’m excellent. I have integrity. I’m responsive. I’m experienced. I’m technically knowledgeable. I’m legally effective. I’m a partner who understands your business. So? Did I persuade you? Do you want to hire me? Read more >>