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Persuading lawyers is hard. Here are the necessary steps. (Video Part 1)

I’ve worked closely with hundreds of legal marketers and administrators, and I have seen many of them repeatedly making the same mistake, drastically decreasing their effectiveness and career satisfaction.  It’s the exact same mistake that I made earlier in my legal marketing career. Only through experience and happenstance did I eventually identify the problem and the solution.

We often hear in-house legal professionals making the same basic complaints:

“My lawyers:

  • “Are very conservative. They never take any risk! 
  • “Water down all my good ideas!
  • “Say ‘No’ to everything!
  • “Just don’t get it!
  • “Don’t respect me!”

I feel their pain. When I got started in legal marketing (25+ years ago), most of my good ideas were soundly rejected.  After thoroughly analyzing the problem, I discovered many obstacles that I hadn’t considered or addressed. In these two blog posts and the associated videos, I will explain briefly how to avoid that mistake, detailing the simple formula for getting lawyers to say “Yes!” to you and your ideas.  (Video Part 1) 

Did the marketing committee decline when you proposed a new initiative like a new brand, website, ad campaign, or logo? Did the lawyers push back against your client-service, business-development, or social-media program? Perhaps you were rebuffed when seeking to buy some new technology or CRM system?

I feel that this is typically caused by a mismatch of education and communication style. Fortunately, this problem is fixable. 

This 2-minute video will identify the obstacles faced by marketers and administrators who attempt to get a new idea approved and implemented.

The most important barrier to success is an imbalance in education. That is, the lawyers don’t always understand the issue well enough to make an informed decision. I believe that it’s the responsibility of the in-house personnel to provide the education necessary to help the lawyers make the best choice.

But many marketers don’t look through the lawyers’ eyes to understand how the lawyers perceive their recommendation. And if the marketers want to get anything accomplished, they must stand in the shoes of the lawyers, understanding their personalities and perspectives, and allaying their concerns.

They must provide the detailed evidence necessary to make the lawyers comfortable that the marketers have carefully thought through their recommendations, and managed the risks.

In Part One of a two-part video excerpted from an hour-long LMA program presented to the Los Angeles area chapters, I lay out the issues and detail the lawyers’ and marketers’ conflicting communication styles that create these internal obstacles.

Click here to watch Part One. It just might make you dramatically more effective at work. And SUBSCRIBE ABOVE to receive next week’s video where Ross details the specific step-by-step formula for success.


Interested in booking Ross Fishman for your retreat, marketing training, or Ethics CLE program?  Contact him at, or 1.847.921.7677!