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THIS is the Single Biggest Mistake Law Firm Marketers Make (Video Part 2).

After decades working in the trenches, here’s the best piece of advice I have for marketers who want to increase both their effectiveness and career satisfaction:


Do not start with your recommendation. 

Conclude with it.


You must head off any arguments before the lawyers have the chance to formulate them.  

Very simply, if

  1. your recommendation is valid, and
  2. they understand that issue well enough, then
  3. they should see that you’re right and support you. Simple.

Here’s the point: when you’re proposing to a marketing or management committee a new marketing idea, strategic program, costly purchase, or other initiative, you must structure your pitch in a particular way that respects the lawyers’ linear thought processes and avoids their objections entirely. Turn your presentation upside down. 

You should never divulge your idea until after you have provided them with the education necessary to help them make a good decision on that issue. If you fail to educate them sufficiently, they’ll immediately start objecting. (Click here to watch the 5-minute video.)

Educate them toward your goal, and only unveil it after they understand the topic well enough to see its legitimacy.

That is, you must:

  • Recognize that you are the expert, speaking to a smart but significantly less-educated audience.
  • Understand that lawyers play Devil’s Advocate and poke holes in arguments to help understand the topic.
  • Identify every single objection and obstacle that the lawyers could possibly conceive,
  • Prepare a detailed evidence-based response to every single one of them,
  • Structure your presentation carefully to provide the lawyers with persuasive evidence, in the order they need to receive it, to preclude those objections.

Lawyers like learning and they value expertise.

But they’re risk averse and won’t approve a bold initiative without seeing that you’ve resolved all of the potential problems.  And of course, why should they?

If you have been having difficulty getting your lawyers to approve your initiatives, consider whether your approach has been upside down. Invert the education pyramid and you may find that it will enhance your success. Watch the video and comment below if it has changed your perspective.

Good luck!  Feel free to contact me directly with any questions.  (And watch Part One of this series here.)


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