trouble-with-tribblesNot sure if you’ve checked your in-box yet, but there’s another opportunity for you to purchase an ad based on your latest ranking. Oh, I know you are a preeminently, super, best lawyer, but please, stop buying these ads. The opportunities appear to be multiplying like tribbles, or ads for male enhancement paraphernalia in my junk mail folder. Yes, this one looks cool, and that magazine is great, but no one, no one, no one, especially a general counsel, will base their purchasing decisions on these ads and rankings. I have seen a few RFPs asking to know how many lawyers are Chambers or Martindale AV ® ranked, but I am very skeptical of how and why that question got in there in the first place. These “opportunities” are all about playing on the lawyer’s vanity, and some company making money off the plaque, video, or ad. Not sure if you realize this, but they never contact the marketing department on these opportunities, because they know what we know:

  • They mean nothing.
  • They are all for show.
  • They are all about selling advertising.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not against advertising when it is part of a branding campaign and done well. However, the purchasing of a vanity ads does not fall into this category. I do believe that you can strategically use the information to your advantage, but it needs to be strategic, which does not include purchasing an ad. General counsel do not hire you because of a ranking. They hire you because they have a business problem, and you have the skills and knowledge to solve that problem. You do not need one of these countless directories to tell that story for you. With all that said, if you’re cool with knowing that we will not be able to measure new business back to the vanity ad, that it is all for show, and it does not influence the purchasing decisions of general counsel, I’ll go ahead and spend your money for you. I’d rather get a new pair of shoes. But what the hell. At the end of the day, it’s not my money.