Unemployed Attorneys Should Build Online Platforms Not Sue Their Law Schools

Content marketing strategy and tactics for lawyers and law school graduates seeking jobs

Lawyer Shingle

Photo Credit: by Wesley Fryer via flickr

 

Sara Randazzo, a Wall Street Journal reporter, published this article, Jobless Graduates Who Sued Law Schools Find Little Success in Court.

She shares how Law School Class of 2011 and 2012 J.D.’s from New York Law School, Florida Coastal School of Law, Hofstra Law, Cooley Law School, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, DePaul University College of Law, Widener University School of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and others filed class action lawsuits against their their alma maters for consumer fraud.

These unhappy graduates claimed their law schools mislead them about their post-graduation employment prospects (direct article quotes):

Disgruntled law-school graduates who filed suits accusing their alma maters of deceiving them about their chances of landing a well-paying job haven’t had much success in court.

More than a dozen class actions were filed in 2011 and 2012, but courts across the country have knocked out the lawsuits one by one, including a recent dismissal in Florida. Only a few remain.

 

I sense this frustration because the jobless recovery is realStatistical analysis and employment research proves white collar jobs for undergraduates and graduate program students started disappearing in 2002.

There’s Good News. I see opportunity for these unemployed attorneys. I see solo entrepreneurs with legal expertise to offer clients. Here are three (3) online platform ideas so unemployed lawyers as well as practicing ones can land their own clients and market themselves.

 

1. Build Your Online Platform 

What The Hell’s A 21st Century Online Platform? Michael Hyatt wrote THE book on online platform building, Platform: Get Noticed In A Noisy World. Here’s how he defines it (direct quote from the book’s Introduction – All The World’s A Stage):

Very simply, a platform is the thing you have to stand on to get heard. It’s your stage. But unlike a s stage in the theater, today’s platform is not built of wood or concrete or perched on a grassy hill. Today’s platform is built of people. Contacts. Connections. Followers.

Your platform is the means by which you connect your existing and potential fans. It might include your company website, a blog, your Twitter and Facebook accounts, an online video show, or a podcast. It may also include your personal appearances as a public speaker, musician, or entertainer. It might even include traditional media such as a newspaper column, magazine articles, or radio show. It most likely will include a combination of all these items.

As in times past, success today is not to much what you know; it’s about who you know. And the who is your platform. You may already have — or believe you have a — a significant what. But you have to make yourself heard amidst the noise of thousands of other voices; you also have to be able to present your brilliant, significant what to someone.

Note: I added the formatting for emphasis.

 

Michael Hyatt’s Collective Platform Reaches 575,000+. As of the writing this post, Michael’s global reach exceeds the populations of  these United States Cities (based on 2014 United States Census Bureau data):

  • Albuquerque, New Mexico (545,852)
  • Tucson, Arizona (520,116)
  • Fresno, California (494,665)
  • Sacramento, California (466,488)

His platform’s online channels include but aren’t limited to:

 

2. Self-Publish A Personal Blog  

You Must Differentiate Yourself From 1.3 Million Competitors. The American Bar Association estimates 1.3 million attorneys practice in the United States. Whoa. That’s more than Wyoming’s entire state population multiplied twice!

21st Century Buyers Begin and Signal Their Problem Solving Research Needs in Google Searches. These buyers are seeking answers to their problems. They’re searching for a great attorney’s ideas on how to solve the buyer’s unique problems.

If Google can’t find you, your prospective buyers and clients can’t find you. You don’t exist.

Show How You Think In A Personal Blog. Self-publish your ideas on how you’d define the problem. Defining and understanding the problem is the greatest value a trusted advisor provides.

Tons of people are searching for creative ideas to solve their legal problems:

 

Google Search Result on Common Small Business Legal Problems

 

Stand out by promoting and distributing your individual perspective and ideas to solve someone’s problems through your online platform. Self-publishing a personal blog remains a powerful marketing tool.

If you’re just starting, LinkedIn and Medium.com offer free, great easy-to-learn self-publishing tools. You can publish a self-hosted blog through a service like WordPress.

Be Your Own Platform. I suggest getting your own self-hosted, WordPress site AND re-posting on LinkedIn and Medium.com. Why?

  • You retain full editorial control of your content
  • You own your URL
  • You aren’t held hostage to these sites’ changing terms and conditions
  • You can perform detailed analytics analysis

Re-posting and syndicating your work to LinkedIn and Medium takes minimal time investment. Medium makes re-posting blog posts and long form content a painless, 5 to 10 minute click and export exercise.

But, post your content on your site first. Publishing on LinkedIn and Medium without your own site is analogous to building your home on someone else’s land. Negative consequences can result from solely relying on one online distribution channel — read this Wall Street Journal example with Facebook.

 

3. Make The Internet Your Resume 

Be Your Own Law School Placement Office. If you’re a future member of the Law School Class of 2016 / 2017, why limit your employment to the postings at your law school’s career placement office?

Acquire Your Clients Direct. Screw the Middleman. Make the Internet Your Resume (direct quote from Dorie Clark’s article, Reputation 3.0: The Internet Is Your Resume):

Feldman (in reference to Debra Feldman of JobWhiz.com), whom I profiled in my book Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future, says the antidote is to consider your Internet search results as “a perpetual resume – a dynamic record of achievements, affiliations and ideas.” In order to take control of your online reputation, Feldman says all professionals should “actively participate on the social networks where your market will notice you” and position yourself as an expert by publishing and contributing relevant, high-quality content.

Here’s Dorie describing The Internet Is Your Resume concept:

 

Your Turn

Please let me know if you agree or disagree with my thoughts in the comments. I would love to hear from you. I’m here to read, listen, and learn from YOUR PERSPECTIVE.   Comments are open. So let’er rip!

 

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President and Founder

As President and Founder of Faustino Marketing Strategies, I advise how a buyer’s problem guides a client’s content marketing and SEO decisions.

I am based in the Kansas City area (Overland Park, Kansas).

I share my ideas on the reinvention of content marketing and SEO in my personal blog: Social Media ReInvention. (www.socialmediareinvention.com).