Write, speak, teach, share your expertise with others. I mentioned that in an early post.
Let’s talk about writing. Why bother publishing? Because if you do so, a number of wonderful things begin to happen. People read what you write. They are impressed that you have been published. You have demonstrated subject matter expertise. You begin being known as a thought leader. Someone who reads what you have written may have a matter to refer to you on that self-same subject. An organization that sees your article may contact you and ask you to speak at their next conference on that subject or one similar. Someone who hears you speak on the subject at that program may be looking to refer a matter out to someone who has that expertise. And so it spirals into success.
Case in point.
One of our younger associates, Anastasia McCarthy, made this happen in just the past couple of weeks. New York adopted a Child Victims Act in February. New statute, new challenges, new risks for our clients. Anastasia handles personal injury defense. She saw this as an opportunity to help our clients understand what was ahead. What did the statute do? How should insurers and self-insureds prepare for the litigation rush that was clearly coming around the bend?
She did exactly the right thing. She published an article for the local legal newspaper immediately after the Governor signed the legislation into law. She was the first. You know what they say, “if you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes”. Her article was published and then republished by a sister publication.
Then came the call from the County Bar Association. “Can you speak at a CLE on the Child Victims Act? There’s a lot of interest in this new law and you obviously understand it …”. Now that she has written and is speaking, she can and is taking her expertise on the road to insurers, trade organizations and others who have an interest. And she is using social media. Just today, a lawyer from Providence. RI reposted, with credit to her, her substantive article.
So she wrote and then repackaged her piece into a bar presentation and a client education piece. And look at the service she is providing the public and our clients and friends?
I hear from lawyers, all the time, “I don’t have time to write, I’m too busy practicing.” Listen to me when I tell you this: you are wrong if you believe that. You have the time and you’ve already done the work.
Remember that last memorandum of law you wrote for that motion you filed? Or that appellate brief or that peculiar area of law? You have already completed the research. Hopefully you even won the motion or the appeal. But whether you won it or not, you know the arguments, the case law, the public policy arguments and the precedent. That’s 90% of an article. Spend a couple of hours and turn it into a publishable piece. Perhaps you need to be less of an advocate and more of an academic? Maybe you want to contact your opponent and jointly author an article? Trust me when I tell you that there are organizations that would LOVE to publish a well-written article, they are begging for publishable offerings.
It does not need to be of law review quality to be published in a trade or bar publication. And suddenly, you become a thought leader on the subject.
I’ll make another suggestion. You have joined the DRI or another similar organization. You meet a fine lawyer from across the country. The two of you become friends as you start to create a network of like-minded lawyers. Why don’t you jointly write and east coast-west coast article or a survey piece? Now the article might be warmly received in a national publication.
All good things. If you have identified the mentor I mentioned in my recent article, she or he can help you identify publications to which you might submit your offering.
I publish several times a year, in local, state and national newsletters and magazines. I’ve been doing it for years. You want to be a marketer? Write!