Like-Kind Exchange: Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery, Until It Isn’t

Managing lawyers like minions.  For all of time, managing attorneys have been trying to create worker bee mini-me’s who can go out and market a law practice just like they do.  Associate attorneys who grow up to be managing partners in their own right, and who shake hands the same way they do, and who use the same tired professional pick-up lines that they do.  Pressing the flesh, making it happen.  Doing the bull dance, feeling the flow.  Working it.

 

Of course, every generation of lawyers is completely wrong about how the next generation of lawyers should act; and, that will only continue to be emphasized as millennial lawyers come to swamp the profession in the coming decades.  Millennials think and act differently from the preceding generation, they have different requirements and they’re the biggest generation, populationwise, since the Greatest Generation — and are set to have as significant a cultural impact.

So, it’s probably time to start thinking about treating your associates differently, and letting them spread their wings in marketing channels you don’t understand, but where your future clients hang out.  Like Instagram and Snapchat and Twitch and something else I don’t even know about but that your associates do.

Law firms that allow their associates to have meaningful impact on the law firm marketing plan, and that allow their associates the freedom to access new marketing channels in their own right, with continuous trust in their judgment, are the first to break open new marketing channels, and to gain a ‘first mover’ advantage.

I mean, think about it — who knows better where your millennial clients are coming from than your millennial attorneys?