Category Archives: Marketing

ABA TechShow: The Video

Live from TechShow 2009 ...

Live from TechShow 2009 ...


Thought I’d share some choice video from TechShow 2009 featuring all 4 of the Best of Show winners that I wrote up in TechnoLawyer, plus interviews with some of my heroes such as Bob Ambrogi, Jay Funeberg, and Kevin O’Keefe, as well as sightings of legal blogging all-stars like Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighelle. I’m still excited.  


See related videos here and find me on YouTube as practicehacker

ABA TechShow 2009 – Short and SaaSy

Were the ABA Damnit!

We're the ABA Damnit! We own you!

This was my 10th year at ABA Technology Show in Chicago. This year was particularly cool.  Here’s why:

Meeting The Heavies: To me, seeing people like Dennis Kennedy, Tom Mighelle, Bob Ambrogi, Jim Calloway, Kevin O’Keefe, Brett Burney, Andy Atkins, Jay Foonberg (!) and the rest of my pretend blog friends … I mean pretend LinkedIn friends … is like reconnecting with long lost relatives. Exciting and a little intimidating. But all of them were really great and down to earth. Except that Kennedy. Such a prima donna. I kid, I kid.

Meeting Canadians: Who can forget meeting the Great Librarian of Upper Canada! Beat that. Then there was Phil of the Future (my name for him), Steve Matthews (nice guy), Brett Burney (I think he’s Canadian), Dominic Jaar (vive la Quebec libre!), the boys from Clio (or as I called them, the Booth Babes), and a host of other talent from the Great White North. It was great to meet you all: now go back where the ice doesn’t melt until July.

Technology Becoming Accepted: This year for the first time in memory I noticed a preponderance of grey hairs and the careful gait of partners scoping out potential buys for their offices.  This was not the brash, flash-in-the-pan TechShow of the late-90’s in which the Internet was decried as a fad.

SaaS, Saas, and more Saas: Software as a service was all over the place, and by next year it will be pervasive. This year I was knocked out by the number and variety of kick-ass SaaS providers at the show including Clio, RocketMatter, and VLO Tech. Clio was my hands-down favorite for a number of reasons – I intend to use it in my own practice. Whatever your cup of tea, the idea of throwing away the IT department in favor of the Cloud is gaining traction fast.

Less is … Less: One lamentable fact about this  year’s show – there was less of it than I’ve seen in a long time. Another casualty of the economy I’d say, but we shouldn’t overlook the fact that many legal technology vendors have been slaves to profit instead of boosters for innovation and the slow economy is making it painfully apparent what a royal screw job they’ve been giving lawyers all these years. Many players couldn’t make it ? Good riddance to bad company.

Other than that however, it was a great experience as always and one that I heartily recommend to one and all. If you haven’t been to TechShow, go there. If you have, come back. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

For more coverage see my SmallLaw Column in TechnoLawyer.

Check out Twitter coverage of TechShow.

As always, I’d love your thoughts. E-mail me at mhedayat[at] or tweet me @practichacker.

ttyl 🙂

my 15 minutes of fame …


My 15 Minutes of Fame

My 15 Minutes of Fame


Courtesy of 37 Signals, creators of killer apps such as highrise (their crm application), comes my 15 minutes of fame as their spokesman. You’ll find me right here on their website. And it’s no bull. I’ve used highrise, basecamp, backpack, and campfire to communicate with teams accross the country in connection with pending litigation. Yeah, it works. Not only that, the products are easier to use,  more intuitive, and less costly than anything out there with the possible exception of Google Apps, which I also use. But that’s a whole other level of commitment …


99 legal marketing professionals on Twitter

From 3 Geeks and a Law Blog (with all due respect)
  1. @azita99 – azita houshiar, New York City I like art + technology. Have a thing 4 robots + work @ web
  2. @bentleytolk – Bentley Tolk, Salt Lake City, Utah As a practicing lawyer, I also provide marketing advice, client development advice, advice on billable hours, and consulting to lawyers and future lawyers. web
  3. @bobambrogi – Bob Ambrogi, Rockport, Mass. Lawyer, writer, consultant. web
  4. @carlgrant – carlgrant, Virginia Senior Vice President, Business Development, Cooley Godward Kronishweb
  5. @carolynelefant – carolynelefant, DC area Practicing lawyer, marine renewables expert, avid blogger, Solo by Choice author, CEO (, mom web
  6. @cfast – Colin Fast, Winnipeg College marketing guy from Canada web
  7. @citinoal – Allison Citino, Dolanco Junction, California pr and marketing guru. In my sparetime, I eat cheezits and watch law and order (GO STATE) web
  8. @colinokeefe – Colin O’Keefe, Missoula, MT University of Montana journalism student and Montana Grizzlies sports blogger. LexBlog utility infielder. Interested in marketing. web
  9. @david_bilinsky – david_bilinsky, Vancouver BC Canada Law Practice Management Consultant web
  10. @dbruns – dbruns, San Francisco Director of Marketing, Legal Marketing, Dad, Owner of Chickens web
  11. @dkennedyblog – dkennedyblog, St. Louis, MO The Microblog Version of DennisKennnedy.Blog web
  12. @DougJasinski – DougJasinski, Vancouver, Canada Canadian legal marketing guy web
  13. @ewinters – ewinters, Dubai Marketing Manager for largest independent legal firm in the Middle East.web
  14. @gerkmana – Alli Gerkman, Denver, CO CLE professional, attorney, blogger, social media enthusiast, event manager… and you can also find me twittering @ecorazzi web
  15. @GinaRubel – GinaRubel, Doylestown, Pa. PR (public relations) strategic planning adict, mother, recovering attorney, author, publicist, blogger & wannabe photographer / yogi web
  16. @godthedj – James Austin, UK – Birmingham Online Marketing Exec working for Birmingham based Law Firm web
  17. @heathermillian – heather milligan, Los Angeles, CA Director of Marketing, Barger & Wolen legal marketer, mom, wife, girl scout leader, tired. web
  18. @ijh – I.J. Hudson, Wash, DC area Former NBC4 broadcaster. Love to follow new technology- gadgets and social use of the Internet. Currently doing communications/marketing work for a law firm. web
  19. @jaynenavarre – jaynenavarre, Florida Digital marketing geek for lawyers. That’s why I live in the sunshine. web
  20. @jasonmilch – Jason Milch, Chicago, IL I provide public relations and marketing services to law firms and their attorneys. If you are a reporter and need a legal source, chances are I’m your guy. web
  21. @JDTwitt – Adrian L, Mill Valley, CA Communications Director, JD Supra. Poet. All-around word guy. Blogging at Bookmarking at web
  22. @jeffbob – Jeff Yerkey, San Francisco, CA Law firm marketer; graphic designer, web 2 geek web
  23. @JeffTBerman – Jeff Berman, Chicago, IL Disengaged Worker turned Passionate Entrepreneur. Marketer for Lawyers. SEM and SEO Enthusiast. AttorneySync is like eHarmony for legal services. web
  24. @jonathanfields – Jonathan Fields, NYC Father, husband, career renegade, lifestyle-entrepreneur, marketing/copywriting maven, blogger, social-media explorer, recovering lawyer and…yoga dude web
  25. @jordan_law21 – Jordan Furlong, Ottawa, ON Lawyer, editor, blogger, collaborator, innovator, and occasional Jeremiah for the legal profession. web
  26. @joshfruchter – joshfruchter, New York Joshua Fruchter is the founder of eLawMarketing and publisher of LawyerCasting web
  27. @KBWhit – KBWhit, Greensboro, NC Wife to Gabe, Mom to Hannah, Legal Marketer web
  28. @kevinaschenbren – Kevin Aschenbrenner, Langford, British Columbia Media/PR consultant for law firms in North America and the EU. If you’re a reporter looking for an attorney source, Tweet me. Attorney looking for PR? Same. web
  29. @kevinokeefe – Kevin OKeefe, Seattle – web
  30. @lawfirmseo – Laurie Williams, Washington, DC Legal Internet Marketing Consultant web
  31. @legalmarketing – legalmarketing, West Chester, PA Entrepreneur, female small business owner, legal marketing coach and consultant to personal injury lawyers web
  32. @legalresources – legalresources, Florida Virtual Assistant, Social Media Marketing Coach, Writer, Authorweb
  33. @lieslglogan – lieslglogan, Fort Worth, TX Legal marketer, wife, mom, Christian, Democrat, Texan, lover of all things haunted web
  34. @LindsayGriffith – LindsayGriffith, Barnegat, NJ Marketer & Events Planner Extraodinaire International Lawyers Network web
  35. @lizbardindley – lizbardlindley, NY Metro area I do PR and writing for Law Firms web
  36. @marsha – Marsha Keeffer, Silicon Valley Social Media PR Expert web
  37. @matthomann – Matt Homann, St. Louis, MO Big Thinker. Innovational Speaker. Creative Facilitator. Dad. web
  38. @mbeese – Mark Beese, Evergreen Colorado web
  39. @melitaz – melitaz, San Francisco, CA New media explorer Traditional PR expat. web
  40. @michaelzucker – michaelzucker, Los Angeles business writer, lawyer, marketing & communications consultant web
  41. @minasirkin – minasirkin, Los Angeles, CA and Woodland H Trusts / Estates Lawyer, Legal Expert, Mom, Blogger, techno serial entrepreneur. web
  42. @nancymyrland – Nancy Myrland Professional Marketing Advisor web
  43. @newsucnuse – newsucnuse, Long Island, NY (work in NYC) Marketing director, mother of twins, writer, former reporter web
  44. @nikiblack – Nicole Black, Rochester, NY I am a lawyer, legal writer & avid blogger I’m also a newly indoctrinated social media geek & wine and food fanatic.web
  45. @paul177 – paul177, Philadelphia, PA Associate Vice President, Gregory FCA, PR rep for law firms, public companies, and financial institutions web
  46. @paulmckeon – Paul McKeon, Sydney, Australia Former IBM and Dell flack, now with law firm Deacons ( web
  47. @Remarkikkin – Nicole Kramer Living Law Firm Marketing web
  48. @Riskin – Gerry Riskin, Anguilla, B.W.I. Lawyer/Consultant, web
  49. @rocketmatter – rocketmatter, Florida The web generation of legal practice management web
  50. @SeanMcGinnis – SeanMcGinnis, Eagan, MN Manager, Search Marketing at FindLaw web
  51. @shodes – shodes, Maryland Marketing Director for the Baltimore law firm of Adelberg, Rudow, Dorf & Hendler, LLC web
  52. @stephenfairley – Stephen Fairley, Phoenix, AZ Law Firm Marketing Expert, Legal Marketing, Lawyer Marketing web
  53. @StephenLudwig – StephenLudwig, Denver Metro Dir of Public Affairs, Metzger web
  54. @StephKimbro – StephKimbro, Wilmington, North Carolina Attorney and Owner of Kimbro Legal Services, a Virtual Law Practice in N.C. Owner of VLOTech, a tech company providing SaaS virtual law office software web
  55. @SteveWorrall – Steve Worrall, Marietta, Georgia USA Marietta and Atlanta estate planning, divorce and family law attorney and Personal Family Lawyer. Enjoys the law and learning about marketing the practice. web
  56. @st0rmshadow – Garth O’Brien, Seattle, Washington Search Engine Optimization, SEO, SEM, Social Media, Internet Marketing, Gamer, Scuba Diver, Ski, Networking, Attorney, Comics, XboxLive = Stormshad0w web
  57. @thblaw – Tamera Bennett, Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex Copyright Law, Trademark Law, Entertainment Law, Music Publishing Attorney, Branding, Blogger, Speaker, Cub Scout Den Mom web
  58. @TMighell – Tom Mighell, Dallas, Texas web
  59. @tsfranklin – Travis Franklin, Boise, Idaho An aspiring author and proud dad. Oh and a marketing director for a law firm for my day job. web
  60. @vivianhood – vivianhood, Jacksonville, FL I do law firm PR and media relations for national law firms. Need a legal source? web
  61. @JERaasch – JERaasch, Denver, Colorado Writer and ghostwriter for lawyers, law firms and consultants.web
  62. @donnafryer – donnafryer, In front of computer! Teach others how to find info, people, job candidates & create and deliver enticing webinars for the executive recruiting, law marketing, & CLE industr web
  63. @melby_az – Melanie Green Legal marketing & business development, information soaker, student of twitter! web
  64. @3rddeadline – Russell Thomas, ..deboarding a plane in D.C… I hear he handles PR and business development for a law firm Somewhere, there’s a 5pm news deadline to beat. web
  65. @ChristinePilch – Christine Pilch, Massachusetts Marketer specializing in positioning and branding. Social media networking junkie enjoying new connections and reconnects with old friends. web
  66. @allisonshields – allisonshields, Long Island, New York practice management and business development consultant for lawyers web
  67. @pstessel – 
    Philippe Stessel, Manager, Marketing Technology at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. 

    pstessel, NYC Manager of Marketing & Business Development IS web

  68. @lawfirmblogger – Amy Derby, Chicago Law Firm Blogger : helping busy lawyers write better blogs web
  69. @monicaesmith – Monica Smith, Winter Park, Florida publicist focusing on local and national PR for law firms web
  70. @briancarter – Brian Carter, Myrtle Beach/San Diego Optimizer. “The funniest married white male keynote speaker on Twitter who also likes Yanni”. Director PPC, SEO, Social Media. Speaking next at PubCon 08. web
  71. @Law1389 – Law1389, Seattle WA web
  72. @TimV57 – Tim V, Chicago, IL – Marketing Technology Manager web
  73. @Adrianos – adrianosfacchetti, City of Angels attorney/blogger/defamation enthusiast/mnemonist/ web
  74. @michaelzukewich – michaelzukewich, Washington, DC Legal Marketing Coordinator web
  75. @ericpursh – ericpursh, Pittsburgh web
  76. @Laurie2 – Laurie Bloom, New York Marketing Director in a major law firm. web
  77. @leecomms – leecomms, Near NYC I handle comms and media for a variety of legal pubs, inc. American Lawyer web
  78. @RainmakingLady – Margaret Grisdela, President and Author Legal Expert Connections, Inc.  web 
  79. @LisaHenry1 – LisaHenry1, Jackson, Mississippi Legal Marketer Criminal Defense(Most want to know what exactly I do, so I describe what I am doing as it happens) web
  80. @Msdahmenor – Gayle Panter North Metro Atlanta, Georgia Bio Marketing/Paralegal-does that make me a Legal Marketer??? web
  81. @george_murphy – george_murphy, Baltimore, MD SEO/SEM manager for attorneys at Foster Web Marketing, Journalist for, soccer coach and player, Man U fanatic, dog owner, etc… web
  82. @KarenMenard – KarenMenard, New England Marketing professional, legal marketing, high tech, social media, future blogger, walker, geneologist web
  83. @arethagaskin – arethagaskin, US Dynamic virtual professional and owner of The Virtual Legal Assistant! web
  84. @Fresh00 – Parviz, Los Angeles, CA Love: fun, global integration and Bollywood movies, Human Rights, MMA, Web 2.0 stuff, Business, Travel, and Law. web
  85. @cml868 – Chris Leporini, Chicago I am a Web Editor for the American Bar Association with a journalism background and an interest in social media. web
  86. @AlexisNeely – Alexis Martin Neely, California Mom, Better TV Family Finance and Legal Expert, Revolutionizing the Legal World web
  87. @tmarman – Tim Marman, 84 Bay Ridge Ave, Brooklyn, NY Entrepreneur, Developer, J.D., Blogger. Founder of Notches. web
  88. @corporatetool – Josh King, Seattle  VP, Biz Dev & General Counsel at Avvo. Bike commuter, as long as it’s not raining too hard. web
  89. @Undercover_Lawr – Undercover_Lawr, The Beautiful Northwest, USA Bringing legal strategies of big business and mega firms to individual people, so they can take back control of their work life. Also dig cigars, Sbucks, &a web
  90. @Lola0901 – LauraA, Columbus, Ohio – Marketer, mommy and recovering lurker. web
  91. @corporette – corporette, New York, NY Corporette is a fashion and lifestyle blog for women lawyers, bankers, MBAs, consultants… web
  92. @conradsaam – Conrad Saam, Seattle Online marketer * dad * homebrewer web
  93. @internetlawyer7 – erik syverson, Los Angeles Erik Syverson is a business and internet law attorney operating an internet law firm. web
  94. @badijones – Badi Jones, Charleston, SC, USA I am a web developer from Charleston, SC. I like search marketing and programming. Made, More @ web
  95. @jlns – JLNS, Washington, DC The longest-running online source of attorney sources and law firm news. web
  96. @chuckwilkins – chuckwilkins, Washington, DC –  Media contact at Venable LLP, a large DC law firm. web  
  97. @Cheryl528 – Cheryl528, Kansas City Marketing Administrator at a law firm web
  98. @wpollak – Bill Pollak, New York, NY – CEO-North America, Incisive Media web 
  99. @scartierliebel – SCartierLiebel, Connecticut, USA – Coach/Consultant Teaching Lawyers How to Open Their Own Solo Practice. Creator of Solo Practice University web

Lawyer Marketing: Where To Spend Your Time And Money



Ever feel like your online marketing time and money is going straight out the window? I’ve spent thousands on web-based marketing over the years, only to come to a few basic but inescapable conslucions. So why make the same mistakes I did? In this feature for TechnoLawyer I tell you how to get the biggest bang for your buck and compare the big 4 online marketing tools for lawyers to separate hype from fact

  • directories
  • search engines
  • match-makers
  • blogs

Which of these marketing staples is worth the effort and which one is a wast of precious dollars? Read this excerpt then download the article to find out.  Of course if you think I’m all wet let me know. Hey, I’ve been wrong before …

The mere mention of online marketing makes solo and small firm practitioners cringe — and you can’t blame them. Besides being famously overworked, over-regulated, and underpaid, small firm and sole practitioners are easy picking for marketing “consultants” that promise more than they deliver. It’s no surprise that most of them think of online marketing the way they do Yellow Pages ads, but see the risks as much higher. Oh, and did I mention the breathtaking inconsistency in state rules about advertising? Good luck getting any guidance on that point. But don’t take my word for it. Let’s take real-life examples from a mid-sized firm and the a group of solos at the bar association.

Read the rest of the piece here, or download your PDF copy.

Happy reading!

The Shape of Things To Come

pyramid power

law firm growth rates

law firm growth rates

As anyone who’s worked at one will tell you, law firms are designed to push work downward and grow by doubling the number of staff for every associate, and adding an associate for every rainmaker. Firms can keep this up as long as those at the top generate business. As a result  the classic law firm pyramid doesn’t “grow” so much as it expands in all directions at the base.

That wide base makes for a stable structure; not only that, but minions are notoriously good at billing, overstaffed offices make clients feel secure, law schools fawn over big firms, and the obscene profit margins prove that doing things this way is an absolute good.

In fact even auxiliary players favor this approach: from Westlaw and Lexis to office supply stores, everyone makes out when clients foot the bill. ‘But,’ you ask, ‘what about lawyer satisfaction … staff retention … client service?’ Grow up. Firms are too timid to change, billable hours punish efficiency, rainmakers would rather find cheap employees than leverage information; and the type of client that can afford such services is either cost insensitive or doesn’t know they’re being taken. Then again no-one ever got fired for hiring IBM, right? It’s win-win baby!

Ironically, the ones motivated to change the system are so buried in it that they’re rarely seen or heard from. But that may be changing thanks to the big 2.0 – Web 2.0, Law 2.0, whatever 2.0. The point is that applications like Digg, Flickr, Blogger, and Twitter could become the nimble alternatives to the standard bloatware spewing from Microsoft and IBM. If so then the Gen-Y users of these apps could very well level the playing field at many firms or just jumpish ship altogether. The result is that more and more the hierarchy of the firm is giving way to the mesh of relationships we might call the un-law firm.

Of course there is a wide gulf between theory and action, but real change could take place soon; and for all we know may already be happening. The question is, given the opportunity would we support  these kinds of changes or resist them? To answer that question I refer back to my first year in business school when were were taught about the “Buggy Whip” industry at the outset of the 20th century.

circle of life

the un-law firm

It seems that when cars were introduced in the late 1800’s the companies that made carriages and whips laughed out loud. They had a track record going back to the golden age of Western civilization, while cars were loud, uncomfortable, complex, and quite frankly dangerous. Who would want one of those they reasoned? I guess we know how that one turned out.

Better still, e-mail me at mhedayat[at] with your thoughts.


we can do this the easy way .. or the really easy way

A company called SynthaSite has just unveiled its new, improved and easier-to-use interface for building Web sites. SynthaSite’s goal is to provide a graphical drag-and-drop interface that enables un-Web-saavy business owners and even your proverbial grandmother to build their own sites. (No, seriously — one of the samples offered in the press release is a guestbook site created for the user’s 88-year-old mother. It’s called Grammy’s Corner.) To make that happen, usability is crucial, and SynthaSite — founded in South Africa, but now headquartered in San Francisco — has made some real progress.