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Congratulations to Greg Siskind : 10 years on the Internet

Congratulations to Greg Siskind on the 10th anniversary of his visalaw.com site. 10 years ago this month Greg left a large law firm and set up his own immigration law firm, in Tennessee of all places. Greg marketed his law firm by doing a regular immigration law newsletter, telling the world about its availability on newsgroups and archiving the newsletter along with empowering immigration law information on his Visalaw.com site. His firm quickly grew in size to multiple partners and multiple offices in North America.

Within two years Greg, with Tim Moses, literally wrote the book on Internet marketing (First addition of The Lawyer’s Guide to Marketing on the Internet, ABA). I remember my heart pounding and my brain racing reading this book as I was getting one idea after another on marketing my own small trial law firm I was just starting.

Dam, I owe Greg a tremendous debt of gratitude. He showed me that the Internet was a fabulous tool to publish practical information to empower ordinary people. He showed me that by doing so, a lawyer could bring the world to their Web site, even if their world was limited to a niche practice area and locale. He showed me that content was king on a Web site and took priority over site graphics. (We used to joke that Greg had a Chevrolet looking Web site producing world class results while other firms spent a fortune on graphics to get zero results). He showed me how to help people on listservs, newsgroups and message boards and by leaving my signature behind folks would come to my Web site. He led the way, via his work with the Tennessee Bar, in getting bar associations to accept Internet marketing.

Greg is also a world class person. The first time I met him he walked me around the ABA Techshow introducing me to people. When I took someone in our office to an Internet law marketing seminar back in 1997 or 1998, he took a ton of time answering our questions and inspired our office that we too could effectively market ourselves on the net. He still is available in New York minute to answer my questions by phone or email.

Perhaps most importantly Greg has a real sense of purpose, both in serving his clients, helping immigrants to the US, including testifying before Congress, helping lawyers via seminars & committees, and in spending time with his family. Just try and get Greg involved in more law related projects than he is already involved in and he’ll probably decline saying he is trying to spend more time with his wife, Audrey, and their children. (Greatest mistake I ever made was telling my wife how Greg built a new home a few years back in his wife’s home town in Tennessee and established a branch office there.)

When the history of the Internet is written, I think there will be a footnote about what Greg and the folks at Visalaw.com have done not just to help themselves but to help others. Drop Greg an email and thank him for what he has done to blaze the path for lawyer marketing on the Internet – we lawyers and the public we serve are the better for it.

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