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Legal power shift

In talking with business blog and social media consultant Josh Hallett this morning we discussed what’s he labeled as a legal power shift from large to smaller firms.

I mentioned in the past it used to be the large law firms with the biggest PR and marketing budgets that had an edge over small firms in getting work. Now with blogs, it’s the smart folks who really know their stuff, as to the law and networking on the Internet, that are drawing a lot of the attention and new business.

Josh mentions case in point being his client, Dan Harris, and Dan’s China Law Blog.

Dan doesn’t spend much (if anything) on traditional PR or marketing, yet he is now known as one of the leading experts on China and is quoted frequently by the mainstream media.

Dan chimed in with a comment that raised other big firm versus small firm dynamics at work.

I got a call a few months ago at 4 pm from a National news network who wanted to know if I could go on the air the next morning at 6 am to talk about an international law issue. I said yes and was there the next day. I asked how they got my name and they told me that a big firm New York lawyer who they initially called suggested me because he would not be able to go on with such short notice because he would need his firm’s approval.

The reality is that the big firms have such a large reach that they are rightfully afraid to say anything for fear of offending someone. My firm could offend 99.9% of the world and still have plenty of business to keep us busy.

This is not in any way a bad reflection on the big firms, since I fully understand their thinking on these things.

What will slow the shift will be dollars moving to smaller firms who pick up national reputations in niche areas.

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