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Reach beyond what others advise, you’ll succeeed

Carolyn Elefant picked up on my post about folks dissing MySpace as a place for networking by challenging lawyers to try things experts may advise against.

Can you think of a way to practice law that no one’s ever done before? One that experts sniff up their nose at, one that your colleagues mock?  If you can, go for it, because I’m sure it’s going to be a winner.

She cited Tom Goldstein’s amazing success as a Supreme Court practitioner. He got his start by identifying cases involving circuit splits and cold calling the losing party, offering to handle their Supreme Court case for free. Tom also picked up a ton of exposure by publishing the Supreme Court blog, SCOTUS. Akin Gump came along and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse to head up their Supreme Court practice.

Suzie Dingwall Williams chimed in with the first comment telling Carolyn she could not agree more. Suzie founded Venture Law Associates after a big firm, big company career and VC. Everyone told her to position herself as a low cost alternative to larger firms. Instead, Suzie emphasized her VC background as a way to draw emerging companies.

As a solo (now micro-boutique) successful lawyer, Suzie is free to let her marketing materials take whatever form and tone she think works. Instead of sending Xmas cards, every year she tries to send the tackiest, cheapest and most humorous item she can find to my clients and network (a pig catapult one year).

Suzie also uses her blog, Venture Law Lines, finding it far more effective than newsletters, in drawing new inquiries and in keeping in touch with existing clients.

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