Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Help Your Market to Know the Difference Between Lawyer and Counsel

I had a business meeting this afternoon with my company counsel who also happens to be my lawyer. There is a difference, at least from a marketing prospective. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss how I am structuring collaborative agreements with two other experts whom play an important role in the success of Marketing Catalyst, Inc.

In today's meeting my counsel/lawyer had on her counselor hat. She probed, asked questions, discussed ideas and suggested strategies for the business. Nothing she did in our 120 minutes together could be called "lawyering". It was all about applying her business and strategic expertise to help me choose a reasoned path for my company.

In the end I made choices and decided on actions, some of which will translate into her actually performing legal tasks (the preparation of legal documents).

This short meeting was an important moment in understanding how I market a law firm (or any professional services firm). Or, more importantly, how to market the value my client firms provide.

It could be that lawyers spend more time as a strategic coach than a lawyer performing legal tasks -- an important difference! Yes, being a good lawyer is a BIG thing, but is that all you market?

The ability to counsel companies and executives in good directions is something I must not overlook when positioning and creating communications. Lawyers are so much more than individuals that prepare documents. I hope you see the difference too.