Lawyernomics 2014: Lions and Tigers and Lawyers Oh My!


Avvo’s 2014 Lawyernomics conference held at the Venetian in Las Vegas has come and gone. Three full days packed with industry leading experts giving actionable advice and tips on how lawyers can better market and grow their businesses. Were you not able to attend? Have you ever even thought about attending such a conference? Wondering how you could benefit from attending something like this?

This was the first time I attended Lawyernomics. I wanted to give some insight into what I saw from my point of view. I was able to learn a lot from the conference itself, but learned even more from the lawyers attending and what I found made me step back and analyze/categorize every lawyer I have ever worked with.


I am going to describe three distinct types of lawyers I ran into during the conference.


The first type of lawyers I ran into at the conference are proactive. There are those lawyers out there that “get it” and those that don’t when it comes to marketing their law firm in today’s market. I am not saying that their isn’t hope for those that aren’t up to speed with all the latest and greatest techniques of marketing in 2014, however; there is a huge difference between those who want to learn how to adapt to the changing landscape and those who want to continue only running phone book ads because it worked 10 years ago.


Jabez LeBret of Get Noticed Get Found (GNGF) said, “One thing that really stood out to me at the Avvo Lawyernomics conference is that the landscape for lawyers building a successful practice has become increasingly more complex. Technology, and user behavior, has fundamentally changed in the last decade. Speaker after speaker addressed various issues regarding how lawyers can effectively communicate their skills to prospects and current clients. Stepping back and looking at the conference as a whole it is obvious that there is no one solution. Instead lawyers need to embrace this shift in how people are researching and hiring law firms by becoming active in the marketing aspect of building their business. This includes everything from getting your message out there, tracking your sales cycle, and effective follow through.”

The type of lawyers that want to be industry leaders in their markets and are:

  • willing to do whatever it takes to get there
  • the ones attending conferences like Lawyernomics
  • getting out and networking with other lawyers
  • learning from legal marketing experts
  • adapting to the new ways people are finding and hiring lawyers today
  • trying new things before anyone else

Simply put, they are proactive. I love this word. Merriam-Websters definition of the word is controlling a situation by making things happen or by preparing for possible future problems. This is exactly what the speakers at the conference were trying to get across, and these are the type of lawyers that were at the conference. These are also the type of lawyers that everyone likes to work with.


The second type of lawyers I saw are reactive. These lawyers don’t quite fall with the ones that don’t “get it”, they just aren’t quite on the same level as the proactive attorneys. These type of lawyers will watch what the leaders in their industry are doing and try to replicate it with their own practice. The only thing they are lacking is innovation and originality. They are headed in the right direction and can easily become proactive lawyers if they fully implement what they learned in the conference and start to try new things.

Gyi Tsakalakis of AttorneySync points out just how valuable Lawyernomics is and how this conference is one giant step in the right direction. “Lawyers interested in the intersection of technology and the business of law, need look no further than Avvo’s Lawyernomics conference. The caliber of the information, coupled with the opportunity to meet hundreds of excellent attorneys, sets the bar by which other legal conferences should be measured.”



Now for the third style…the stubborn lawyers. The stubborn lawyer:

  • believes they are a lawyer and a marketing expert
  • knows they can’t do everything themselves because they simply don’t have time, but they want to micro-manage everything their marketing team is doing
  • doesn’t want to change
  • is slow at getting back on important innovative things that could help them get a leg up on their competitors
  • looks at their marketing team as an employee not a partner

Nobody wants to work with this type of lawyer.

So, now it’s time for a hard look in the mirror. Which type of lawyer are you? Are you the proactive lawyer that everyone wants to work with? Or the stubborn lawyer that people dread talking to on the phone? What about the reactive lawyer that just needs a dose of caffeine to start leading their market instead of following everyone else? Think about it for a while and decide if you are happy with where you are at or not.

What I liked most about the conference was that the majority of the attending lawyers fell within the proactive stage while a few were still in the reactive stage trying to get out of it and even less were in the stubborn stage. All-in-all Lawyernomics attracts the right type of lawyer and that is why we were there.

Mark Homer, also from GNGF said, “As someone who assists law firms with their marketing, not only did I learn some new things from Lawyernomics, but I wish more of my clients attended as all lawyers would benefit from the great content discussed on and off the stage.”

Focus on what you are great at

Here are the two big questions I have for lawyers. Are you a lawyer or a marketer? Do you have time to do both effectively? I know all of the lawyers I talked to in Vegas are experts in their respective fields of law. They know their stuff. I would hire any of them to take care of any legal matters that arise in my own life. I wouldn’t hire most of them to do my marketing though. Why? Because that is not what they are great at. I’m sure Lawyers get mad when people try to take care of legal matters on their own and bypass the lawyer.

The same is true for legal marketing experts. Online legal marketing is becoming more dynamic and challenging daily. It is hard to stay on top of Google and their changes if it isn’t something you are actively monitoring. Just like you want people to trust and hire you for legal advice, trust a legal marketing expert to help develop your online presence the right way.

Build a lasting relationship

We at NiftyLaw love what we do. We enjoy coming to work everyday and we love working with lawyers. Our mission states that we believe in helping good people and businesses grow. What we want to do is find people that love what they do, work together and build a relationship. We want your business to succeed just as much as we want our own to. What I am saying is this: we don’t want to work with stubborn lawyers and neither do any other legal marketing firms.

So was Lawyernomics a good learning tool for me? Definitely. I figured out just what type of lawyers to work with and which ones to pass on to someone else ;). Lawyernomics was a great conference. If you are wanting to get caught up or even get ahead of the competition, I would recommend attending Lawyernomics next year. It is a great place to network with other lawyers and learn from legal marketing experts. If you did attend the conference this year, implement what you learned.

Alex Valencia of We Do Web Content summed things up nicely.“I thought the 2014 Lawyernomics conference was energetic and had a decent amount of helpful educational content. I truly feel the attorneys and their teams will be working on implementing the learned strategies. An important note I tell my clients is to think of content as their voice and personality. The app was really awesome too! Looking forward to next year. Would love to see some out of the industry experts from google or amazon…”

Comments from some lawyers that attended the conference:

“Simply packed full of information. Before the conference even started I learned a few things by simply walking through the sponsor’s room. It was fun and informative. I have lots to think about and work on while working on my practice.”Jon Groth
“This was my second time attending Lawyernomics and I continued to be impressed with not only the breadth of information provided but also the timelines. The landscape of legal marketing, especially the online aspect, is evolving at a rapid pace. Attending Lawyernomics makes sure you have the up-to-the-minute information and tactics to make the most out of your marketing dollar.”Joe Suhre
“I found the Lawyernomics conference in Las Vegas to be both informative and enjoyable. Very few legal conferences that I have attended in the past deal with the marketing/business side of law. I left the Lawyernomics conference with some great practical tools and strategies to grow my law firm. The conference also provided some excellent networking opportunities. In fact, Avvo prepared a customized app just for the conference, which was an easy and fun way to be interactive and to get to know my fellow attendees.”Farhan Naqvi
“I had a great time at the conference. I had not been to this conference before, and I did not know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised, as this was not like most conferences I have been to in the past. The speakers were great, and they gave practical tips that can enhance my law practice and marketing efforts.”Josh Ball