It all starts with a story.
“Once upon a time … In the beginning … It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … Jack and Jill went up the hill.”
When we read an opening like that, we know what’s coming next. A story. And not only that, we are instantly engaged. We want to find out what happened in the beginning, or what fate will befall Jack and Jill when they reach the top of that hill.
Such is the power of story – to seize our attention, to draw us in, to change our lives.
And nowhere is story more significant than the law.
From Judge Bean to Justice Frankfurter
Chances are, it was the story of a lawyer that made you want to become one yourself. Maybe it was someone you knew personally – a parent, relative, or a lawyer in your hometown. Maybe it was a notable figure from history - Thurgood Marshall or Abraham Lincoln or Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It might have been a fictional lawyer like Atticus Finch or Ally McBeal or Vinny Gambini. Or possibly Annalise Keating, the star of How to Get Away with Murder and the most awesome criminal law professor ever.
And speaking of legal education, consider that when you became a 1L, your life became an epic three-year chronicle that could have been titled The Odyssey, or Great Expectations, or Of Human Bondage. You studied cases – which are nothing more than stories, albeit penned in painfully dense, Latinate-larded prose. You were introduced to the Socratic method, through which teachers challenged your beliefs and tested your presumptions by asking, “what if this or that element of the story were changed?”
And then, when you graduated and entered the world of actual practice, your narrative took a dramatic twist. New characters emerged. Clients, judges, other lawyers. New plots unfolded. Yet still, the power of story prevailed.
The Ticket to Success is to Tell, Don’t Sell
Ask any self-respecting marketer how to succeed at business and they’ll advise you to spend more time telling than selling. In other words, tell your story, don’t sell your services.
You do this by looking inside yourself – and by extension, your law practice – to discover what makes you special, or better, or at least distinguishable from the lawyer down the street. There’s always something. It might be what you do – your niche or specialty area – or the way you do it. It might be what you used to do - your prior career as a forensic pathologist, the months you spent in the Sawtooths tracking Bigfoot.
Want to know how we can sharpen and shape your story in a winning way? Call or email for a free consultation.