We don’t have a rainmaking recommendation from Jaimie Field this week, but we do have what amounts to a guest post. It’s a thought-provoking piece on the state of what’s going on in the US at the moment, and the impact that should be having on your firm’s messaging. But more than that, it’s about the impact that it should be having on your firm’s policies and practices moving forward, if it hasn’t already. Now is not the time for empty platitudes and social posts, but the time for real, sustainable change, backed up by engagement and education. We’re certainly not there yet here at the ILN, but we’re digging in and doing our part.


I really thought about not posting a Rainmaking Recommendation for this week.

I thought that no matter what I posted, it would be considered to be inappropriate for what is occurring in the United States and in the world.  But, after spending the past few days on social media (alternately crying and getting supremely angry), not only because of the actual events that have been happening but also because I am seeing a tremendous number of inappropriate posts that seem to just disregard what is going on, I felt I had to say something.
So, while this isn’t a Rainmaking Recommendation, per se (and that’s why it isn’t numbered), it is a bit of a rant of sorts, with a lesson built-in.

I had a conversation with my friend and colleague, Daniel K. Wiig, who suggested that I write about some of the law firms/lawyers out there being tone-deaf.  Without calling anyone out, there is a time and a place for your marketing and sometimes you need to stop for a little while.  It is not the time to announce any accolades you may have received.  It is not the time to post invitations to webinars or events. It is not the time to post anything not related to the topics at hand. Hell, it’s not even the time to post COVID resources (at least for a few days).  And, it’s not the time for email after email about your firm’s response to COVID.  For those lawyers or law firms who have automatic posts on social media and haven’t turned them off – that is tone-deaf.

I have written about being empathetic during the pandemic many times.  To check-in with your colleagues, clients, and friends to see how they were doing when they were forced to quarantine and stay home.  But this situation is different.  Empathy, according to the advocates of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, isn’t’ enough, nor are “thoughts and prayers.”  They want brands to step up. 

But, this is not about branding – although your branding will suffer if you are tone deaf at inappropriate times.  This is not about business development or marketing – you can take a day or two off while the world is burning to focus on more important things.  This is about not just going on with life without considering what is going on in our country and in the world and how what you say and do will affect those around you.

Want to make a difference?  Then be the law firm that steps up and ensures that real diversity and inclusion happens in your firm.  And for lawyers who make political contributions, please research the candidates to whom you are giving money and make sure that they are supporting the causes and ideals you support.  Because there are a number of candidates on both sides who are saying one thing and then not walking the talk.

I don’t care whether you are conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat; you made a promise when you were sworn in as an attorney in your state.  And while the language may differ from state to state, they all have one thing in common – the pledge to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Including protecting protesters, reporters, and those who have been unfairly arrested or detained without knowing why they were being so treated.

Thank you to the law firms and companies that got it right.  Thank you to those who chose not to post, or posted something that was in solidarity against racism and discrimination.  Thank you to the lawyers who understand that for at least one day, we could all stop and just think about what is right or wrong.

Photo of Lindsay Griffiths Lindsay Griffiths

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles…

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles recruitment, member retention, and a high level of service to members. She is engaged in the legal industry to stay on top of trends, both in law firms and law firm networks.

In her role as Executive Director, she develops and facilitates relationships among ILN member firm lawyers at 90+ law firms in 67 countries, and seeks opportunities for member firms to build business and relationships, while ensuring member participation in Network events and initiatives. These initiatives include facilitating referrals, the management and execution of the marketing and business development strategy for the Network, which encompasses all communications, push-down efforts, and marketing partnerships, providing support and guidance to the chairs and group leaders for the ILN’s thirteen practice and industry specialty groups, the ILN’s women’s initiative, the ILN’s mentorship program, the management and execution of all ILN conferences, and more.

JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2019

During her previous tenure as Director of Global Relationship Management, the ILN has been shortlisted as a Global Law Firm Network of the Year by The Lawyer for 2016 and 2017, and included as a Chambers & Partners Leading Law Firm Network since 2011. She was awarded “Thought Leader of the Year” by the Legal Marketing Association’s New York chapter in 2014 for her substantive contributions to the industry, and was recently included in Clio’s list for “34 People in Legal You Should Follow on Twitter.” She was also chosen for the American Bar Association Journal’s inaugural Web 100‘s Best Law Blogs, where judge Ivy Grey said “This blog is outstanding, thoughtful and useful.” Ms. Griffiths was recently chosen for as a Top Author by JD Supra in their 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards, for the level of engagement and visibility she attained with readers on the topic of marketing & business development. She has been the author of Zen & the Art of Legal Networking since February of 2009.