Saturday, March 3, 2012
According to this column from Law.com, Fordham law has hired a specialist in legal services marketing to help students learn business development skills. Adjunct Professor Silvia Hodges, says her Fordham faculty profile, is the first person to obtain a PhD in law firm marketing. In addition to teaching at Fordham, she is also a full-time faculty member at Emerson College in Boston where she teaches in the department of marketing communication.
One of her key tips for law students hoping to develop a book of business is to blog, whether as a guest for someone else's blog or by starting their own. Professor Hodges maintains a legal marketing blog here which includes a page where her Fordham students can try their own hand at blogging (check out the student posts here).
Professor Hodges tells Law.com:
It is never too early to start developing your personal brand . . . . "Why wait?" she said. "Take courses in the area you want to focus on, join associations and interest groups, etc. — and blog about it. All this will help build your own brand and distinguish you from the many other young lawyers out there. This will put you in front of firms and potential clients."
This message has resonated with Hodges' students. "I'll be working at a Manhattan law firm this summer and hope to begin my career there, and want to give myself as many tools as possible to improve my value to that firm," 2L Andrew Fleischman said.
Building your brand is all about improving your value. "Blogging is a great tool to help law students accomplish this," Hodges said. "Great posts show that you are familiar with the topic. You become part of the discussion, become known among those interested in the topic. Having valuable contacts online is part of becoming a thought leader. You get your name out, it gives you visibility and helps you with search engine optimization. Your name and content will pop up when people look for your topic. Hopefully, this will help you get hired."
Launching a blog can be intimidating, but free platforms like Wordpress and Blogger make it easy. Hodges recommended that aspiring lawyers begin by "focusing on a niche you are really interested in. Do research and understand which platform works best for your viewpoint. Learn as much as you can about this topic and write brief, intriguing, easy-to-read blog posts on a regular basis."
Keep reading here.