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Why Lawyers Should Never Pay for Awards or Honors and Never List Those on Their Web Site

I’m honored/humbled/excited/thrilled to announce that I’ve been nominated for a “lawyer of distinction” award but there’s just one problem, I’m not a lawyer!

And this is exactly why I have an issue with so many of these lawyer “awards.” They’re scams.

My PSA to all lawyers – I promise that you DO NOT need these spammy fake pay-to-play awards.

They actually undermine your credibility.

If a client sees them on your website or on your LinkedIn profile they’re going to question your credentials.

Much to the chagrin of many legal marketing professionals, these organizations reach out directly to lawyers which creates confusion and also hope on the part of the lawyers who are excited for being recognized, and then it’s up to us to break the unpleasant news that these are actually scams, which is always fun for us.

There are plenty of reputable awards in the legal industry that involve references, research and submissions with your client work, so focus on those, if you must.

And those awards don’t ask you for a dime.

A pay-to-play award is one where the defining characteristic of who gets “honored” is paying to be listed, not actual skills or expertise.

Real awards honor exceptional lawyers without caring whether they pay or not.

I can give you 10,000 things on which you should spend your money when it comes to marketing and business development that are better value versus these spammy awards.

So lawyers, please don’t pay for a profile for these bogus awards, use their badges on your website or pay for a plaque, especially if you know it is a scam, or if you have a nagging suspicion.

Also you don’t need a plaque anymore because you’re probably not really going into the office that much and even if you were in the office isn’t it a little much to have a bunch of plaques about yourself hanging on the wall? I always thought that was weird when I walked into a partner’s office and it was all about them…

Put these phony award solicitations where they belong – in your spam folder or right in the trash.

And if you’re unsure whether an award has merit, reach out to your marketing person, reach out to me or reach out to Igor Ilyinsky who put together a running list of the spammy awards to watch out for.

Just know that you don’t need one of these awards to validate how good you are at what you do. And you certainly don’t have to pay anyone to tell you that.

These awards are not going to bring you new clients. What will is superior client service, referrals and strategic marketing and business development.

It was nice to have that Esq next to my name for a second though.

Copyright © 2022, Stefanie M. Marrone. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 22
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About this Author

Stefanie M. Marrone

Stefanie Marrone advises law firms of all sizes, professional service firms, B2C and B2B companies, professional associations and individuals on the full range of marketing and business development consulting services designed to enhance revenue, retain current clients, attract new clients and achieve greater brand recognition and market share. Stefanie has worked with a broad range of law firms of all sizes over her nearly 20-year legal marketing career from Big Law, to mid-size firms, to boutique firms to solo practitioners. She also works with accounting firms,...

917-514-4493
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