I read an article online the other day and liked it so much that I wanted to compliment the lawyer who wrote it on a great job. While the article was posted on a law firm’s website, the author wasn’t listed as an attorney with the firm. I can be compulsive about these things once I’m on a mission.
So, I set out to find him.
- First I checked the author’s state bar profile, since state law requires attorneys to list contact information where they can actually be reached. The state bar listing showed him with a different firm and included his email address. I sent my “attaboy” message there.
- Next, just for giggles, I checked the website of the firm where I had sent the message. He didn’t appear as an attorney on that site either. Hmmm. Would the firm that hosts the article actually want to continue that page if the author was no longer with the firm? And what about me? Would I lose the networking value of reaching out to him because I sent the message to the wrong place?
- Then I Googled the lawyer. Everything I saw, including his Avvo listing, showed him at the initial firm. Then I checked LinkedIn—not there.
- I called the firm that hosts the article and asked if the author was still with them. The receptionist said no, and confirmed that the state bar listing was accurate.
Then I stopped.
Inaccurate state bar listings are not unusual. I regularly let lawyers know their listing is incorrect. Most recently, it was a friend who has been an administrative law judge for more than five years.
Migration to a new professional situation is common. In most situations, however, you continue to rely on the credentials and reputation you have established in your communities and in the ether. When changing jobs, it’s probably a good idea to take steps to make sure your contact information is updated online—with the old firm, with the new and in your social network listings.
If people can’t find you, they can’t send you business. Or even an “attaboy.”
Theda “Teddy” Snyder is an attorney and structured settlement broker with Ringler Associates. She has practiced law for 33 years, including 10 years as principal of her own firm. Teddy is a frequent speaker and has written four books on law practice management, including Women Rainmakers’ Best Marketing Tips. She is a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management.
Illustration © ImageZoo.