Monday, December 20, 2010

Can you tell your story in exactly six words?

Awhile ago, I heard a fascinating NPR piece discussing "Not Quite What I Was Planning," a book that compiled six-word stories. It's amazing how much depth and detail you can convey in just those few words. For example, "legend has it that Ernest Hemingway once wrote:'For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.'"

NPR: "The online magazine Smith asked readers to write the story of their own lives in a single sentence. … Their stories are sometimes sad, often funny — and always concise." 

I thought it would be interesting to see what lawyers and law marketers might come up with when describing their own lives, careers, experiences, firms -- or just something they'd been thinking about.  We got a healthy response, with most asking to remain anonymous. 

Please email your tiny stories to me ( and I'll compile and share them.  Here we go; I've bolded some of my favorites (careful, spicy language):

-Parents nudged me. I nudge attorneys
           -Ashley Tenney, Biz Dev Specialist, McKenna Long & Aldridge

-You want it when? No problem.
-Always time for one more change.
-Never accused of being shy, retiring. 
-John Byrne, Chief Marketing Officer, Drinker Biddle & Reath

-Here by accident. Stayed by choice. 
-Heather Morse-Milligan, Director of Marketing, Barger & Wolen

-My favourite thing is anything social.
-Eileen Lesko, Marketing Coordinator, Scott Hall

-I don't sell; I'm a professional.
-Former Associate: "I don't need clients.'
-Patrick Johansen, Sr. Business Dev. Manager, Brinks Hofer

-Flower child, tinkering with the universe.
-Mim Young, Marketing Manager, Gentry Locke

-Many years, many lawyers, sometimes heard.
-Linda Lee Ficano, Director of Business Dev. & Marketing, Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto

-Quality costs and is enduring.
-Poor quality costs but infuriating.
-Great service always overcomes high price.
-Luck always favors the well prepared.
-Compete to win or don’t compete.
-Integrity, loyalty, and trustworthiness are priceless.
-Clients want The Moon at a discount.
-Manage paper lead people. Four words.
-Genius will never overcome obsessive detail.
-Great friends are earned not found.
-Loyal clients are hard to find.
-Common sense is not so common.
-Culture is the impediment to progress.
-Never, ever mistake motion for action.
-Bill Flannery, President, The WJF Institute

-Beloved child. Rising star. Nobel warrioress.
            -Jayne Navarre, Director, Law Gravity LLC

-Good work ISN'T the best marketing. 
-Ross Fishman, CEO, Fishman Marketing.

-Thirty years. Same office.  Metal desk.
-I love saying I'm a lawyer.
-Clean scan. No cancer.  Thank God.
-I wish I'd become a teacher.
-Divorce final tomorrow. Sad, relieved, reborn.
 -I'm keeping all my clients portable.
-Associates today don’t give a shit.
-I vomit before going to court.
-Blocking Facebook won't improve my productivity.
-I love the work.  Not clients.
-I help people every day.  Wow.
-I went to law school.  Oops.
-Taxes are interesting. Clients are annoying.
-Our associates won't work on weekends.
-My partners are all vipers.
-Thanks goodness I became a lawyer.
-My children will not become lawyers.
-Marketing, shmarketing...  When can I practice?
-What the fuck is a blog?
-Marketing? Can't I just practice law?
-Compensation season is the worst time.
-When the economy improves, I'm gone.
-Our Tech Support isn't very supportive.
-Our new logo is orange.  Idiots.
-Is anyone worth $700 per hour?
-Bill. Bill. Bill. Bill. Bill. Collect.
-Judges think their shit don’t stink.
-Everyone thinks they deserve more money.
-The client is not always right.
-Litigation isn't about discovery. It's war.
-Clients don’t care about our website.
-Lawyers should not have to market.
-I do cookie-cutter legal work.
-My Blackberry fell in the toilet.
-"Business casual?" What does that mean?
-60 should come with a lobotomy.
-Too much, sometimes good, still wanting.
-Another Christmas cloaked in the snow. 


  1. Here is mine - "I practice law that matters. Finally."


  2. From a reader who wanted to remain anonymous:

    "Giant egos preside over mundane errands."