Eventually Others Are Cottoning On The The Pointlessness Of Legal Vanity Publishing

Our regular readers will know that we aren’t the greatest fans of legal awards and legal vanity publishing and have suggested that their time is over…


Good to see others are now jumping on our train…

Calling Bullsh!t On The Lawyer Ego Industry

The Cold War-like accumulation of lawyer ego “awards” wages on.

Peruse our web sites and marvel at the “honors” we have “achieved.” These accolades are bestowed upon us by the Lawyer Ego Industry because our supreme legal greatness is simply undeniable.

I know I’m more awesome than you. You know you’re more awesome than me. The Lawyer Ego Industry knows we’re awesome. The only problem is that potential clients and our fellow attorneys don’t properly appreciate our awesomeness. Thank God that we have the Lawyer Ego Industry to take our money and spread the gospel of our greatness to the masses.

The awards they bestow upon us must be legit, right? After all, they don’t charge us a thing for these glorious honors. Out of the blue, we receive their coveted letter or email notifying us of our “award.” The legendary tales of our greatness have spread so far and wide that we need not even seek out such recognition.

The Lawyer Ego Industry goes so far as to shower us with lavish parties to properly commemorate the occasion of our being inducted into their prestigious group. The tens of thousands of dollars that they ask us to spend on their publications, directory listings, and website badges is just their way of helping us spread the word of our inclusion in their illustrious society.

In reality, we’re marks. We’re targets. The Lawyer Ego Industry preys upon the largest firms in hopes that their egos and disposable income match their sheer size. The truly gifted solo practitioners and small firms are not targeted for some of these “awards” because they are not perceived as being suckers of sufficient size to pay the exorbitant marketing prices on the back end.

None of us know if these “awards” actually attract clients. But like the Cold War, we feel pressured to ramp up our stockpiles to ensure that our competitors don’t secure an advantage.

Do you remember “Who’s Who Of American High School Students?”

It was a website/book that featured the best and brightest high school students from around the country. It was produced annually and highlighted the academic and extracurricular activities of those students who were “selected” to be included. Students that made the cut could rest assured that colleges would fall all over themselves with scholarship offers.

It was free. There was absolutely no charge to be listed. But for a couple of hundred bucks, proud parents could purchase the book or commemorative swag that promoted their son or daughter’s achievement.

I got a “C” in my high school geometry class. It was kind of embarrassing. In my defense, I had more important things to focus on than lines and angles. There was a girl.

I remember receiving my notice of inclusion in “Who’s Who” within weeks of securing my solid C. I remember my dad laughing when I showed him the letter. Needless to say, he didn’t feel the need to spend his hard-earned money on the book or commemorative swag.

In 2007, Educational Communications, Inc., the publisher of “Who’s Who” went bankrupt. The scam had run it course.

What does the prevalence of the Lawyer Ego Industry say about the collective psychological profile of our profession? We are a study in contradictions.

Whether we represent individuals or corporations, we sacrifice much of our own lives to service the needs of our clients. We forego vacations. We sleep next to our smart phones. Yet collectively, we spend millions of dollars each year propping up an industry that shamelessly preys upon our pride and self-admiration.

Here’s to hoping that the scam will run its course.