I had a fabulous time, if you will, as a panelist and participant in last night’s Fashion Lawyer Marketing CLE at Fordham Law School’s Fashion Law Institute. I certainly learned far more than I taught, but of course, that makes sense, considering that I was only one-third of the panel. Attendance was so good that people even sat in the front row! I didn’t even see people looking at their smartphones. (Someone said that’s because there’s no signal in the room, but that’s just crazy talk.)
The fascinating and insightful Professor Jeff Trexler moderated, and first called on Bernice Leber, who besides having done everything a lawyer can do right in a career has also been the president of the New York State Bar Association. She walked briefly through the history of lawyer advertising regulation and laid out the standards that apply today, mostly focusing on the attorney advertising rules in New York (many of which are her handiwork!) but without failing to address the complex nature of multi-jurisdictional and online practice in our era. Bernice also discussed specific cases that have come before ethics panels and acknowledged that applying the standards in a social-networking, multimedia, branding-branding-branding world can be tricky.
I spoke next. Obviously I spoke about myself. In other words, I acknowledged the fact that I was invited to participate in the panel in part because I am considered a “success” a “branding” my practice among fashion lawyers — having come to terms with the fact that I probably really am a “fashion lawyer,” just kind of a lumpy one — and that it probably does “work” for me. But I made a point of discussing how conflicted myself is about all this myself-talking-about. Believe me, I am. It’s almost embarrassing, really. Indeed, I said, (a) I’m not sure what it really means to say that all this @roncoleman “branding” “works,” in terms of “fashion” clients; (b) what I do on this blog and in social networking is, to put it mildly, not for everyone; (c) what I do here is certainly not for everyone who wants to represent major fashion houses or the other big-money parts of the fashion “industry,” but that (d) people who represent smaller clients in design, retail and other parts of that business are also fashion lawyers, and … that’s okay; (e) unfortunately, while there are opportunities in marketing to and serving such clientele, the first part is easier than the second if you don’t have bona fide experience — ideally representing Big Fashion for a meaningful period of time, as I have been privileged to do — and that (f) yeah, I know, that experience is not so easy to get these days. By the end of my presentation I managed to ensure that not one participant would get any ideas about sending me a resume.
Not so the next speaker, the highly tall and distinguished and stentorian and charming Ted Max, who did not hesitate to reinforce my point that we way we do things here at LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® is not for everyone. Ted recommended the approach of being really successful instead, and discussed fashion lawyer “branding” in the broader sense of career development — Read More…