Age of the Hyphen

I’m not going to take credit for this. Really, I’m not. But a concept I’ve advocated for years is finally catching on. Lawyers and law firms are increasingly utilizing the power of the hyphen.

What I’ve said over and over again is that lawyers can increase their revenues by offering more than just lawyering. Give your clients another reason to stay with you or to come to you in the first place.

I realized this was finally happening the other day when I came across this guy:

Yes, it’s Rabbi Lawyer! You can find him at RabbiLawyer.com where you’ll discover that he’s on a crusade to put a stop to insurance company chutzpah.

Come for the lawsuit, stay for the minyan.

It’s brilliant marketing. Think of all the clients who want to sue the bastards plaguing them and then do some praying to make up for the evil thoughts.

Inspired by this, I decided to search for further evidence of professional synthesis. Here are just a few of the mashups I found:

Realtor-Lawyer. “We’re your agent AND your attorney. For a low flat fee, we’ll help you sell your home and advise you on the legalities.”

That’s what you’ll find at walawrealty.com. If you combine these two professions, your clients can line up the perfect real property investment while waiting for that big verdict or settlement to come in.

Comedian-Lawyer. This is a surprisingly popular combination. A lot of lawyers think they’re funny — or a lot of comedians think they’re decent lawyers. I’m not sure which.

But some of them may be good at both.

For example, there’s Liz Stone, “lawyer. comedian. invisalign success story” who can be found at lizstonecomedy.com.

A line from her bio at dubingroup.com: “She also sits on the Board of Directors of the American Bar Association Legal Career Central as well as the Board of Directors of Killing My Lobster, San Francisco’s premiere sketch comedy troupe.”

Now there’s someone with a balanced, well-adjusted life.

Now picture a law practice where clients walk in angry and walk out laughing.

Business will boom (as long as the clients aren’t too happy and forget about suing).

Yoga-Lawyer. You can find one of these at, naturally, theyogalawyer.com. Your clients, I assume, can practice mindfulness while being cross-examined.

Namaste, your honor.

I should note that the yoga lawyer is actually a triple-threat – she also sells her artwork on her website along with Yoga Lawyer T-shirts.

The proper attire can strike fear into non-mindful legal opponents.

Coffeeshop-Lawyer. There’s “justice service daily” at LegalGrind.com. “It all started with a dream and latte.”

This sounds appealing and is probably a good idea, but what do you do about the guy who comes in, orders one cup of coffee, and then uses your wi-fi all day?

Barber-Lawyer. This one, sadly, seems to have gone out of business but there used to be a barbershop law firm in New Britain, Connecticut. I don’t know whether it was the law part or the barber part that didn’t pay off, but I can see the problem: sexism.

If you’re going to make this sort of enterprise work, you need to provide both barbers and hairdressers.

And mani-pedis during depositions.

Hot dogs-lawyer. This one, as you may know, was Law Dogs and it graced the San Fernando Valley for decades – an institution ahead of its time.

Win or lose, you don’t go home hungry.

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