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Legal Marketers Bookshelf: Top Picks from Peers


By Amy Campbell           

Looking to bone up on your legal marketing wisdom? Need credentialed backup for your marketing plans? A quick survey of favorite law firm marketing books points to several authors you should consider for your law firm marketing library.

gladmaisterI recently conducted a quick-and-dirty e-mail survey* of a select group of law firm marketers and consultants to get a read on what they read. More specifically, I asked these thought leaders to name their favorite marketing/sales/strategy books that I could recommend to marketers out there in the trenches. What I got back was a long list as many different favorites emerged. Two author names, however, came up again and again.

Leading the list: Malcolm Gladwell for his popular business books The Tipping Point and Blink; and David Maister for The Trusted Advisor (co-authored with Charles Green and Robert Galford) and Managing the Professional Service Firm. (Both author’s also have their own blogs — check out what they're up to next at and at Maister's Passion, People and Principals.)

At first I was surprised that Gladwell was appearing on the favorites list of so many legal marketers, but his books, after all, are best-selling business books and written in an entertaining story telling style. That legal marketers, who are often out in front at their firms in terms of business thinking, would enjoy and look to apply Gladwell’s observations to their own situations then is not so surprising after all. In fact, I found Blink, subtitled "The Power of Thinking without Thinking," to have a huge impact on my own approach to marketing, when learning how quickly and subconsciously we all make split-second decisions based on the tiniest of cues.

Maister may be less known in the pop business press, but has attained guru status as author, speaker, blogger, consultant on the topic of professional services management. The Trusted Advisor is viewed as the bible for any professional services provider. A good habit for law firms would be to give every new hire a copy to be used as a handbook for his/her client service career. That law firm marketers are reading both these authors is good news for their firms and the clients they serve.

Below is the summary of the survey results.

The Top Ten (multiple nominations)

Click on (or mouse over) any book title for more information.

Also Recommended (single nominations)

Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 7 Powerful Tools for Life and Work - Marilee G. Adams

In Search of Excellence - Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman, Jr.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't

The rainmaking machine: Marketing, planning, strategies, and management for law firms - Phyllis Weiss Haserot

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk! - Al Ries and Jack Trout

Influence Without Authority - Allan R. Cohen and David L. Bradford

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In - Roger Fisher, Bruce M. Patton, and William L. Ury

Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators: From Idea to Execution - Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble

The End of Advertising as We Know It - Sergio Zyman

Zag: The Number One Strategy of High-Performance Brands - Marty Neumeier

Rainmaking Made Simple: What Every Professional Must Know - Mark M. Maraia

The Brand You 50 : Or : Fifty Ways to Transform Yourself from an 'Employee' into a Brand That Shouts Distinction, Commitment, and Passion! - Tom Peters

Marketing the Law Firm: Business Development Techniques - Sally J. Schmidt

Influence: Science and Practice (4th Edition) - Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D.

Even Eagles Need a Push: Learning to Soar in a Changing World - David Mcnally

Hope Is Not a Strategy: The 6 Keys to Winning the Complex Sale - Rick Page

Trust-Based Selling: Using Customer Focus and Collaboration to Build Long-Term Relationships - Charles H. Green

*Twenty out of 40 persons responded to this survey

June 2007.