Your reputation is a big deal, right? But when was the last time you checked into what’s floating around the Internet with your name attached?
Go ahead and go nuts doing an “ego search,” a group of speakers urged audience members at last Thursday’s ABA discussion about professional reputations. You can be sure clients are using the web to do their homework on you. Take Brian Cabrera, general counsel at Synopsys and one of the panelists. Before meeting with anybody, Cabrera said he does a full-out Google search on the person’s name. “Would I want to have lunch with them?” he asked. “Do they seem like an ethical person?” He looks at the official firm website and the person’s body of work. But he also looks for other items in search results. “What else are you doing in the community?” he asked. “Are you running the 10K?”
Cabrera also thinks lawyers’ bios could be more informative. He’d love to see more substance, like a hyperlink to that great brief you wrote in that 9th Circuit case.
To be sure, there’s only so much your digital footprint can do for you. Real life still counts, too, and Cabrera said he’s surprised how infrequently his outside counsel ask how they’ve done once the patent work or merger is finished. He works with a number of law firms, including Fenwick & West, Cooley, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Jones Day and DLA Piper. About two have been really good about asking for 30-minute sessions for feedback (he declined to say which ones). “My team was happy to do it,” Cabrera said. “One of the firms that does it is one of my best firms. We view them as practically part of our team.”
So don’t be shy: Do a “post-mortem,” it could revitalize your reputation.