In August 2020, contract attorney Laura Frederick accepted a challenge: Post to LinkedIn once a day, every day, for a month. Frederick thought she might be able to keep up a string of several days in a row. Instead, her daily posts became a way to connect with colleagues, build business, create a brand identity, and have a social lifeline during the isolation of the pandemic. A selection of those posts also found their way into her self-published book, Practical Tips on How to Contract: Techniques and Tactics from an Ex-BigLaw and Ex-Tesla Commercial Contracts Lawyer.
Frederick says that she’s never been the sort of person who enjoyed the cocktail party circuit way of rainmaking. When she launched her own law practice after years of working in BigLaw and as an in-house attorney for companies including Tesla, she relied for the first year entirely on referrals. But the connections she was able to make through LinkedIn has rapidly expanded opportunities for her legal practice and for her training and skill-development company, How to Contract.
Frederick tells the ABA Journal’s Lee Rawles that one of her driving motivations for posting daily tips to LinkedIn has been her desire to pass along knowledge gained over the course of her career to younger attorneys. When she was a beginning attorney in the 1990s, she says she gained tremendously by being able to shadow more experienced attorneys at her firm, learning at the side of longtime contract attorneys. The same opportunities are not available now, particularly when so many young attorneys are launching their own solo or small firm practices.
She hopes that both Practical Tips on How to Contract and her continuing daily posts to LinkedIn–she’s now written more than 400–can help fill that gap. She adds that engaging with her commenters has also taught her lessons that improved her own legal work.
In this episode, Frederick talks about the practical steps to building a brand and self-publishing; how she expanded into creating legal cartoons; and what it was like to be an attorney for Tesla.
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