People comment on our Facebook postings. Sometimes there are not many and sometimes we see many comments. Frankly, it’s often hard for me to see why one post draws a bunch of comments and another one does not. In response to our recent post about why you need a lawyer for a VA or military malpractice claim, one series of comments jumped out at me. A few commenters noted that our post was just “lawyer advertising” and we were simply a business seeking to make a “profit.” This was cast as a negative – implying, of course, that we aren’t really all that concerned about the veterans and military families we represent. Sure, our posts on Facebook and elsewhere are a form of advertising, although we try to have them provide usable information or some sort of insight. We run ads in magazines and other publications, like VFW. We also pay Google for “ad words,” not that I am entirely sure what that means. And, yes, we’re a business and we want to make money. That’s how the people working at this firm – the majority of whom are not lawyers, by the way – get paid and support their families. Why do we post on Facebook, write blogs and advertise? The answer is simple: It’s the only way we can let people know about us. Lawyers and law firms are not generic or interchangeable. Let me offer an example: While my law license means I can legally draft a will or close a real estate transaction, I have no experience doing so – and no client would ever be well served by me attempting to provide such services. Along the same lines, not every lawyer or firm has experience in malpractice cases. Actually, there are relatively few. And even fewer lawyers or firms have broad experience handling VA and military medical malpractice cases. We are one of a handful of firms in the entire United States that has a national practice representing veterans and military families in malpractice cases. That’s just a fact. Medical literature tells us that the doctors who have the most experience with a given procedure have a lower rate of complications and bad outcomes. In other words, if you’re getting your gall bladder removed, you’re better off choosing the surgeon who does three or four such procedures a week rather than the guy who does one every three or four months. Remember the old expression about “practice makes perfect”? When you do things more frequently, you generally improve. Law is not very different. If you have a potential case relating to VA or military health care providers, do you want that matter handled by a firm whose focus is on complex medicine and has had hundreds of cases against the government or do you want someone who does such cases “now and then?” Not a hard question. Experience matters. It’s not a guarantee of success, but the odds of a good outcome are markedly increased when the professional you hire has “been there and done that” a lot. So, yes, we “advertise” because want people to know that we can provide the particular legal services they may need. There is just no other way to get that word out – and we’re not the least bit embarrassed by doing so. Finally, the fact that we’re a for-profit business does not mean that we don’t care about our clients. In broad terms and as a general principle, being in business and caring about people are not mutually exclusive. We care about our clients because many of us are veterans; we care because it’s the right thing to do and, of course, we also care because it’s good for our business. The reality is that satisfied clients are the very best form of advertising and we’re not at all ashamed to admit that.
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