I sat down with Jeff Fabian, former in-house counsel, legal writing guru and founder of Scrivener Legal Marketing - a provider of content marketing services for law firms.
Jeff and I met through LinkedIn and decided to connect by interviewing each other.
Check out my interview with Jeff on his legal writing blog.
1. When and why did you start Scrivener Legal Marketing?
I started Scrivener Legal Marketing in January 2016 after leaving my career as in-house counsel for an industry-leading, publicly-traded company. I was burnt out on legal practice, and I had known for a long time that writing was what I enjoyed most about my work. I had done content marketing for my own firm a few years prior, and I wanted to transition into running a writing-based business.
2. What services does Scrivener offer?
Scrivener offers content marketing services for law firms and companies serving the legal profession. This includes writing website content and blog articles, as well as video scripts, long-form articles, e-book downloads, newsletters, and any other forms of print or online content.
3. Who is your target audience?
Our target audience is primarily small and large firms. I work with attorneys at a lot of small firms who are trying to manage their own content marketing, and I am seeking to expand into working more with larger firms as well. We currently work with one international law firm that is the largest in its field.
4. What are the main platforms you use to reach your target audience (both in-person and online)?
Right now I am focused almost exclusively on online marketing (which I try to squeeze in when I’m not writing). I write content for Scrivener’s blog, and also stay semi-active on Twitter and LinkedIn.
5. What is your background, and how does it relate to what you do with Scrivener?
Before starting Scrivener, I spent a little over seven years in legal practice. I started out working for a small firm before leaving to start my own practice. I then got recruited into my in-house role, where I remained until I started Scrivener.
6. What are your goals over the next year or two?
My goals over the next year or two are to continue to grow the business. I plan to continue working with small firms primarily in my areas of interest (business, contracts and intellectual property), while also targeting larger firms in these areas. I am contemplating ideas for providing writing training for in-house legal and operational departments as well.
7. What is one thing in particular that sets Scrivener apart from other companies in your market?
I think the main thing that sets us apart is our focus on legal content. A lot of companies are SEO companies or website design companies that also offer writing services (and a lot of them hire out to people like me for their content). At Scrivener, content comes first, and it’s backed by years of legal and marketing experience.
8. What do you think will be the biggest change (or changes) in the legal profession in the near future?
I think the biggest change will be more of a focus on efficiency. Clients are demanding services more quickly and more cost-effectively, and that is driving change in the marketplace. From technology solutions to outside vendors who can take on non-legal tasks, law firms are going to have to look for ways to distill their practices down to the essentials.
9. What is one piece of advice you'd give to in-house counsel?
Speaking from experience, my one piece of advice would be not to get too caught up in the day-to-day. When you never have enough time, it’s easy to focus on the most-immediate and pressing needs. But, things like internal trainings, policy updates, departmental projects, and continuing education can’t completely fall by the wayside.
10. Do you know any good lawyer jokes?
This isn’t exactly a lawyer joke, but since I just watched Better Call Saul on Netflix, what come to mind are some of Saul’s one-liners from Breaking Bad. I especially like when he euphemistically suggests that Walt should send Hank to Belize, “you know, where Mike went.” I also like the scene where he asks, in reference to Jesse going missing in action, if “maybe this isn’t an Old Yeller-type situation . . . everybody loved that mutt; but, one day he showed up rabid, and little Timmy, for Old Yeller’s own sake, had to uh, well I mean you saw the movie.”