Episode 210 – Social Media, PR, Referrals & More – Tips For Lawyers From Leader In The Industry

Episode 210 – Social Media, PR, Referrals & More – Tips For Lawyers From Leader In The Industry

A leader in entertainment law, Attorney Jeff Kravitz, shares his experience and expertise in successful ways to use PR, social media and referrals to leverage your firm.

Who knows? You too may soon be welcoming “big name” clients through your door too …

Listen to this fascinating interview Tracy Merda did with Attorney Jeff Kravitz. Make sure to subscribe, share and review the podcast.


Tracy: This is Tracy Merda with Secrets of Attorney Marketing and Speakeasy Authority Marketing. Today I have a special guest attorney Jeffrey Kravitz, an expert in entertainment law, contract law and IP law. Jeffrey is also a partner of the nationally recognized firm of Fox Rothschild. Good morning Jeffrey. How are you?

Jeffrey Kravitz: I am wonderful. How are you?

Tracy: I’m great. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today.

Jeffrey Kravitz: My pleasure.

Tracy: Jeffrey. Tell me a little bit about your background and your experience as an entertainment attorney?

Jeffrey Kravitz: Sure. I didn’t start out to be an entertainment lawyer. I went to law school, came out, got started with the attorney general’s office and at the end of 3 years, I got tired of having no raises so I went into private practice with another national firm. That firm happened to do business with Lloyds of London and at one of our weekly meetings, the boss man said Lloyds of London is writing insurance coverage for the entertainment business. Does anybody know anything about this stuff? I had roomed with a Cinema major in UCLA as an undergraduate, I shot my hand up so fast, you can’t believe it. I called my wife and told her that she wasn’t going to see me that weekend, that I would be booking it so that I could legitimately build myself as a copyright and entertainment lawyer.

Tracy: What actually does an entertainment attorney do? What does that actually look like?

Jeffrey Kravitz: I’m on the litigation side. It is, I would say, a combination of doing copyright work, trademark work and breach of contract. Pretty much everything that I get involved in tends to be one of those little cubbies.

Tracy: Who are your clients? Who do you typically work with?

Jeffrey Kravitz: My firm typically works with production companies and with what we call talent which means individuals in the creative arts. So I can be representing a singer, I can represent an artist, I can represent an executive in the entertainment business. We tend to do a little bit of less work for studios but we do it for studios as well.

Tracy: Do you find that most attorneys who practice entertainment law also are going to be specializing in other areas of law as well?

Jeffrey Kravitz: It varies. Some people, that’s all they do. I come from a much broader background and frankly, I think it makes me a better attorney because when you try a case even in Los Angeles, your jury is not going to consist of people who are in the entertainment business most times. It’s going to be the proverbial baker, someone who is mowing your lawn and somebody who works in the aerospace industry. So if you are going to be doing work in front of a jury, it’s nice to have a broader background so that you can talk to people who are very much like your neighbors.

Tracy: From a marketing standpoint, how is it that you find good clients or how is it that they find you?

Jeffrey Kravitz: It happens a little bit of both. These days, a lot of what we do is electronic. I do speaking engagements, I’m going tonight to the Los Angeles Copyright Society, I’ve spoken in front of them, I’ve spoken in front of a couple of industry groups but I also tend to work in the electronic media as well, on my LinkedIn and when I do an interview such as this, I generally post it and I send it out to all of my contacts, the reason being you want to be top of mind for both clients and potential clients. I got a referral the other day because I had done an interview and sent it out to a long term client and he in turn forwarded it to somebody who was likely going to be hiring me. If you are not involved in the electronic media, you are obviously missing opportunities, both in entertainment law and also the general field of law.

Tracy: So you would say that you can find ways to successfully use PR in the media to market your firm especially when dealing with high profile clients?

Jeffrey Kravitz: That’s true. The reason is that you have general counsel, you have managers, you have accountants, and these days they tend to be hugely savvy in terms of technology so when they are looking for a lawyer, they are not necessarily going to go to a brick and mortar store or to a brick and mortar publication, they are just as likely to be trolling online to see who is out there talking about issues that are current to the field.

Tracy: I imagine when you do have those high profile cases, it would obviously be beneficial for you or business to have what is known, but of course there has to be some confidentiality to that as well. So how do you leverage those high profile cases and clients without compromising the integrity of that relationship?

Jeffrey Kravitz: It really depends on the clients and obviously the most important thing for the client and for us as the attorneys is to make sure that we get the result that the client wants. When I’m in litigation I generally take a no comment posture with the media and the times that I’ve broken it have only because the client wanted me out there talking about the case but I’m not a big fan of leveraging an existing case into media coverage for Jeff Kravitz. It’s just not what the client is there for and you want to make gosh darn sure that the client knows that you are serving their interest and not the interest of either the individual attorney or the firm.

Tracy: I imagine if you are handling it properly just like you described, that’s going to go a long way in terms of getting future clients of the high profile caliber as well.

Jeffrey Kravitz: It is and there are existing cases that I’ve had where I have been in touch with the media because the media has called me and I generally limit myself to what’s in the public arena, I’ll send them a copy of my answer, I’ll send them a copy of my complaint, I will have a dialogue with them in terms of what’s in the public record but there are things that we just should not be talking about publicly and there are things that I don’t want to talk about publicly until we go to trial. So it’s a delicate balance and as I said we’ve got to make gosh darn sure that we are serving the client and not serving the attorney.

Tracy: Alright. Okay. Jeff, you’ve been around for a year or two. You’ve probably seen a lot of shifts in how law firms have marketed themselves in the past or lack thereof and today’s market and how you need to handle that. What are the ways that you have navigated through those waters and are able to successfully present yourself today?

Jeffrey Kravitz: Let’s start with the fact that my firm Fox Rothschild has more blogs than any other law firm in the country and there is what I like to call the Halo effect which is let’s assume it’s not an entertainment case but it’s an establishment case. The way I establish my bonafides with potential clients in terms of referrals to my colleagues is to show them that we are not Johnny come lately, that we are out there talking about current issues and that if I refer someone to one of my labor employment partners say, in New York or Chicago, they are going to be dealing with a seasoned professional and someone who knows their best interests and knows the issues that they are going to be confronting. It’s not just a question of how Jeff Kravitz markets himself, it’s a question of how the Firm markets itself and how we take advantage of the various blogs, features, articles that our colleagues have written. I work closely with our marketing department to make sure that any message that we put out there is consistent and accurate so that we can market ourselves but make sure that we do so ethically.

Tracy: I work with a lot of attorneys who are catching on to this now. Do you get the sense that there are still other attorneys or some colleagues out there that maybe haven’t yet caught on to, “You need to actually market your firm now.” That isn’t just a yellow pages type of world that we are living in nowadays.

Jeffrey Kravitz: Clearly. When I got started there used to be an adage that good work speaks for itself. I do think good work speaks for itself but it speaks much more loudly if we are using things such as LinkedIn and blogs to make sure that an audience out there can hear what’s going on in terms of our practices. Not to say there aren’t people who are so famous that they get phone calls every single day. I wish in some senses, that I was one of those people but I’m not. I’m well known, I’m well respected but short of being a national household name, I think it’s very difficult to not be out there and not marketing yourself ethically.

Tracy: Let me ask you about that if you don’t mind. I’ve been curious about this for a while now. When it comes to, the age that we live in now, of course, social media is everywhere. I have seen some attorneys who have grabbed a hold of it and are really working it and then others who are just plugging on with maybe a Facebook page or a post here and there. What is the balance? How do you use social media in today’s world for your law firm purposes?

Jeffrey Kravitz: I’ll start with an adage which I apply more broadly in my life which is that if you are going to be doing something, it probably should be something that you are genuinely legitimately interested in. That’s why I have a sports law blog not because I do 100% sports law, nobody does but because I’m an avid sports fan and because when an issue arises it interests me and I want to talk about it. I want to see what other people have to say about it. So I’ll put out a blog on that topic. Believe it or not, I got a client that was based in the Great Midwest, they had a case out here. They were not happy with their existing representation and they called me out of the blue. They were in a sports field and I said, after we had gone through the preliminaries, how did you find me? They said we took a look at your blog, we found out, (1) you can write and (2) you can think. That’s what we want from our lawyers and that’s what we revisited in terms of your blog. It was the start of a really good relationship, it was very complimentary and I think it approaches what all of us should be doing which is we should put ourselves out there but we should do so consistently and we should do so in terms of what we legitimately believe and that’s simply a matter of getting business as the first wave. I find and I think that most people who deal in the field will tell you that if your blogs and your electronic media are simply an advertisement for yourself, it strikes people as rather cold and rather directive and it’s not the best way to be obtaining clientele.

Tracy: That’s so true because we’ve seen people, I’m sure you have as I have who are halfheartedly doing something and it just comes off, like you said, it’s just an ad and nobody wants to see that. Especially from your attorney.

Jeffrey Kravitz: Right and again you’ve got to be careful in terms of what you do. A long time ago I had a prominent case and the client wanted me to be on a certain given show that handles entertainment controversies. So I ended up on that show and when it came time for summary judgement, the judge ruled against me. It got reversed on appeal at the 9th circuit. We ended up doing very well on the case but to this day, I have a sneaking suspicion that the judge saw me on television and wasn’t necessarily pleased by that presentation.

Tracy: Sure. Okay. I can see that. You mentioned something earlier. Sort of in working with other firms or with other referrals is kind of what I’m getting at. How important are referrals to today’s lawyer?

Jeffrey Kravitz: I can only speak for myself and I find that they are huge. That which I do is specific enough that there are any number of attorneys that I have worked with throughout the years, they just don’t have that expertise and therefore they come to me. I used to be a partner in a national firm that was based in Chicago and the sons of one of the partners graciously comes to me. He is in the music world and we are working with him on the transactional side. A couple of years ago I got another referral from somebody in that firm and it involved a show that was based in the Midwest and we ended up selling that show to a prominent producer. Again, it was something that they didn’t do, they had trust in my abilities and they were kind enough to come to me. It’s funny because I remember my first day at Law School and the dean of the law school saying, you’re starting your reputation in the field today. That has really stuck with me throughout the years that I don’t only hear from law school classmates. They don’t know me professionally but they do know me in terms of personality. They know me in terms of ethics, they know me in terms of being straightforward. They feel comfortable recommending something to me and I in turn obviously recommend things to certain classmates but not to others. You do in fact start with your reputation the first day at law school.

Tracy: For some of our listeners and the attorney clients that are out there who are unsure of how to market themselves and their firms and really either get started or improve where they are at, what final words of wisdom would you leave us with on your experience? What works? What absolutely doesn’t?

Jeffrey Kravitz: What works, again is what you are going to tell people when you are a trial lawyer. Be yourself, I’ve felt extraordinarily comfortable in talking with people. I’m not as excited about writing a law review article. I’ll do it if I have something to say particularly but I just feel much more comfortable and much more excited at other forums. By the same token, I’ve got colleagues who are not necessarily that interested in talking in front of an audience who can write a wonderful law review article on a topic that I might be interested in and end up with clients by virtue of doing a law review article. Not necessarily because of the first audience but because of the second. Take the law review article, make sure you get rights in terms of re-publication, send them out to potential clients and you have put yourself in a different category already. They at least will say, this is somebody who is scholarly, who is at least interested in the topic. Boy, I’ve got a problem in that area, I want to go to him or her.

Tracy: I love it. Jeff, if someone did have some more questions or maybe just would like to pick your brain further, is there a way that you interact with people in the law community or is there a way to reach out with questions or things like that?

Jeffrey Kravitz: Certainly. There are two ways and again, it may be apparent from this discussion. I love talking with people. Anybody is welcome to give me a buzz. My direct line here is (310) 598-4162. If somebody wants to send me a quick email, it should go to jskravitz@foxrothschild.com

Tracy: I really thank you for your time this morning, Jeff. It was a true pleasure. A special thanks to our guest Attorney Jeff Kravitz, a leader in entertainment law and a partner at the firm of Fox Rothschild. Thank you so much Jeff and we look forward to following you and seeing the further progress of successes that you have

Jeffrey Kravitz: My pleasure. Thanks for giving me a call.

Tracy: Thanks so much. Have a good one.


Richard Jacobs

About Richard Jacobs

My name is Richard Jacobs, and I've discovered quite a bit about the plight of solo practitioners and small, 2-5 attorney firms like yours these past 12 years.

I've come to understand the unique challenges in marketing ethically and effectively that attorneys face because I have:

  • Helped over 180 attorneys author their own practice area book and become the 'implied expert' in their practice area
  • Helped hundreds of attorneys successfully navigate Google's search algorithm changes, growing their websites from 2 potential clients calling a month to 4+ calls per DAY for some clients.
  • Interviewed and promoted over 507 attorneys nationwide, in practice areas such as:
  • DUI / DWI
  • Family Law
  • Criminal Defense
  • Bankruptcy
  • Auto Accidents
  • Social Security Disability
  • Slip & Falls (Premises Liability)
  • Real Estate
  • Estate Planning / Probate
  • Wage and Hour Claims
  • Expungements / Post Conviction Relief

Before you decide to invest in your marketing, it makes sense to first request your complimentary, custom, no obligation video website review.

Richard is the author of 6 books published on Amazon, Kindle and Audible.com

Richard is available for speaking engagements on direct marketing for attorneys and has recently spoken at the following legal conferences:

  • PILMMA (Personal Injury Lawyers Marketing & Management Association)
  • Las Vegas DUI Summit – Private event for DUI attorneys
  • New York Boutique Lawyers Association
  • Perry Marshall & Associates Marketing Academy (Marina Del Rey, CA)
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)