Ernest Svenson’s purchase of his first Mac computer roughly coincided with his graduation from law school which, for point of reference, coincided with the release of Born in the USA and the second Reagan inauguration. Svenson solidified his early adopter credentials long ago, but it wasn’t until 2002, when he began blogging under the kinda-sorta genius banner “Ernie The Attorney,” that his trend-spotting and knack for technology really paid off.
Then a self-subscribed “little old me with a laptop” working at a 50-attorney firm, he quickly made a name for himself with engaging, off-the-cuff legal analysis at a time when, on the Internet at least, such a thing was still in short supply.
Colleagues began reaching out. Then media. Then future clients. And when Katrina hit his hometown of New Orleans a few years later, and leveled everything, including the playing field, he decided to set off on his own, betting that the efficiency-minded tricks and tools he’d honed would help sustain a successful solo career.
He bet right.
Today Svenson, having left legal practice, coaches small law firm and solo attorneys on how to use technology to work more efficiently, deliver better client value, reduce overhead costs and outcompete the large firms he’s long left in the rearview. At a time when the grind of big law life is losing its appeal for many in the profession, his message resonates louder than ever.
In this Cullcast, we discuss the thought process that led to his mid-career leap of faith, how attorneys can use widely available and inexpensive technology to attract clients, and why three pillars of messaging— authority, approachability, and authenticity — are essential to building a successful online persona.