I’ll admit it: I sometimes envy guys like Steve Fairlie a bit.
Meet Steve Fairlie of North Wales, Pennsylvania. Steve is:
- A “National Trial Lawyers Association” (the Givens boys of Dothan, Alabama) “Top 100 Trial Lawyer”;
- A “National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys” (Oklahoma City) “Top 10”;
- A National Advocacy for DUI Defense (“NAFDD”?) (Steven Glazer of Flagstaff, Arizona) “Superior DUI Attorney”; and
- An “American Society of Legal Advocates” (Edwin Sawyer Neely of Sayles | Werbner, and Joel Israel, formerly of that firm, in Dallas, Texas) “Top 100 Lawyer.”
But it isn’t these meaningless “honors,” unrecognized by our peers and valuable only as far as they can be dishonestly sold to potential clients as meaningful, that make me envy Steve.
Rather, I envy Fairlie because, recognizing that other lawyers like him would pay to have their egos stroked, he created the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, handing out to ego-starved lawyers the honor of calling themselves “the Nations Top One Percent.” Oh, and selling merchandise: a plaque for $150, a personalized statute for $300, a personalized video for $400. I envy, just a bit, the chutzpah of taking insecure lawyers’ money for imaginary recognition so that the lawyers can deceive potential clients. Every time I see another of these scams, I think “I really ought to do that.”
Then I think, “that pond must be fished out by now.”
Then the next time another lawyer ego scam pops up I realize that I was wrong.
Is it possible that there is an unlimited market for stroking insecure lawyers’ egos?
There are organizations that recognize quality lawyering; they’ve been around for more than a few years; they don’t charge lawyers “membership dues” to advertise their meaningless honors; and they offer more benefits than just bragging rights. But they’re probably not going to honor you.