Law Firm Resource




Ambiguity Impedes Legal Help

Here’s the biggest complaint about clients — especially tech startups — that I hear from lawyers who practice corporate law and securities law:

They can’t articulate their value propositions (their brands).

A brand conveys clearly, concisely, and compellingly:

  1. Why the client company exists
  2. Why anyone should give a flying crap that it exists, vis-a-vis competing companies.

NOTE: If explanations for the aforementioned are murky, nebulous, ambiguous, jargon-filled, and product/technology-centric, your clients have failed at branding. Send them to me.

Companies tend to describe themselves generically and functionally (we manufacture widgets, we’re a software company) instead of articulating the value (in customer language) that they deliver.

This makes it difficult for lawyers to help clients:

  • Draw up incorporation papers, term sheets, S-3s, and PPMs
  • Secure funding
  • Pursue trademarks
  • Negotiate licensing and partnership deals
  • Engage in mergers and acquisitions.

The aforementioned difficulty will waste billable time and yield suboptimal results — causing unnecessary tension between lawyer and client.

Newsflash to Lawyers: Don’t tolerate it. Encourage your clients to fix their brands, to get clarity.

Clarity hastens legal help; ambiguity impedes it.

Moreover, the stronger your client company’s brand, the more success it will enjoy — and the easier and faster it can pay your legal bills.

Remember: If your client’s brand is weak, its expensive PPM (private-placement memorandum) or SEC Form S-3 will be impotent: investors won’t instantly “get” why the company exists and why they should invest. Result: investment doc will be an expensive paperweight!





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PARTING ADVICE: To improve and grow your practice, require your clients to build strong brands. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but it is the correct approach, and it will bear fruit. Your clients trust you and will take your advice.





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