Clients come to a law firm with a problem related to the law. But the best solution usually has to take into account the business of the client. There's that old adage about the client winning the case but the business going bankrupt.
Law firm Cleary Gottlieb, reports Sara Randazzo in AM LAW DAILY, has joined other firms like Skadden, Arps and Harvard Law School in providing its new lawyers with training in business fundamentals. This is being referred to as a "mind MBA." Since the MBA, like the law degree, is falling out of favor, the initiative might be better labeled as "the business of business" or "how business works."
Given the power of media and how public policy intersects with law, the next initiative could be to train all lawyers in the firm, not just the newbies, about how media works. The tutorial could cover everything from how to frame an issue for public consumption to how to prepare for an interview with the press. The classic example of inept media relations goes back to how the prosecution presented itself in the O.J. Simpson criminal trial.
This kind of public relations training could be useful background for lawyers considering a campaign for public office. In 1994, when now Governor Chris Christie ran for Morris County Board of Freeholders and won he was a successful attorney. One outreach tactic he used was cable TV. Christie seems to have an intuitive grasp of bending media for messaging. Many other lawyers don't. Such media relations training could also help lawyers with their marketing communications.