These days, branding is everything—all the way down to what sign you have on your desk and outside your office. Or what sign you can hang on someone else. If through pure hard work you are still having trouble advancing in the firm, consider optimizing your office signage to increase your brand value to the firm. Here’s how.
Doctorize Your Title. I don’t know why lawyers call themselves “Mr.” or “Ms.” We graduated with a Juris Doctorate, after spending three hellish years permanently changing our brain patterns. The other doctors out there? They either spent a few years schlepping around hospitals or fifteen years writing a dissertation. We got it done. So, it’s time to take back the doctorate degree and use it to your advantage. Put it on your business card. Have your office sign and nameplate modified to include “Dr.” in your title, like the one that sits on my desk. And if another associate calls you by your first name, remind them, “that’s Dr. Peters to you, pal.”
Enhance Your Office Signage. One way to increase your positive law firm reputation is to hang signage credentials outside your office. With a modest investment at Office Depot and a few pieces of velcro, you can increase your prestige. Consider this sign, which currently hangs outside my office:
Don’t worry. Most people won’t notice and, if they do, they’ll simply think you got the award some time ago and won’t question it.
Strategic Offensive Signage. While you can only do so much to increase your law office signage, there are other options available to hang demeaning titles on your competition, potentially knocking them down a notch in the pecking order. Consider starting with something simple, like this:
Other suggestions could be “Lunch Helper,” “Assistant Mailroom Specialist,” or simply “Coat Closet.” Honestly, a few well-placed phrases, two dabs of glue, and you are good to go. If you need something a bit more powerful, privacy signs are a good option. With the gunner associate always closing his door to make it look like he’s serious, hang one of these on his knob:
Office signage is an oft-overlooked part of your law firm brand. In an increasingly competitive job market, though, ignore office signage at your risk. But with a modest investment and some creativity, you can continue to stand out as a star in firm. Let us know how well it works for you or if you have signs that you recommend for associates.