It's easy to mock the orange-tinted, double-parking, Tom Ford-wearing, real life incarnations of the flashy Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad. With neon ties, and poor tans, they can often look like clowns, and to the more "white shoe" elements of our profession, they exist as a parody.
Then again, after laughing at Stuart V. Goldberg, and enjoying the Internet's mockery of his appearance, we read about him. And if his autobiographical narrative is even close to reality, perhaps we can learn to admire him, sans the tan.
Initial Reaction: Hah!
Who is this orange man in a gaudy pale blue pinstriped suit? And why does the license plate on his Bentley, which he pays extra to park across two spaces, say "RNMAKER"?
Stuart V. Goldberg is a criminal defense attorney in Chicago, Illinois. His ostentatious self-promotion on Facebook and on his website are the stuff television parodies are made of, from the neon ties (not a criticism -- many of us own neon orange ties) to the car collection (Lamborghini, Rolls Royce Phantom, and a Bentley, according to the Chicago Tribune) and, of course, the "Michael Douglas" hair, the guy is anything but bland.
And his website? Actually, it's not bad. He might want to consider ditching Adobe Flash since it won't render properly (or at all) on iPhones and iPads, but overall, the design is quite pleasing. We especially appreciated the quip in his "Justice" video ("Justice is a town three miles outside of Chicago." Wait, it actually is a town three miles outside of Chicago.)
Now? He May Be On to Something
After reading his biographical blurb, it becomes a lot more difficult to dislike the guy. He taught disabled children before driving a cab during law school. Now he owns three supercars.
How can you hate a self-made renaissance man with that kind of passion? And if he has the drive to hunt down Clooney to hand him a script that will probably never be made, what will he do for his clients?
Look, most of us think that lawyers should be in plain black suits, that we shouldn't sign our pleadings in purple ink, that we should try to emulate the staid, formal folks of the past. But maybe clients don't identify with stuffy suits. Maybe they identify with the guy who dresses like Jay-Z, has hair like Michael Douglas, and drives cars like Rick Ross.
Or as he told the Tribune: "For most people, sartorial elegance and automotive excellence equals legal expertise," he said. "But you've got to be able to walk the walk (in court)."
What do you think, recently-minted attorney? Is law the province of the men in black, or is there room for the
ostentatious unusual? Tweet us your thoughts @FindLawLP.
- Tom Ford suits, Michael Douglas hair, Facebook and purple-ink motions help lawyer promote himself (ABA Journal)
- Maniacal Marketing: More Bad Lawyer Commercials (FindLaw's Strategist Blog)
- Law Firm Branding: Know Your Target Audience and Adjust (FindLaw's Strategist Blog)