Take personal brands seriously, young lawyers told

Young lawyers need to take their personal brands as seriously as some of the world’s largest corporations if they want to be successful, according to a brand consultant.

Hugh MacPhie told the Ontario Bar Association’s young lawyer division today that people are hard-wired to be superficial and use shortcuts to make quick judgments on people and companies.

“Brands are files we keep in our brains about people, products, and corporations,” MacPhie said in remarks at the OBA Institute in Toronto.

Even in the courtroom, “Human beings are human beings and they have difficulty getting past superficial impressions of all of us,” MacPhie said.

He told his audience it’s critical to think about how they want to be perceived by clients and employers and develop a brand of their own that conveys that message.

“But if it isn’t authentic, it’s going to be disastrous,” he said.

He also noted lawyers must take care to manage their own brand, which can mean being mindful of appearances and removing any questionable Facebook posts that may seem inconsistent with the message they’re trying to send.

MacPhie pointed to the world’s most valuable brand, Google, to show that it doesn’t take advertising to build one. “For the longest time, they never advertised. It was all word of mouth. People said, this is such a good product, you’ve got to use it.”

He was speaking on the second day of the OBA event at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.

After hearing from the keynote speaker, TVO’s Steve Paikin, yesterday, the event continued today with sessions on family and municipal law, as well as an update on the new Rules of Civil Procedure one year after their introduction. The event wraps up tomorrow with sessions for criminal lawyers.

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