UNDERSTANDING THE CODED LANGUAGE OF THE LEGAL DIRECTORIES: HUMBLEBRAGS AND BEYOND
This if the time of year that several legal directories are published. It leads to an inevitable pattern of behaviour. Thanks to law lecturer John Bates we can all now understand the coded language of the legal directory.
As soon as the directories are published there is a regular, if not repetitive pattern:
The official press release
As soon as the directory comes out the PR people at the firm or chambers get immediately to work.
“We are pleased to announce that we are, again, in the top five firms in Casterbridge specialising in poultry and and associated hen laying disputes”.
The legal journalist’s travails
Every one of the firms and chambers mentioned in the directories immediately sends of press releases to the legal press. This has been described as “John Hyde’s annual tweet” (I have seen more or less identical tweets from Neil Rose of Litigation Futures.
Dear lawyers. Firstly, delighted for you getting into the Legal500 list. Fully deserved. Have a pint on me. Just one thing… IT’S NOT NEWS SO PLEASE STOP SENDING PRESS RELEASES. Thanks
In addition to the “official” press releases lawyers often use the power of social media to express their “surprise and delight” at being included.
“Delighted and surprised to be rated in band c Counsel this year following my work in obtaining an unopposed adjournment in the seminal case of Jarndyce -v- Jarndyce “
Humblebrags are not necessarily bad
The humblebrag is such a feature of legal life that many humlebraggers accept this and willingly pay a “fine” – a donation to the Billable Hour charity.
BUT WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Solicitor and law lecturer John Bates has decoded the entries for us. With his permission I have set these out below: