Working in legal marketing, you occasionally come across an initiative that catches your eye.
More rarely, you come across an initiative that really catches your eye – something special that stands out from the pack.
So what’s so special about the videos?
Many lawyers are doing video these days, right?
What’s notable is that Richard isn’t a solo practitioner, nor does he practice at some small, maverick IP boutique.
He’s a partner at the blue-blood law firm of Shearman & Sterling.
This just isn’t the sort of thing that BigLaw partners do: creative, funny, interesting.
Secondly, the videos feature Richard’s charming 13-year old daughter, Maya.
Thirdly, the videos are beautifully scripted, edited and produced – and, apparently, didn’t cost that much to make.
Fourthly, the videos are educational – you actually learn something about intellectual property.
They just work on every level. Have a look for yourself below.
Prior to practicing law, Richard was a software engineer and has always taken pride in being technology-savvy.
But he felt he was losing pace with the zeitgeist, and was keen to delve into the world of social media.
So Richard started a blog in 2011 at the domain, hsutube.com, a play on YouTube using his last name.
When Richard and I spoke by phone, he said that he was inspired to do the videos after watching a TED talk by Sal Khan.
“I noticed his videos were effective without the use of fancy powerpoints or computer graphics. He just drew them himself with an electronic pen and narrated them himself. So I wanted to do something similar buy my only problem is that I can’t draw – and that’s when I thought of my daughter.”
Richard said that he targets the videos to be 100 seconds in length and explain a single concept that is conducive to drawings.
“I think this format is quirky and most unusual for a partner at an AmLaw 50 law firm but I made these videos primarily because it was a way for a left brain lawyer like myself to use my right brain and do something fun and collaborative with my daughter. My only problem now is that she wants to retire!”
I asked Richard whether the blog and videos were done in an individual capacity, as there is no obvious Shearman & Sterling branding to the site.
He said that in the early days of the blog it was largely a personal endeavor, but that more recently, the firm has been very supportive.