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Since it’s Friday, let’s do some “Q&A”.
I’ve received several fascinating replies to my email yesterday, and to the rhetorical question that I asked (“Does ‘Esq.’ still mean anything?”).
First comment, from Frank, Esq.:
I prefer Esq.!! I worked hard for it!! And still do!
Absolutely. If I were an attorney (I’m not) and had succeeded in passing the bar examination (they won’t even admit me), you can count on it that this email would be coming from “Tracy Merda, Esq.” and not “Tracy Merda”.
You’ll notice that when I share comments or replies from attorneys, whether in this email or in Authoritas, I always add “, Esq.” to their first name.
Strictly speaking, this isn’t the correct form/grammar.
But… who cares?
As far as I’m concerned, if you are a practicing attorney, you’ve earned the right to this dignity. And even if it doesn’t mean a lot to the average “legal consumer”, it still means something to me. And other attorneys too.
So, please keep rocking your “Esq.”
Second reader comment…
Joseph, Esq. has a great point about ghostwriting:
Sorry, Ms. Merda – but pretending to have actually written a book will only further degrade the reputation of an attorney.
You’re talking about an “as told to” approach (often used by professional athletes, for example) – but, presumably, without the attribution to the actual writer (s) – in this case, your “team.” Not in the least bit ethical, and certainly not an honest way to approach prospective clients…..which, of course, raises the question “Is honesty important?” I say yes….
No need to apologize, sir. Because I agree entirely.
In fact, I wrote a piece about this a while ago called Why Ghostwriting Is Beneath Attorneys, which makes the exact same point on integrity.
Speak-a-Book, though, is NOT ghostwriting.
It’s simply a more efficient approach to getting your words down on paper. Instead of writing, you speak them out. But every word is still your own.
Put it this way…
You know Marcus Tullius Cicero? Arguably, he was one of the greatest, most noble, and most influential writers who ever walked the earth.
(Incidentally — or maybe not — he was a lawyer too.)
His books have been loved and revered by most of the world’s wisest people for more than 200 years now. The Founding Fathers breathed Cicero.
Yet, here’s the thing:
Cicero didn’t write a single word of them. He spoke them out, using almost exactly the same method as our Speak-a-Book clients. (The main difference was that Cicero used slaves — whereas we charge a fee for our service.)
If speaking a book was good enough for Cicero, it’s good enough for us.