This week’s award for Most Creative Use of Social Media for Legal Marketing goes to North Charleston-based solo criminal attorney John A. Jackson, who tweets as Unfrzn Cvman Lawyer and hopes to build a niche market representing escorts.
Jackson said it’s a proactive approach to reaching clients. “I have a criminal law practice, and you can find escorts and you can market yourself to them,” he said. “Other clients, you have to wait until they get arrested.”
As Jackson explained, few people are sitting around tweeting about how they plan to go out later and get arrested for possession of marijuana, as opposed to escorts, who know their business plan may carry inherent legal risk. The relative anonymity afforded by cyberspace provides escorts and sex workers a channel for public discourse that not only allows them to connect with their clients, but also lets other service providers reach out to them.
“I’m an out of the box kind of thinker, and I’m a bit of a rebel myself, and they’re rebels,” Jackson said.
Among his Twitter followers are several potential clients who spell their names with excessive Xs and post avatars that are NSFW. (Jackson’s Twitter handle pays homage to Phil Hartman and his “Saturday Night Live” Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer character.) Jackson, who has been a solo practitioner for 10 years, would like to expand his practice beyond the Charleston area to capture the niche statewide, and if possible, regionally. Sex workers could prove to be a steady client base, he says.
“They don’t only have criminal problems,” Jackson said. “There are other problems that go along with the profession, plus there’s family law, wills and trusts, the whole mundane thing that lawyers do.”
Recently, he’s been tweeting factoids gleaned from the reading of prostitution-related law in southeastern states. Last week he managed to channel interest in a gut-wrenching Dorchester County rape trial toward his marketing efforts.
A pastor in Dorchester County is facing charges that he kidnapped and raped a woman who asked him for a ride. Authorities say the pastor preyed on sex workers in this way on several occasions. When a reporter made an off-handed comment about sex workers in relation to the case, Jackson came to their defense via Twitter.
“The couple of clients that I’ve had, they’re nice people,” he said. “I wouldn’t want anything to happen to them.”
He says he is not sure how many sex workers are following him on Twitter or whether any of them will turn into clients. “Right now I’m just sort of throwing it up there and seeing what sticks,” he said.