The tragedy of Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" is that he is selling the wrong thing.
He didn't get it that the world had changed.
No longer could he close deals through the cult of personality. Instead the marketplace demanded that salespeople present evidence that their product or service delivered X and Y benefits.
About a decade after the Crash of 2007 in the legal industry law school deans could be in the same pickle. No longer can they sell the fine quality of their legal education.
Instead constituencies, ranging from prospects to the university powers-that-be, require the numbers. Those numbers must pass muster in terms of all 3 criteria:
Ranking in US News & World Report
Full-time jobs practicing law after a certain period post-graduation
Bar passage rate.
It might be the recent poor showing in the third which seemed to do in Hofstra Law School Dean Eric Lane.
In July 2016, reports Joe Patrice at Abovethelaw, the passage rate was 64%. That represented a 20 point drop for Hofstra since July 2013. The average passage rate for New York state first-time takers is about 83%. Lane has resigned. Here is Patrice's coverage.
It was Harvard Business School marketing professor Ted Levitt who noticed that in fast-changing world organizations have to ask: What business are we really in?
Had the railroad industry answered that with "transportation," it could have moved on to investing in auto and then the airplane industries. There would have been no hard times for it. Here is a Harvard Business Review article on all that.
Perhaps law schools have to admit that they are in the business of ensuring that their graduates can get and keep good jobs practicing law. The quality of education is no longer a viable selling point. That could mean all the law school's systems have to be retrofitted to put students on the right path toward career security.
Some are still stuck in the era of "high quality writing." They fancy themselves scribes at The New Yorker. Yet, the marketplace demands the numbers on how X or Y content converted into positive responses to the Call To Action (CTA).
In communications, we are in the business of selling this bundle of services: They are results in getting attention and then moving along target buyers all the way to the CTA. If they don't respond to the CTA we will soon be out of business. The CTA could be an attitude change, contacting the state senator, requesting a complimentary consultation, and/or buying luxury stocking stuffers.
The world has changed. Contact Jane Genova for complimentary consultation to get the competitive edge in your marketing communications (firstname.lastname@example.org).