John O’Connor runs JSO Digital--a digital marketing agency devoted to helping lawyers leverage the internet as a business development tool. The company works with law firms of all sizes on projects ranging from website development, to SEO, to Facebook marketing campaigns. “The most rewarding part of my job is helping deserving small businesses grow,” he said.
John’s road to digital innovation arose from necessity. He began his legal career at an AmLaw 100 law firm, practicing in a structured finance group. Then, when the economic downturn of 2008 struck, John found himself out of a job. “Rather than hunt for work in a non-existent job market, I decided to start my own practice,” he explained. “As a brand new lawyer, with no referral sources, I knew I would need the internet to be competitive.”
From there, John got to work navigating the gauntlet that is internet marketing, and found he enjoyed the process. After settling a large lawsuit he worked on for more than five years, John has transitioned to full-time consulting work for law firms which seek to expand their web presence.
John’s journey began at MSU Law, and he remembers his alma mater fondly. In particular, John appreciated Professors Craig Callen and Frank S. Ravitch’s lecture styles. “They were both skilled at creating high level discussion and energy in their classrooms. I didn't know it at the time, but they were making me think and write like a lawyer,” he said.
Now, John is helping MSU Law students think not just as lawyers, but as entrepreneurs as well. John recently collaborated with Daniel W. Linna Jr., assistant dean for career development and director of LegalRnD - The Center for Legal Services Innovation, to create the center's LegalRnD.org website and branding. This new legal research center will introduce students to leaner, more effective business models and the use of data and technology to improve legal services.
John donated his time and expertise to create the brand. His contribution to MSU Law will help current and future MSU Law students excel in the 21st century landscape of law.“MSU Law's faculty strives for excellence in everything they do,” John said. “This energy translates to the classroom, and it's the students who benefit.” Now, with LegalRnD.org, students will also be able to use that energy to research and test their theories about how to deliver legal services with the fastest, most efficient means digital technology can provide.