WhoCanISue.com seems to be generating a lot of headlines. Obviously that’s the idea, and to some extent, the buzz reminds me of the buzz generated by the Chicago Family Law Attorney who had the “Life is Short, get a Divorce” billboard a couple years ago.

Like that family law firm, WCIS.com is generating headlines for their edgy marketing and over-the-top ads. According to a recent news article, they are growing and their reference clients seem to be happy. Predictably, however, many other attorneys who aren’t clients are outraged by the implication of WhoCanISue’s marketing message.

While I don’t know their specific business or revenue model, I don’t inherently dismiss the service due to the name. The primary issue that I have with WhoCanISue.com, as well as with yellow page ads and the multitude of lawyer directories that spring up from time to time is that using these services does nothing to help a law firm build a long-term sustaining legal practice. These services don’t do anything to help build your brand, and this is the problem.

Most law firms will ultimately stop using these directories at some point, just like they have done with Martindale-Hubbell and yellow page ads, and once they stop using the service, their phone stop ringing because the firms haven’t done anything to generate cases organically.

So, if you want to use WhoCanISue.com, believe that you will get value, and don’t mind the inherent implication of the message, then do so. But don’t use this service as a replacement for good old fashioned marketing and business development that will help you generate business well into the future. If anything, use the revenue that you generate from these services to help finance your own marketing activities.