GC Discovers the Problem With Open Letters

By William Vogeler, Esq. on March 15, 2019 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The problem with an open letter is that you don't really know who is going to read it.

And those people you don't know may have a very different reaction than what you would expect. In the social media age, it could get out of control.

That's what happened to one general counsel who signed an open letter to law firms. She urged them to improve on diversity, but the responses were definitely different.

"Open" Diversity

When Olga Mack signed on to the open letter from 170 general counsels to encourage diversity, she probably had low expectations.

She didn't say that in the open letter, of course. The response could have been much worse.

But the blow-back was bad enough. Apparently, some people took the letter as an invitation to spam her.

She received countless pieces of "unsolicited, self-serving law firm marketing literature." Vendors, law firms, and others poured it on through her personal email, business email, U.S. mail, and LinkedIn.

Spam Attack

Of course, the spam attack was wrong. Mack is an author, speaker, and women's advocate, and the response to the open letter offended her.

"I will be blunt -- these largely male and largely white new law firm partner classes, speaking panels, boards, executive teams, etc. are nothing more than dated relic," she wrote for Above the Law. "It is unacceptable and embarrassing."

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