Lawyers can always count on divorce as a steady business, along with wills and taxes. That means divorce, with all its attendant family law implications, could be a place where you direct your marketing focus.
It's hard to market divorce, though. No one wants to come out and say, "Gee, maybe it's time for a divorce," as though you're buying a new car. What you can do is emphasize results, and appeal to people who are already thinking about it.
Women Are More Likely to Initiate Divorce
According to a 2000 journal article published by the American Law and Economics Association, women are the plaintiffs in about two-thirds of divorce cases. This means that, whatever your marketing strategy ultimately becomes, you may want to focus more on women than on men. (Then again, you can always try the "differentiation" path by marketing your practice to men.)
Divorce is one of those things where you, as the lawyer, aren't necessarily in a position to advise for or against it. Unlike a slip-and-fall, choosing to end a marriage is a pretty personal decision that not's always amenable to logic, and it's not your job to talk someone into, or out of, a divorce. What is amenable to logic -- and where you can help out -- is in the process of a divorce. You can advise on what arrangements to make and whether the dispute can be settled amicably to minimize expenses.
Where Are You Located?
Where you practice can determine whether marketing to divorce consumers makes sense. Divorces are more common in certain states: New Jersey, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and New York have some of the lowest divorce rates, while Alaska, Alabama, and Kentucky have some of the highest. Don't despair, though! Urban centers tend to have higher divorce rates than rural areas, even in states with fairly low rates of divorce.
What Does Expertise Get You?
While some states offer fill-in-the-blank forms for divorce, one angle that might appeal even to the pinchiest of penny pinchers is your expertise. If the family's finances are complicated, then it won't be as easy as filling in the blanks if there's jointly held property, retirement plans, and investments. In that situation, the best advice you can offer is that potential clients need the expertise of a divorce attorney.
If you're looking for help marketing a divorce practice, there's no better resource than FindLaw's Lawyer Marketing. The experts there can help you position any practice -- yes, including the unenviable practice of divorce law.