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Old School Ways of Generating Local Client Biz for Your Law Firm

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By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on February 11, 2016 11:01 AM

We've given a lot of attention to the topic of content marketing lately. This is crucial to staying alive in today's hectic legal market -- particularly if you're a solo.

But this doesn't mean that you should disregard the good ol' ways of getting potential clients.

You're Not Fungible

One lawyer isn't as skilled or experienced or even as competent as the next one. For the most part, clients don't know this. They're looking for someone who can handle their case and they're going to assume that any lawyer is better suited to handle a case than they are. And for once, they're right.

But doesn't that mean that they could just as easily go to the guy next door instead of coming to you? Why didn't they do that? Marketing and branding.

Getting Famous -- Locally

Back in the day, the only way to get famous locally was to buy ad space on a billboard or other magazine publication. But unless you plan to go full Jimmy McGill with your tactics, it's doubtful that your returns on investment will be very dramatic.

Another favorite of attorneys is to get cozy with local news outlets and anchors so that you'll be one of the first attorneys they call about a particular issue. With luck, you'll be asked to offer your professional opinion and have your smiling mug broadcast on the local channels. And the more time your face is up, the better.

Give Information for Free

By now it's general practice for attorneys to host presentations about a particular topic and area of specialty. These presentations do not, of course, form an attorney-client relationship.

Ostensibly, their purpose is to inform the public about special developments in the law or to educate the audience about their rights. In actuality, they're all about marketing and building your brand. At some level, the audience knows that, but so long as you're not misleading them or giving them incorrect law, you should legally be good to go.

Brands for Business

You don't have to have a logo to be a brand, but it helps. We've already established that all of the above exercises are aimed at getting your face recognized by potential clients. But if you have a cool logo or style to your name, be sure to have that logo surrounding your face at all times. Your business card should feature that logo prominently. Common wisdom in the legal field is that professional service industry "brand names" are worth between 10 and 15 percent in premiums in billings rates.

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