Common Lawyer Marketing Failures

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Often, affording a solo or a full-fledged firm depends upon a steady flow of new clients. Under the old model, a fresh law grad would get a job at a firm. Next, the green attorney would learn the ropes. Once trained, the advocate would put out his shingle. Sometimes they may partner up and start an LLC. Often, a paycheck was based solely upon referral advertising. Targeting old clients remains a standard model.

And only a small percentage of injury attorneys have had great success in bringing on new clients. These intelligent people will be guest speakers on the legal seminar circuit, for example. So this includes seminars such as CAOC or CAALA (bother consumer attorney organizations that give out MCLE credits to attendees of conventions, such as those held in Las Vegas.) Other old-school techniques include the Yellow Pages. But attorney advertising mailers with the proper disclaimer are also older methods of the trade.

These methods can still be a successful way to reach people. Speaking at the CAALA Convention is still an excellent way for fellow less experienced or funded attorneys to size up trial attorneys with vast experience, to whom they may wish to refer cases. However, this may not always lead to a reliable stream of regular new clients, aka “customers.”

Don’t Make The Same Mistakes as Other Lawyers.

Solely relying upon these tested but no less old methods to attract business can be a colossal mistake with diminishing returns in this electronic media age. Many more senior lawyers are still fearful that more aggressive commercial advertising is an ethical dilemma. So they feel it can open them up to State Bar disciplinary proceedings.

Other newer agents are usually not too street-savvy or business-oriented, having spent most of their lives in school and college, learning from people who have no clue what it takes to run a business. Frankly, many law professors and teachers, in general, are hostile to companies as a whole.

In particular, new lawyers usually have a cookie-cutter idea of passing the bar and working at a big firm. The problem is that big firms are falling by the wayside. Many reasons exist for this failure. It could be due to over-regulation, taxation, or the high costs and perils of complying with employment regulations. After doing all this, it becomes tough to make a profit.

But a forward-looking legal counselor is not content to depend on the old bare-bones methods of attracting potential clients. Of particular interest, there remain at least seven different methods to become leaner and get on track for a brighter future. The caveat here is, you must think outside the box.

Customer Targeting.

One of the most significant problems with advertising by any business is ensuring that you target the right customers. But a few questions will need to be answered to advertise in the proper format to attract clients. Where do these people go to find information?

What websites and distribution would these individuals be expected to read? When answering these questions, the focus should be to reach the person looking for a personal injury attorney’s services. The main point is to get the message out there and have it seen by the right individuals.

Promotional Messages.

The usual promotion for attorneys is a combination of a picture of a legal advocate, their practice areas, and a slogan. This promotion is in block type advertising or a full-page ad, but this isn’t enough to provide all the necessary information about a law firm.

It is wiser not to attempt to give all the needed information in this type of advertising. It is better to use the commercial to promote free and informative words that can be found on the legal advocate’s website or in the office. Then, in this educational data or information, the lawyer can tell the law firm’s full story to the reader.


The critical issue with potential clients is that they are not too side-tracked with all the articles the law firm has ever submitted on their website or distribution site and all law firms’ history. This client is a person seeking specific information involving their particular issues. And they also want to know what options there are legal.

This person wants to understand. The attorney’s job is to have materials that will address the type of legal problem the individual has, which deals with the concerns and frustrations they may be going through. This is the kind of information that will get better results in addressing practice areas.

Yes, it would help if you pointed out what makes you different and suited as a business. But the main thrust needs to be addressing the actual data that the injured person in need of help, for example.  So this must strike as the initial impact when a Potential New Client, or “PNC,” click on your website.

Market Positioning?

It is essential to show your position on what area of law is practiced by the law firm or lawyer. The person looking to hire an attorney does not want just general information; they want to know this is an accomplished lawyer. They want someone who practices in the law that they are seeking and in their location. For any advertising campaign to be helpful for the law, firm prospects are the main focus.

Lawyer Costs and Efforts?

Attorneys should monitor their costs; lowering costs will not have the result expected. But there is always competition.  And someone else remains ready to outdo your efforts. But in most cases reducing advertising expenses damages legitimacy with current clients.

They could believe they may have overpaid for services for a less prestigious attorney. And that will attract potential customers that are not the caliber of claims that you would be comfortable representing. These are known as deal customers who are shopping for the least expensive attorney.

But it is better to focus on quality and provide clients with the right image they want in representation. This image is what gets reflected in their acknowledgment that expert legal advocates earn what they charge. A lot of this is about optics. If your attorney drives a beat-up old Volvo or a High-end Mercedes, who makes more money?

What would a decision-maker at an insurance company think when making an offer which just parked next to the attorney at the JAMS or JDAMS mediation to settle the quadriplegia case? What would your neighbor feel if they saw your lawyer getting out of or into one of those cars?

I mean to take it to an extreme, if your lawyer wore a nice suit, or tattered jeans, which one are you more likely to hire? Common sense dictates that you have the appearance of being a winner and wreak of success.

Advertising Choice Makers.

Advertising decisions are made in some law firms by a group choice or through social events, and this is not the most successful way to determine how advertising will be accomplished. The most successful way to focus on advertising is to make one person in charge of all decisions; this will allow a specific focus, rather than decisions made in several directions that will not have the power of a targeted advertising campaign.

Democracies do not work in general. This system is why you need to choose a republican form of leadership within your organization to make these hard choices and keep the ball rolling! If they fail, get rid of them and learn this stuff yourself!

Priority in Advertising.

Law firms or legal counselors often center on their specialized areas of the law rather than promoting their law firm. This information should be what the client is looking for and knowing there are quality legal advocates. Law firms that are advertising are vying for new business. To bring in a steady stream of customers, you need to show how you achieve your daily operations.

Using the right format and focus on advertising can be entirely successful and rewarding. But when done wrong, it can result in a low-quality client base. Advertising has gone to different heights than just the traditional Yellow Page advertising. And the law firm that wants to reach the most significant percentage of potential clients will find using other advertising methods rewarding. Stay ethical, and read all of the attorney advertising guidelines here on the California State Bar website. Last but not least, continue your legal education and stay focused on the end goal.

Ehline Law Firm - Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC
Attorney at Law
Michael P. Ehline Esq,
Downtown Los Angeles Corporate Offices

Downtown Los Angeles Office
633 West 5th Street #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Ehline Law Firm - Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC
Attorney at Law

Michael P. Ehline Esq,

Other Los Angeles County Meeting Places
Long Beach Office

5001 Airport Plaza Dr Ste 210
Long Beach, CA 90815
(562) 731-0668

West Hollywood Office

8752 Holloway Drive Ste 304
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(424) 666-3944

Santa Monica Office

201 Wilshire Blvd. Fl 2
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 237-6218

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3961 CA-1
Torrance, CA 90505
(424) 999-7246

Marina Del Rey Office

4640 Admiralty Way Ste 500
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
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509 S Beverly Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
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Glendale Office

655 N Central Avenue
Glendale, CA 91203
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Inland Empire Meeting Places

Rancho Cucamonga Office

8333 Foothill Blvd #200
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
(909) 963-0709

Riverside Office

11801 Pierce St, Ste 200
Riverside, CA 92505
(951) 777-2877

San Bernardino Office

198 North Arrowhead Ave. #20
San Bernardino, CA 92408
(909) 693-5417

Orange County Meeting Places

Costa Mesa Office

600 Anton Boulevard #11
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(949) 891-0357

Laguna Niguel Office

23046 Avenida de la Carlota, Ste 600
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 371-8350

Irvine Office

9180 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 207-7193

Newport Beach Office

5160 Birch St #110
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 891-0127

Orange Office

333 City Blvd. #17
Orange, CA 92868

Other California Meeting Places

Rancho Cucamonga Office

1999 S Bascom Ave, Ste 700
Campbell, CA 95008
(408) 940-3996

San Francisco Office

50 Francisco Street #460
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 684-7688

Carlsbad Office

1902 Wright Pl, Ste 200
Carlsbad, CA 95008
(760) 517-9022

Ehline Law Firm - Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC
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Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC