The ideal circumstances for a practicing attorney are those that do not require a thought as to marketing a practice in order to secure clients. For the rare few who can enjoy such a wonderful opportunity, the ability to devote oneself strictly to the practice of law geared toward whatever focus desired is one that all lawyers, including myself can only envy.
The reality I must say is that even the most accomplished and recognized attorneys must put the marketing of themselves and their practice at the forefront of their daily activities. The days of the “famous” lawyer able to get fat off the adoration of the public clamoring for the privilege of being a client of such a lawyer are over. (if they ever existed at all).
Each day on one television news channel to the next we observe legal pundits espousing their views on any subject of the day. One would think that these lawyer media analysts must be financially secure. After all are they not highly sought after and financially successful such that national media outlets parade such individuals to speak on legal issues before the general public?
Would it surprise you to learn that on many instances these media savvy lawyers are affiliated with marketing firms who are paid to arrange such media appearances?
Many such legal pundits devote their time not to the practice of law but to offering media outlets free commentary, whether credible or not, so as to market themself and their legal practice.
Don’t get me wrong, for the few attorneys in California, New York or Atlanta (home of CNN) who have brokered the ability to market their legal opinions on television, more power to them. The fact is that these appearances fool both the general public as well as legal colleagues that the lawyer appearing on television has reached the pinnacle of the legal profession. As a result, if parlayed correctly, the benefit derived from such lawyer’s “pro bono” selfless acts of non stop media commentary is the free advertising gained from this positive exposure.
If fortunate enough to get such televised recognition, go for it. The simple point is this. Even those lawyers who truly are worthy of being featured to educate the public on a legal issue impacting public discourse on television need to market themselves. In this age of social media yesterday’s accomplishment has already been forgotten. As for the trial you won a month ago that was plastered across all of your local media outlets, that’s ancient news. The famous lawyer of today is just another mouthpiece tomorrow.
At one time Johnnie Cochran, the lawyer for O.J. Simpson, was one of the most famous people, much less lawyers, in the world. Today, the next generation of your potential clients have no idea who the great Johnnie Cochran is, much less that he was O.J Simpson’s defense lawyer. In fact, I have conversed with lawyers recently at a lawyers round table who were even unaware that Cochran had passed away years ago.
Although we as lawyers may know and respect lawyers of national renown, the public usually neither knows such individuals or cares, unless the time comes when their help is needed. It is then that marketing, and not recognized legal standing most often kicks in within the potential client’s consciousness.
Unless a lawyer saturates a community with non stop media and billboard exposure to, in effect, brainwash the general public as to the lawyer’s specialty, the immediate need for a lawyer will not usually reflect to the 60 mile per hour drive by of a lawyer billboard.
These media lawyers know this. Which is why they aggressively compete for these televised opportunities before the general public each time another news event becomes breaking news.
In today’s world there is no such thing as a non marketing lawyer. Lawyers love to tell their neighbors that their client base comes from “referrals” as though such attorneys would never suffer the indignity of conveying the fact that they must take action to gain new clients just like lawyers of all competence levels and renown.
The fact is, lawyers, even successful ones, do not customarily make as much money as the general public believes. Further, lawyers love to cultivate the impression that they do not need to market themselves to bolster their social standing. This despite the reality that no matter the accomplishment level within a given community, all lawyers market themselves, and no lawyer that I know of can truly survive on a diet strictly of client referrals.
In sum, the first step toward greater financial health and ultimately wealth is the recognition that all lawyers market themselves in one form or another no matter their experience and/or accomplishment level. Failure to recognize this may make you as a professional feel better about yourself, but will eventually most often lead to your inability to practice your legal field of endeavor.
No man is an island. Unless you find yourself as a middle aged lawyer bachelor willing and able to refuse the needed opportunity to market your legal practice in one form or another, I wish you good luck.
Each and every day a new breed of lawyer has recognized that law is not only a profession but a business endeavor. As such, just as great a concentration must be focused upon cultivating a targeted legal client base as applying the skills necessary to perform at your optimum legal abilities.
You as a single independent lawyer still refuse to get the message? At the very least you will not be crippling the potential financial security of dependents who otherwise will depend upon you for their financial sustenance.
If not anointed as a media mouthpiece of the day able to broadcast your legal abilities at little cost to television viewers, the choice should be not whether to market your legal practice, but the most cost effective means by which to do so. It is hoped that the other information I have attempted to convey throughout this website will be the means by which to determine that direct mail advertising is worthy of your consideration.