The practice of law is both a profession and a business. Many lawyers rely only on good results and ethical behavior to gain a reputation that engenders word-of mouth referrals. Other lawyers buttress their status in the profession with advertising. Gone are the days, however, of yellow page marketing.
Today’s lawyers utilize television, radio and the internet to entice potential clients. Many of these ads fall into the “conservative, balding lawyer standing in front of a bookcase” category. While others are innovative, even racy! Case in point:
An all-women law firm in Chicago created a billboard ad that read “Life’s Short. Get a Divorce.” The ad contained a photo of an attractive woman in her lingerie beside a handsome man with a six-pack. It turned out that the woman who posed for the ad was the lead attorney at the firm and the dude with her was her personal trainer. She reported that the firm was inundated with phone calls. Unfortunately, the billboard was removed seven days after it went up on the basis of a by-law infringement.
Other forays into to the world of marketing are less provocative but no less effective. One family law firm, again an all-women firm, launched their print marketing with the headline “Ever Argue With A Woman?” I think they made their point very clear!
New York is the home of the lawyer who offers the “60 Minute Divorce for $299.00”. His slogan is “Got an Hour? Get a Divorce.” The bonus is that if you sign up, you get a $10.00 gift certificate for either Starbucks or MacDonalds.
Other law firms have raised the hackles of their governing bodies with their ads.
In Nevada a lawyer bills himself as “The Heavy Hitter” in his rambunctious televisions spots and a Polish speaking lawyer ran an ad on a Polish-language radio station referring to himself as “The Lion of the Court”. The trouble was that he had never tried a case in court!