March 2006

Volume 32 Number 2 | PAGE: 32 | BY: Law Practice Magazine Editors

Features

Feeling boxed in? You don't need dynamite to blast you past the stifling limits you've been setting on your firm's marketing program. Just lend an ear to some high-level advice and you'll be wondering how you spent so much time in such a small space in the first place.

Marketing and selling legal services is, yes, a totally unique proposition for every single different practice area, geographic location, individual lawyer and law firm.

General counsel of global corporations, for example, seek out and hire lawyers in a totally different way than does the corner auto shop owner with a handful of slow-paying customers. The people in Joliet, Illinois, connect with a lawyer differently than do the Fifth Avenue dwellers behind Manhattan's best doormen.

And just as the clients differ, so do the tools that will attract them. If your firm is building a class-action group for a suit against the local hospital's anesthesiologists, you're probably talking about advertising in local media plus a series of seminars for potentially interested parties and printed materials to distribute at the sessions. If you're trying to grow an arbitration practice in a small town, you're looking at personal contacts and ongoing relationships with members of the American Arbitration Association and other professionals where you live. If it's Japanese investors in Canadian cogeneration facilities…. Well, you get the picture.

Every situation requires a tailored approach.

There are no easy answers. But there are some basic questions about common pieces of the marketing puzzle. And if you can-finally-stop spinning your wheels about those, you'll have the time you need to launch the perfect marketing strategy tailored to your practice.

Never fear. In these pages we've pulled together the common marketing questions that lawyers pose to consultants and law firm marketing directors every single day: "Can't I just put an ad in the Yellow Pages?" "Why not just do what the competition does?" "I say we just hire a rainmaker and then we won't have to develop business!" Starting to sound familiar?

We posed these questions to a team of nationally known legal services marketing experts. And they were more than happy to share their thoughts. Taken all together, the answers here will mean the end to all that time-wasting pre-marketing dithering about which way to go. No more getting stuck on the simple questions. Take notes. Discuss it. Apply what you learn.

And before you know it, you'll be well on your way to your next big question: "How am I going to get all this work done?"

It's always something, eh?

The Editors

LP

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