March 2020

The Impact of the Coronavirus on Law Marketing

Adjustments will come as consumers become more cost-conscious of rates and corporate legal departments cut costs.

Micah Buchdahl
A sick man lies on a couch with an ice pack on his head, reading his temperature on a thermometer.

A sick man lies on a couch with an ice pack on his head, reading his temperature on a thermometer.

via juliaap / Shutterstock

With the coronavirus outbreak in full swing and the economy teetering on disaster, I hate to say it, but this is a really good time to talk about marketing.

The coronavirus outbreak brings not-all-that-distant memories of the financial crisis and resulting recession of 2008. I started my law marketing consultancy in 2001—with many law firms flush with cash and happy to spend more on business development to keep the good times going. My business model and client base changed after 2008—many of those Big Law projects and accompanying budgets disappeared. My business remained constant, but with a significant change; small and midsize law firms and niche boutiques found that they needed to ramp up marketing efforts to regain a foothold and compete for matters in a different corporate environment. Post-2008, marketing became critical to many law firms in the U.S.—and while I’m certainly no economist, I have to believe the coronavirus will bring repercussions in the coming months and years, as corporate belt-tightening and other economic factors again make marketing a critical component of a law firm’s success in the 2020s and beyond.

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