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Law Practice Magazine

The Marketing Issue

Wait, I Didn’t Learn This in Law School!

Courtney E Ward-Reichard


  • Lawyers can leverage various strengths for effective marketing, including technology proficiency, involvement in professional associations and individual networking.
  • Despite technological advancements, the core objectives of marketing in law—building relationships and reputation—remain constant.
  • This issue of LP offers diverse perspectives on marketing including insights applicable to lawyers across different practice areas and settings.
Wait, I Didn’t Learn This in Law School!

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When I started my job as a new associate in a large law firm many (many) years ago, I had given little thought to how I would market my practice. My focus up to that point was learning how to research and write about the law––I did not understand that being a lawyer would also mean I would need to know about sales and marketing techniques . . . and that certainly wasn’t a part of my legal education. (I also had no clue how much of my work would involve typing, refusing to take typing class in high school during the early 1980s because I was going to be a lawyer and wouldn’t need to type––but that’s for another column.)

The marketing channels and methods used by lawyers have changed dramatically over the course of my career, but the fundamental goals of marketing remain the same: creating relationships and building a reputation. The ever-changing landscape of marketing technologies create even more challenges––but also many new opportunities.

One fundamental reality has not changed: at the end of the day, effective marketing is still about relationships, whether in person or online. And there are many ways for lawyers to play to their strengths in marketing: some of us are drawn to technology and social media, others prefer involvement in bar associations, while still others have built and maintained broad networks on a more individual level.

The features in this issue address marketing from several perspectives, with ideas that will be useful to lawyers in most practice settings and areas.

In “Legal Marketing Design: The Basics,” Julie Bays starts from the beginning––understanding your target audience, building a brand, choosing the right marketing tools to spread your message and tapping into the power of referrals. It’s an excellent tutorial for the newer lawyer, but it is also a very useful resource for the seasoned legal marketer: sometimes the best way to enhance your marketing is to return to the basics and reconsider your strategy from a new perspective.

Edie Reinhardt takes on a familiar but essential topic in “Using Social Media to Build Your Practice.” While some think of social media as replacing in-person interaction, it really can complement in-person networking. And a good plan with goals, an identified target audience and ways to highlight your skills, will maximize your social media effectiveness.

Next, Sally Schmidt addresses the effective marketing of a niche practice in “Growing Your Practice by Focusing Your Message.” Specialized expertise and skills are valued by clients––and many lawyers have found success with a niche practice. The article explains both how to choose your niche, and then how to promote it.

Carol Schiro Greenwald explores the critical importance of networking in “Networking: So Many Possibilities, So Little Time.” She explains that networking can be one on one, but also done in groups. The key is to constantly evaluate your networking efforts––what is most effective, and what you like to do. Those activities that meet the effectiveness and likability tests are the ones you should keep.

Gyi Tsakalakis explores the often-challenging world of online reviews in “The Reviews Are In.” More than half of individual clients searching online for lawyers look for reviews, so lawyers trying to market to this group must prioritize getting online reviews. The article addresses the value of online reviews, how to get clients to leave reviews and then how to showcase them.

Finally, we take a step away from the marketing theme with an article by Firas Aljijakli: “International Attorneys’ Importance as a Bridge Between Cultures in a Time of Increased Tensions.” The article explains the many advantages to using an international attorney, who can be attuned to both legal issues and cultural realities in legal conflicts, leading to better solutions.

Thank you so much to our amazing issue team, Lance Johnson, Shelly Solomon and Carol Schiro Greenwald, for this terrific issue. This month’s issue provides many perspectives on marketing for lawyers at any stage of practice. We can all use a refresh of our marketing techniques, and I hope the articles in this issue will help!