November / December 2003  Volume 29, Issue 8
ABA Law Pracice Management Magazine, November/December 2003 Issue
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Practice Development Clips
Larry Bodine
Keeping it simple, winning a moose, and generating a keyword bonanza.

The power of bold simplicity. Bold statements within a simple black-and-white layout won a 2003 Addy Award for Houston’s Chamberlain Hrdlicka ( The 100-lawyer commercial firm garnered the award, presented by the Houston Advertising Federation, for ads with these headlines: “You earn it, we protect it. Enough said.” “Nothing is certain in this world but death and taxes. We can ease the pain of both.” And “Protecting your business as though it were your life. Which of course it usually is.” Ad agency Rives Carlberg created the campaign, and agency owner Chuck Carlberg said, “Chamberlain Hrdlicka is one of the best-kept secrets in Houston and Atlanta.” Not anymore.

Insurance ancillary. Here’s an interesting idea for an ancillary business. Philadelphia-based law firm Duane Morris wants to ease Florida’s malpractice crisis by selling malpractice insurance to doctors! The Am Law 100 firm applied to Florida regulators in August to set up an insurance exchange like the one it launched in Pennsylvania in early 2003. To join the exchange, doctors would contribute capital plus premiums to become part owners and pool their risk. Only four companies presently underwrite malpractice insurance in Florida, notes the Palm Beach Post.

Win a client, get a moose. As part of its in-house sales training program, the Chicago firm Gardner Carton & Douglas hit on a novel tongue-in-cheek incentive for bringing in new business. Marketing manager Pat Stankard and partner David Wolfe gave away a series of foot-tall moose trophies for Most Outrageously Outstanding Sales Effort (“MOOSE”). The trophies honored the sales training participants who had been most successful in a specific client-development situation or had been most active during the previous month. The memo announcing the award made certain that no one missed the humor by concluding, “As always, the decision of the judges is final. And, unlike the Olympic Figure Skating judges, we will not accept bribes.”

Online keyword bonanza. Online keyword advertising has helped generate $1.6 million in new revenue since September 2002 for Crime Attorneys, a Los Angeles law office with practices nationwide. Such pay-per-click search campaigns on Google and Overture have also produced 250,000 visits to the site, Within 60 days of the effort’s debut, the law office retained a $250,000 embezzlement case, followed by several others in the $50,000 range. “We’re talking about bringing an entity that didn’t even exist until July of 2002 to near-ubiquity on all major search engines when anyone searches for absolutely anything related to criminal defense attorneys,” says Josh Barsch, President/CEO of StraightForward Media, the Peoria, Arizona, ad agency on the account.


Larry Bodine ( is a Web and Marketing Consultant who advises law firms on how to get more business. Based in Glen Ellyn, IL, he can be reached at (630) 942-0977.