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Tapping the Marketing Potential of Attorneys



For centuries, lawyers have used their understanding of legal requirements to create clientele; however, by doing this of doing company is less viable in the aftermath in the Great Recession. An extremely austere financial environment is choking corporate client revenue, setting off a struggle for survival at the very top tiers of the industry. Simultaneously, midsize and small law offices must contend with thousands of new law school graduates as well as online legal portals. (AMLawDaily) These burgeoning challenges have sparked attrition through the entire legal industry. - Ashburn Web Development


The failure of so many lawyers will not be caused by inadequate legal expertise. There is still immense demand for legal services, but the legal community has failed to market itself successfully. The legal profession could much more effectively engage the almost 60 million Americans who require legal services annually if they could disentangle themselves from outdated business traditions and a resistance to adopting modern marketing techniques. (Google) If America’s attorneys would embrace proven marketing techniques like social media and advanced web design, the legal community could rival even the most competitive industries for member retention and client acquisition.


Emerging Challenges for the Legal Community


Even storied firms face uncertain futures. The positions of law partner and associate are increasingly precarious. In the past decade, a dozen firms using more than one thousand associates have failed-due primarily to loss of clientele. Industry experts have predicted that this 150 to 250 Big Law firms which currently serve the business community will dwindle to 20 or 25 firms in the next decade. (New Republic)


In other words, the legal profession has not kept up with systemic changes in the business world. Fewer companies are able to accept exorbitant bills which include hundreds or 1000s of dollars an hour or so for administrative functions. As companies tighten their belts, firms are being forced to streamline their operations.


Small Firms are Most Vulnerable


Small firms and entering lawyers will also be encountering greater challenges. Up to 50 % of the country’s attorneys function in solo practices with minimal staff, and almost three quarters from the profession operate in firms of five or fewer lawyers. ABA)


For many time-starved attorneys, the business function that many suffers is marketing. On average, the legal industry hires one full time marketing professional for each 30 to 40 attorneys. This critical promotional service is simply beyond the reach of most law firms. (LawMarketing) Thus, the responsibilities of the marketing director often fall around the firm’s business manager or the attorneys themselves.


In most firms, these people usually are not qualified to perform marketing functions, so promotion takes the form of staid and unappealing websites with little value to many prospective customers. There is very little or no promotional activity occurring in other marketing channels like seo or social networking. Without effective client engagement across an array of channels, law practices that should be thriving are eking by or slowly withering.


Conservative Traditions Shackle the Legal Profession


Attorneys have always trusted referrals to acquire new customers. It is a reflection from the belief that the concept of law is above mere commercial pursuits. Nowadays, this tradition is clearly outdated. It can enormous disservice both to attorneys who possess all of the requirements for fulfillment (but lack the marketing expertise required to find customers), as well as the public often desperate to locate quality legal representation.


There is huge demand for attorneys to provide counsel in divorce settlements, injury cases, and criminal proceedings, but most people still rely on old-fashioned means of finding an attorney. The most popular way to find an attorney is still through a referral, according to a survey by Moses and Rooth. Almost 35 percent of people ask a buddy to assist them to obtain an attorney, however the second most widely used method is through search engines like google (21.9%). (Lawyernomics) For many lawyers this statistic may suggest that traditional methods are still viable, but to marketing specialists it tells a different story: poor marketing techniques are forcing potential clients to make use of inefficient and outdated search methods.


Mounting Challenges are Deterring Young Lawyers


In 1980, almost 15 % of lawyers were a kid than 29. In 2005, this demographic had shrunk to four percent. (ABA) Clearly, it has become increasingly difficult for new attorneys to achieve a foothold in a crowded industry. To adopt the effective marketing practices found in other business sectors, even though the solution for most of these struggling legal professionals is not to expand their legal expertise.


First, their business websites should accurately reflect expertise and qualifications. Most law firm websites are derivative wallpaper that is either too simplistic to satisfy client questions, or so erudite and unattractive that visitors click away in frustration. Dynamic web design that utilizesphotos and videos, and aesthetically appealing design elements could be enormously inviting. For example, a web portal that effectively conveys legal services information to cell phone users would secure clients who want immediate legal services in emergency, arrest, or auto accident situations.


The next platform where attorneys can capture market share is on social media sites. This is actually the modern town square where legal professionals can effectively share their insightful analyses and breadth of information. Strong participation on LinkedIn (the selection for the business community) or Google Plus may help build a powerful reputation that alerts potential clients and other lawyers to superior legal insights.


Legal Community Must Embrace Modern Business Practices


The best five most searched legal services (Family and Divorce law, Accidental Injury, Criminal Law, Auto Accident, and Intellectual Property) generate almost 25 million queries on a monthly basis. The gap between this increasing demand and the legal profession is not being sufficiently bridged by an effective marketing mechanism, although (ByReputation) The American public is eager to hire and find attorneys.


An overwhelming adherence to tradition as well as a misguided sense of entitlement have prevented the legal community from evolving with the remainder of the business world. When the legal community would promote its authoritative expertise, dedication to clients, and professionalism, more of the public would look for and find their services. Contemporary internet marketing will be the way out of the current crisis. - Ashburn Web Development

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