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Marketing your practice: How to attract more clients by positioning your attorneys as “thought leaders”

By David Brooks

The attorneys in your practice are more than knowledgeable; they are thought leaders in the legal field. So why not share their expertise, and market the practice in the process?

Seeking information

People actively seek legal information. Indeed, legal websites are highly popular, books offering legal advice sell well, and television shows like “Law & Order” have found new viewers in repeat syndication.

There is an audience of would-be clients waiting for information and insight from your experts.

As important, there is a community of fellow attorneys interested in exchanging ideas and sharing opportunities. This community serves as a potential audience for your experts, and a source of new clients.

Taking advantage of opportunities

There are numerous ways to connect with others.

Issue press releases. Each time something significant happens at the practice, issue a press release. “While there are no hard and fast rules, the most important factor is that you’ve got to make sure it’s newsworthy and useful to the reader,” says Scott Lorenz, president of Westwind Communications, a firm specializing in law practice public relations and marketing.

Reasons for a press release include a new attorney or legal professional joining the practice, awards or accolades an attorney has received, new practice offerings, new office location, and more. Assuming the news has value, spread the word.

And while you’re at it, make sure you distribute the press release widely. Use an online distribution network, like PRWeb or PRNewswire, but also send your news directly to local newspapers and information outlets. Doing so may result in an article about your practice.

Contribute an article to the local newspaper. A press release may get others to write your story, but don’t overlook offering one of your practice’s legal experts as an author. Choose a hot legal topic, one that an attorney from your practice has knowledge of and can provide commentary on, and approach the local newspaper about contributing an article on the topic. In lieu of payment for the article, ask that a photo of the author and his or her short bio appear with the piece.

Create a blog. A blog at your practice’s website that speaks to client legal concerns can serve as a valuable resource, while generating traffic to the site. It can be written by one or more of the practice’s legal experts.

Contribute to a website. Legal websites and general interest websites that cover legal topics are often seeking credentialed experts to share information. Conduct a search using Google and explore sites that might be a fit for the experts at your practice.

Become active on social media. By joining LinkedIn groups and participating in group discussions, attorneys can showcase their expertise. Encourage them to leverage LinkedIn to share information and ideas, build professional community, and, as a result, promote the practice.

Twitter also offers opportunities for sharing and image-building. Although the practice may already be tweeting, creating separate accounts for attorneys will call attention to these experts as individuals and help to position them as thought leaders.

Present at a webinar. Publishers, media companies, professional associations, and other organizations offer webinars to their members. Webinar presenters generally choose the topic, or at least have a say in the direction it will take. Because webinars tend to get heavily promoted, a presenter gets a lot of publicity. And of course the webinar itself provides exposure.

Speak at conferences. Sure, professional conferences allow for networking. But speaking at a conference provides the ultimate opportunity to be seen—and heard. Like webinars, conferences are heavily promoted, which means your legal expert’s name, photo, and bio will appear in marketing material. This, along with the presentation itself, can generate a great deal of interest.

“Conference speakers enjoy many benefits, including introductions to new colleagues which often result in new business,” says Anna Brekka, principal of Brekka Consulting, a B2B marketing and events planning firm.

Contribute to law journals and legal publications. It’s important to stay connected to the legal community, as colleagues are an excellent source of client referrals. When attorneys from your practice contribute to law journals and legal publications it brings notoriety to the practice, and keeps these experts top of mind in the legal community.

If one of your practice’s attorneys publishes in a prestigious journal or publication, you can build on this recognition by‑you guessed it‑issuing a press release.

Which raises an important point: None of these activities should take place in a vacuum. Issue a press release to announce an upcoming webinar or conference presentation. After the event, use social media to link to the archived presentation. Similarly, link to a published article within a blog post.

Find ways to use as many available outlets as possible to create buzz with attention to the main message: Your practice has dynamic legal experts who are thought leaders. Make people take notice and watch the practice grow.



Stacey E. Burke*

Despite the proliferation of digital communication tools, in-person events remain a crucial component of law firm business development best practices. In 2015 alone, companies poured $572 billion into experiential marketing or engagement marketing initiatives – this type of marketing directly engages consumers and gets them to participate hands-on with a brand (e.g. SWSW, sporting events, and large product launches). Live events have even been called a “critical component” of every outbound marketing strategy by some of the biggest players in the digital marketing business. In-person events continue to top various lists as one of the most effective tactics for B2B content marketers.


People are People. Events can make a huge impression very quickly. Emails and phone calls don’t generally inspire immediate action. Events tap into real-time, face-to-face communication with potential clients and potential referral sources. They also help you cultivate and maintain existing relationships with those who have helped grow your law firm so far.

Event Marketing. Events are newsworthy, and can be incorporated into a law firm’s public relations and media efforts. Events can even boost a law firm’s local SEO via online calendar entries and other digital citations to the event. Firms can also leverage social media to increase attendance, awareness, and brand recognition. Emails lead up to and serve as a follow up to the main event.

Below are five types of events that your law firm can throw.


Educational Events 

An educational event provides actual value to your target demographic through your expertise and through the acquisition of continuing legal education hours. Be sure to use outside experts and not solely rely on your own firm’s lawyers to serve as event speakers. Formats for an educational event are not all in-person, and can include:

  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Google Hangouts
  • Video online
  • Livestream

Seminar Socials

Plan a social event to take place alongside a heavily attended continuing legal education seminar, court hearing, or other industry function. Make it social, not educational, because your potential attendees will be looking for a break from classes and seminars. Good ideas can include a golf tournament, champagne brunch, or family bike ride. It’s important to be considerate and make sure that your social event doesn’t conflict with the original event you are planning around.

Co-sponsored Soirees

Joining forces with another law firm with uncompetitive practice areas or in a noncompetitive geographic region can often double or triple your event invitation list. There is power in a strategic partnership – which doesn’t have to be with a law firm. Some of the best partnerships can be with popular legal industry vendors that often have large marketing budgets to spend. Think about what collaborations will be the most lucrative both for the event and in the future. If you share your event with others, be sure that your law firm stands out with the coolest branded swag and that you have an excellent automated follow-up sequence to maximize your return on investment, especially with the additional contacts you gain through list-sharing with your co-sponsors.

Community Initiatives

As I have mentioned before, “Helping others is an important part of every law firm’s mission. Being involved in your community is a way to further that mission.” Law firms need to be careful what organizations they get involved with for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is financial. As noted by the American Bar Association, in today’s law firm environment, sponsorships and charitable giving have taken on greater roles than ever before. Firms spend a disproportionate amount of marketing dollars on sponsorships – and once a charity has been sponsored, it’s hard to turn down future requests.

Cultivate an ongoing relationship with a charitable cause or organization that your lawyers and staff believe in and/or are personally affected by and use that alliance to do good in your community. Volunteer hours are also great passive public relations and not a hard cost to the firm if conducted outside of business hours, such as on a Saturday.

Client Appreciation Events

When you are planning an event to thank those who have helped your business succeed, plan it selflessly. Think about the message you want your attendees to take away and plan your event around instilling it in them. Since you really want people to attend and to enjoy themselves, consider making these events “plus one.” Not only will you get to meet more people and develop more potential business, but you will also allow each attendee to use your event to their own advantage, giving them more reason to attend. While events like these are an opportunity to tap into the collective conscious of your most lucrative client base with beta testing, surveys, and more, be careful to stay focused on them and their happiness. Fun ideas for client appreciation include getting custom cowboy boots made, racing luxury sports cars on a private racetrack, and a nice dinner in a private dining room with appropriate entertainment.


All event planners have heard their job functions reduced to being a fun party planner. While certain aspects of event planning can be “fun,” professional legal industry event planners work to help further the business development efforts of individual attorneys, practice groups, legal departments, and law firms as a whole.  Most law firms do not have a budget large enough to employ a truly qualified in-house event planner and try to make do with a one-size-fits-all marketing employee. If your law firm is going to invest the time and money into planning and hosting an event, you should strive for flawless execution and not just use an available receptionist or paralegal without true event planning experience.


Outsourcing or revamping traditional marketing and business development methods can save law firms money. Selective outsourcing is a desirable option for most small to medium sized firms, as recent studies have shown that qualified, external business development consultants can help generate measurable new business.

Since few law firms employ truly top-notch event planning talent internally, this is a key area in which most law firms can and do outsource. For example, substantive CLE programs and other professional development programs require a skillset that not every law firm marketing or business development employee will have.

Our team of event enthusiasts have helped lawyers and legal industry vendors across the country plan measurably successful events in cities including Chicago, Austin, New Orleans, and more.

* Fonte:

Vale a pena investir em diretórios jurídicos?

Por Juliana Leão*

Essa é uma das perguntas que mais tenho ouvido em reuniões com escritórios de todos os tipos. Para ser honesta, mesmo com toda a vivência nestes anos e, também, considerando opiniões de colegas experientes em Marketing Jurídico, este é ainda um assunto controverso e polêmico. Neste artigo, gostaria de colocar alguns pontos importantes sobre o tema e, posteriormente, compartilhar a minha opinião.

Existe realmente algum tipo de pesquisa?

 Depende. Há diversos diretórios no mercado, sendo que muitos deles são os famosos “caça-níqueis”, como já foi abordado pela consultora Tatiana Cintra em seu último artigo. Então, primeiramente, é preciso separar aqueles que tem credibilidade daqueles que não tem. Este é o início de tudo para os escritório que desejam participar dos diretórios.

Aqueles classificados como confiáveis, possuem sim um método de pesquisa. O que acontece, na maioria deles, é que os pesquisadores não são advogados. Ou seja, pode existir algum tipo de ruído caso a submission (relatório específico do diretório) de um determinado escritório tenha sido mal elaborada (com linguagem técnica demais, escrita de forma confusa, ou não levando em consideração as características básicas para uma boa elaboração). Além disso, pode existir uma certa relatividade entre o que os advogados consideram mais importante e o que esses pesquisadores consideram em termos de tipo e complexidade de casos. Por isso, para ter um melhor desempenho, é importante estreitar o relacionamento com cada uma dessas publicações e tentar entender os seus critérios e o que elas esperam receber de informação.

Qual é o retorno financeiro?

Essa é uma das questões mais recorrentes sobre o tema e muito sensível.

Em primeiro lugar é preciso ressaltar que, apesar de não haver nenhum custo para submeter casos para essas publicações confiáveis, existe um custo interno referente às horas que um advogado utiliza para elaborar uma submission, afinal é o tempo de trabalho dele que está sendo empenhado para outra atividade.

Para isso, recomendamos que o escritório se organize previamente, para evitar usar uma quantidade de horas desnecessária nesta tarefa. Ir separando casos relevantes em um arquivo ao longo do ano, e escolher um advogado com menor senioridade (mas que escreva bem e seja orientado para a tarefa) para ser responsável por preparar o documento da submission, pode ser uma das saídas para este problema.

Outra questão levantada é se potenciais clientes procuram informações de escritórios nesses diretórios. Concordo que geralmente a escolha de escritórios para uma concorrência se dá por indicação ou reputação de uma banca. No entanto, muitas vezes acontece de dois ou mais escritórios terem um nível técnico e precificação muito similares. Então como decidir? Nestes casos, a posição dos rankings nestes diretórios pode ser um fator importante de desempate.

Todos os escritórios devem participar dos diretórios?

 Depende dos objetivos da banca. Por exemplo, para um escritório que atua em um nicho onde clientes internacionais não são relevantes, talvez não faça sentido investir tempo em participar. Mas, vale lembrar que, mesmo assim, os diretórios podem ser utilizados como fator de desempate em uma concorrência.

Em conclusão, mesmo que o investimento em diretórios jurídicos ainda não seja financeiramente mensurável, acredito que eles ainda são relevantes e não devem ser menosprezados pelos escritórios. Claro que este cenário pode mudar daqui há alguns anos, afinal o mercado está sempre em evolução. Mas, no momento, esta é a minha avaliação.

* Juliana Leão é consultora da Markle Comunicação e especialista em Marketing Jurídico.

 Sobre a Markle

Os consultores da Markle possuem mais de 10 anos de experiência em renomados escritórios de advocacia e estão aptos a prestar assistência para as bancas na organização, preparo, revisão e envio de informações para todos os guias e publicações internacionais que classificam, analisam e escrevem sobre o mercado jurídico.

Para obter mais informações sobre marketing jurídico siga a página da Markle Comunicação e Marketing Jurídico no LinkedIn, acesse o nosso Blog e visite o site:


A arte das publicações “caça-níqueis” no meio jurídico

Por Tatiana Cintra*

Todos os dias, as caixas de e-mails dos escritórios são bombardeadas com inúmeras mensagens de premiações e convites para elaboração de artigos pagos. Mas como filtrar, no meio de tantas opções, quais são as que realmente valem vincular a imagem do escritório e dos profissionais e investir recursos e tempo?

Alguns itens ajudam a identificar a seriedade das publicações:

  • Pagar para aparecer

No caso de premiações, as que realmente realizam pesquisas sérias, nunca irão vincular incluir o nome do escritório e de seus advogados como referências, somente após o pagamento de qualquer valor, ainda que irrisório ou de caráter somente para o “custeio da placa” com a citação do “prêmio”.

Já para artigos, desconfie de preços astronômicos, sem contrapartidas como o recebimento de cópias do livro na publicação e o comprometimento de divulgação para um mailing relevante, com comprovação de fato.

  • Spam, convite sem critério

Publicações “caça-níqueis”, que só pensam em dinheiro, sem credibilidade, disparam e-mails de forma indiscriminada, sem nem avaliar a área de prática do escritório e do profissional que estão dizendo como referenciados no prêmio X ou indicados como profissionais especialistas na área, para a redação de artigo.

A intenção é volume. Então, vários profissionais irão receber o e-mail ao mesmo tempo, dentro do escritório e provavelmente, mais de uma vez.

  • Canais institucionais e público-alvo

Publicações sérias e consolidadas, possuem homepage e e-mail com o domínio do nome da publicação ou da editora, telefone de contato, referências de outros profissionais e páginas em redes sociais atuais como Linkedin e Facebook. Ao receber e-mail de convite de premiação, consulte no Google a publicação, para tirar suas conclusões.

No caso de artigos, principalmente de publicações estrangeiras, questione qual o público alvo de entrega da publicação e o alcance. Em publicações sérias, haverá um mailing para envio e uma cota de livros pré-estabelecida que serão impressos. Já nas duvidosas, o envio será quase sempre, somente para quem a própria pessoa que pagou para escrever para a publicação.

* Tatiana Cintra é consultora da Markle Comunicação e especialista em Marketing Jurídico.

 Sobre a Markle

Os consultores da Markle possuem mais de 10 anos de experiência em renomados escritórios de advocacia e estão aptos a prestar assistência para as bancas na organização, preparo, revisão e envio de informações para todos os guias e publicações internacionais que classificam, analisam e escrevem sobre o mercado jurídico.

Para obter mais informações sobre marketing jurídico siga a página da Markle Comunicação e Marketing Jurídico no LinkedIn, acesse o nosso Blog e visite o site:

New submission form for Chambers & Partners

John Read*

Chambers & Partners has published its new submission form, available here. In summary, there are some minor tweaks to some of the guidance and the order of sections, but the big change comes with the division of the second half of the form into “publishable information” (section D) and “confidential information” (section E). Each of these sections allows for up to ten client names and (separately) ten detailed work highlights, making for a total of 20 of each. The submission guidance has been updated to reflect the increased limit.

The revisions shouldn’t require firms to make many changes to their processes for preparing submissions, save that there is now the opportunity to present an additional five client names and (more importantly) five detailed work highlights. Chambers will accept submissions using the old form for the time being, though this will no doubt change in due course.

The full list of changes is as follows:

  • Sections A and B are largely the same, save that the checkbox list of industry sectors now falls in section B.
  • Guidance for B6 and B7, regarding ranked/unranked lawyers respectively, has been revised.
  • Guidance for B8 and B9, regarding foreign experts/desks respectively, now asks for information about work in the past year that demonstrates their expertise.
  • The 250-word limit for B10 (‘What is this department best known for?’) has been removed (no doubt much to firms’ delight), and the guidance under the question has been revised.
  • The checkbox list of industry sectors, previously in section C, is now B12.
  • Section C in the new form is the old section D, about feedback.
  • Guidance for C2 now expressly asks for comments on the accuracy of the rankings (both department and individual) and of the editorial.
  • The old sections C and E have been revamped into the new D and E, dealing with publishable and confidential information respectively. Each section allows firm to include up to ten client names (and whether or not each is a new client), plus ten detailed work highlights, making for 20 client names and 20 detailed work highlights in total.

* credit: John Read is head of directories at MD Communications (

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