Law Firm Marketing

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
User avatar
starry eyed
Posts: 2048
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:26 am

Law Firm Marketing

Postby starry eyed » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:29 am

For those of you who have experience in small law (the kind that involves advertising), what is a typical return on investment for a successful shop? I've read statistics that say that the average ROI for bankruptcy, wills, etc. is 10$ in revenue per 1$ spent where PI is 20$ per 1$ spent on marketing.

This is shocking to me. I'm assuming that Personal injury clients are not very sophisticated and won't ask questions like 'how long have you been in business/what is your track record?" (in my town, the car wreck atty only advertises in the ghetto).
Therefor, a new grad, with sufficient capital and a smart ad campaign, could theoretically spend 20k on advertising the first year and expect, if these statistics are anywhere near accurate, a revenue target of 400k. Now this can't be right or that easy if you just have the capital?

User avatar
lacrossebrother
Top 17 consensus poster
Posts: 6871
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:15 pm

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby lacrossebrother » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:24 pm

1. You mean advertising
2. No way you can compete. Look at the price per click of mesothelioma

Traynor Brah
Posts: 718
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:23 pm

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby Traynor Brah » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:37 pm

starry eyed wrote:For those of you who have experience in small law (the kind that involves advertising), what is a typical return on investment for a successful shop? I've read statistics that say that the average ROI for bankruptcy, wills, etc. is 10$ in revenue per 1$ spent where PI is 20$ per 1$ spent on marketing.

This is shocking to me. I'm assuming that Personal injury clients are not very sophisticated and won't ask questions like 'how long have you been in business/what is your track record?" (in my town, the car wreck atty only advertises in the ghetto).
Therefor, a new grad, with sufficient capital and a smart ad campaign, could theoretically spend 20k on advertising the first year and expect, if these statistics are anywhere near accurate, a revenue target of 400k. Now this can't be right or that easy if you just have the capital?

LOL. No.

User avatar
lacrossebrother
Top 17 consensus poster
Posts: 6871
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:15 pm

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby lacrossebrother » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:44 pm

Image

It's also funny to see a biglaw firm advertising on TLS

User avatar
starry eyed
Posts: 2048
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:26 am

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby starry eyed » Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:16 pm

Yea but that's a national firm that does class actions; I'm talking more small time stuff like billboards radio etc. Local focus

Traynor Brah
Posts: 718
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:23 pm

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby Traynor Brah » Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:23 pm

starry eyed wrote:Yea but that's a national firm that does class actions; I'm talking more small time stuff like billboards radio etc. Local focus

Traynor Brah wrote:LOL. No.

User avatar
starry eyed
Posts: 2048
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:26 am

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby starry eyed » Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:33 pm

Traynor Brah wrote:
starry eyed wrote:Yea but that's a national firm that does class actions; I'm talking more small time stuff like billboards radio etc. Local focus

Traynor Brah wrote:LOL. No.


Care to elaborate so we might turn this into s helpful thread
We are all impressed with your quoting skills

User avatar
JohannDeMann
Posts: 13831
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:25 pm

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby JohannDeMann » Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:34 pm

My gfs firm is basically built on SEO advertising, and they are killing it. I'd roughly guess they spend 30-50k a year on advertising for 600k in cases. Clients don't care where you went to school or what your grades are, but they do care abotu feeling confident you can handle the case. You have to be able to talk to clients and ease their state of mind. Also, it's tough for a new attorney to do only PI because the lawyer has to front all the medical records costs and deposition costs etc as well as wait a couple years to receive payouts/setlle cases. But yeah, other than that, I absolutely believe those numbers. People wouldn't advertise if they didn't return something like that.

User avatar
starry eyed
Posts: 2048
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:26 am

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby starry eyed » Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:36 pm

Appreciate the insight Johann- wish there were more of you on here

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22846
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:39 pm

The thing is, statistics showing that's what various firms get as a return don't actually prove that a new grad with $20k to spend on advertising is going to get the same return.

User avatar
lacrossebrother
Top 17 consensus poster
Posts: 6871
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:15 pm

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby lacrossebrother » Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:56 pm

I took a course on small firm management. All the lawyers who came In said you get terrible clients via SEO

User avatar
starry eyed
Posts: 2048
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:26 am

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby starry eyed » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:00 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:The thing is, statistics showing that's what various firms get as a return don't actually prove that a new grad with $20k to spend on advertising is going to get the same return.

True but I'm sure a lot of ppl would be happy with 5-10$ return on $1 spent and I'm sure that would increase with experience (and connections that come with experience).
I just don't think small law is the death sentence that ppl believe
Last edited by starry eyed on Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Clemenceau
Posts: 857
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:33 am

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby Clemenceau » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:04 pm

Yeah, no. Achieving marketing roi is totally different for a startup and takes a long time, even moreso for a firm that provides services not products. Also, the amount of risk that 20k on ads represents to a firm with no existing revenue stream is pretty massive.

User avatar
starry eyed
Posts: 2048
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:26 am

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby starry eyed » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:08 pm

Clemenceau wrote:Yeah, no. Achieving marketing roi is totally different for a startup and takes a long time, even moreso for a firm that provides services not products. Also, the amount of risk that 20k on ads represents to a firm with no existing revenue stream is pretty massive.


How is it different? One of thebiggest expense a small law firm has is advertising. You put up ads, ppl come to your firm. Of course starting small would be the best wAy to assess the demand for your services before puting up 20k in ads

User avatar
JohannDeMann
Posts: 13831
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:25 pm

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby JohannDeMann » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:13 pm

lacrossebrother wrote:I took a course on small firm management. All the lawyers who came In said you get terrible clients via SEO


Might be true in their case. I can only really speak to one divorce law firm. They spend a lot of money on SEO - they don't half ass it. They pay to be like the #2-5 google search result for several keywords and that is basically their only source of revenue.

User avatar
Clemenceau
Posts: 857
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:33 am

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby Clemenceau » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:15 pm

starry eyed wrote:
Clemenceau wrote:Yeah, no. Achieving marketing roi is totally different for a startup and takes a long time, even moreso for a firm that provides services not products. Also, the amount of risk that 20k on ads represents to a firm with no existing revenue stream is pretty massive.


How is it different? One of thebiggest expense a small law firm has is advertising. You put up ads, ppl come to your firm. Of course starting small would be the best wAy to assess the demand for your services before puting up 20k in ads


How is it different? Does the difference between the words "startup" and "established" mean anything to you? You're referring to marketing roi figures for established businesses and asking why a startup firm can't achieve similar figures right away? The fact that you are confused about this literally confuses me

User avatar
JohannDeMann
Posts: 13831
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:25 pm

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby JohannDeMann » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:20 pm

starry eyed wrote:
Clemenceau wrote:Yeah, no. Achieving marketing roi is totally different for a startup and takes a long time, even moreso for a firm that provides services not products. Also, the amount of risk that 20k on ads represents to a firm with no existing revenue stream is pretty massive.


How is it different? One of thebiggest expense a small law firm has is advertising. You put up ads, ppl come to your firm. Of course starting small would be the best wAy to assess the demand for your services before puting up 20k in ads


Yeah I don't buy that marketing has that different of ROI for a startup law firm and law firm of 20 years. Law firm of 20 years has an advantage with referrals and needing less marketing, but a potential customer that goes to google presumably knows no firms (hence the google) and therefore wouldn't know the name of a firm and be able to recognize it as a long standing firm or start up. THe client meets with the attorneys, again no wayto know how long the firm has been in existence, only a gut feel or first impression of the place and whether it looks professional.

It's obvi harder and challenging to have a brand new law firm appear legit on the inside compared to an established place, but you can do it. 20k for the spending may be tricky to get, but if one can get it, build a decent looking firm and instill confidence in the client, there's no reason to believe the advertising won't return handsomely.

User avatar
MyNameIsFlynn!
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:29 pm

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:22 pm

Clemenceau wrote:
starry eyed wrote:
Clemenceau wrote:Yeah, no. Achieving marketing roi is totally different for a startup and takes a long time, even moreso for a firm that provides services not products. Also, the amount of risk that 20k on ads represents to a firm with no existing revenue stream is pretty massive.


How is it different? One of thebiggest expense a small law firm has is advertising. You put up ads, ppl come to your firm. Of course starting small would be the best wAy to assess the demand for your services before puting up 20k in ads


How is it different? Does the difference between the words "startup" and "established" mean anything to you? You're referring to marketing roi figures for established businesses and asking why a startup firm can't achieve similar figures right away? The fact that you are confused about this literally confuses me


Other than the ability to build trust with clients, I don't really think there is much difference—basically agree with Johann De Mann's first post. If you throw up a couple k's in AdWords spending on family law or criminal defense, for example, I don't doubt that you would get calls. If your point is just that you won't close clients at the same rate as an experienced firm, well that's obvious but there's also a learning curve. If you're on point then you'll figure it out.

Someone else suggested the game may be different for practices areas in which you'd have to front money for depos, experts, etc. There is probably some truth to that, i.e. the differences in ROI between a startup and an established firm are probably greater in certain practices areas. But not all.

ETA: Johann beat me to the punch above. I'd second what he said.

User avatar
starry eyed
Posts: 2048
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:26 am

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby starry eyed » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:23 pm

Clemenceau wrote:
starry eyed wrote:
Clemenceau wrote:Yeah, no. Achieving marketing roi is totally different for a startup and takes a long time, even moreso for a firm that provides services not products. Also, the amount of risk that 20k on ads represents to a firm with no existing revenue stream is pretty massive.


How is it different? One of thebiggest expense a small law firm has is advertising. You put up ads, ppl come to your firm. Of course starting small would be the best wAy to assess the demand for your services before puting up 20k in ads


How is it different? Does the difference between the words "startup" and "established" mean anything to you? You're referring to marketing roi figures for established businesses and asking why a startup firm can't achieve similar figures right away? The fact that you are confused about this literally confuses me

20$ per 1$ spent is the goal; obviously a new grad ain't gonna make that. But after a few years of "establishing", do you think the theory holds true? You aren't in business Huh
Last edited by starry eyed on Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
starry eyed
Posts: 2048
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:26 am

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby starry eyed » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:25 pm

Clemencaue you got us all confused "clarity is key"

User avatar
MyNameIsFlynn!
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:29 pm

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:31 pm

Also, I'll add this: I think—and many others probably share this view—lawyers are horrible at technology generally and internet advertising in particular. Some of y'all may be thinking, "If it's so easy to generate clients via online advertising, why arn't established lawyers doing it?" My answer is two-fold: First, there are plenty of established lawyers in their 50s and 60s who barely know how to use email, much less create and oversee an effective online advertising campaign. Second, there are also a lot of younger (read: poorer) lawyers who are unwilling to pump money into online advertising because they may view it as too competitive or unlikely to lead to a good ROI (and while this may be true for some practices, I obviously don't think it's true across the board).
Last edited by MyNameIsFlynn! on Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22846
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:33 pm

starry eyed wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:The thing is, statistics showing that's what various firms get as a return don't actually prove that a new grad with $20k to spend on advertising is going to get the same return.

True but I'm sure a lot of ppl would be happy with 5-10$ return on $1 spent and I'm sure that would increase with experience (and connections that come with experience).
I just don't think small law is the death sentence that ppl believe

Depends why you think it's a death sentence. Some of that is whether you can make a living doing it, some of it is whether you want to make a living doing it.

User avatar
starry eyed
Posts: 2048
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:26 am

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby starry eyed » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:35 pm

MyNameIsFlynn! wrote:Also, I'll add this: I think—and many others probably share this view—lawyers are horrible at technology generally and internet advertising in particular. Some of y'all may be thinking, "If it's so easy to generate clients via online advertising, why arn't established lawyers doing it?" My answer is two-fold: First, there are plenty of established lawyers in their 50s and 60s who barely know how to use email, much less create and oversee an effective online advertising campaign. Second, there are also a lot of younger (read: poorer) lawyers who are unwilling to pump money into online advertising because they may view it as too competitive or unlikely to lead to a good ROI (and while this may be true for some practices, I obviously don't think it's true across the board).


so it looks there is an opportunity from boomers lack of tech savviness. this is a pretty good idea.

User avatar
Clearly
Posts: 4166
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:09 pm

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby Clearly » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:39 pm

This is wayyyy too broad. This is gonna be very location/niche dependent. If you're a small town divorce lawyer with little competition in the area, or with competition of old school lawyers without websites etc, I don't doubt it. In certain markets, or in certain fields, you'd prob lose money on adwords.

Also, this discussion ignores its own support. If there are competitors making a return online with this idea, they're not going to sit idly by while you match their numbers. The second bird doesn't get the worm just because the first did. Competition is fierce, and being established has effects beyond just converting sales with your reputation. Those sites have been online longer, have a head-start on content, more inbound links, just generally better SEO to start. If we're talking PPC ads, those same established firms are going to out bid you, drive up costs, and generally make it hard to be profitable. Obviously newcomers can make money with advertising, but I disagree with the assertion that you'll match the ROI of existing businesses any time soon.

ETA: Career PPC SEO marketer.

User avatar
starry eyed
Posts: 2048
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:26 am

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby starry eyed » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:41 pm

being able to control one's destiny is why i don't think small law is a death sentence @ Nony.
i realize though that a lot of people are content with a good salary. ie biglaw-inhouse




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: existentialcrisis, WinterComing, Yahoo [Bot] and 8 guests