Law Firm Marketing

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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starry eyed
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Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby starry eyed » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:43 pm

Clearly wrote: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.


now this post made me feel dumb- yea i didn't think about competition's effect of adROI

my uncle did it straight out of law school but he got friendly with a real estate company in his small town, and that's how he got all of his business. I understand there are WAY too many variables to have an intelligent discussion; just wanted to get an idea.
Last edited by starry eyed on Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:44 pm

starry eyed wrote: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

That's cool, and I don't think small law is a death sentence, either. There are just a lot of people on this site who aren't interested in the kinds of law that make up small law practice.

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starry eyed
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Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby starry eyed » Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:03 pm

JohannDeMann wrote: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.


Did your GF ever do pay per click advertising or do they hire a firm that specializes in SEO for law firms? I would definitely have the funds to devote 30k per year for SEO after graduating. And i would probably lean criminal, family law, or some niche area that does not have a lot of google search competetion (might drive the cost for SEO down).

Although if i did get on the front page of google search, i don't think i would be able to handle the volume of cases on my own so that's something i would have to worry about. But i've also read that if you pay like 10k per year and end up on the third or fourth google page, you don't get bacially any clients, it appear to be an all or nothing thing with SEO.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby JohannDeMann » Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:22 pm

starry eyed wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote: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.


Did your GF ever do pay per click advertising or do they hire a firm that specializes in SEO for law firms? I would definitely have the funds to devote 30k per year for SEO after graduating. And i would probably lean criminal, family law, or some niche area that does not have a lot of google search competetion (might drive the cost for SEO down).

Although if i did get on the front page of google search, i don't think i would be able to handle the volume of cases on my own so that's something i would have to worry about. But i've also read that if you pay like 10k per year and end up on the third or fourth google page, you don't get bacially any clients, it appear to be an all or nothing thing with SEO.


I don't know if they do pay per click or what. I know they spend a lot of money to be on the first page of Google search results in a big city - like probably 4-6k per month. But they are absolutely killing business. It was a 3 person operation in 2013 with 2 partners and 1 attorney. Now they have 2 partners 5 attorneys a law clerk and an admin. As of a couple months ago they were on track for 1.2 million in revenue. I think that number will go up though. I would def recommend going big on the front page of nothing.

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carlsenvshikaru
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Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby carlsenvshikaru » Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:27 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?


You might want to chat with utlaw2007 if he is still active on TLS. His posts in the popular "Big Law vs 'Shit' Law..." thread ( http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=183482 ) provide interesting insights into how he built a successful small law practice for himself (where there is some talk of small law marketing).

Additionally, you can check out his posts throughout TLS dealing with the subject matter.

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starry eyed
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Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby starry eyed » Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:42 pm

Yea i know who you are talking about. I wish we could attract some more ppl like utlaw to this site. Biglaw gets way too much coverage lol. If i am remembering correctly, he started out at a respected firm and split off on his own with client connections that he had previously made. I know this is pretty pre-mature as i hope i do not have to resort to starting a solo shop out of law school (going to a T50), it's nice to read that it is possible to have a very lucrative practice with not a whole a lot of investment.

utlaw2007
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Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:33 am

carlsenvshikaru wrote:
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?


You might want to chat with utlaw2007 if he is still active on TLS. His posts in the popular "Big Law vs 'Shit' Law..." thread ( http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=183482 ) provide interesting insights into how he built a successful small law practice for himself (where there is some talk of small law marketing).

Additionally, you can check out his posts throughout TLS dealing with the subject matter.


Hello, all,

I have not been here in a very long time. I'm very busy these days as my case load has increased by a little over 200%. I fairly recently received tons of exposure, like national exposure, and that has led to an increase in my case load. My point of saying that is not to brag. My point is that I was referred to that client through a colleague of mine. Actually, it was a person who worked on his staff whom I did not know until I began visiting that person when visiting my colleague. I made it a point to get to know her and to gain her trust. I'm a naturally friendly person so I was just being friendly, but there is a practical business utility to being friendly and talkative.

My post is in regards to the question about marketing. Putting ads in some sort of periodical or publication is costly. And forget tv and billboards. By the time you can afford that, you've already made it big. And the problem is, a lot of other attorneys do that. Clearly, it must work, otherwise, no one would do it. But when starting out, it can be very expensive. Once your practice gets going, You can put out ads, but I would not recommend spending a lot of money doing this unless you do car accidents, immigration, or some other practice area that requires tons of volume.

I do contingency fee work. And I'm operating at maximum capacity. Based on what people I know have told me, they think my case load is too much. Everything I do requires litigation. And there is a ton of work involved. But because of the stakes and the fight, I don't need volume to do well. I'm actually nearing the point where I will be hiring an associate fairly soon. And thus, the law firm expansion begins...

The best thing you can do for your marketing, in my opinion, is to be as sociable as you can with people. The key thing is that you gain someone's trust. That works for business clients and individual clients. Invest in a great set of business cards. Make them better than every other small practitioner's cards. My cards are similar in quality to big firms. They are thick. And the print quality is exceptional. Nobody chooses a lawyer because of the quality of the business cards. But when nobody knows who you are, you sure can disqualify yourself with cheap cards with certain people. Make them conservative. They are an extension of you. And hand them out like nobody's business. But when you hand them out, attempt to engage people you meet in conversation. If there is no time or the person seems standoffish, don't waste your time. This person is not going to refer cases to you anyway.

When owning your own firm, this kind of thing becomes your way of life when it comes to marketing to individuals. People know people, even owners of small business. And when you make an impression on someone whom you met in a store, they refer you to whomever they know who needs help.

Also, it goes without saying to build a website with a cheap web builder as quickly as you can. You won't get cases from it, but you cement your credibility. Your website introduces you to people who have been given your name.

It's all about increasing your odds. Don't be stingy with your cards or with your time as to whom you speak with. I'd say trust is the most important commodity with respect to marketing and getting business.

Of course, some lawyers have practices that require lots of volume. Visit the sh&^%$ law thread for my take on volume , fee structures, and demand for your practice areas.

viewtopic.php?t=183482
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:58 am

In addition, if I have not said this before in any of my posts, know your practice areas. Know the procedure. And be ready to discuss the ins and outs to people you meet in conversation. You really need to like what you do so this conversation won't come off as contrived. This is how you gain trust and show competence. Those little business cards get passed around. And your name gets passed around.

Be likable
Be trustworthy
Be competent


In regards to SEO and throwing out an online net to snag cases, there's just no way for a small start up to compete with a more established firm. Where are you going to get the money from? And based on all of the advice I got from more experienced colleagues who are very successful financially, there is a much greater chance that a lawyer receives more cases from referrals or personal contact with someone than through online searches. A small firm starting up will never appear on the first page of a google search. And no one searches past the first page.

As I said before a long time ago in a previous thread, people don't shop around lawyers like they do cars or lawn mowers. The first lawyer they encounter who is competent and trustworthy, they go with him/her. And people usually go with the lawyer who was referred to them before the lawyer found on a google search. So before you go wasting all of that money, maximize your personal contacts and make new ones.

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Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:30 pm

Since I'm on a roll and procrastinating I will say this, don't do car accidents. The only high volume stuff that I think is worth it is immigration and criminal law. And immigration is not an option if you don't live in a border state to Mexico. Car accidents will get you nowhere if you start a car accident firm up in this environment. If you can get tons of cases, more power to you. But getting the volume you need to sustain a car accident practice is going to be exceedingly difficult. The amounts of your rewards are so small that you need a ton of volume to make it happen. And if you don't have that volume, you can easily make up for any lost revenue by practicing something else in litigation. Car accidents are one of those practice areas where you have to advertise online. But do you know how many car accident and truck accident attorneys there are? Good luck setting yourself apart from the rest...

Learn how to practice the harder areas of law. Far less attorneys practice these areas so you greatly limit your competition and increase referrals.

If you ask me, the best way to go is with a straight litigation practice on a contingency fee. See my previous posts in the sh&^%$ thread to review the merits of hourly, flat, and contingency fees.

Contingency fees can be applied to all sorts of practice areas. See Susman's website...

Examine more complex areas of litigation and then determine if these areas can be scaled down to levels of clientele that you will likely be attracting and meeting to begin with.

Learn those areas that you encounter firsthand from people who ask if you practice that area. That's a really good way to determine demand in your area.

It's a process. It doesn't happen over night, but it can happen much quicker than you think...
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:51 pm

Am I saying that you will be wildly successful just by starting your own practice and following my instructions? Of course not. Opening a law firm is one of the most treacherous things you can do. And there are far more lawyers who struggle then make a decent living. That being said, there are lots of lawyers, even bad ones, who do okay and are not struggling. And it has a lot to do with making smart decisions. You have a lot more control over this process than you think. And then there are some who are rich and they are not that good, either. And then there are some who are filthy rich, and they are really good.

I'd say the most important piece to the financial success puzzle is a combination of ability and opportunity. It requires persistence and perpetual modification to what you are doing. It's one of those risk reward kind of things. The reward is very high, but the risk is just as high. The key is being honest with yourself about what you can do and making wise decisions to mitigate those risks involved.

There really is no need to dive in head first. Something like this is best approached in small step increments. This helps to mitigate risks by keeping expenses way down. See if you like it. See if it can work for you. Of course, you never really know until you give it a great, intelligent effort. But yeah, if you are risk averse and if you are not sociable, then no, this is not for you, in my opinion.

Traynor Brah
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Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby Traynor Brah » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:23 pm

Do you like search for mentions of your username every few months?

utlaw2007
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Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby utlaw2007 » Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:26 am

Traynor Brah wrote:Do you like search for mentions of your username every few months?


Pretty much. I assume someone needs an important question answered. And I hate to leave people hanging. And there so much misinformation about small firm/solo practice out there (not just this site, but everywhere, including misinformation spread from some small practitioners themselves), that I feel I need to help set the record straight.

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Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby Lawdork » Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:34 pm

Yea UTlaw i don't know what the point of your post was other than to humblebrag. We're all proud of you. Honesty, trustworthiness, and competency is the key to success folks. You addressed SEO but completely ignored PPC. Obviously it takes years to get your site on the front page of the organic listings but the point of PPC is to pay to get your site listed under the "sponsored" sites at the top of a google search, while optimizing your website for SEO (through blogging, keyword loading, linking)

Question for you PPC pros: if it's sooo competitive to the point that a little guy can't compete, how come the
PPC price for "divorce attorney phoenix" is 50$ while in other areas like memphis and new orleans, i's 6-15$?
That tells me that the phoenix market may be saturated (but i assume attys are still profiting paying $50 per click) however, there's a lot of room to profit in markets that have not yet been saturated. Say you get 600 clicks for 10$ per click, that's 6000. If you can get only 2 to become clients, you've broken even. 4 clients doubles your investment, etc. OUT OF 600, you just need 4 to double investment. So what am i missing here? If a fresh law grad has the capital to spend 6k a month ad adwords and has a real professional looking website, the average joe of the street with a divorce or a DUI is not going to care about experience, they're just gonna go with their gut after speaking with you.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:36 pm

I'm assuming there are a lot more people who can pay higher rates in Phoenix than in Memphis or New Orleans.

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Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby Lawdork » Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:38 pm

utlaw2007 wrote:Since I'm on a roll and procrastinating I will say this, don't do car accidents. The only high volume stuff that I think is worth it is immigration and criminal law. And immigration is not an option if you don't live in a border state to Mexico. Car accidents will get you nowhere if you start a car accident firm up in this environment. If you can get tons of cases, more power to you. But getting the volume you need to sustain a car accident practice is going to be exceedingly difficult. The amounts of your rewards are so small that you need a ton of volume to make it happen. And if you don't have that volume, you can easily make up for any lost revenue by practicing something else in litigation. Car accidents are one of those practice areas where you have to advertise online. But do you know how many car accident and truck accident attorneys there are? Good luck setting yourself apart from the rest...

Learn how to practice the harder areas of law. Far less attorneys practice these areas so you greatly limit your competition and increase referrals.

If you ask me, the best way to go is with a straight litigation practice on a contingency fee. See my previous posts in the sh&^%$ thread to review the merits of hourly, flat, and contingency fees.

Contingency fees can be applied to all sorts of practice areas. See Susman's website...

Examine more complex areas of litigation and then determine if these areas can be scaled down to levels of clientele that you will likely be attracting and meeting to begin with.

Learn those areas that you encounter firsthand from people who ask if you practice that area. That's a really good way to determine demand in your area.

It's a process. It doesn't happen over night, but it can happen much quicker than you think...


Do you realize that most contingency cases can drag on for YEARS? and you're seriously suggesting a fresh law grad to take on this business model? what is a new practicing attorney supposed to do for income while waiting on that settlement? he doesn't have a warchest to fall back on like more established bigger firms so is he just supposed to bet it all on black and hope to get that million dollar settlement that he's been working on for free for the past year?

utlaw2007
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Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby utlaw2007 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:37 am

Lawdork wrote:
utlaw2007 wrote:Since I'm on a roll and procrastinating I will say this, don't do car accidents. The only high volume stuff that I think is worth it is immigration and criminal law. And immigration is not an option if you don't live in a border state to Mexico. Car accidents will get you nowhere if you start a car accident firm up in this environment. If you can get tons of cases, more power to you. But getting the volume you need to sustain a car accident practice is going to be exceedingly difficult. The amounts of your rewards are so small that you need a ton of volume to make it happen. And if you don't have that volume, you can easily make up for any lost revenue by practicing something else in litigation. Car accidents are one of those practice areas where you have to advertise online. But do you know how many car accident and truck accident attorneys there are? Good luck setting yourself apart from the rest...

Learn how to practice the harder areas of law. Far less attorneys practice these areas so you greatly limit your competition and increase referrals.

If you ask me, the best way to go is with a straight litigation practice on a contingency fee. See my previous posts in the sh&^%$ thread to review the merits of hourly, flat, and contingency fees.

Contingency fees can be applied to all sorts of practice areas. See Susman's website...

Examine more complex areas of litigation and then determine if these areas can be scaled down to levels of clientele that you will likely be attracting and meeting to begin with.

Learn those areas that you encounter firsthand from people who ask if you practice that area. That's a really good way to determine demand in your area.

It's a process. It doesn't happen over night, but it can happen much quicker than you think...


Do you realize that most contingency cases can drag on for YEARS? and you're seriously suggesting a fresh law grad to take on this business model? what is a new practicing attorney supposed to do for income while waiting on that settlement? he doesn't have a warchest to fall back on like more established bigger firms so is he just supposed to bet it all on black and hope to get that million dollar settlement that he's been working on for free for the past year?


You seem to have it all figured out. You act as though I never was a new lawyer fresh out of law school. You should reread my posts on this site concerning how I got started. I've addressed the start up issue already and in great detail.

And no, most contingency fee cases do not last for years. You've been watching too much tv. You should instead experience them for yourself. If they do drag on, it's because counsel for each side agreed for the case to be delayed time and time again. But contingency fee cases can drag on longer than expected, just not for years unless you agree to it.

But again, you really need to read my earlier posts on other threads. I spelled out how to get started.

When I'm bragging, I just come right out and brag. There's nothing humble about it.
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:23 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby utlaw2007 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:49 am

Lawdork wrote:Yea UTlaw i don't know what the point of your post was other than to humblebrag. We're all proud of you. Honesty, trustworthiness, and competency is the key to success folks. You addressed SEO but completely ignored PPC. Obviously it takes years to get your site on the front page of the organic listings but the point of PPC is to pay to get your site listed under the "sponsored" sites at the top of a google search, while optimizing your website for SEO (through blogging, keyword loading, linking)

Question for you PPC pros: if it's sooo competitive to the point that a little guy can't compete, how come the
PPC price for "divorce attorney phoenix" is 50$ while in other areas like memphis and new orleans, i's 6-15$?
That tells me that the phoenix market may be saturated (but i assume attys are still profiting paying $50 per click) however, there's a lot of room to profit in markets that have not yet been saturated. Say you get 600 clicks for 10$ per click, that's 6000. If you can get only 2 to become clients, you've broken even. 4 clients doubles your investment, etc. OUT OF 600, you just need 4 to double investment. So what am i missing here? If a fresh law grad has the capital to spend 6k a month ad adwords and has a real professional looking website, the average joe of the street with a divorce or a DUI is not going to care about experience, they're just gonna go with their gut after speaking with you.


Who are you again? How many years have you been practicing? What have you accomplished with your practice and how much money have you made?

You have jokes...

The best and quickest way to failure with your own practice is to carry on as if you have it all figured out and mock more experienced practitioners who are giving you valuable advice. Opening up your own practice is no joke. It's nearly impossible in this environment unless careful analysis has gone into determining market demand in your area and getting up to speed on the legal services that you need to provide to meet that demand. You need to establish trust with your prospective clients or they will not hire you, whether you met them at a party or whether they found you online. Just because they may have found you, either online or through a referral (online fishing for cases is a pipe dream for new attorneys but feel free to try it and fail. You need way too much volume, not just clicks but actual cases. And who's to say you would get lots of clicks? That's a huge assumption. It's not just new attorneys but even old attorneys that may have a hard time because there are so many lawyers who do this already), you still need to close the deal. Just because someone was referred to you or found you online hardly means they are going to retain you. So yeah, don't bother to establish trust with a prospective client and see how far that gets you. And being competent is a must. It's obvious you have to get out there in front of people through marketing. But without establishing trust by showcasing competence and honesty to your prospective client, you will never get that client to begin with. You either heed advice or you don't and you fail. It's nothing to me if you fail so go right ahead.

PPC is fine if you have a volume practice. You act as though you will be the only lawyer doing it. You still have to have a rep to get a high number of cases. Also, you'll never snag high dollar cases with PPC or SEO. People go with referrals or who they have personally met before they pick a lawyer online. And people ALWAYS meet lawyers or are referred to lawyers because lawyers like me get around. You'll get nothing but rinky dink car accidents or something like that if people find you online. And if you don't have much of a rep, you won't get enough volume to sustain your practice. But good luck acquiring all that volume when you're brand spanking new. If you can pull that off, let me know.
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Thu Oct 08, 2015 9:49 am, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby utlaw2007 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:02 am

Do you realize that most contingency cases can drag on for YEARS? and you're seriously suggesting a fresh law grad to take on this business model? what is a new practicing attorney supposed to do for income while waiting on that settlement? he doesn't have a warchest to fall back on like more established bigger firms so is he just supposed to bet it all on black and hope to get that million dollar settlement that he's been working on for free for the past year?


I normally don't like to repeat myself and this board doesn't like people to repeat themselves. But I'll give a highly condensed response. First of all, you won't get any hourly paying clients when you are new or when you are small.

You could charge flat fees, but that only works for a few practice areas.

If you would have read the thread that I instructed you to read in a previous post, you would see that I advocated charging a retainer fee in addition to a contingency fee. That way, you have the best of both worlds of the contingency fee and flat fee. Or, if you cannot meet the legal requirements for your state in regards to true retainers, you can implement a hybrid fee structure that combines the most favorable elements of all three. I can't tell you exactly how to do it since you have to adjust to whatever clients you get.

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Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby utlaw2007 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:07 am

Also, if you practice any form of personal injury that is not catastrophic, those things NEVER go to trial unless the plaintiff's lawyer has no clue as to what he or she is doing. There are certain cases, contingency cases, that you settle before you even file a lawsuit or right after you filed one. That doesn't take years...

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lacrossebrother
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Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby lacrossebrother » Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:19 am

Is solo starting up better or worse than a 2 person partnership?

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Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby utlaw2007 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:40 am

lacrossebrother wrote:Is solo starting up better or worse than a 2 person partnership?


In the very beginning when you are first starting up, neither one of you has a client base or a referral base. So two people doubling up at this point is futile. So it's best to go completely solo.

But, when both of you have gotten your feet wet and have obtained some experience, both marketing experience (meaning you know what seems to work for you) and case experience, it may be better to partner up.

But before partnering up, I'd take a really hard look to determine if I can do the work of two, business and law practice, by myself. Otherwise, you're splitting the pie and having to bring in double the cases to make the same kind of money you could make by yourself.

The best reason for partnering in the beginning is if you guys have a practice that can really benefit from money invested into marketing. I would say that volume practices are probably better if there is a partnership because volume practices require more money for marketing. And two people can come up with more money to invest than one can.

In regards to contingency fee cases, all of these types of cases are NOT the same. The more moving parts and more complicated issues a case has, the longer it may take. But if you are talking about PPC and SEO to get cases, you're going to get cases that will likely settle before a lawsuit is filed or right after a lawsuit is filed. The larger more valuable cases, like the ones I work with, can take a long time. But they still don't take years. They may take a year or year and a half or two years tops. But that's what retainer fees are for.
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:31 am, edited 3 times in total.

utlaw2007
Posts: 783
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:49 pm

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby utlaw2007 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:51 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I'm assuming there are a lot more people who can pay higher rates in Phoenix than in Memphis or New Orleans.


This.

Remember, with any online advertising, you need tons of volume to sustain a practice. But where there is volume, there is only small dollar cases, regardless of the fee structure you employ.

Meanwhile, the lawyer who met a guy in the store because of aggressive in person marketing whose uncle was hit by a truck or met a guy whose family has not been getting paid oil and gas royalties for drilling done on their land, will make as much money as you will on five cases or 100+ cases off of one case that settled before a lawsuit was ever filed or shortly thereafter.

Lawdork
Posts: 181
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:07 pm

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby Lawdork » Thu Oct 08, 2015 9:37 am

utlaw2007 wrote:
Do you realize that most contingency cases can drag on for YEARS? and you're seriously suggesting a fresh law grad to take on this business model? what is a new practicing attorney supposed to do for income while waiting on that settlement? he doesn't have a warchest to fall back on like more established bigger firms so is he just supposed to bet it all on black and hope to get that million dollar settlement that he's been working on for free for the past year?


I normally don't like to repeat myself and this board doesn't like people to repeat themselves. But I'll give a highly condensed response. First of all, you won't get any hourly paying clients when you are new or when you are small.

You could charge flat fees, but that only works for a few practice areas.

If you would have read the thread that I instructed you to read in a previous post, you would see that I advocated charging a retainer fee in addition to a contingency fee. That way, you have the best of both worlds of the contingency fee and flat fee. Or, if you cannot meet the legal requirements for your state in regards to true retainers, you can implement a hybrid fee structure that combines the most favorable elements of all three. I can't tell you exactly how to do it since you have to adjust to whatever clients you get.


Oh like the guy did in this article?

http://www.litigationandtrial.com/2012/ ... -practice/.

TL;DR most new lawyers who try to do the hybrid hourly/contingency structure fail, bc they spend all their time doing the hourly work just to stay afloat, forcing them to neglect the contingency work. And yea the big point in that article is that the big guys can afford to do contingency bc of the law of large numbers. If they get 100 contingency cases, they only need to win a few, or something like that. Whereas, the new lawyer does not have a warchest and one drawn out case can bankrupt him.

Lawdork
Posts: 181
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:07 pm

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby Lawdork » Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:02 am

utlaw2007 wrote:
Lawdork wrote:Yea UTlaw i don't know what the point of your post was other than to humblebrag. We're all proud of you. Honesty, trustworthiness, and competency is the key to success folks. You addressed SEO but completely ignored PPC. Obviously it takes years to get your site on the front page of the organic listings but the point of PPC is to pay to get your site listed under the "sponsored" sites at the top of a google search, while optimizing your website for SEO (through blogging, keyword loading, linking)

Question for you PPC pros: if it's sooo competitive to the point that a little guy can't compete, how come the
PPC price for "divorce attorney phoenix" is 50$ while in other areas like memphis and new orleans, i's 6-15$?
That tells me that the phoenix market may be saturated (but i assume attys are still profiting paying $50 per click) however, there's a lot of room to profit in markets that have not yet been saturated. Say you get 600 clicks for 10$ per click, that's 6000. If you can get only 2 to become clients, you've broken even. 4 clients doubles your investment, etc. OUT OF 600, you just need 4 to double investment. So what am i missing here? If a fresh law grad has the capital to spend 6k a month ad adwords and has a real professional looking website, the average joe of the street with a divorce or a DUI is not going to care about experience, they're just gonna go with their gut after speaking with you.


Who are you again? How many years have you been practicing? What have you accomplished with your practice and how much money have you made?

You have jokes...

The best and quickest way to failure with your own practice is to carry on as if you have it all figured out and mock more experienced practitioners who are giving you valuable advice. Opening up your own practice is no joke. It's nearly impossible in this environment unless careful analysis has gone into determining market demand in your area and getting up to speed on the legal services that you need to provide to meet that demand. You need to establish trust with your prospective clients or they will not hire you, whether you met them at a party or whether they found you online. Just because they may have found you, either online or through a referral (online fishing for cases is a pipe dream for new attorneys but feel free to try it and fail. You need way too much volume, not just clicks but actual cases. And who's to say you would get lots of clicks? That's a huge assumption. It's not just new attorneys but even old attorneys that may have a hard time because there are so many lawyers who do this already), you still need to close the deal. Just because someone was referred to you or found you online hardly means they are going to retain you. So yeah, don't bother to establish trust with a prospective client and see how far that gets you. And being competent is a must. It's obvious you have to get out there in front of people through marketing. But without establishing trust by showcasing competence and honesty to your prospective client, you will never get that client to begin with. You either heed advice or you don't and you fail. It's nothing to me if you fail so go right ahead.

PPC is fine if you have a volume practice. You act as though you will be the only lawyer doing it. You still have to have a rep to get a high number of cases. Also, you'll never snag high dollar cases with PPC or SEO. People go with referrals or who they have personally met before they pick a lawyer online. And people ALWAYS meet lawyers or are referred to lawyers because lawyers like me get around. You'll get nothing but rinky dink car accidents or something like that if people find you online. And if you don't have much of a rep, you won't get enough volume to sustain your practice. But good luck acquiring all that volume when you're brand spanking new. If you can pull that off, let me know.


see, you could be really helpful by telling us how one goes about assessing market demand in an area instead of telling us obvious stuff. Like we know that a prospective client will go with someone who they think is honest, trustworthy, and competent, nothing groundbreaking here. But i imagine assessing market demand is a much more difficult task that an experienced practitioner like yourself might have a few tips for us starry eyed dreamers to utilize.

utlaw2007
Posts: 783
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:49 pm

Re: Law Firm Marketing

Postby utlaw2007 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:09 am

Lawdork wrote:
utlaw2007 wrote:
Lawdork wrote:Yea UTlaw i don't know what the point of your post was other than to humblebrag. We're all proud of you. Honesty, trustworthiness, and competency is the key to success folks. You addressed SEO but completely ignored PPC. Obviously it takes years to get your site on the front page of the organic listings but the point of PPC is to pay to get your site listed under the "sponsored" sites at the top of a google search, while optimizing your website for SEO (through blogging, keyword loading, linking)

Question for you PPC pros: if it's sooo competitive to the point that a little guy can't compete, how come the
PPC price for "divorce attorney phoenix" is 50$ while in other areas like memphis and new orleans, i's 6-15$?
That tells me that the phoenix market may be saturated (but i assume attys are still profiting paying $50 per click) however, there's a lot of room to profit in markets that have not yet been saturated. Say you get 600 clicks for 10$ per click, that's 6000. If you can get only 2 to become clients, you've broken even. 4 clients doubles your investment, etc. OUT OF 600, you just need 4 to double investment. So what am i missing here? If a fresh law grad has the capital to spend 6k a month ad adwords and has a real professional looking website, the average joe of the street with a divorce or a DUI is not going to care about experience, they're just gonna go with their gut after speaking with you.


Who are you again? How many years have you been practicing? What have you accomplished with your practice and how much money have you made?

You have jokes...

The best and quickest way to failure with your own practice is to carry on as if you have it all figured out and mock more experienced practitioners who are giving you valuable advice. Opening up your own practice is no joke. It's nearly impossible in this environment unless careful analysis has gone into determining market demand in your area and getting up to speed on the legal services that you need to provide to meet that demand. You need to establish trust with your prospective clients or they will not hire you, whether you met them at a party or whether they found you online. Just because they may have found you, either online or through a referral (online fishing for cases is a pipe dream for new attorneys but feel free to try it and fail. You need way too much volume, not just clicks but actual cases. And who's to say you would get lots of clicks? That's a huge assumption. It's not just new attorneys but even old attorneys that may have a hard time because there are so many lawyers who do this already), you still need to close the deal. Just because someone was referred to you or found you online hardly means they are going to retain you. So yeah, don't bother to establish trust with a prospective client and see how far that gets you. And being competent is a must. It's obvious you have to get out there in front of people through marketing. But without establishing trust by showcasing competence and honesty to your prospective client, you will never get that client to begin with. You either heed advice or you don't and you fail. It's nothing to me if you fail so go right ahead.

PPC is fine if you have a volume practice. You act as though you will be the only lawyer doing it. You still have to have a rep to get a high number of cases. Also, you'll never snag high dollar cases with PPC or SEO. People go with referrals or who they have personally met before they pick a lawyer online. And people ALWAYS meet lawyers or are referred to lawyers because lawyers like me get around. You'll get nothing but rinky dink car accidents or something like that if people find you online. And if you don't have much of a rep, you won't get enough volume to sustain your practice. But good luck acquiring all that volume when you're brand spanking new. If you can pull that off, let me know.


see, you could be really helpful by telling us how one goes about assessing market demand in an area instead of telling us obvious stuff. Like we know that a prospective client will go with someone who they think is honest, trustworthy, and competent, nothing groundbreaking here. But i imagine assessing market demand is a much more difficult task that an experienced practitioner like yourself might have a few tips for us starry eyed dreamers to utilize.


Very understandable. And I'm not trying to be a dick and I know the stuff I wrote previously is a lot. But you should really read my posts under the the sh&^% law thread to see my detailed explanations. In short, online marketing must work, but it clearly doesn't work for everyone. There is a lot of money required and it only works for certain practice areas that require volume. The problem you run into is that while these volume types of legal areas are in high demand, the demand is being met because the competition is so stiff. Yet, there may be other areas of unmet demand out there, areas that aren't really practiced by lawyers in your area but areas that people need. But my method of getting started focuses on quality over quantity. In my previous posts, I talk about things you may have to do to supplement your income when just getting started. I talk about the bare necessities for working a start up firm. I talk about things you can do to slash expenses. I explain it, but in a nutshell, accessing demand in your area requires talking to a several practitioners and strangers (tell them you're a lawyer and they sometimes will ask if you can handle something for them). Market demand is largely dictated by what kind of services people that you meet need. Accessing market demand for the entire area is done by asking lawyers what types of law they practice. You'll start to see patterns. Once you do, find practice areas that are somewhat different or entirely different. You have to juggle the feel you get from what people/small businesses need.

But the main thing is that you don't want to center your entire practice area around an area that every lawyer does. You should include these areas because they are in high demand. But that demand is already being met for the most part. You should also diversify to include areas that not many lawyers do, but services that tend to be needed by people/small business.

And again, get to know lawyers. Find out what they practice. And do something different. Base it on the individual lawyer so that that lawyer will refer you cases that lawyer does not handle. Then when you meet another lawyer, find out what he/she does and do something different so that lawyer can refer cases to you. The different thing that you do may be the same thing that the first lawyer does. But the second lawyer you met doesn't know the first lawyer so the second lawyer will refer those cases to you. And just keep doing this.

The main thing when assessing demand is that you have to talk to both regular people and lawyers.




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