Lawyers Marketing Can Be Professional

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There are many lawyers who struggle with the balance between the law being a business and a profession.  I am not quite sure why this issue is even up for debate.  A business has a responsibility to its owners to deliver a profit.  A professional must live up to the standards he has sworn to uphold.  These two things are not mutually exclusive.

Strategy and marketing are business disciplines that many lawyers use effectively to attract and engage high quality clients.  Marketing is a broad term that encompasses developing a message (highly strategic when done correctly) selecting a target market to receive the message (also a strategic endeavor) and selecting a form of media and executing message delivery (this is tactical).

Ethical decisions must be made in each marketing discipline.  In helping lawyers with the strategic marketing decisions I focus my clients on educational marketing.  We want the lawyers to help their clients make good decisions when selecting a lawyer.  We want them to help their clients understand the issues they are facing or may face.  We want our clients (the attorneys) to be truthful and transparent when they provide information to their prospective clients. This is not just ethical; it is a good business practice.

If you have good information to share you should use every possible vehicle you can afford to get that information to the public. Some forms of media are better for educational marketing than others.  Selecting the message, the market and the media are business decisions. They are also ethical decisions.

The mission of the lawyer should be to improve the client’s condition.  Lawyers marketing should keep in mind that any decision that is made in their marketing will also determine the quality of the client they attract.  In other words, bad marketing (unethical marketing) usually attracts bad clients.