The Difference between Legal Marketing and Lawyer Advertising

I'll admit that I probably mix up the two phrases from time to time, but I need to make something clear: legal marketing and lawyer advertising ARE two different things. To develop a solid legal marketing plan, you need to consider what types of lawyer advertising are appropriate. You can flip that around and also say that you need to focus your lawyer advertising on the message you want to send with your legal marketing.

As you can see, you really can't have one without the other, it's a Catch-22. Luckily, they have the same end goals, which is to get you the ideal clients you are looking for and contribute to the success and growth of your law firm. When two separate systems have a common end goal, it's much easier to work with them in tandem, but first let's break down what each one really is.

What Is Lawyer Advertising?

Lawyer advertising is the individual pieces of the puzzle that work to create the big picture of your legal marketing. Lawyer advertising can be many things, it's really limited only by your ambition and budget. The basics include: 

  • Print ads;
  • Your logo;
  • Business cards;
  • Office signs;
  • TV commercials; and
  • Radio spots. 


Advertising in general is any sort of method to draw attention to your business. So those lettered pens you hand out at community events all the way through to the ad you placed in the town crier last month, those are all examples of your lawyer advertising.

What is Legal Marketing?

Legal marketing is the overall process of getting your name out there to your potential clients. It's a sum of the lawyer advertising methods, plus a strategy of the message you want to deliver through those methods. Legal marketing acts like a fishing pole with the lawyer advertising "bait" attached. Once the "fish" (client) takes the advertising "bait" your legal marketing pole will reel them in.

Legal marketing is more of a strategy rather than individual methods like lawyer advertising. You need to use both together to achieve a well-oiled machine that produces new client leads while keeping current clients in your loop. To do this, you need to know how your advertising and marketing work together.

Ben Glass
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.