Taking Back a Lawyer's Position of Authority and Trust (Part A)

In the past, local attorneys were seen as a trusted source of help and information when it came to all matters legal and ethical in their communities. They were the ones you turned to when you felt you were in legal trouble. They were the sympathetic ear in times of financial or physical burden. They didn't really need to worry about legal marketing campaigns because their name was well known and respected in the community.

What happened to trusting your lawyer?

As the population grows, small-town-mentality goes out the door, and more and more lawyers are being pumped out of law school. As a result, we've seen an influx of attorneys who are all about quantity and not quality. Their legal marketing centers around the idea of "hundreds served" just like a fast food chain. Some even try to guarantee settlements before they even see your case.

These "fast-food lawyers" are part of the problem - they're creating the negative stereotypes that create public distrust of the legal profession in general
. Think about when you hear about a local doctor getting busted for medical malpractice - makes you reevaluate your current physician, doesn't it? A few bad apples spoils the bunch.

The Media Isn't Helping, Either

How many times have you seen the sleazy lawyer character in a comedy show? Sure, there are a lot of great dramatic legal programs and movies out there, but they aren't exactly good for your legal marketing strategies. Through mass media, legal marketing usually has us come across either as the "ambulance chaser" lawyer or the "slave to my profession" attorney. It's rare that any attorney advertisements feature a happy lawyer who is there for their family and a respected figure in the community - but we do exist!

It's up to your legal marketing campaign to show that not only are you still that beacon of legal knowledge that your neighbors can trust, but also that you're a human being just like them. Marketing for attorneys shouldn't be sterile, yelling sales pitches that only look for the case and not the client. Your legal marketing efforts need to focus on showing the aspect of the lawyer-client relationship that's too often missing: the relationship beyond the contract.

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