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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of January 22, 2013

LawBiz(r) newsletter

This past week, we heard from Lance Armstrong the details, though not to the extent desired by USADA, of his transgressions against the rules of cycling. It is a sad day when our heroes "fall." Though his actions hurt a lot of people, he also helped a lot of people. He is responsible for raising almost $1 Billion for cancer research.

And, as a "by the way," the normal routine is to give the trophy to the next in line after the title is stripped from the cheater. In this case, there is no one to give the title to - all the other potential candidates have either admitted to doping or been convicted. So we have "lost" an entire decade. But, if you look at the history of cycling on Wikipedia, you'll see that taking banned substances has always been the curse of professional cycling. An amazing history of drug use.

Will I still ride my bike? Yes.     Will I still wear the yellow band? Yes.

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What Should Your Advertising Say?

Recently I advised a caller on the content of an advertisement that he wanted to place in order to provide notice that his practice was for sale. There were some specific content ideas that I suggested to do this more effectively. It occurred to me that, in a more general way, they applied not just to selling a practice, but generally to selling a lawyer's services through the use of advertisements.

There are ways to be memorable and differentiated from other lawyers and these can be embodied in your advertising. If the statements in it are truthful and avoid misrepresentation, your ad content should convey a message that is memorable and differentiates you from other lawyers. In this regard, lawyers are no different from others who do the same type of promotion. So far as the ultimate concern of the client - and legal ethics - the quality of legal service and not the degree of salesmanship and promotion is what's important.

In this regard, your advertisement should above all create a message and emotions that encourage others to make contact with you. Your ad should answer the fundamental questions that potential clients would raise. Who are you? What do you stand for? What would it be like to work with you as a lawyer? Where might you as their lawyer have common ground with your clients, over and above their legal matters?

Ultimately, because your goal is to be working with those who see your advertisement, you want to create the impression that they will be dealing with a reasonable and likeable individual. Potential clients want to empathize with their lawyer, so your ad must give them the basis to create that empathy. Specifics about the way you approach your practice are essential for doing this. Make sure your advertisement specifies where you are located, the specific type of service you provide and how in a general way you charge for them ("no fee for an initial consultation," for example). Through such specifics your ad should be designed to encourage potential clients to contact you. If they have a need, they will seek to learn whether the firm's skills match their needs. In the end, the decision is that of an educated buyer. Good advertising is the process of educating your public that you exist and that you can assist them. Any ad that does not do this is a waste of your firm's time and money.

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In this issue:

What Should Your Advertising Say?

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