Law Firm Advertising an Utter Waste of Time

law firm advertising From the Solicitors’ Journal 02/03/10:

A survey for the MoJ based on telephone interviews with more than 900 law firm clients has revealed that only five per cent chose their lawyer through advertising.

This proportion is smaller than the eight per cent who “saw local offices” and the same as those who found their law firm through research, either online or in directories like Yellow Pages.

The survey, by the National Centre for Social Research, aimed to give an overview of the legal services market before full implementation of the Legal Services Act and the arrival of ABS. The telephone interviews were carried out between March and June 2009.

The most popular way of finding a lawyer was through word of mouth recommendations by friends or family (29 per cent) or because clients had used the firm in the past (23 per cent).

A further 23 per cent found their lawyer through a referral. In most cases, 14 per cent, the referrals were made by non-legal businesses, such as estate agents or financial advisers.

Apologies for the slightly sensationalist headline!

But I guess the findings of the survey kind of make sense in many respects – certainly as far as traditional high street firms are concerned. But for the firms out there operating what could be euphemistically referred to as Tesco-law-type services - who typically handle bulk personal injury or conveyancing work, I guess the story is rather different. Browsing around the web, I’m continually amazed at the various banner ads for various types of personal injury lawyers who flaunt their services in the strangest of places within cyberspace.

Forging a great reputation for doing quality work is ultimately always the best marketing approach a small or medium size law firm can take.  They will also presumably be perfectly happy for the Tesco-law firms offering wholesale legal services out there to continue with their scattergun approach. 

You get what you pay for, after all.


  1. This, of course, does not apply to personal injury firms. ;)

  2. I meant that the advertising actually works, not that it's everywhere (including our blogs). ;D

  3. It really depends on where you're coming from. PI seems to be something that you realise you need once you see an advert - "have you been injured in an accident in the last three years?" "Actually, you know what? I was" whereas you don't realise you need a will, a house, human rights representation etc while watching TV.

    I'm sure it's also a matter of the particular client, I long ago decided that alcoholic drinks that advertised on TV didn't taste as good on average as ones that didn't, so I actively dislike companies that advertise "too much." Whereas other people actively follow advertising as an indication of what to buy.

  4. I'm not sure I agree about the PI distinction... I think that British society is now so litigious that the second they've tripped over or suffered some other misfortune, they're looking to cash-in with a claim for damages. So it makes a lot of sense for the Tesco-law type firms to make sure their name is well-known out there.

  5. On the general subject of TV advertising, I hate those new NatWest ads. How can anyone buy that nonsense?!

    Siminarly, the National Accidents whatever. Awful!

  6. Good point! I also remember cringing at a particularly awful Halifax ad earlier!! :-\

  7. The one with the radio? That's the worst advert ever!

  8. That's the one - absolutely hideous... what were they thinking?!?!


  9. Who gives you xtra?! Not Halifax!


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