August 29th, 2017
There are always a lot of disparaging remarks to be made when the subject of attorney advertising is broached. To be honest, I have made many of them myself. For the first nine years of my career, I worked in large insurance defense firms where the following was drilled into my head:
The practice of law is a profession, not a business.
As such, we should never advertise in the way that a business would.
That resonated with me, and for these first 11 years of my solo practice, I have done minimal paid advertising. Recently, I have re-evaluated my own thinking, and after conducting quite a bit of research, have completely altered my way of thinking on this controversial topic.
Following are some of the conclusions that I have reached:
- There is nothing fundamentally wrong with attorney advertising, as long as you follow your state bar’s guidelines. There is nothing morally wrong with attorney advertising as long as you provide the service for which you are advertising and do not advertise such that your firm grows in quantity of clients while sacrificing quality of service to those clients.
- If an attorney does not engage in some form of advertising, there is a significant amount of the population that will remain unaware of the attorney’s existence and availability to assist with legal matters. A colleague recently commented that attorneys have an ethical obligation to let people know that we are available to assist them with legal matters.
- What many people may not realize is that the vast majority of attorneys advertise in some fashion. Even attorneys who have a negative view of certain forms of advertising such as television, billboards, buses, etc., generally advertise in more subtle ways such as paying for a website, paying for “sponsored” ads on Facebook, paying companies for “search engine optimization” to ensure that their website is readily found through potential clients’ internet searches or paying to create videos that can be shown on their websites.
- While television advertising has long been viewed as distasteful by some, television is but one of many vessels used to reach the general population. The phone book has become nearly obsolete as more people turn to the internet to seek out attorneys and other service providers. However, I still speak with potential clients who do not readily embrace the internet; thus, if I do not advertise my firm or limit my advertising to the internet, there are people who may never know that I am available to assist them. Sadly, these are often the people who require the services of an attorney the most.
Ultimately, I have decided that in this ever-changing world and with the onslaught of social media, an attorney should participate in some form of advertising to stay relevant and noticed.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence and you would like to discuss your personal injury claim, contact Bass Law to schedule your free, no obligation consultation with Attorney Dondra Bass O’Neal. You may contact us directly through this website or by calling 912-344-4294.