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Archive for the ‘Legal Marketing’ Columns

Business Excellence and Disney Water

The Disney Institute speaker launched us into a fascinating 90-minute presentation that started with an invitation to take a drink from a high pressure water hose, took us “off stage”, and left us inspired.

The 2011 Legal Marketing Association conference was recently held in Florida’s Walt Disney World — a great venue to ignite a conference that centres on understanding and improving the client experience.

Our Disney Institute keynote speaker was as well-rehearsed as any Disney production, but with plenty of nuggets to take away and consider. Disney, as an organization, is a model to follow and learn from. Yes, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Applying Legal Project Management Principles to Marketing Projects

My inspiration for this column comes from hearing Steven Levy and Rick Kathuria speak about legal project management at the Legal IT Conference on April 4th. Steven very effectively described the “Seven Habits of Effective Legal Project Managers” which included creating a project charter, clarifying stakeholders, minimizing waste and building a communication plan. Rick talked about how this was put into practice at McCarthy Tétrault through the implementation of a legal project management framework that involved the following four stages:

LPM Framework





So far, most of the focus in legal project management has been on applying . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Debriefing After Proposals

Responding to a Request for Proposal (RFP) is an expensive exercise. Proposals are labour-intensive, often last minute, and have the capability of greatly enhancing or diminishing a law firm’s reputation with the recipients. 

Lawyers find proposals intrusive on their billable hours and think that their marketing staff should be able to handle the process. However, even the best marketing staff, who can research the prospective client and pull together a decent first draft, needs input from the lawyers on the proposal team. They need the lawyers’ insights on the client’s legal needs. They need relevant, specific examples of the firm’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

What Makes a Good Testimonial for a Law Firm Website?

Many lawyers don’t think about testimonials until it’s time to create or update their website. Only then do they contact clients or send them a recommendation request on LinkedIn. The best clients are perfectly willing to provide a testimonial. Unfortunately, asking clients for a testimonial or a recommendation without providing any guidelines is likely to lead to bad testimonials.

By “bad testimonials,” I don’t mean testimonials that disparage the lawyer – indeed many bad testimonials are just the opposite – they praise the lawyer in glowing terms. Unfortunately, those glowing terms are often vague, which can lead to the impression . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing


I recently bought a new car. If you have done this in the last little while you know it can be quite the endeavour, and the choice available today is unprecedented. There are styles — sedan, convertible, station wagon, minivan, SUV, CUV, or truck. There are sizes — microcompact, subcompact, compact, midsize, or full size. There are fuel choices — gas, diesel, electric, or hybrid. There are transmission choices — standard, automatic, multi-clutch, or CVT. I could go on but you get the idea.

What do you do? And more importantly how do you choose?

In my instance, my wife . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Social Media – Fast Changes, but Slow Adoption

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss (I Can Read with My Eyes Shut)

Early adopters they are not, but lawyers I have found are keen to learn. But as a group, it’s the drive to action that’s the biggest challenge, particularly if it cuts into billable time or doesn’t have an immediate or positive impact that’s within sight.

I’ve been talking a lot about social media to client firms and larger audiences for a while now and the results bring varying degrees . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Law Firms Using WordPress: Beef Up Your Security

WordPress is one of best examples of an open-source community delivering a feature rich and market-leading product. From lawyer blogs to law firm websites, it has become as popular within the legal community as it has elsewhere. But the benefits of open-source software ownership inevitably come with some requisite cautionary advice.

Last January, I wrote about a hacking trend whereby automated scripts test every word in the dictionary trying to gain access to your WordPress administration password. This is a problem, not least because at least 55% of all content management system (CMS) installs operate on WordPress. 

It’s becoming clear . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Marketing of Philanthropic Activities

Marketing of philanthropic activities is not a new concept and now appears to be the norm for most law firms with their involvement in various charitable campaigns, fundraising events and pro bono work. What is surprising is the low profile these activities have on law firm websites and the lack of a consistent approach within the profession. An informal survey of 15 large to mid-size law firm websites found Corporate Responsibility under the following sections:

  • “About Us” section – 10 sites
  • “Student Recruitment” section – 4 sites
  • “Home Page” – 1 site had a direct link on its home page
  • . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Choosing a Marketing Consultant

In a previous column, I talked about managing expectations when you hire a marketing consultant or agency. Being clear about why you’re hiring a consultant and ensuring that everyone in your firm understands those expectations will get the relationship off to a good start. 

But how do you go about choosing the right marketing consultant for your needs? First, Beware the Brother-in-Law! So many law firms find their suppliers through their families. In-house marketing staff cringe when they hear the words, “My brother-in-law can do that.” That choice is being made not because of what is best for the firm, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

No Magic Pill for Lawyer Marketing

As we begin the new year, a lot of my clients are developing their 2011 marketing plans, and that means I’m getting a lot of questions about what they ‘should’ do to market their practices this year. Here’s part of an inquiry I received from an existing client:

I simply must know what works for lawyers in my practice area, in a similar geographic area. What I need to do is to focus on best practices of other attorneys specifically in these areas of law, and replicate them to the extent possible….

In other words, I need a direction: cable

. . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing


We are all creatures of habit and, at some point in our lives, we have tried to change our habits – whether to become more physically active, stop smoking or save money, there are countless ways we look to make change in our lives. Unfortunately, we often fail because the goal isn’t realistic and we don’t figure out how to make this change a part of our lives.

Trying to change a habit can be scary because we look too far ahead, rather than focusing on the task at hand. There is a reason many support groups use the “one . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

The “New” Marketing

Lawyers frequently lament to me that they wish they could focus on the practice of law, rather than being perpetually barraged with new and un-billable marketing and technology demands. There is a palpable longing for the halcyon days when such a pure life was allegedly attainable. The fundamental approach to marketing in the golden age — still deeply rooted in many lawyers’ DNA — was “Do good work.” 

Full-stop. Put another way, the prevailing ethos was “by one’s expertise shall ye be known.” Smart lawyers excelled. Smart lawyers who also happened to have a way with people were superstars. 

Against . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing