3 Things Law School Didn't Teach You About Marketing

by Sophia Khan

Think back to the last time you made a purchasing decision. How many friends did you confer with? How many websites did you consult? How many stores did you visit? People are hungry for information, especially when making decisions – and legal information is no exception.

With legal resources becoming increasingly accessible, it’s important that attorneys and legal marketers keep up with the demand. Purchasing billboard, TV, or print ads that you can buy and then forget about are no longer the only effective option. Here are three suggestions that will help you stand out when designing this year’s legal marketing strategy:

  1. Provide value over promotion.

We are coming into an age in which people do not want to be sold to (in the traditional manner, at least). They want more value up front. This means taking a more client-centric approach: drawing people in with useful and exciting content that solves a problem for them. When you put the client first, you are showing them that you care about more than their business – you care about their needs and the issues they face. Empower them to assess the value you bring to the table, and then allow them to make an informed decision based on that information.

This post on the Startup Lawyer blog shows how an attorney can provide value to his target audience without pushing a sale. The value is proven in the content.

  1. Not everything should look like a legal publication.

When writing on a legal topic, it’s easy to brain-dump all your technical knowledge onto a document that ends up looking more like a legal publication than a blog post. That’s fine – if you’re writing for The International Lawyer. When writing for clients, or potential clients, it’s important to speak their language. Assume the reader has no prior knowledge or context on the subject and make it relevant to them. Once you take out all of the legalese, your content will become much more approachable – and useful – to the reader.

Take, for example, our content on Informed IP. The idea behind this microsite was to create something backed by lawyers, but accessible to all.

  1. It’s OK to be bold.

Think about legal advertisements you’ve seen in the past. Are you envisioning images of a distressed potential client with a pressing question above their head (“Have you been wronged??”) or maybe a group shot of the partners laid over a jewel-tone background? Don’t be afraid to push these boundaries. Consumers are highly visual. Our firm loves the use of bold colors and strong prints – it is an outward display of who we are. Don’t be afraid to create offerings outside of the legal industry norm, as well: an e-book, checklist, or webinar. At the end of the day, it is important to stay authentic to who you are as a firm and to create something that will provide actual value to your audience.

Check out this website for European law firm Acapo – their minimalistic, yet strategic, use of color, icons, and typeface make for a compelling visual that draws you into a subject that may otherwise seem dry. 


By creating something that is valuable to the consumer, meeting them where they are and stepping away from the pack, you will be well on your way to engaging with clients and potential clients in a new and meaningful way.


Sophia Khan is the Marketing Manager at Gutwein Law. She manages the firm's digital presence, advertising efforts, and business development. Sophia earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business Communications from Albion College.

Gutwein Law Informed Intellectual Property Microsite