Law Firm Branding: How to Make Your Firm Stand Out
By Mary Elizabeth Hammond
When you see the Nike swoosh, do the words “Just Do It” come to mind? Or when you hear “Give me a break”, do you finish it with “Break me off a piece of that Kit-Kat bar”? Your law firm may not have slogans or jingles, but it can still leave a lasting impression. How do you ensure your firm’s impression is a positive one? It starts with law firm branding. A strong brand will help your firm stand out in the legal industry.
In this article, we’ll cover the basics of branding a law firm and how you can improve your branding with:
- Unique selling propositions
- A brand promise
- Brand messaging and voice
- A target audience
- Branding elements
What is Law Firm Branding?
Your law firm brand is the impression you give to all clients and potential clients who learn about your firm. This includes your advertisements, your website, your logo, and even your lawyer-client interactions. Your brand should reflect your firm’s values and competitive differentiators. Think of it as the personality of your firm.
Why is Attorney Branding Important?
The American Bar Association reported there are 1.3 million lawyers in the United States in 2019. What sets your firm apart? One major differentiator is your brand. Strong law firm branding will:
- Raise awareness of your firm and reflect a positive image to your target audience
- Attract potential clients and help increase client loyalty
- Help your firm stand out in your geographical location and practice area
- Guide your firm’s marketing efforts
As an example of the effects of branding, let’s say someone is looking for an attorney for their divorce. After a quick Google search, they end up on your firm’s website. They find that the site is slow to load and difficult to navigate. On top of that, it looks like it hasn’t been updated in years—they can’t tell if your firm is still practicing. There is no mention of family law or divorce practice. The potential client moves on.
With strong law firm branding, this will likely be a more favorable scenario. For example, the potential client would see a clean and professional-looking website, headshots of lawyers, detailed information, positive case examples of their divorce services, and content that portrays a compassionate and trustworthy law firm. After this experience, they are more likely to seek legal assistance.
How to Improve Your Law Firm Branding
It can be overwhelming to develop and execute a branding campaign that yields optimum results. Establishing a brand takes time. Consider tackling one step at a time. Below we’ve broken down different aspects of attorney branding:
There are tangible and intangible aspects of your firm’s brand. Tangible parts of branding a law firm include visuals such as:
- A logo
- Color scheme
- Font choice
These visual aspects should be consistent across your firm’s main advertising channels such as your website, print advertisements, social media, and Google business profile. This will help make your firm recognizable. You may consider hiring a designer or branding consultant to ensure all of your marketing materials and tangible brand elements are cohesive.
Intangible elements of law firm branding include the mental associations and emotions people experience when they think of your firm. This is represented by:
Use these tangible and intangible elements to create a brand guide to build a roadmap for kick-starting your campaign.
Unique Selling Proposition
At the core of a strong brand is a unique selling proposition (USP)—the differentiating factor that sets your brand and firm apart from competitors. When determining your firm’s USP, be as specific as possible. Ask yourself—what advantages do you offer clients that other lawyers don’t? How can you show that in your branding? Write out your USP and refer to it when executing your brand campaign.
A brand promise communicates to current and potential clients the values that matter most to your firm. Write your brand promise as a short value statement that puts clients first. This approach will help position your firm in a positive light and keep it front of mind. It can even be used as part of your marketing.
For example, the Nevada Family Law Group reflects its firm’s values on its home page with its statement and imagery on the importance of families. This approach will likely resonate better with clients and increase the chances of scheduling a consultation.
Brand Messaging and Voice
Clear and consistent messaging and voice are essential for lawyer branding. Brand messaging should concisely represent your firm’s offerings and speak to your target audience. Avoid using too much legal jargon, as it may confuse or intimidate clients. Your messaging should be straightforward, authoritative, and clearly state what clients can expect from working with you.
Developing a brand voice will look different for each firm and practice area. Your voice should represent your brand promise and values in tone and language. For example, if you are in family law, your firm will likely want to use compassionate, warm, empathetic language. Whereas if you are a corporate law firm, you may consider using a more straightforward approach.
For instance, the California Personal Injury Attorneys (pictured below) make it very clear to anyone who visits their site that they practice personal injury law in direct and concise language. They also make it very easy to connect them with a clear call-to-action (CTA) and texting option.
You should build your brand around your target audience. Untargeted marketing and lawyer branding efforts are ineffective and waste firm funds. Purposefully targeting an audience during your branding campaign will help attract clients that are the best fit for your firm.
For example, you should ask yourself:
- Who do you want to provide legal services for?
- What does your ideal client look like?
Multiple personas may fit into your ideal clientele, and that’s ok. Create a persona (or numerous personas) of your ideal client to help guide your branding. These personas should be specific and include information about demographics such as age, location, gender, average income, education level, job title, industry, values, pain points, budgets, goals, and so on.
For example, the Moore Family Law Group showcases clearly targeted demographics in their messaging:
Once you’ve determined the core aspects of your law firm’s branding, position your firm as an expert in your practice area. Building your brand takes time, strategic planning, and financial investment. Invest in online marketing to gain visibility, become a reputable legal source, and familiarize yourself with the ethics of online marketing and branding for law firms, so you stay in compliance.
In addition, the American Bar Association has some great resources for growing your business.
Optimize Your Branding With MyCase
Now that you’re ready to invest in your law firm’s branding, consider utilizing legal management software such as MyCase. You can position your firm as a leader with a custom, professional website connected to your MyCase platform—making client communication as smooth as possible. Try a risk-free 10-day free trial to see firsthand how MyCase can help you achieve your best law firm branding.