Special Challenges facing Small Law Firms
Small law firms tend to have different needs than larger law firms. The typical small law firm tends to be a younger, newer entity that needs to build a consistent client base. In terms of generating client leads, some challenges that small firms face are:
- Lack of visibility in the legal and professional community
- Focus on one area of law leads to less “cross-over” references from other fields
- A limited amount of resources to devote to marketing and advertising
- Lack of networking experience, especially with newer solo practitioners
While a lack of resources is usually a factor, most small law firms are forced to engage in some form of marketing, whether it be placing a few ads in the paper or posting links online. In fact, a good number of legal ads are placed by smaller law firms, as larger firms may have less need for marketing efforts.
Advantages of Marketing for Small Law Firms
Small firms may be able to benefit from an organized and well-thought out marketing strategy. For most small firms, the most cost-effective form of marketing is web marketing, or marketing that is done online through the internet. Traditional routes like phone book advertisements are becoming less effective, since consumers are concentrated more on the internet.
Initially, a small law firm may be interested in placing their name in an online legal directory. This can be helpful, but there is a tendency for smaller firms to get “buried” in a long list of attorneys and firms on such sites. Thus, a small law firm may sometimes be required to think creatively when it comes to generating client leads.
In particular, attorney-client matching is a type of marketing that can help connect small firms with clients that they normally would not have access to. Attorney-client matching works by allowing clients to present their legal issues to attorneys. The attorneys can then review case information and select those that may be of interest to them. In this way, some communication is made between the lawyer and client well before the lawyer is hired.
Attorney client matching, or ACM, is quickly becoming a preferred option of marketing for small firms and solo practitioners. Without matching services such as those provided by LegalMatch, small firms would have to expend additional amounts of time and money on less consistent methods of advertising. For many small firms, online legal matching has proven to be an effective way to increase their firm’s exposure and visibility.