Marketing the Law Firm: Business Development Techniques

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Sally J. Schmidt

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“Sally Schmidt's book, Marketing the Law Firm: Business Development Techniques, is a bible, a must-read, and a springboard to law firm marketing for any new or seasoned marketing professional. Its frequent updates are easy to insert and the range of information is nearly exhaustive.”   —Rita Menz, former Director of Client Relations,
Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, LLP, New York

In today's economy, marketing and business development have taken center stage at law firms.Marketing the Law Firm: Business Development Techniques examines how marketing can improve client satisfaction and increase the bottom line for both corporate and consumer practices. No matter the size of your law firm, this pragmatic book shows you how to utilize client surveys, Web sites, brochures and collateral pieces, databases, newsletters, direct mail, seminars, special events, advertising, public relations, proposals, presentations, and interviews.

Marketing the Law Firm: Business Development Techniques is filled with case studies and examples of real law firm situations to help you put these tools and techniques into practice—and use them effectively. You'll find out how to: make realistic, long-term marketing plans for the firm, practice groups or individuals; market online; market a new capability; cross-sell your firm's services; create an “alumni” relations program; discover new business opportunities through market research, charitable contributions, and sponsorships; use flat fees as a billing alternative; train your lawyers—and your support staff—to be good marketers; surmount marketing obstacles; budget for marketing time, expenses and compensation; and measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. You'll also get up-to-date information on Web sites, extranets, client advisory boards, niche marketing and the uses of intranets. An appendix provides law firm marketing resources, including organizations, publications and studies.

Book #00613; looseleaf, one volume, 720 pages; published in 1991, updated as needed; no additional charge for updates during your subscription. Looseleaf print subscribers receive supplements. The online edition is updated automatically. ISBN: 978-1-58852-052-4.

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  • Availability: Available
  • Brand: Law Journal Press
  • Product Type: Books
  • Edition: 0
  • Page Count: 720
  • ISBN: 978-1-58852-052-4
  • Pub#/SKU#: 613
  • Volume(s): 1

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  • Sally J. Schmidt
Sally J. Schmidt, the first president of the Legal Marketing Association (LMA), is the president of Schmidt Marketing, Inc. Headquartered in Edina, Minnesota, her company has served hundreds of client law firms throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, Mexico and Australia. Ms. Schmidt has taught Principles of Marketing at the University of Minnesota, where she received her M.B.A. (in marketing) and her B.S. She is also the former Director of Client Relations and Marketing for a 100-attorney firm in Minneapolis and a well-known author and lecturer on law firm marketing topics.


Overview of Marketing in a Law Firm

§ 1.01 Why Law Firms Need Marketing
[1] Increased Competition
[2] Changing Professions
[3] In-House Lawyers and Decision-Making
[4] Case Law
[5] Specialization
[6] Firm Size and Composition
[7] Malpractice Issues
[8] Technology
[9] Economic Changes
[10] Client Demands
[11] Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO)
[12] Conclusion
§ 1.02 What Is Marketing?
[1] The Marketing Concept
[2] The Components of Marketing
[3] Marketing Functions
§ 1.03 A Client’s View of the Law Firm
[1] Quality
[2] Clients’ Evaluations of Legal Services
§ 1.04 The Marketing Process
[1] Research
[2] Segmentation
[3] Positioning or Branding
[4] Implementation
[5] Measurement and Control
§ 1.05 The Institution vs. The Individual

The Obstacles to Marketing in a Law Firm

§ 2.01 Introduction
§ 2.02 Intangibility
[1] The Negative Impact of Intangibility
[2] Dealing with the Problem
§ 2.03 Management and Administration
[1] The Negative Impact of Current Management Practices
[2] Dealing With the Problem
§ 2.04 Individualism and Entrepreneurialism
[1] The Negative Impact of Individualism and Entrepreneurialism
[2] Dealing with the Problem
§ 2.05 Marketing Information Systems
[1] The Negative Impact of Poor Information Systems
[2] Dealing with the Problem
§ 2.06 Production Orientation
[1] The Negative Impact of a Production Orientation
[2] Dealing with the Problem
§ 2.07 Ethical Restrictions
[1] The Negative Impact of Ethical Restrictions
[2] Dealing with the Problem
§ 2.08 Conclusion

Marketing Analysis and Planning

§ 3.01 Planning in the Law Firm
[1] Benefits of Planning
[2] Why Law Firms Do Not Plan
[3] The Essentials of Planning
[4] A Mission or Vision
[5] Marketing Planning Without a Firm-Wide Approach
§ 3.02 The Marketing Planning Process
[1] Planning Levels
[2] Approaches to Planning
[3] The Process
§ 3.03  Conclusion


Developing a Law Firm Image or “Brand”

§ 4.01 Introduction
§ 4.02 Definition of a Brand
§ 4.03 The Importance of an Image or “Brand”
§ 4.04 Difficulties in Creating an Image or “Brand”
[1] Individualism
[2] Organizational Structure and Management
[3] Short-Term Time Horizon
[4] Historical Complacency
[5] Intangibility
[6] Indistinquishable Names
[7] Ethical Restrictions
§ 4.05 Developing a Law Firm “Brand”
[1] Internal Analysis
[2] External Analysis
[3] Vision or Positioning Statement
[4] Manifestations of a “Brand”
§ 4.06 Conclusion

Selecting Marketing Tools and Activities

§ 4A.01 Introduction
§ 4A.02 Internal vs. External Activities
[1] Internal Marketing Activities
[2] External Marketing Activities
§ 4A.03 Measuring the Return on Your Marketing Investment
[1] The Measurement Process
[2] Examples in Measuring ROI
[3] Case Study in Measuring ROI
[4] Conclusion
§ 4A.04 Ethical Considerations
[1] Significant Decisions
[2] Highlights of Ethical Constraints
[3] Conclusion

Client Relationship Management and Marketing Information Systems

§ 5.01 Introduction
§ 5.02 Marketing Databases or Client Relationship Management (CRM) Systems
[1] Benefits of a CRM/Contact Management (CM) System
[2] Needs and Considerations in Developing a CRM/CM System
[3] Getting Started
[4] Examples of Uses and Reports
[5] Other Considerations
§ 5.03 Internal Information Collection and Management
[1] Benefits of Collecting and Managing Internal Information
[2] Information of Interest and Uses of Internal Data
[3] Organizing and Using Internal Information
[4] Other Considerations
§ 5.04 Measuring the ROI of a CRM/Information System
§ 5.05 Conclusion

MarketingCollateral Materials

§ 6.01 Introduction
§ 6.02 Purposes of Collateral Materials
[1] Providing Information About the Firm and its Capabilities
[2] Developing or Enhancing Firm Image
[3] Serving as a Marketing or Sales Tool
§ 6.03 Types of Collateral Materials
[1] Brochures
[2] Presentation Folders
[3] Practice/Industry Capability Pieces
[4] Lawyer Resumes
[5] Client References
[6] Annual Reports
[7] History Books
§ 6.04 Preparing Effective Collateral Materials
[1] Scope, Audience and Message
[2] Organizing Internally
[3] Solicit Input Sparingly
§ 6.05 Writing Effective Copy
[1] Be Distinctive
[2] Overcome Objections
[3] Organize the Copy Well
[4] Call the Reader to Action
[5] Stress Benefits, Not Features
[6] Other Suggestions
§ 6.06 Producing the Material
[1] Design
[2] Printing and Production
[3] Other Considerations
§ 6.07 Using the Final Product
[1] Passive Circulation
[2] In Conjunction With Other Activities
[3] Copies for Each Lawyer
[4] A Copy for Each Employee
[5] As a Follow-Up Device
[6] In Developing New Business
[7] To New and Existing Clients
[8] To Referral Sources
[9] Easy Access
§ 6.08 Conclusion

Substantive Publications, and Other Client Communications

§ 7.01 Introduction
§ 7.02 Substantive Communications
[1] Benefits of Substantive Communications
[2] Disadvantages of Substantive Communications
[3] Developing Firm Publications
[4] Other Ideas and Issues
§ 7.03 Announcements, Invitations and Other Communications
[1] Announcements
[2] Invitations and Other Communications
§ 7.04 Direct Mail or E-mail Marketing
[1] Writing and Design Considerations
[2] Developing the Distribution List
[3] Measurement and Follow-up
§ 7.05 Conclusion

Market Research and Intelligence

§ 8.01 Introduction
[1] Gathering Information
[2] Designing a Research Project
[3] Conducting the Research
[4] Analyzing the Data
§ 8.02 Client Surveys
[1] Benefits of Client Surveys
[2] Obstacles to Client Surveys
[3] Areas ofSurveys
[4] The Survey/Interview Procedure
§ 8.03 Market Research Techniques
[1] Written/Web-based Questionnaire
[2] Telephone Survey
[3] Personal Interview
[4] Focus Group
[5] Selecting the Research Method
[6] The Cost of Research
§ 8.04 Writing an Effective Questionnaire
[1] Types of Questions
[2] Sequence of Questions
§ 8.05 Other Market Research Applications
[1] Capturing Internal Information
[2] Evaluating a New Service or Location
[3] Researching a Prospect
§ 8.06 Conclusion

Substantive Programs and Client Entertainment

§ 9.01 Introduction
§ 9.02 Substantive Programs
[1] Benefits and Caveats
[2] Planning an Effective Program
§ 9.03 Client Entertainment
[1] Events
[2] Firm Anniversaries
[3] Tickets and Suites

Advertising and Public Relations

§ 10.01 Introduction
§ 10.02 Advertising
[1] Overview of Lawyer Advertising
[2] Steps of Effective Advertising
§ 10.03 Public Relations
[1] Benefits of Public Relations
[2] Media Relations Program
[3] Charitable Contributions and Sponsorships
§ 10.04 Selecting an Agency
§ 10.05 Ethical Considerations of Advertising and Public Relations

Proposals, Presentations and Interviews for Business

§ 11.01 Introduction
§ 11.02 Proposals
[1] Organizing Internally
[2] Researching
[3] Writing the Proposal
[4] Follow-up
[5] Conclusion: Proposals
§ 11.03 Presentations and Interviewers
[1] Before the Interview
[2] The Interview or Presentation
[3] After the Interview
[4] Conclusion: Presentations and Interviews
§ 11.04 Other Considerations for Proposals, Presentations, and Interviews

Pricing and Billing Techniques

§ 11A.01 Introduction
§ 11A.02 Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFAs)
[1] Problems With Hourly Billing
[2] Benefits of Alternative Fee Arrangements
[3] Methods of Alternative Billing
§ 11A.03 Billing and Invoicing
§ 11A.04 Conclusion

Industry Conferences or Trade Shows

§ 11B.01 Introduction
§ 11B.02 Potential Activities
[1] Attending the Conference Sessions or Meetings
[2] Speaking at the Conference
[3] Advertising in Conference Materials
[4] Sponsoring the Conference, an Event, or a Giveaway
[5] Exhibiting at the Trade Show
[6] Integrating the Activities
§ 11B.03 Preparing for the Conference or Trade Show
[1] Evaluating the Group/Meeting
[2] Establishing Objectives
[3] Preparing for the Conference
[4] Preparing a Budget
[5] Alerting Other Contacts
§ 11B.04 At the Conference or Trade Show
[1] Attending Sessions and Functions
[2] Exhibiting
§ 11B.05 After the Conference or Trade Show
§ 11B.06 Conclusion

Web Sites and On-Line Marketing

§ 11C.01 Introduction
§ 11C.02 Benefits of On-Line Marketing
[1] Client Acceptance
[2] Marketing Advantages for Law Firms
§ 11C.03 Web Sites
[1] Content of a Firm Web Site
[2] Mini-Sites or Micro-Sitesv
[3] Design and Organization of a Web Site
[4] Promoting the Web Site
[5] Assessing the Site’s Effectiveness
[6] Other Web Site Considerations
§ 11C.04 Marketing Through InternetTechnologies
[1] E-Mail
[2] Newsletters or “E-lerts”
[3] Business Proposals
[4] Online Legal Matching (OLM)
[5] Questionnaires and Surveys
[6] On-Line Seminars (“Webinars”)
[7] Client Service and Relationship Management
[8] New Services
[9] Extranets
[10] Podcasts
[11] Internet TV
[12] Quick Response (QR) Codes
[13] Video
§ 11C.05 Web 2.0 and Social Networking
[1] Listservs or Discussion Forums
[2] Blogs
[3] Wikis
[4] Social Networking
[5] Developing a Firm Policy
[6] Monitoring Your Firm’s Online Reputation
[7] Providing Social Media Training
§ 11C.06 Search Engine Optimization
§ 11C.07 Ethical Issues Involved in Online Marketing
[1] Responding to Inquiries and Questions
[2] Confidentiality
[3] Solicitation and Advertising
[4] Lawyer-Client Relationships and Conflicts of Interest
[5] Jurisdictional Issues
[6] Client Testimonials or Links
[7] Domain Names
[8] Suggestions for On-Line Communications
§ 11C.08 Conclusion


CHAPTER 12 Attorney Accountability and Involvement
§ 12.01 The Role of the Lawyer in Marketing
§ 12.02 Lawyer Marketing and Business Development Training
[1] Goals of Training
[2] Areas of Training
[3] Forums or Methods of Training
[4] Follow-up Methods.1
[5] Advice When Putting Together a Lawyer Training Program.2
[6] Conclusion.2
§ 12.03 Individual Lawyer Marketing Plans.4
[1] Justification for Individual Marketing Plans.4
[2] Benefits of Individual Marketing Plans.4
[3] The Individual Planning Process
[4] Conclusion
§ 12.04 Responsible Attorneys/Client Teams
[1] Responsible Attorneys
[2] Client Teams
[3] Concluding Comment
§ 12.05 Conclusion

Management, Coordination and Support of the Marketing Effort

§ 13.01 Introduction
§ 13.02 Responsibility for Marketing Management
[1] The Role of the Managing Partner/Management Committee
[2] The Role of the Marketing Professional/Department
[3] The Role of Administration.1
[4] The Role of the Marketer
[5] The Role of the Marketing Committee
[6] The Role of Consultants and Agencies
§ 13.03 The Law Firm’s Support for Marketing
[1] Mission
[2] Meetings
[3] Marketing Retreats
[4] Training and Education
[5] Resources
§ 13.04 Budgeting for Marketing
[1] Benefits of Having a Marketing Budget
[2] What Law Firms Are Spending on Marketing
[3] How to Budget
[4] Affixing Accountability
[5] Case Studies
[6] Conclusion
§ 13.05 Rewards and Recognition
[1] Partner Compensation Systems
[2] Associate Compensation
[3] Attorney Recognition
[4] The Role of the Marketing Professional in Rewards and Recognition
[5] Conclusion
§ 13.06 Follow Up
[1] Why Follow Up is Difficult
[2] How to Follow Up


CHAPTER 13A Marketing the Small Law Firm
§ 13A.01 Introduction
§ 13A.02 Advantages to Marketing a Small Firm
§ 13A.03 Disadvantages to Marketing a Small Firm
§ 13A.04 Developing a Perception of Expertise
§ 13A.05 The Steps to Marketing a Small Firm
§ 13A.06 Recommended Activities for Small Firms
[1] Marketing Intelligence
[2] Continual Communications
[3] Professional Marketing Materials and Web Site
[4] Media Relations
[5] Advertising
[6] Image
[7] Support Staff
[8] Promotional Activities
[9] Networks and Networking
[10] Client Service
§ 13A.07 Costs of Marketing Activities
§ 13A.08 Conclusion and Advice to Small Law Firms

Marketing a New Capability or Office

§ 13B.01 Introduction
§ 13B.02 Internal Activities
[1] Information Collection
[2] Education/Awareness Building
[3] Preparation for Cross Selling or Selling
§ 13B.03 External Activities
[1] Written Communications
[2] Face-to-Face Communications
§ 13B.04 Conclusion

Creating an “Alumni” Relations Program

§ 13C.01 Introduction
§ 13C.02 Potential Opportunities Which Alumni Bring
§ 13C.03 Establishing an Alumni Relations Program
§ 13C.04 Selecting Appropriate Activities
§ 13C.05 Conclusion

Cross-Selling Your Firm’s Services

§ 13D.01 Introduction
§ 13D.02 Obstacles to Cross-selling
§ 13D.03 Cross-selling Activities
[1] Institutional Cross-selling Activities
[2] Individual Cross-selling Activities
§ 13D.04 Conclusion

Service Quality as a Marketing Strategy

§ 13E.01 Introduction
§ 13E.02 Elements of a Quality Program
[1] Continuous Improvement
[2] Involvement of All Professionals and Employees
[3] Leadership and Commitment from the Top
[4] Client Focus
[5] Process and System Focus
[6] Measurement
§ 13E.03 How Service Quality Is Defined by Clients
[1] Components of Service Quality
[2] Status of Law Firm Quality Efforts
§ 13E.04 Quality Checkpoints in a Law Firm
[1] Personnel (Attorneys and Staff)
[2] Firm Management/Motivation
[3] Firm Administration/Resources/Systems
§ 13E.05 Beginning Quality Initiatives in a Law Firm
[1] Client Involvement
[2] Measurement
[3] Quality Checks
[4] Involvement of All Personnel
[5] Service Guarantees
[6] Recognition and Rewards
§ 13E.06 Conclusion

Client Service Strategies

§ 13F.01 Introduction
§ 13F.02 The Importance of Existing Clients
§ 13F.03 Client Perceptions of Counsel
[1] Good Clients Often Feel Taken For Granted
[2] Client Perceptions Are Reality for Clients
[3] Clients’ Views of the “Firm” Are Based on the Individuals With Whom They Deal
[4] Perceived Value Is More Important Than Fees
§ 13F.04 Improving Client Service as a Firm
[1] Build Relationships Around Key Clients
[2] Orient, Train and Reward People in Client Service Areas
[3] Implement Client Feedback Programs
[4] Be Good at Resolving Client Complaints
[5] Make Your Firm Easy to Do Business With
[6] Add Value to Client Relationships
§ 13F.05 Conclusion

Creating and Marketing a Law Firm Network

§ 13G.01 Introduction
§ 13G.02 Types of Networks and Associations
§ 13G.03 Purposes of Law Firm Networks
[1] Expanded Services
[2] Positioning
[3] Information Sharing
[4] Business Development and Referrals
[5] Sharing Resources
§ 13G.04 Considerations in Forming a Network
[1] Formality and Size
[2] Client Communication
[3] Exclusivity and Geographic Representation
[4] Similarity of Firms/Quality Control
[5] Role of Member Firms and Individuals
[6] Ethical Considerations
§ 13G.05 Marketing the Network or Association
[1] Internal Marketing Activities
[2] External Marketing Issues
§ 13G.06 Measuring the Impact
§ 13G.07 Conclusion



§ 14.01 The Future of the Legal Practice
[1] Continued Consolidation of Law Firms
[2] Continued Development of Networks and Associations
[3] Competition From Other Professionals
[4] Diversification
[5] Branching
[6] Methods to Add Value or Price Services
[7] Productizing and Packaging Services
[8] Continued Pressure by Clients
[9] Outsourcing
[10] Niche Marketing
[9] Continued Development of In-HouseMarketing Departments
§ 14.02 Advice to Law Firms in Their Marketing Efforts
[1] Develop a Market-driven Culture
[2] Plan and Focus
[3] Manage the Firm and Its Growth
[4] Decentralize Marketing Efforts
[5] Educate and Communicate
[6] Follow Up
[7] Measure Marketing Success
[8] Position the Firm
[9] Focus on Quality
[10] Be Creative
§ 14.03 Concluding Comment