Advertising for Lawyers: The Definitive Guide for Law Firms

advertising for lawyers

Back in 1977, after the State Bar of Arizona prohibited advertising for lawyers, Bates challenged the act, and the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that attorney advertising was no longer impermissible, but legally allowed as commercial speech provided it's not misleading. After that, publications and broadcasts dominated. These days, thanks to technology, lawyers can now leverage both online and offline advertising.

Through combining various approaches like Facebook, Google ads, radio, TV, print, and other miscellaneous advertising for lawyers, your campaigns get to reach out to targeted areas. That brings about new clients. Once you give them value, you build a reputation, generate profit, and witness your law firm's exponential growth.

Are you an outgoing veteran or a new lawyer in town looking forward to having your name out there and enjoy the crazy conversions? Well, congratulations, that's a million-dollar decision! Though quite rewarding, many lawyers are yet to implement this concept and feel that advertising their services is overwhelming.

Here's the good news! Whatever the situation, this definitive guide on advertising for lawyers has you at heart. We'll comprehensively look at the various useful and actionable ways to advertise your services, why and how to do it, not forgetting the best practices to help you achieve your advertising goals.

advertising graphic

What Is Advertising for Lawyers?

Advertising for lawyers and law firms is a marketing tactic aimed to reach multiple legal prospects, inform them about your intentions, and if all goes well, win them.

Any advertisement (ad for short) that an attorney places or purchases in digital or traditional media, whether verbal or written, with an intention to push their message across and attract attention and conversion is generally legal advertising.

Does Advertising for Lawyers Really Work?

Definitely yes, and more than it did years back!

Advertising is among the multiple ways (just like word of mouth networks, referrals, among others) that lawyers can utilize to let the general public know about their services. With 97% of people knowing about local business online—including law firms and 90 percent of American adults listening to the radio every week, it's without a doubt that advertising works, and it's worth your time and money.

It's even better with the improvement of how advertisements used to be done previously. Some changes in analog methods and continuous advancements of digital advertising for law firms has made it possible to personalize advertising content and win specific prospects.

However, you must advertise appropriately and per the law if you want to scale your law firm by building and maintaining a massive client base. That introduces us to yet another thing, attorney advertising rules.

The Lawyer Advertising Rules

Lawyers enjoy constitutional protection on the right to advertise their services. However, as we had said earlier, they should not mislead the general public to their advantage. That's why lawyer advertising is regulated by both state and federal law to ensure that they stick to their professionalism while observing ethics and dignity.

rules for lawyer advertising

According to the American Bar Association, honesty, appropriate communication in every advertising approach, and understanding the respective laws set by your state is key when it comes to the solicitation, advertising, and marketing for lawyers.

The standard rules aim to achieve aspirational goals meant to benefit both the prospects and the lawyer. It's because lawyers are obliged to show their commitment to service, guarantee public confidence, ensure truth and accuracy, and deliver competent and affordable services.

Getting Started With a Toolkit for Effective Lawyer Advertising

Before you commence your advertising journey and leverage various strategies, it helps to have an advertising toolkit to guide you and make everything easy and goal-oriented. It's because you'll know what you stand for and what your law firm needs.

With 62% of legal searches being non-specific about the lawyer's name or specific personal details, you have no reason not to design your toolkit, embrace the advertising ideas, position your brand and convert clients you've never thought of before.

law firm marketing need a boost

Having said that, let's look at the key soul-searching questions to answer as you get your advertising toolkit ready. They include:

Do you Need Analog or Digital Advertising?

Analog and digital, also known as traditional and online advertising, are the major options for advertising your legal services. Analog involves print, radio, and so on. Online advertising, on the other hand, involves mainly pay-per-click, Google, and social media ads.

The main thing here is to know which channels to maximize your advertising time, effort, and resources. Focus on where your clients are. If they are offline, go for traditional advertising. However, with internet users spending an average of 7 hours and 31 minutes per day, it's evident that many prospects are now online. It's ideal to try both methods and way the results.

How much is Your Advertising Budget?

The best answer here is that: it depends. You need to know your goals and aspirations and budget to meet them. But first, how much is your law firm making annually? If you're already earning, approximately 10% of your firm revenue will do you good. Remember, you're investing, and you have a chance to double your income.

advertising budget

If you're starting, know how much you're ready to spend on advertising. It might confuse you, but we have the answer for you. Don't be extremely excited about the whole idea and spend up to the last coin. Start with a small budget and raise it as your law firm grows.

What's Your Law Firm Brand?

With over 1.3 million lawyers in the United States, it tells you there is fierce competition in the legal industry, and you need to give your legal prospects a convincing reason as to why they need to choose you over other lawyers. Branding creates a unique space for you and attracting clients becomes easy.

If you want to build a brand that guarantees clients trust and loyalty, define your firm values, remain consistent, and prioritize being authentic. Prospects want to deal with someone who delivers what they advertise. Someone real. Sorry, but the reality is that no one has time for fake legal pretenders.

Do You Have Advertising Prowess?

Whenever most lawyers hear advertising or marketing, a little confusion sets in, especially when you're doing it for the first time. It's even more confusing when you have a backlog of cases that awaits you.

If time allows, invest in knowing how to execute your law firm marketing successfully. One thing you have to know: outsourcing your advertising work to a reputable law firm marketing agency ensures your law firm operations run smoothly.

If you make a concrete decision on each of the above questions, you're on the right path and ready to take your law firm advertising to the next level. Again, if you're working with a team or a law firm advertising agency, let them know what you're up to, to align their actions with your goals.

How to Advertise Your Legal Services and Grow Your Firm

Statistics indicate that advertising across the various media exceeded $240.7 billion in 2019, and the value is projected to increase in 2020. That's a clear indication that businesses and professionals are leveraging various advertising methods like never before, and your law firm is not an exception.

Whether you're a solo lawyer or operate a law firm, there are several online and offline ways to advertise your legal services. You only need an advertising idea and the right combination to get you started.

types of advertising for law firms

At a glance: Here are the ways to leverage advertising for lawyers.

  • Facebook advertising for lawyers
  • PPC advertising for lawyers
  • Radio advertising for lawyers
  • TV advertising for lawyers
  • Print advertising for lawyers
  • Miscellaneous advertising for lawyers

Facebook Advertising for Lawyers

Facebook is the most popular social network accommodating almost 1.79 billion active users daily and an average of over 2.7 billion monthly audiences in 2020. That tells you that it's a perfect go-to option for lawyers looking forward to advertising their services in a vast platform with multiple potential prospects.

With exponential growth that doesn't seem to slow down in the near future, every lawyer can position their services and build a relationship with clients, allowing them to enjoy leads, boost their brand awareness, and grow their law firm.

law firm marketing looking to accelerate4If you're not into Facebook advertising for lawyers, you're giving your competitors a chance to outshine you.

Why Facebook Advertising For Lawyers

Do you really need Facebook advertising for lawyers? Simply yes! Here are the reasons why it's worth it.

It's possible to customize your Facebook ads. Multiple options await you, and you choose what suits your purpose. You can also place ads on your website, Facebook page, or any other place, and decide on your preferred format, image, text, and budget.

Another beautiful thing about Facebook advertising is the capability to target specific demographics, making it possible to deal with a particular audience based on their relationship status, location, gender, age, interests, and so on. It's about narrowing down to target prospects, and not masses.

Facebook ads for lawyers are quite affordable, and you dictate what you intend to spend. If you're a beginner, you don't have to worry much. With a budget of $1 to $5 daily, you're good to go. Set your budget and adjust based on the performance of the ads. Keep tracking the progress in Ads Manager, and make changes when necessary.

Getting Started with Facebook Advertising for Lawyers

Your Facebook advertising journey begins with creating an ad account. Here, you get to follow a procedural process that requires you to set account information, billing, and payment details and account limits.

After that, review your ads, and if they appear how you want, you're ready to proceed with your campaigns. What comes next is creating a Facebook ad that reflects your marketing and advertising goals.

Here's how you do it.

Start with choosing your objective. Facebook has multiple options, and you have to define your goals. Do you want engagements, traffic, reach, brand awareness, or anything else? Be specific.

Once you're done with the objective, select your target audience based on the demographics and niche.

Next, decide where to run the ad. Do you prefer Audience Network, Messenger, Facebook, or Instagram? Follow your prospects.

Choose a budget. Whether its daily or lifetime lawyer ads have a budget, you can manage at ease. As we said earlier, start with a small budget and grow it with time.

Decide on the format and publish your ad. You can choose video, slideshow, image, among other options. With everything perfectly done, send the ad to auction for activation.

Your Facebook ads appear at the newsfeed or the right-hand column. In either of the spaces, you can place either of these eight (8) types of Facebook ads for lawyers: Event ad, video ad, photo ad, multi product ad, local ad, boosted post, offer ad, or retargeting ad for interested legal prospects.

Pro-tip for Facebook advertising for lawyers: Your Facebook ads must have quality images that give a visual and appealing touch to prospects. Coupled with a call to action and linked to your landing page, you increase your chances of converting new and existing clients.

PPC Advertising for Lawyers (Google Ads)

Pay-per-click advertising (or PPC) for lawyers involves online advertising endeavors that marketers and members of the legal community pay to display their ads for clicks, impressions, and conversions. That means you pay a small fee every time prospects click the ad (Google Ads).

pay per clicks ads

Most often, when people think about PPC, the first thing that comes to mind is Google Ads. The Google PPC network is quite popular among lawyers looking forward to reaching prospects across a vast region. You can place your ads on YouTube, Google search, and apps and websites that have partnered with Google.

With Google dominating the global search market with 86.02% market share, the majority of world searches happen via Google, making it an ideal PPC advertising option for lawyers.

You must have seen those ads that appear in search results when you query a keyword. Those are Google Ads.

Why PPC Advertising For Lawyers (Google Ads)

You probably want to know why you should invest in Google ads for lawyers. Here we go!

If you've specialized in a certain niche, your number one goal is to gain access to where your legal prospects are to get your intentions known. With Google Ads, it's quite possible to target a specific audience based on legal interest, age, and other demographics. That makes it a worthwhile option for lawyer advertising.

It's evident that lawyer PPC advertising is quite costly due to the competition and value of legal search keywords. However, the money you spend depends on keyword configuration, your ad showing frequency, target setting, and location. If you want to spend less, be specific in your targets, and set limits to your bids and clicks.

Google ads can give you immediate organic results when you want to rank on Google for competitive keywords and drive traffic to your law firm website. Enhance your campaigns to ensure the right people find your ad. More so, come up with a perfect landing page.

Getting Started With PPC Advertising for Lawyers (Google Ads)

Create a free Google Ads account. You need an email and a business website (though not mandatory) to sign up. The easiest way is signing to your active Google account if you already have one. The entire process is simple and straightforward.

It's now time to build your Google Ad campaign. Remember that you're focusing on your goals. Whether you want to boost your leads or traffic, know your stand.

You'll realize that once you have the account, having your ad up and running is not a challenge if you have the right basics and follow instructions.

Here's how to set up your PPC advertising for lawyers:

Choose a budget you find comfortable for a start. Run the campaign for a few weeks and check their performance by tracking them to know if you need to adjust the budget.

You'll also need to define your audience and services. Who are you targeting? Set specific keywords related to your advertising purpose. Let's say "family divorce lawyer Atlanta" or "divorce attorney near me" when targeting prospects in need of a family lawyer.

Set your bid by defining what you can pay. Google Ads allows for two (2) bidding options, i.e., automatic bidding that saves you time or a manual bid that allows you to set a maximum amount.

Write the ad. Include a precise and sweet keyword. Let the ad tell what legal prospects can get from you. Link it to your landing page and end with CTA.

Pro-tip for PPC advertising for lawyers: Prepare for Google Ad advertising by doing some keyword research. While the Google Ads Keyword Planner tool allows you to analyze your keywords, premium tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs Keywords Explorer are also excellent.

Radio Advertising for Lawyers

Many lawyers often overlook radio advertising for other alternatives. Perhaps it's due to inner instincts that tell them it's not the best option. Well, radio advertising for lawyers is not a direct ticket to boost your billable hours, and that's why, just like other methods, you have to use it correctly.

radio advertising

You probably don't know that radio is a force to reckon with in the advertising space even in this day and age. 90% of adults in the United States are turning on their favorite channels for a listen every week, and around 67% of citizens are now listening to online radio every month. The number rising every day tells you that radio is still a solid opportunity for lawyer advertising.

Radio is ideal for both new and established lawyers. Bankruptcy, criminal defense, personal injury, real estate, family law, DUI-DWI, wills and estate, employee rights, and immigration law are among the top practices that benefit from radio advertising.

Why Radio Advertising for Lawyers

So let's say you want to purchase a radio ad space for lawyer advertising. Is it worth it? Let's get the answers below.

Radio advertising covers all demographics. Whether you're a general practitioner or a specialized attorney, you're sure of passing your message to the audience. It's even better when you know what kind of audience attracts the radio of choice. Generation X, millennials, and Generation Z are all into the radio.

Sometimes you want to communicate your presence as you let people know about your legal brand. Radio is perfect for your law firm brand awareness within the local area. Once listeners get to know you, they'll browse your website to learn more and contact you.

Radio has maximum local exposure, making it quite influential. The ads create a feeling of immediacy, and listeners are prompted to act. Again, there is so much repetition of the ads to ensure the message sticks in the prospect's mind.

Law firm advertising on the radio is likely to cost you less than you'll spend on TV ads. But what's the exact figure? Well, it depends on the radio charges, location, nature of the advert, and timing. It can be a few bucks or hundreds of dollars.

Getting Started With Radio Advertising for Lawyers

Start by recognizing that radio advertising, just like other methods discussed in this guide, requires a strategy, clear details, and best practices. You must clearly state who you are and what you're up to, and how listeners can know more about you.

Consider the following for a power start and successful lawyer advertising on radio.

Focus deeply on the production stage. Most lawyers hire professional talents like a local DJ for a voice-over. Other stations have live read advertising, and the presenters on the session read your ad at the right time. While it's upon you to decide, focus on value.

Your ad content matters a lot. You know what your firm deals with and what message you need to pass. Craft your content or hire a professional. Direct response radio style that maximizes attention on the ad headline, problem, emotion, solution, and a call to action works perfectly.

Define the right time for your radio ad. When are ideal prospects listening to the radio? Is it during the morning and afternoon drive, midday, evening, or overnight? Before you settle on a timing schedule, know your prospects' habit to maximize the reach.

Have the right context. You're in for a big surprise if you think any radio will help you achieve your advertising goals. It doesn't work like that. Does your choice of radio play country, hard rock, or easy-going songs? Is it a talk radio? Where in their program will you place the ad? Get those questions right and know what works for you.

Pro-tip for radio advertising for lawyers: Your radio ad runs for thirty to sixty seconds. Be creative on content and sound. Observe simplicity and clarity without overwhelming your legal audience with many unnecessary details.

TV Advertising for Lawyers

You've probably seen those law firm commercials that often run on TV: your competitor's ads. But still, you're reluctant to commence your campaigns. Like radio, some lawyers don't find the need for TV advertising, especially when digital advertising seems quite promising.

But hey, how people used to consume TV has changed. Whether at home, on the move, or anywhere, viewers can now access most TV channels from their smart mobile devices.

Statistics indicate that 95.9% of U.S homes watch television, with 6 in every 10 young adults preferring streaming online to watch their favorite programs. Simply put, TV is still a go-to medium whenever you want to put your message across.

Why TV Advertising for Lawyers

Does TV advertising for lawyers work? A simple answer is yes! But you have to get everything right in your advertisement.

tv advertising

Let's have a look at why TV advertising is still valuable.

TVs can reach a very large demographic. You benefit from exposure to millions of viewers. Whether it's those that know their legal rights or others that have heard about an attorney of your category for the first time and they have a case they want to know if it's viable, you get to reach a majority.

TV advertising for lawyers grabs attention fostering some emotions. With the repeated advertising for maximum impact, strategic placement of the commercial, and adherence to quality, you make a long-lasting impression, and legal prospects will remember you at the time of need.

Getting Started With TV Advertising for Lawyers

TV advertising revenue is projected to rise to 72 billion by 2023. That's a clear indication that every business, including law firms, are advertising. You must, however, know what's expected of you. But how do you go about it? Where do you start?

Here's what you need to prioritize to position your TV ad and enjoy exponential conversions.

Know your audience. Despite TV commercials reaching a greater audience, your ultimate goal is to work with channels that match your target persona while airing your ads at the right time. That's how your investment pays off.

Write the best message. Have the best idea concerning your practice, and write it down. Set the tone, pace, and emotion of the content right. Capture your audience fast since your ad runs for less than a minute.

Match your audio and video. Whether you have real people, illustrations, or animations on your TV ad, match everything, and have it in the right context. TV ads must be well visualized and relevant.

Weigh your budget. The cost ranges from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. It depends on whether you air your ad on the local or national networks, the ad schedule, frequency of advertising, and the production costs.

Pro-tip for TV advertising for lawyers: Know the estimated ad reach and best timing that allows you to target a specific legal audience. Such a move, coupled with a few negotiations, cuts your advertising cost. Include a strong call to action for immediate calls and emails from prospects.

Print Advertising for Lawyers

You might have heard the pervasive rumors that claim print advertising is a few steps to its extinction. Well, let's be honest for a moment. Print media still wins the hearts of many people, making it a preferred spot for lawyer advertising.

With 1.33 million lawyers in the United States, it's no brainer that you'll experience extensive competition in your niche. Leveraging one method of advertising will not give your law firm the exposure you need. It would help if you exhausted multiple ways to stand out—and print advertising is one of them.

Why Print Advertising for Lawyers

Statistics indicate that 82% of customers have immense trust for print ads (newspapers and magazines), and they'll make a purchase decision without any worry upon being convinced with the ad. That tells it all.

Here's why print advertising for lawyers will make you money.

Print advertising is ideal when targeting law clients. But you need to choose an appropriate print media that addresses the specific prospects. For instance, if you're a real estate lawyer and place your ad in real estate magazines, you get to reach potential clients.

Many people still value tangible content. That's why they still prefer hard copy to soft copy books. It happens even in the legal space. TV, radio, and digital ads don't have a tangible aspect that accompanies print ads. Again, print ads remain in the newspapers.

Lawyer advertising converts better when there's credibility. Choosing the best print media boosts you and your firm credibility and showcases your authoritative stand. Let's say advertising in a well-known national newspaper.

Note that print ads cost will vary. On average, you'll spend $200 to $20,000 on most print ads. The price varies based on color, ad size, and publication of choice. Weigh the various publications to determine the cost.

Getting Started With Print Advertising for Lawyers

Whether you want to exploit the print options like newsletters, magazines, or newspapers, know where to start. Be very picky on the publication you settle for, have your audience in mind, keep it local, and tell a story.

print advertising

Once you have that in mind, create a print ad for your law firm. Here's how to go about it:

Draw attention. Your headline and sub-headline (if any) act as a hook and must compel the reader to find out more about your legal services.

Observe simplicity. Write less but keep it to the point and avoid complicated legal jargon. There is so much in the magazine that readers want to read.

Don't fill your ad with images because that won't sell. Be unique. Include precise yet satisfactory information like what you do and who you want to serve, accompanied by a few relevant media.

Call to action. Tell your prospects what they need to do next. Include your phone number, address, or any other contact information.

Pro-tip for print advertising for lawyers: Place your print ad in publications that embrace printed and mailed advertising. That gives you a chance to reach both online and offline prospects, boosting the ads response rates.

Miscellaneous Advertising for Lawyers

Other than the above-explained advertising options for lawyers, more alternatives guarantee perfect results when used appropriately. They include:

Billboard Advertising for Lawyers

For many years now, lawyers have used stationary and moving billboards to advertise their services. Billboards incline the message to a consumer mind, making it possible to recognize the ad. A study shows that 80% of travelers can recognize an ad in a billboard at some point.

Digital billboards have transformed the experience by boosting the legal clients' experience through increased visibility and branding. That gives your law firm a competitive advantage and an increased ROI.

Podcast Advertising for Lawyers

The popularity of podcasting in the legal space is growing rapidly. Start by building a platform. Remember that you don't have to buy time; you can guest post or post ads in various places and link them to your webinar or blog landing page.


A legal podcast showcases you as an industry top player, and that attracts multiple clients. People trust your expertise, and the influence will fuel your business growth.

Social Media Advertising for Lawyers (Twitter and LinkedIn Ads)

With digital advertising taking center stage and over 3.8 billion people spending almost 3hrs a day in their platform of choice, lawyers cannot overlook social media advertising.

Other than Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are also top choices for clients seeking legal services. Posting your ad in either platform positions your law firm rightly while giving you a chance to interact with prospects.

Leverage Advertising for Lawyers and Start Attracting More Clients Today 

Now that you have the foundation to help you plan and execute your advertising campaigns, combine advertising ideas that work for you online and offline. Your prospects will easily find you, and you'll be happy to turn them to active clients.

If you still have questions or any concerns that you'd like us to discuss concerning advertising for lawyers, you're welcome. Get in touch, and let's have you on our schedule. No obligation. Just a good conversation.

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Shawn Manaher
Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of Ignite Marketing. He's one part local business growth specialist, one part campaign strategizing ninja, and two parts leader of an awesome nerd pack. He won't eat pancakes unless you call them flat waffles.
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