Precedent can be the Enemy of Your Law Firm Effective Marketing

Precedent can be the Enemy of Your Law Firm Effective Marketing


If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. So when looking at revamped or new marketing efforts, find approaches others have not tried.


Lawyers are trained to rely on precedent. Stare decisis is an essential element of the law.

When it comes to marketing, however, many of the best ideas give precedent no consideration. In many cases its existence in your competitor’s marketing means your adoption of it will result in strategy or tactics that are dull, predictable or overused. They will do nothing to differentiate your firm or its lawyers in any meaningful way.

No successful managing partner would say: “The key to successful marketing is to do what everyone else does, exactly, and well.”

So when looking at revamped or new marketing efforts find approaches others have not tried.

Here’s an example of a twist that rejuvenated a tired old tactic. Rather than offer a presentation on the new overtime regulations, one firm last year included a series of questions about overtime in its invitations. Invitees were asked to answer the questions in advance of the seminar and to do that online. The results of the poll were announced at the eventand areas where business owners and HR professionals gave incorrect answers became the topics that were reviewed by the presenting lawyers.

The survey also was fodder for a press release that obtained solid coverage. The results were posted on the firms’ Web site and eventually mailed to all who were invited.

This was a successfuland unprecedented way to offer a business development staple. [1]



  1. Bob Weiss is president of Alyn-Weiss and Associates, Inc., a Denver-based marketing consulting group which has worked with both corporate, transactional and defense firms and contingent fee practices nationwide for more than 20 years.

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