According to the American Bar Association, there are 1,180,386 resident and active attorneys in the United States this year. With rising attendance in law schools, growing access to attorneys via websites and , and an economy that pushes prospective clients to shop harder for low-cost, high-quality attorneys, it is now more important than ever to stand out among all of the attorneys working in the United States today. As we all learned in junior high, there is no magic formula that will make you the most popular kid on the block, but here are a few steps you can take to get an edge on competition among legal service providers:
Don”t be afraid to be different and show your personality. Get rid of the generic attorney imagery that you commonly see on your colleagues” websites, business cards and letterheads. Instead of courthouses, gavels, suits and handshakes, choose imagery and logos that show off your personality and attract your target audience.
Sign up for LinkedIN, Facebook and Twitter. Social networking sites can help you increase visibility, boost credibility and improve the quality of your connections by allowing you to stay in touch with clients, showcase expertise in specific areas of law and engage in discussions with professional contacts.
Make lunch dates with other legal professionals. You may have exchanged business cards at a conference or local bar association event, but in-person follow-up meetings will strengthen your professional relationships and lead to quality referrals and business opportunities.
Start writing on a regular basis. If you haven”t already, start a blog for your firm”s website to talk about specific practice areas and news regarding your law firm, upload court documents from your law firm to websites like JD Supra and Scribd, write letters to the editor on topics that are important to your practice, and discuss articles on prominent legal websites and blogs.
Communicate often with clients and ask for feedback to perfect your customer service skills and create happier clients. In addition, personalize your relationship with clients by sending them a thank you note after you have closed their case file. In turn, clients will be more likely to tell others about the friendly, high-quality services they received from your law firm.