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    How To Get Clients For Your Law Practice

    If you’re currently wondering how to get clients for your law practice – whether you’re a solicitor, barrister, paralegal or something else – this is definitely the post for you.

    If you’re just starting out on your own, but you are worried about where or how you’ll actually get clients for your law practice, I got you.

    No matter the rules of the jurisdiction you live and practise in AND your job title in Law, you are bound to find something in this post that will be of immense benefit to you – as long as you’re looking to get clients for your law practice.

    I’m calling it law practice, not a law firm, because you might be a barrister. In that case, if you are in a jurisdiction that has a fused legal system, what you would have may not be a law firm, but a set of chambers.

    You might also be a paralegal or a legal executive, so… you get the picture. You don’t have to be a litigator to gain value from this post. But you do have to be in some form of law practice or intend to be.

    Caveat: if you’re a Prosecutor for a State or Federal Government, it’s likely you have more clients/cases than you know what to do with. So, this post isn’t going to do you any good unless you’re planning to leave that office – whether to set up on your own or you’re considering a change of legal practice area entirely.

    And if you read to the end, you’ll definitely find something worthwhile you can use in these 7 ways to get clients for your legal practice below 👇

    So, grab a hot or cold drink and get ready to take notes or screenshot away!

    1) Figure out what you’re going to do

    You know by now that there are various areas of law – Contract Law, Intellectual Property Law, Education Law, Sports Law, Entertainment Law, Reproductive Health Law – that you can practise in. The list is infinite and growing longer as you read.

    You may have taken a couple or more of them as optional modules in university or in Law School. You might have heard the buzz about an area of law that intrigued you or piqued your interest.

    But what you need to know if you’re going to get clients for your law practice is that you’re best off not doing all of it.

    What I mean is it’s usually best for you to focus on a couple of areas of practice.

    Yes, you would have learned more than those areas at uni or Law School, but
    a) you do not have enough hours in a day or years in your life to practise all, well
    b) people (read as potential clients in this case) tend to prefer specialists.

    That’s not to say that if you choose to be in a particular area of Law, you can’t ever speak on a topic in another area or even pivot completely later on.

    But it helps to clarify things for you and others if you’re known for being outstanding in specific areas of Law.

    Now, if you are wondering how to find the one or two areas of Law you should focus on – my advice is to find the sweet spots between 1) what you are good at 2) that people will pay you for and 3) you actually enjoy. It has to include all three.

    There are reasons for this 👇

    • If you’re good at it and enjoy it, but nobody will pay you for it = you’ll be broke cos you’re engaging in a hobby.
    • If you’re good at it and people want to pay you for it, but you hate it = you may be rich, miserable and burnt out.
    • If you’re not good at it, so you don’t get it (and not everyone in legal practice gets all types of Law) = you won’t have any clients after a while.

    The mindset you need to have and operate with if you’re going to get clients for your law practice is that the practice of Law is a business. It doesn’t matter how much you want to help people; if you’re not getting paid somehow, you will stop.

    Your Bar or Law Society membership fees or practising dues won’t be renewed with your memories of a client’s smile. Or tears of joy.

    That trifecta of what you’re good at (so you know), that enough people will pay for and you actually enjoy doing are essential building blocks of any business.

    If you’ve thought about it and you’ve got too many options to choose from OR your mind has gone blank and you don’t think there’s any area of Law you’re so good at, that people would actually pay you – don’t panic. Read to the end and you’ll see how to get help you need to choose a practice area that chooses you as much as you choose it.

    2) Build a personal brand

    If you’re anything like some lawyers when I start working with them, you’re probably thinking, “Personal brand? What’s that and why do I need it?”

    The short answer is that it’ll ensure you get taken seriously. Which is what you want if you’re trying to get clients for your law practice, right?

    According to Google, a personal brand is a widely recognised and largely-uniform perception or impression of an individual based on their experience, expertise, competencies, actions and/or achievements within a community, industry, or the marketplace at large.

    What that means is, a personal brand is a bit more than your reputation. So, it’s basically the expectation you’ve created for people to have of you. It’s what they believe and say of you even when you’re not in the room to corroborate their opinion or defend yourself.

    Think about these names – Martina Cole. Lynda La Plante. James Patterson. Sophie Kinsella. JD Robb.

    If you know (of) them already, you’ll agree that there’s a consistent thread running through the books of each author listed. If you don’t already know who they are and you Google them, you’ll see.

    This is one reason I said in the previous point for you to pick a few areas to focus on. Not everyone will be your client and that’s completely fine. But the ones who are, want to see consistency.

    And that’s what a personal brand does for you. It’s says Hey, I do X (service) for Y (type of client) so that Z (intended result). It clarifies and helps you communicate the decision you made in Point #1 above.

    Personal branding is often the difference between the business/writer/lawyer that gets both repeat business and referrals, and the one who doesn’t.

    I write multicultural women’s fiction as Chioma Nnani, but it was only after I properly categorised what I was writing, understood for whom it was and why – that I started to see a difference. In other words, I created my personal brand.

    Personal branding can literally be the game-changer you need, no matter the industry you’re in. Cos people buy from brands they know, like and trust.

    And let’s face it, you’re probably not going to be the only one in your town, county, state or country who practises the type of Law you want to be known for.

    So, think of your personal brand as the differentiator you need if you’re going to get clients for your law practice.

    You can definitely build a personal brand that will get you taken seriously, without losing yourself or your mind.

    3) Market

    If your heart just skipped a beat or you threw up in your mouth a bit, I get it. But if you are going to get clients for your law practice, people do need to know what you’re doing.

    And the way to make them know is called marketing. I promise you, there are ways for you to effectively and legally market yourself and your services without

    • breaking the law
    • chasing ambulances (unless that is actually your business model and/or part of your personal brand and in that case, ignore this point)
    • getting in trouble with the regulatory body in your jurisdiction
    • being smarmy or feeling eeky about marketing

    I used to panic about marketing cos I did not know what it was AND I hadn’t figured out my personal brand.

    And if you’re afraid of marketing, there’s a good chance, it’s because you’re still/now in the same boat that I was.

    There are lots of marketing definitions, but the one that I go with that simplifies everything and my life is that marketing is telling your target audience WHY they should get what you want them to get (so WHAT it will do for them and HOW they can use it) and WHERE and WHEN they can get it.

    If you don’t have the answers to ALL ☝️ who, why, what, how, where and when questions when it comes to your law practice – then, whatever you’re doing to try and get clients, is not marketing.

    So, you’re just not going to get clients for your law practice; it’s really that simple.

    You can be dancing on TikTok, posting reels on Instagram, arguing on Twitter and going live on LinkedIn every other day.

    Yet, you’re not getting any attention from the people you want or worse, you’re getting noticed by the wrong people – because you’re not really marketing.

    I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with dancing on TikTok or being visible on any social media, but if a) you hate dancing on TikTok and b) the people whose attention you want aren’t even on that social media platform, why are you torturing yourself?

    Going viral has never and does not, in and of itself, paid/pay bills. If you’re in any doubt, ask reality television stars.

    When it comes to marketing strategies, the thing you need to remember is that you are trying to promote whatever you’re offering, in order to reach your target audience and build brand loyalty.

    In other words, when you’re trying to get clients for your law practice, there is no singular right way to market AND a strategy that is perfect for another legal practitioner could be an absolute disaster for you. I like to say that if you don’t know their motivation, budget AND network – you don’t know what they’re doing, no matter what you think you see on social media.

    So, why would you copy somebody who looks like they’re succeeding, when you don’t know what they’re really doing? Thinking about these things will help you conserve your energy and funds to focus them on activities that’ll get you the right results.

    That means you won’t spend money you don’t even have, renting a huge office in the most expensive part of town, that you don’t even need – just because someone else has an office there.

    You won’t beat up yourself and think you failed simply because you can’t go on a syndicated TV show to speak on a topic in an area of law you practise, like someone else.

    It means even when you go to networking events, you stand out and are memorable for all the right reasons.

    So, how do you market/communicate with your target audience when they don’t even know who you are?

    Like I said before, there’s no single right way. And it actually depends on who your target audience is AND what you’re trying to get them to do. But a few options are

    These options might sound like they’re counterintuitive or a lot of work or hard.

    But say you’re practising Consumer Law, you start the right kind of podcast in which you discuss consumer issues from a legal perspective (which is NOT the same as giving legal advice!) – do you see how your name will be one your listeners remember when they need legal representation or advice in the area of Consumer Law?

    Same as if you go on podcasts, start a blog, guest-blog, write a book or any of the other options I listed ☝️that works for you.

    So, you’re not actually giving legal advice in those outlets (there will probably be liability issues if you do), but doing these things would have showcased your expertise or made you an authority figure of sorts.

    And if you’re trying to get clients for your law practice, you want them to believe you know your stuff BEFORE they hire you. If they don’t, they’re not going to hire you.

    This also works for business to business, so if you’re a paralegal trying to get a law firm to be your client. Think of what’s in it for them and how to show them how it’s in their best interests to hire YOU.

    4) Serve, serve, serve your clients BUT do not forget to get paid

    Have you ever gone to a restaurant cos there was so much hype, but you became confused/angry when you tasted the food or encountered the customer service?

    Or you were promised vegetarian food yet you found pieces of meat in the salad?

    How did you feel?

    Do not let ☝️be the client who trusted you to deliver on what you promised in your marketing. People talk, vent on social media and sometimes, they sue.

    Unless you were on a full scholarship or you had a money tree behind your house/under your bed where you plucked money from to pay your tuition, I’m hazarding a guess that those Law School fees bit you some. And you don’t want it to be a waste because you’re on the wrong side of a suit for doing something wrong but avoidable.

    If you’re going to get clients for your law practice, make sure you are prepared for them. And that doesn’t just mean you; it also covers everyone you work with.

    If your name is on the paperwork and your business gets sued or bad press because of something that your employee or intern did, it might affect you reputationally, so…

    You also need to remember and figure out how to get paid, pay your taxes, staff, overheads, running costs, etc – so that you can continue to exist as a business after you get clients for your law practice.

    5) Referrals and testimonials

    I truly believe because I have seen (read as learned the hard way) that if you NEVER ask, the answer will ALWAYS be No. Even worse, you will never know what may have been.

    Some people don’t say anything about a service unless it’s horrible; they don’t know till they’re reminded, that you would appreciate it if they spread the good word about the excellent service you delivered.

    Meanwhile, you take it for granted that as they’re so happy, they’re going to tell every single person they know, about you.

    You need to remember that even after you get clients for your law practice, some are not repeat customers. They’re not supposed to be. Some, you don’t want to be repeat customers, but you may not mind them referring someone else to you.

    I mean, if you represented a defendant in a murder or product liability or insurance fraud case, they’re probably not going to return for a good number of years, if at all. And that’s regardless of the outcome.

    They might re-offend, but there are clients you may not want to return to you to deal with the exact same thing. But you need (and want) to keep working.

    So, ASK for referrals. It doesn’t need to be fancy or dissertation length. Just ask the client to answer in their own words

    • what was the problem and what effect did it have on you before you came to me?
    • how did I handle it and how did I deal with you during the process?
    • what was the result of my work and how did that change things for you?

    And you can put it on your website.

    Ask for referrals if you want to get clients for your law practice. Potential clients cannot read minds and if you’re good at something, they need to be informed.

    You can also request testimonials from your peers, who have worked with you. Not only can they refer new clients to you, they may also be able to tell others that in addition to being competent in your area of legal expertise, you’re not an a**hole/thief/degenerate.

    If you’re trying to get new clients for your law practice, it helps if they know that your personal stuff won’t more than make up for your professional abilities in a negative way.

    6) Continue your education

    Law is an area where you literally never stop learning because
    a) you don’t know everything about Law or life
    b) Law is constantly being updated cos life

    So, you’ll never know everything and that’s fine because you’re in good company.

    Nobody knows absolutely everything, so if you’re going to get clients for your law practice, you need to take advantage of all the opportunities you can to learn what you can about Law, about people and life.

    Clients and professional colleagues like when you’re knowledgeable; it makes the job easier.

    Just know as you try to get clients for your law practice that no matter how well-prepared you think you are, life (and people) can surprise you – for good and for bad. And sometimes, you don’t get a do over.

    My favourite mantra (and I wish someone told me this when I was a lot younger, it would have saved me so much aggro) is learn to recognise people, things and situations for what they are – not what your ego or emotion would prefer – and treat them accordingly.

    If you’re trying to get clients for your law practice, this is something you absolutely need to bear in mind. Some things you’d swear you know, are not what they appear to be. Some clients lie because they can. Sometimes, it’s because they’re afraid.

    There are times things won’t go your way and you’ll be blindsided by someone you thought was your friend, professional colleague or on your side.

    Sometimes, children fall sick, you break your leg or something beyond your control that knocks the wind out of you, happens.

    Some people, things and situations that you overlook or even discount at first, can turn out to be your greatest blessing.

    So, continue to learn what and where you can.

    7) Ask for help

    One of the ways you can get clients for your legal practice is to ask for help.

    I help young women in Law and Media develop strong voices, solid careers and stable personal lives.

    So, if

    • you don’t know what practice areas to focus on, but you want to formulate a vision for your law practice
    • you’re not sure what your personal brand is, but you want help finding out
    • communicating with your target audience in a way that’s clear, speaks to them and works for you is an issue for you

    you can book your paid consultation to ask for my help here.

    So, did you learn anything new or gain a new perspective to get clients for your law practice? Let me know in the comments section below.

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