Proven marketing strategies for criminal defense lawyers

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Last Updated: February 8, 2024

As a criminal defense attorney, you know that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. Every case is different, and to secure a win for your client you need to use a well thought out plan tailored especially for them. Shouldn’t you be doing the same with your firm’s marketing strategy?

With competition for new clients at an all-time high, your firm can’t afford to use the same cookie-cutter approach to marketing that all other law practices employ. Now’s the time to differentiate yourself from your competition. The following steps can help you get started.

Get specific with your legal expertise

Billing yourself online as a “criminal defense attorney” may seem like the obvious thing to do, but potential clients are looking for an expert in their specific type of case, not a jack of all trades. Examine your website, social media pages, and directory listings and replace any broad wording with precise language that plainly communicates your practice area and other vital details. Instead of “criminal defense lawyer,” consider “Chicago-based attorney specializing in DUI cases.” Getting specific with relevant keywords will not only reassure potential clients that they’ve found an attorney worth contacting but can give your website a boost in Google’s search results too.

Moreover, make sure to get specific with what sets you apart as a professional as well. There are a lot of attorneys in Chicago specializing in DUI cases, why should a client pick you? For example, do you have a background as a prosecutor? Have you worked any high-profile cases or won an award? Promote those things because it differentiates you from the competition.

Communicate a clear law firm brand

Criminal defense is one of the most crowded legal practice areas. To be successful in such a saturated market, you need to create a clear brand for your firm. This means being deliberate and consistent in the images, copy, and testimonials you feature across your marketing channels. An easy to remember brand that communicates expertise and professionalism is the key to standing out from rival law firms in the eyes of your potential clients.

The most effective brands go beyond just selling your services by creating an emotional connection. Put yourself in your client’s shoes for a minute. A good lawyer takes the time to empathize with their client, making them feel at ease and cultivating a feeling of trust. Your brand should do the same. Whether you choose to portray yourself as a fierce fighter in the courtroom or a comforting, reassuring advocate, make sure your brand resonates with and inspires confidence in your target client base.

Be social as an attorney

Creating a social media presence for your firm is one of the easiest ways to reach new clients. In fact, many consumers are increasingly turning to Facebook, rather than Google, as their first resource when searching for a local business. Furthermore, getting active on social media offers another avenue through which to reinforce your brand, feature testimonials, and connect with prospects.

Remember, while there is an abundance of social media platforms out there, quality trumps quantity, so resist the urge to overextend yourself. A robust business page on Facebook and LinkedIn that you post to several times per week is more than enough for a small or medium-sized law firm. It may be tempting to create profiles on Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms, but keep in mind the more accounts you have, the more effort you must devote to social media management and content creation.

Engage in your community and public legal education

Fostering Local Community Engagement: As a criminal defense attorney, your local reputation is invaluable. Active involvement in your community can significantly enhance your firm’s visibility and establish you as a trusted legal resource. Participate in or sponsor local events, offer pro bono services to those in need, and engage in community-based legal education programs. This not only demonstrates your commitment to the community but also puts a human face on your legal practice, making potential clients more comfortable in approaching you with their legal issues.

Providing Legal Education and Resources: One of the most effective ways to build trust and authority in the criminal defense realm is through educating your audience. Create and share resources that inform the public about their legal rights, the criminal defense process, and what to do if they’re accused of a crime. This could take the form of blog posts, downloadable guides, infographics, or short educational videos. Hosting free legal clinics or Q&A sessions, either virtually or in person, can also offer direct value to your community while highlighting your expertise.

Turn to the experts on criminal defense marketing

Overhauling your online marketing efforts can be a time-consuming task, and as a busy criminal defense attorney, time isn’t always on your side. The digital marketing experts at FindLaw can help. Whether you’re looking for help on a PPC campaign or want a brand new website, our professionals have years of experience and offer a variety of custom solutions for every price point.


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