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5 Tips: How Not to Make a Bad Lawyer Commercial

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD | Last updated on

My fellow writer, Mr. Peacock, is known around these parts as the resident bad lawyer commercial expert. Inspired by his ceaseless ability to find truly offensive lawyer commercials, I found one ad that I would be remiss to share, thanks to Above the Law. And with this post Mr. Peacock, a tip of the hat to you.

But we can't just endlessly make fun of people, can we? Well, we probably could, but in the spirit of trying to help my compatriots in law, I thought I'd give aspiring TV-ad-having lawyers a few pointers. If you, or a lawyer you know, is thinking about creating a television ad spot, please make sure you read this first.

1. Lighting

When it comes to photos and videos, it all comes down to lighting. Please don't set up a camcorder to shoot your own television ad. Hire a professional who knows the intricacies of lighting so they can help you look your best. (See also makeup).

2. Script

Don't just wing it. Write a script -- and most importantly memorize it. You don't want to look like you're reading. If you're trying to convince people that you're a great trial attorney do you think people will buy it if you can't even memorize three sentences? How you gonna get through opening statements?

3. Get it Right

There are no wraps after the first take -- ever. Film it as many times as it takes to get it right. Even if the first take ends up being the best, at least you'll have many options to choose from, or edit.

4. Tripod

Ok, I'll give the Roger Orlando the benefit of the doubt and attribute the shakiness of the video to the person filming the recorded ad from the television. That said, if you don't hire a professional (not recommended), then at the very least you have to use a tripod to record the video -- please no shaky ads. Not only will the viewers be nauseous, but you also won't come across as someone who is stable -- figuratively or literally.

5. Keep It Classy

As Ron Burgundy famously says, "Stay classy." And by that we mean, don't create a racist or offensive ad. Period.

Television is not for everyone -- otherwise there would be a lot more people in show business. If you feel it necessary to create a television ad, then at least go the extra mile and make sure that it's polished and professional -- Mr. Peacock already has enough to do.

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