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How Not to Be a Laughing Stock: 3 Dos and Don'ts for a Lawyer's TV Ad

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on July 17, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Thinking about making your small screen debut with your own lawyer TV ad? The potential payoff is huge, in terms of new clients -- as is the potential to become a laughing stock.

With all the YouTube vigilantes out there, an embarrassing or poorly produced law-firm TV commercial could make you the next viral video sensation, for all the wrong reasons.

To help you make the most of your lawyer TV ad, here are some dos and don'ts:


  1. Violate legal ethics rules. Each state's professional responsibility rules about attorney advertising are different, so make sure your commercial contains all the appropriate disclosures and steers clear of any unethical statements.
  2. Overuse legal cliches. Catchphrases like "We'll fight for you" and images like a pounding gavel are so overused in lawyer TV ads, they've become generic. Try to come up with more creative slogans and images that will set your commercial apart.
  3. Use too many special effects. Resorting to sound effects and flashy graphics may be attention-getting, but what does it really say about your practice? Check out this over-the-top example -- what type of law do they practice exactly?:


  1. Appear in your ad. An announcer or paid actors aren't as effective as speaking for yourself. Potential clients want to know what you look like and sound like before they hire you to be their legal representative.
  2. Seem approachable. First impressions are everything. Let your natural personality shine through in a short on-camera testimonial. But you may want to be careful what you say, unlike this guy:
  3. Work with professionals. You don't want to look terrible in high definition, so hire a reputable TV production company. Ask to see samples of their work, and reach out to others who've used the company.

Along with your lawyer TV ad, adding video to your firm's website can also help boost your bottom line. Check out FindLaw's Lawyer Marketing site to learn more about our wide range of professional video-production services for law firms.

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