Practice Tools

Marketing and Attracting Clients - Practice Resource Center



Diversify your marketing efforts for best results
By Laura Reed, Law Office Management and Economics, September 2012
Most attorneys will confess that referrals and relationships are the two most effective methods of marketing themselves and their practice.

Unbundling, or Unraveling?
By Dan Breen-Greco, Law Office Management and Economics, June 2012
What is unbundling? The short, and rough answer is that unbundling is a la carte legal services, where a lawyer might provide a few frames of a client's legal picture, as needed or requested, but that lawyer will not be directing the whole movie.

Does your voicemail irritate clients?
By Donald E. Weihl, Law Office Management and Economics, September 2011
If my call is important to you as your message says, why am I talking to this machine?

To Tweet or Not to Tweet?
By Helen W. Gunnarsson, Illinois Bar Journal, August 2011
You just don't get Twitter, you say? You're not alone. But many of your colleagues, including some who shared your skepticism, are using Twitter to reach out to fellow practitioners, communicate with the public, and make themselves better lawyers.

Building your online network
By Peter LaSorsa, Legal Technology, October 2010
Use these tips to improve your Internet presence and ensure your business comes up on the first page of a Google or Yahoo search.

Your client is cheating on you with another lawyer: Why client loyalty is disappearing and why your marketing (or lack thereof) may be to blame.
By Richard Davis, Law Office Management and Economics, June 2010
A few things you should be doing to "market" to your current clients so they don't wander.

Seek power: A woman lawyer's guide to self-promotion
By Emily N. Masalski, The Catalyst, December 2009

On October 20, 2009, Paula Hudson Holderman and Delilah B. Flaum, of Winston & Strawn coached more than 100 women lawyers on how to get over the "anti-networking" mindset and formulate a plan that will lead them to a more fulfilling career.

Law Firm Marketing 101
By G.M. Filisko, Illinois Bar Journal, January 2008
You didn't go to law school to be a salesperson, you say.
But you still have to sell yourself to prospective clients, especially if you're a solo or small-firm lawyer. Here are fellow lawyers' and marketing pros' tips for building your book of business.

Do We Blawg and How?
By Helen W. Gunnarsson, Illinois Bar Journal, May 2006
Political activists, social commentators, lawyers, people who love cats - everyone has a blog these days, it seems. So what is blogging (or "blawgging," in the case of lawyers)? Why do some lawyers do it? Should you join them?

Five good reasons why your law firm should advertise, and five good reasons why your law firm shouldn't
By Tom Simons, YLDNews, June 2004
Does anyone like a good healthy debate more than a lawyer? The truth of the matter is that the case for legal services advertising is particularly contentious, since there is compelling evidence to support both positions.

Client Development

Where have all the clients gone?
By Donald E. Weihl, Law Office Management and Economics, December 2009
Have your clients stopped calling? Is your daily mail just bills?

How to make your business development breakthroughs in the coming year
By Michael Cummings and Barry Schneider, YLDNews, April 2007
Take control of your career by embracing the entrepreneurial mindset and active behavior of a rainmaker.

Making it rain
By Jean A. Kenol, YLDNews, June 2008
One of the most intimidating and daunting thoughts for any lawyer who decides to embark on a solo or small practice is wondering where the clients will come from.

Farming more business—Learn something from a video gamer
By Jeff Krause, Legal Technology, June 2012
There is business out there, much of it just waiting for whoever simply makes the effort to pick it up.

Business development in the 21st Century: Building your personal brand online
By Erin E. Wright, YLDNews, April 2011
Potential clients and the public at large are online and are likely searching for you. Put your best foot forward by introducing yourself in a variety of online forums that are free, relatively easy to use, and exceptionally effective at increasing the value of your personal brand.

Key strategies for generating profitable new clients
By Byron G. Sabol, The Challenge, February 2011
Clients do business with, and refer business to, lawyers they know, like, and trust. By focusing marketing efforts on the strategies outlined in this article, women lawyers will become better known and liked by clients.

Marketing Ethics

Friending Your Enemies, Tweeting Your Trials: Using Social Media Ethically
By Helen W. Gunnarsson, Illinois Bar Journal, October 2011
Ignore social media at your peril - and the same goes for the Rules of Professional Conduct. Here's a look at the special ethical challenges that arise on Facebook, Twitter and the like and how to address them.

Talking About You
By Karen J. Dilibert, Illinois Bar Journal, December 2008
In ads or other communications to the public, make sure you aren't running afoul of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Blogging and legal ethics
By Helen W. Gunnarsson, Illinois Bar Journal, May 2006
Go forth and blog, experts say, but not without educating yourself about relevant ethical issues.

ISBA Advisory Opinions on Professional Conduct

  • 06-02, 96-10 Electronic mail
  • 03-05 Business cards
  • 93-10 In-person solicitation for pecuniary gain
  • 90-37 Initiating contact with potential clients
  • 763 Advertising books and articles by lawyer author
  • 749 Yellow pages
  • 727 Seminars – solicitation of business

Other Resources

Have a suggestion for a practice resource? Please email Mark Mathewson.

These resources are presented as educational resources for for ISBA members. They should not be relied upon as a substitute for individual legal research, and the ISBA does not warrant the accuracy of the information that appears in them.