Attorney Advertising — 25 July 2017

It’s not easy to run a successful law firm, and building it into a monster entity capable of taking on hundreds of high-profile clients is even harder. You need to not only win most of your cases, but you need to do it with smashing success in order to build a proper reputation which people will hear about through word of mouth. How do you do that, though? In order to ensure people know what your law firm is capable of achieving in the court of law, should it advertise case results in place of relying on other methods?

First of all, it depends on the region of the country and the associated laws. Some places do not allow law firms to post settlements and verdicts. It’s one of the reasons why lawyers are drawn to certain regions more than others. Even so, chances are you’ve heard about a massive case that was just settled for millions of dollars. You hear about that because the law firm that won the case wants you to know what it can do for you or people you know. A lot of the time these headlines are all about class action lawsuits–and they almost always contain a call to action: “Are you a victim? We can help!” Maybe that’s true, and maybe it isn’t.

One of the reasons the practice of advertising case results is so contentious is because the public usually only hears from a few of the biggest names who can afford to saturate the TV or social media space where people are most likely to notice. In addition, most of these advertisements speak only to the results without mentioning some of the finer details that a potential client really does need to know in order to make the right decision for him or herself. Sometimes the lawyers in question are top-notch with fairly earned reputations, but sometimes they are not.

Advertising case results can lead to legal consequences for the law firm in question if they don’t approach the decision wisely. If your firm advertises a specific result from a specific sort of case, and a client hires you expecting the same result for the same kind of case, then you might be sued yourself if you fail to deliver. Such a thing can absolutely demolish a law firm’s reputation. In some locales, it is required by law that you provide a disclaimer to ensure your client knows that the same result is not guaranteed.

This is why some law firms choose not to advertise on TV or social media. They don’t want clients to have unreasonable expectations that might not be adequately met. Another big reason why a law firm might decide against advertisement is the high risk of breaching confidentiality clauses attached to specific settlements. It depends on the firm, but sometimes the risks of advertising case results outweigh the limited rewards.

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