Determining your law firm’s name goes hand-in-hand with determining your market. If you are a personal injury lawyer, a personal bankruptcy lawyer, a divorce lawyer, or some other consumer-oriented attorney, you are going to require aggressive marketing. However, large corporate bankruptcy, business litigation, and niche, specialty areas may require a more traditional look.
For the specialty practices, the classic law firm style will probably be best. Many of your clients will have traditional ideas about working with attorneys, and a clever name may make your firm appear inexperienced.
If you're in one of the more aggressive areas of law, you have a lot more to consider -- especially if you work in personal injury.
Personal injury lawyers are advertising everywhere: billboards, television, radio -- even via direct mail based on accident report lists (in states where that’s legal). Branding yourself in the competitive personal injury market is going to be a challenge, but not an impossibility. If you live in or near a major metro area, you know exactly what we are talking about. The billboards are everywhere. “Have you been injured?” “Are you an accident victim?” “Call The Smith Law Firm.” “Call Smith, Jones, Michaels, & Steele.” “Call Davis & Davis.”
How is your name going to stand out from that crowd of traditional legal names? You will be lost in a sea of surnames, ampersands, and toll-free numbers.
Your law firm name can maintain the traditional “Law Offices of My Name” style, but by utilizing a DBA (doing business as or fictitious name), you can really make a statement. This, of course, assumes such practice is allowed in your state.
If you want to focus on motorcycle injuries, you could, perhaps, register a DBA of “Motorcycle Accident Victim Advocates.” Imagine an injured motorcyclist sitting up in the hospital bed, in a lot of pain, stressed about missing work, scrolling through the phone book, or online with his smart phone and coming across the “Motorcycle Accident Victim Advocates.” I think it's safe to assume that “Smith Jones Michaels & Steele” will not be getting the first look from this accident victim. You can apply this same tactic for your divorce, custody, family law, and bankruptcy practice, as well.
If your local advertising guidelines do not grant flexibility in the naming of your firm, a strong slogan is the next best thing. We will cover that next week.
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