The Lawyer’s Communication 1/2 – Differentiation
As you know, since 2014, lawyers have the right to communicate. If this communication is authorized, it is nevertheless strictly framed by the texts. This will fortunately not prevent you from communicating in different ways to make your message known (we will come back to this in a future article).
Today, in the general hubbub, and whatever the market you have chosen, it is likely that your prospects will be spoilt for choice. So you need to develop a message that catches their attention: only way to be the one they choose.
Differentiate to exist
As explained above (Article 2), presenting yourself as “a family law lawyer”, “an administrative law lawyer” or “a labour law lawyer” is a good start. Unfortunately, this will not be enough to allow you to emerge. It is important to build a distinctive message to be quickly noticed and identified.
An attorney in employment law can thus place himself as an advocate for employees or, on the contrary, as an advocate for employers. A family law lawyer can communicate on a particular aspect (international divorces…). An attorney in criminal law can of course present himself as a defense attorney or a civil party attorney. As for business law, it offers the possibility to present a circumscribed offer such as intellectual property, companies in difficulty or, for example, criminal business law. Look carefully, all areas of law lend themselves to this targeting exercise.
Depending on the market you have targeted, it may be relevant to strengthen your skills by adapting them. With a degree in rural law, I was able to practice urban planning law with a greater focus on the agricultural world. On a personal note, although I have never wanted to practice exclusively in rural law, my installation in an area close to the countryside has led me to perfect my skills in this area.
Simplifying and making its message accessible
To be understood and powerful, be sure to present your message in the interest of those for whom you will be acting. To simplify your message, ask yourself how you would present your activity to your parents (or children). Would you describe yourself as “a lawyer who specializes in labor law on the employee side” or “a lawyer who defends employees in their conflicts with their employers”? As a criminal lawyer, you can say that you accompany the civil parties from the filing of the complaint to the execution of the judgment. As an intellectual property attorney, you can say that you help companies to protect their brands, etc.
Your presentation will be all the easier as you will have well thought about your offer, your skills and your motivations (cf. articles 1 & 2). This presentation follows on from the previous steps outlined (summary definition of your offer, confrontation with the market, refinement of your offer, which becomes “remarkable”).
If you wish to become a remarkable and “disruptive” marketing expert, I invite you to discover the marketing vision of Seth Godin, the author of “The Purple Cow” https://www.conseilsmarketing.com/referencement/critique-du-livre-the-purple-cow-de-seth-godin/.
As a lawyer by training, you may feel that my advice is far too far removed from your concerns. It’s true that Seth Godin has inspired many more start-ups than he has inspired many more top lawyers. You are probably skeptical or worried. Don’t panic! It’s perfectly normal to be afraid! Don’t worry, an offer that misses its target will be easy to change and inexpensive. And if you miss, no problem. Before he succeeded, Thomas Edison never failed but “found 10,000 solutions that didn’t work. The advantage of our intellectual and intangible business is that we don’t have to invest in a new machine or create a manufactured product that took 3 years of research and development. Test your offer and you will see!
Moreover, nothing will prevent you, at least initially, from continuing to work in other fields than those you have put forward. But this “targeting” will allow you to give your firm a dynamic, a color, in a word: a signature. The next step will be to use as many communication levers as possible to make this signature known.
About the author
Presentation and introduction of Master Chloé Schmidt-Sarels.
Graduated from CAPA in 2012, I did not want to practice as a lawyer at all. So I started my professional career as the legal manager of a start-up company.
After a very enriching experience, a need for autonomy and a certain nostalgia for public law led me to settle down as a liberal lawyer.