When you’re building a brand for your law firm, it’s more than just slapping your name on a piece of stationery and calling it a day. Even though the legal profession doesn’t focus on aesthetics as much as tech and fashion, that doesn’t mean that you can ignore branding entirely. Creating a trusted brand for your firm will lend you credibility, make your firm and your services memorable and set the tone for every interaction you have, whether with clients, other attorneys, court staff and judges.
Design is key to creating a brand. Think of any major brand you love, from sneakers to kitchenware. A successful brand conveys their values, goals and what they can do for you within a logo or slogan alone—you can have that for your firm when you put thought into creating a great brand. Once you develop your brand, you extend that design to everything from the sign you hang out front of your firm to your business cards and letterheads.
The first thing that your branding will do for you is to lend your firm credibility—if you choose the right type. You should consider what it is your firm does (intellectual property firms will have a much different brand than criminal defense), what your values are and how you want to convey them to your clients.
One way to make sure that your brand looks credible compared to others is to do your research. If you’re a family law firm, research similar firms in your area as well as in major cities. How do they convey their message, and what elements can you repurpose to make your own credible brand?
Make your brand memorable
After you’ve gotten an idea about what you’d like to convey, you need to determine how. We’ve all seen TV lawyer commercials and billboards on the side of the freeway—do they instill a sense of confidence and expertise for complex cases? More likely, they look easy and accessible for the type of clients they’re pursuing: people who need help fast and don’t have time to research lawyers. This is effective branding for that type of firm, and can be quite memorable, but would not work for every area of law. You’ll need to find ways to stand out among the other firms in your field as well as in your area.
Set the tone for every interaction
Your brand sets the tone for every interaction you have with clients as well as other attorneys and witnesses. Just as we dress for court to show the judge, jury and even our clients that we show them respect, your brand also shows your clients and potential clients what they can expect from you. As a broad example, bright, modern design will convey a sense of youth, while darker colors and solid lines indicate tradition. As long as you pick a brand design that reflects your values and work, the brand will go a long way to set expectations.
The importance of branding can’t be understated: it helps convey your message and your method to the entire world before a client ever reaches out. Having a cohesive brand is the first step in making the best possible impression.