Legal marketing is complicated. You are subject to ethical rules and you are selling a service that is only used occasionally. That means you must create a memorable identity that holds up over time.
A logo or symbol representing your firm can help. A great logo helps identify your firm to the world. New clients will be drawn to it, making it a valuable marketing tool for your firm.
A law firm generally uses its founding partners as the name of the firm regardless of the addition of partners over time. To turn that name into a logo, ask yourself:
- What does your law firm stand for?
- What separates your law firm from others?
- Does your name say everything you want it to?
- Could the logo benefit from a design treatment or color?
Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct Rule: 7.5 Firm Names and Letterheads provides that “A trade name may be used by a lawyer in private practice if it does not imply a connection with a government agency or with a public or charitable legal services organization and it is not otherwise in violation of Rule 7.1.” Therefore, if you want to move away from the standard list of names, you can, just make sure to follow the rule.
For attorneys, the traditional symbols used in logos are usually gavels, scales of justice, and columns. They stand for law and order and are powerful icons; however, be sure they reflect your practice. Don’t just use stock images—hire a designer to incorporate the symbol into your name.
Before universal use of the new logo, share it with a group of people you trust—pick lawyers and non-lawyers. Usually someone in the group will see some problems. Don’t overthink it and trust your intuition. You’ll know which logo reflects you and your practice.
Once you have the logo, place it on your web page and every piece of correspondence that goes out of your office. Present it in the same way every time or the firm’s image will become blurred. Create a set of instructions detailing the proper use of colors, fonts, symbols, and placement of the logo to give stability over time. Regardless of whether you are creating a business card, a billboard, or a TV ad, the logo should be recognizable to past and future clients.
Use your logo on social media such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Both have pages you can create for your practice where you can share stories, events, recent articles, and blog posts. They help you connect with other lawyers, businesses, and potential clients, and both are easy to set up.
Once you have established a LinkedIn page, go to your profile, scroll down to experience and click on the pencil to edit. Next to the name of your firm is a grey box. By clicking on or inserting the firm name where indicated, your logo will appear in the box.
Creating a logo is hard. A finished logo is the result of a lot of thought and research into the firm, its target clients, and its lawyers. Logos can evolve over time. As your firm grows and changes, the logo may have to change to reflect the times. Handle the change wisely and your logo will continue to serve you well.
After years practicing law, Roberta Gubbins served as editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides legal content writing for lawyers. She is editor of The Mentor, the SBM Master Lawyers newsletter. Writing as Alexandra Hawthorne, she published a cozy mystery, Murder One in Midvale Corners.
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