The Lawyer's Shot Seen 'Round Chicago
Marketing for Lawyers
Volume 2, No. 2
Two Chicago lawyers' new approach to marketing appears to have taken the Windy City's legal community by storm.
Rosaire M. Nottage and Eunice Ward hung out the shingle on their matrimonial law practice, Nottage & Ward, about seven months ago, and now are in the process of building up business with a somewhat unusual marketing program.
For starters, the Chicago legal community has been treated to a different kind of professional announcement, one that includes a shot of the practitioners.
"As far as image goes," says Ms. Ward, "while on the one hand [the photograph] might appear as an advertising technique, on the other hand we are attorneys in the field of matrimonial law, which is very, very, very personal."
Indeed the picture, taken in a photographer's studio, is not your typical lawyer photo. But then again, says Ms. Ward, matrimonial law isn't like many other areas of law.
People going through a divorce process "open up their souls" to their lawyers, says Ms. Ward, "We thought a photograph would be professional, but we didn't want cheesecake...it does give it a bit of a personal approach."
Ms. Ward notes that other areas of law could benefit from such an approach since, after all, "clients are consumers and they have an absolute right to know all about you, in addition to your license."
Nottage & Ward consists of Ms. Nottage, who was a partner at Chicago's Bell, Boyd & Lloyd, and Ms. Ward who was in private practice, and in setting up their practice, they have carefully outlined whom they want to reach.
The two-color announcement cards, in their typeface, have been sent to "the top 20 law firms in the city," among others, says Ms. Ward. Ms. Nottage explains that many of those firms service primarily corporate clients, so when it comes to divorce matters, they likely refer the client to a firm specializing in that area. And the two partners hope their professional announcement, which for the most part has been enthusiastically received in the community, will lead to those referrals.
Ms. Nottage notes that she and Ms. Ward "wanted to establish an instant identity. We were afraid that since we are women, we would get associated with poverty law."
"We put together a mailing list, determined who are market is and what our approach would be," says Nottage, "rather than a hit-or-miss" approach of people walking in off the street.
They would not detail the rest of their six-month marketing plan-some of which was inspired by Bell Boyd's program-though they say their approach resembles that which doctors in hospitals adopt when looking to attract patients for private practice.
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