Cutting edge law firms are using the web for marketing in ways that make many attorneys cringe. After all, lawyers aren't supposed to advertise and market their services.
However you feel about law firm marketing, the publication of expert information on the internet by lawyers is here to stay. It isn't a coincidence that personal injury attorneys, which has been one niche practice area that has pushed the boundaries of law firm marketing, have been the earliest and most aggressive adopters of internet marketing. But lawyers across all other practice areas are jumping in with both feet as well. As with everything, there is good and bad to be found in online marketing by law firms. The undeniably great thing about online activity by law firms is that it is providing a tremendous amount of information to clients about their legal problems which, before the internet, simply didn't exist. Perhaps even more importantly, it has created, perhaps for the first time in the history of law, real competition among law firms. And by competition, I mean that clients with almost any legal issue can do a Google search and come up with dozens of law firms blogging or advertising their services. For the first time in the history of law, clients have the ability to survey numerous options before making a lawyer choice. Also important, clients are, for the first time in the history of American jurisprudence, able to educate themselves at an extremely high level concerning their legal problem before and during their representation.
I often wonder if the lawyers who complain the loudest about law firm marketing are simply the ones who want to keep propspective clients and clients vulnerable and in the dark as part of their own efforts to avoid having to compete in the first place.