There are two ways most attorneys get new business- by advertising and by referral. I recently spent some time (as if I had a choice) consciously studying what these lawyer ads were actually saying.
One of the most popular pitches seems to be the lawyer who used to work for the big, bad insurance companies that they’re now suing on behalf of their wronged clients. I guess working for an insurance company now qualifies them to sue one.
“All the things I learned on their side, I can use for your side!” proclaims the former insurance company lawyer.
And the next most popular lawyer ad in Florida is the one who shows the attorney who was a former Deputy Sheriff, as if to imply they have the inside track because they were once in law enforcement. I never quite got the connection.
I like the billboard ads that show the lawyer’s name and a nickname in quotes, like “Bulldog.” Presumably he will be a “Bulldog” in the courtroom on your behalf. How about the ad of Larry “The Hammer” Stanley- “CALL ME AND I’LL HAMMER”? This ad asks: “INJURED? GET THE GORILLA!” David W. Smith, PC.
Talk about prejudice… “Prefer a Jewish lawyer!” What’s his religious affiliation got to do with his legal ability?
And speaking of bringing religion and humor into advertising, one attorney asks the question: “What’s the difference between a lawyer and God? God doesn’t think he’s a lawyer!”
Spencer and Associates beat Johnny Cochran to the punch with this slogan: “CHANGE YOUR PAIN TO RAIN!” Johnny would be flipping over in his grave because he didn’t think of this one: “NO EVIDENCE, THEN NO CONVICTION.” Sounds logical to me.
Another trend, especially in Florida, is to show clients who have received huge payoffs because they hired a particular attorney. Third party endorsements from pro wrestlers seem to be a movement in some states. Nothing screams credibility like an endorsement from a pro wrestler.
One lawyer with a slick mustache has a billboard that screams a simple message “GET WHAT’S YOURS!”
An LA Attorney brags on her advertisement that she’s a “Dopest Attorney” whatever that means. Perhaps is should say DOPIEST. Her sub-text asks two questions: “Need a warrant recalled?” and “Want to smoke dope while on probation?” She says she’s a Harvard Lawyer. I’ll bet.
There’s an attorney by the name of Jamie Casino who brags that he doesn’t represent criminal villains anymore, only innocent victims. I guess he grew a conscience. His quote at the bottom of his ad says simply “At some point a man must ask himself why God created him.”
Perhaps the oddest advertisement was seen in a newspaper in Minnesota. Attorney Robert M. Kaner ran an ad that expressed thanks to all the many people who phoned his office to express their condolences as a result of the death announcement that appeared in a local paper. The ad went on to offer condolences to the family of Robert L. Kaner, who was actually the deceased.
There’s a Philadelphia lawyer named Larry Lefkowitz, who superimposed his picture on the statue of Lincoln, with a quote to the side “IN LARRY WE TRUST!”
A Pittsburgh lawyer has the audacity to advertise “I may have a law degree but I think like a criminal!” He has a number of criminals (portrayed by family, friends and relatives) who endorse him for getting them out of trouble. His ad also portrays him sitting behind two miniature tanks on his desk. He does get an A+ for creativity.
One billboard by an attorney with his dogs in his lap proclaims “TRUST ME, I’M A LAWYER! (My dogs do)”. Another pictures a bald attorney saying “Injured… don’t pull your hair out! Contact mybaldlawyer.com!”
My favorite lawyer billboard of all was a picture of a homeless man in Las Vegas. He’s holding up a handwritten sign that says “WILL REVIEW DOCUMENTS FOR FOOD.”
Michael Aun is a syndicated columnist and writes a weekly column for this newspaper. To contact Michael Aun, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.