You cannot drive down the interstate anymore without seeing a billboard for a lawyer’s office. Lawyer advertising is not new, but it has come a long way in recent years from just being on the back of the phone book.
There is an ongoing debate in the legal community about whether legal advertising is positive or negative for the profession. The one underlying question that rarely gets asked is: Why is there so much lawyer advertising? The obvious answer is simple enough: it works. The next question then has to be: Why does lawyer advertising work?
The answer to this question may surprise people. Many people simply do not know a lawyer. This can be easy to forget if you go to church with a lawyer or have a cousin who is a lawyer. Much of the population simply does not know a lawyer to call when they need one, and so they call the lawyers that advertise.
A view of the Alabama legal landscape can shed some light on this. There are roughly 17,000 Alabama licensed attorneys. This seems like a lot. However, there are only about 900 lawyer members of the Alabama Association for Justice, the interest group for lawyers representing injured people. With a population of over 4.8 million people, that’s under two trial lawyers per 10,000 people. Uneven distribution of lawyers throughout the state makes it even less likely that some people will know a trial lawyer. Simply put, there are large portions of the population that do not come into contact with lawyers on a regular basis, especially ones that represent people in personal injury and wrongful death cases. So, lawyers advertise for these cases, and people who do not know a lawyer call the lawyers who advertise.
Our firm’s approach to client engagement is different. Instead of billboard advertising, our firm focuses its energy on client satisfaction, community involvement and consumer education. We strive to provide exceptional service for our clients, and most of our new clients come as referrals from satisfied previous clients and from lawyers who know the work we do and refer clients to us.
The lawyers and staff at our firm are also regularly involved in community activities where we have offices, where we live, and throughout the Alabama Black Belt counties where we practice. If there is a community event or sports league in Union Springs, chances are good that we are sponsoring it, serving food at it, or helping coach a team. If there is a church event that one of our clients is helping with in Tuskegee, Hayneville or Phenix City, chances are good that we are helping with it in some way. When people ask what we do, we tell them that we are attorneys that handle personal injury and wrongful death cases and help people who have been taken advantage of in their financial affairs. They know that we care about the communities we serve, and so they remember us if they should ever need us.
The other way we engage the public is through education. This blog is one way we keep the public and potential clients up to date on important legal matters involving accident, injury, and consumer law. We are involved in Montgomery with our state bar and teach continuing education courses to other lawyers and legal professionals throughout the state on our areas of practice. Also, when clients have questions about something they received in the mail that seemed too good to be true or they have a simple legal question they need an answer to, we are happy to meet with them or take their call and help educate them on these matters without charging them anything.
Plaintiff’s lawyering is a people business, and the injury lawyers at Jinks, Crow & Dickson are client-oriented in our approach. The reason we are in business is first and foremost to help people, but it is also to build relationships and make friendships with clients and in our communities that last a lifetime. The best advertising we can do is to support our communities and do a great job for our clients who will tell their friends and family where to go when they need a good accident and injury lawyer.