How Creating Content Can Help Law Firms Connect with Clients 

If you’ve researched how to market a law firm (or any business, for that matter) online, you have undoubtedly come across advice telling you to create and post more content. When I first got into this business more than a decade ago and was told that a website “needed content,” I assumed they meant images and other visual elements. I guess it had never occurred to me that someone was actually writing all of the words on the site and that those words had a significant impact on how well the site performed in searches for particular queries. 

Generally, content refers to any media that conveys information, whether it’s written text, video, or audio. The internet has an insatiable appetite for it, and creating good content has the power to connect your legal practice with new clients and provide a substantial ROI. 

The Right Content Can Improve Your Rankings in the SERPs 

From a technical standpoint, content has the ability to get your firm in front of new clients by improving how well your website ranks in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Studies show that websites with more content tend to rank better, and the more pages and blogs you have, the wider you can cast your net for potential internet queries.  

For example, it’s all well and good to have a “Motor Vehicle Accidents” page on your website, but if you drill down into car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrians accidents, etc., you have a better chance of appearing in searches made by injured clients. 

Your Content Should Demonstrate E-E-A-T 

While Google doesn’t make its search algorithm public, it is clear about what it wants from content. In order for content to rank well on the search engine, it needs to demonstrate experience, expertise, authority, and trust (E-E-A-T). This is especially true for pages that could have an impact on a person’s future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety – commonly referred to as Your Money or Your Life pages (YMYL).  

How can your law firm content pages demonstrate E-E-A-T? 

  • Make sure readers can verify the information on your site. For example, if you discuss a statutory legal provision, link to an official .gov source. 
  • Create a robust About Us page that highlights the attorneys in your firm. Include information about where they went to law school, community involvement, notable case results (if permitted by your state bar), publications, and other biographical information. 
  • Make sure your content provides value to the reader. 
  • Create content for people first, not search engines. That said, be sure to follow SEO best practices regarding website content. 

It’s Important to Keep Your Content Fresh 

Importantly, you can’t just create a piece of content that initially shoots to the top of the SERPs and just rest on your proverbial laurels. Content “freshness” is a confirmed ranking factor, and I’ve personally seen our own pieces of content go straight to the top of the rankings for high-volume queries and drop over time as other pieces outrank it.  

It’s important to regularly produce high-quality content of interest to your potential clients in order to maintain your SEO rankings. In addition, repetition of your message is key. That isn’t to say you should post the same content over and over again – in fact, Google will ignore it if you do. It’s also not about saying the same thing in hundreds of different ways. It’s about repeating the message – specifically, that you can help people with certain types of legal problems – within the context of providing useful information. 

For example, if you are a DUI defense lawyer, you might want to produce blog content titled: 

  • Do I Need a Lawyer for My First DUI? 
  • What are the Penalties for a First DUI? 
  • Is a First-TIme DUI Serious? What are the Defenses to a First-TIme DUI? 
  • How Long Should I Wait to Call a Lawyer after a DUI Arrest? 
  • How Can a DUI Lawyer Help Me? 
  • DUI FAQs 

This list could go on and on. While all of this content should be unique, it should also ultimately focus on why the reader needs legal counsel and how a lawyer can help. The more content you create, the wider the net you are casting to connect with your potential clients. 

Content Can Establish Your Firm as a Thought Leader 

While improving your site’s positioning in the results is certainly a worthwhile goal in and of itself, regularly creating content can also establish your firm as a thought leader in your practice areas. By positioning your website as a go-to source for information, you can increase your firm’s standing in your community and develop a reputation as a subject matter expert. 

Doing so can lead to other forms of exposure, as well. An owner of a well-regarded PI marketing agency recently quipped to me that “talking about yourself is great, but having other people talk about you is better.” 

When you create lots of content about things you know about, you increase the chances that you are going to be quoted in publications, asked to do an interview for your local news, invited on a podcast, or asked to speak at an event. In other words, content can turn into exposure, which in turn can lead to tons of new business and opportunities. 

Put Your Content Out There 

Relatedly, you should explore multiple channels in your content marketing efforts. Posting on your own site is great for your SEO and builds authority, but look for other places to publish things that you create. For example, I regularly publish in Attorney at Work and Attorney at Law Magazine and am always looking for new places where our potential clients may be lurking online to publish. 

As a B2B business, we focus on publications that are read by legal professionals. For a law firm that works with individuals, you may consider publishing content on other law firms’ websites, local newspapers, news websites, or websites of interest to your target clientele.  

Not only does publishing content on other sites increase its reach, but it also results in more backlinks, which can significantly improve your site’s SEO. You can think of backlinks as “votes of confidence” for your website, and the more you have, the more relevant your site is in the eyes of Google. 

Creating Great Content Takes Time and Effort 

It’s clear that a modern law firm needs to engage in regular content creation in order to stay competitive in the digital marketing space. Unfortunately, creating content takes a significant amount of time. And it’s not just the actual writing that takes time. In order to regularly create content that ranks, you need to:

  • Engage in keyword research 
  • Come up with content topics 
  • Optimize your content for SEO 
  • Post your content and engage in on-site optimization best practices 
  • Promote your content on social media and other channels 

As a busy practicing lawyer, there is a good chance that you simply don’t have the time to either learn how to be a content marketer or create the content itself. Fortunately, the attorney-led team at Lexicon Legal Content is available to help. We create optimized blogs, practice area pages, FAQs, e-books, video scripts, and other forms of content designed to improve your website’s rankings in the SERPs and get your potential clients to pick up the phone. Contact us today to learn more.

What’s the Point of Law Firm Blogging, Anyway?

If you have done research on how to market a law firm online – or any business, for that matter – you’ve undoubtedly come across articles advising you to create content and blog regularly. While it is certainly true that this is good advice, the reality is that many of these articles don’t address the why of blogging. 

If you are just creating content, throwing it at the proverbial wall, and seeing what sticks, it’s not going to provide the results you want.  Understanding why you are blogging is important to doing it well, creating content that your potential clients want to read, and also determining what resources you should devote to it. 

If you are just starting out and have time on your hands, learning how to blog may be a good investment. On the other hand, if you’ve got a busy practice or don’t have the desire to learn all the ins and outs of proper blogging, it’s probably best to outsource your content creation efforts to professional legal content writers.

Let’s explore some of the reasons it’s so important for law firms to maintain an active blog as part of their digital marketing efforts – and how to do it well.

Establishing Yourself and Your Firm as a Thought Leader

Writing authoritative content on legal topics related to your practice area allows you to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field. If you are the go-to source of information in a given practice area or sub-area, it can significantly bolster your online presence and increase traffic to your site. More traffic coupled with an optimized website can translate into new clients, referrals from other firms, and more professional opportunities. Creating new, engaging, and novel content may lead to speaking engagements, media appearances, or other publicity that can grow your practice exponentially.

Targeting Long-Tail Keywords

Blogging is a great opportunity to target long-tail keywords –  longer keyword phrases that have lower search volume, are less competitive to rank for, and more likely to convert. Here’s a visual representation of what long  long-tail keywords are published by Ahrefs:

So, if you’re optimizing your practice area pages for search terms like “Chicago car accident attorney,” you can use your blog to go after long-tail terms like:

  • What should I do after a car accident?
  • Do I need a lawyer after a car crash?
  • How much is my car wreck case worth?
  • Car crash FAQs
  • How to deal with the insurance company after a car accident?

If you can match your blog titles to specific questions that your potential clients are searching for on Google, there is a good chance that you’ll appear near the top of the search results, driving more traffic – and paying clients – to your site.

One of the more technical – and overlooked – benefits of law firm blogging is attracting backlinks.  Backlinks are links to your site from other sites, and they are also often referred to as “inbound” or “incoming links. Here’s a visual representation:

The reason you want to attract backlinks is that they are one of the most important ranking factors used by Google. You can think of them as a vote of confidence for your website. The more backlinks you have from other sites, the better your website should rank for important keywords. 

Importantly, not all backlinks are the same. Sites from high-quality, popular, and authoritative sites are “worth” more than links from low-quality, low-traffic, and spammy sites. For example, you are going to get a lot more value from a link from than you would from someone’s personal travel blog.

You can attract backlinks to your site by creating high-quality, engaging, and authoritative blog content that others want to link to. 

Creating Good Content and Managing a Law Firm Blog Takes Time – or Money

As is the case with many things, it’s much easier to talk about blogging than it is to actually do it.  Creating content alone takes long enough, but that’s only a small part of what it takes to actively maintain and optimize a legal blog that generates new business.

Topic Ideation

First of all, you need to figure out what to write  about. Remember to focus on things that matter to your potential clients, not what matters to other lawyers or judges. While you may be super-interested in practice tips and new developments in the law, the reality is that your clients aren’t. 

For example, if you practice in family law, your potential clients are likely concerned about issues like whether they are going to be able to keep their kids or how child custody is decided. Similarly, if you practice in personal injury law, they are most concerned about things like how much their cases are worth or how long it will take to get compensation.

If you are having trouble coming up with blog topic ideas, think about the conversations you have with your clients. What questions do you hear again and again? Shameless plug: you can also turn to Lexicon Legal Content’s free AI Blog Topic Generator for ideas.

Content Creation

Now that you know what to write about, it’s time to sit down and write some content. Remember to write for your readers – not other lawyers and judges. This means avoiding legalese and making the content easy to read. Use informative headers, bulleted lists, and other visual elements that make the content easy to scan.

Optimize Your Content for Search Engines

Once you have your ideas on the page, you need to optimize your content for search engines. If you are targeting particular keywords (and you should be), you should make sure that keyword appears at a density of between 2-3 percent. 

Use appropriate header tags so that search engines are easily able to crawl your content. For example, make sure your title is formatted as H1, subheadings as H2, sub-subheadings as H3, and so on. Additionally, be sure to include links to authoritative external resources and internal links to other pages on your site. Finally, be sure to include a call to action that lets your reader know how to contact you.

Post Your Content on Your Site (and Optimize Your Post)

Now that you’ve got your blog post written and optimized, you should post it on your site. To do this, go to the back end of your website (your Dashboard, if you are using WordPress), and create a new post. Copy and paste your content into the appropriate area, and make sure the spacing between paragraphs and headers is correct – going between Word or Google Docs and WordPress can result in formatting issues.

Next, you should find and add an image to your post. You can find images on sites like pixabay or istock. Add an appropriate image to your site, and then add an alt-attribute to that image. An alt-attribute is text that is displayed if the image can’t be loaded or your site is accessed by someone who is visually impaired and using a screen reader. 

You should also categorize and tag your post in order to help both people and search engines find your content. Categories are a way to create a hierarchical organization of your content, and tags are a way to group content on similar topics together.

Promote Your Post

Now that you’ve got a live blog post, it’s time to promote it. You can do this is a variety of ways, including sharing your post on social media or sending it out to your email list of former, current, or potential clients. In addition, you can always ask your colleagues to share your post on their social media accounts for even more exposure.

Regularly creating and posting blog content takes a significant amount of time. Fortunately, if you are a busy practicing lawyer, you can outsource the entire process to the legal professionals at Lexicon Legal Content. As an attorney-led team, we understand the need for legal accuracy in law firm marketing materials. In addition, we’ve got the SEO chops to create high-ranking content that drives new business.

Generative AI for Law Firm Content? A Quick and Dirty Guide

It’s May of 2023, which means that professionals across all industries are working on determining how they can incorporate AI into their workflows to improve efficiency. Everyone knows the legal field moves more slowly with technology than others, but that doesn’t mean that lawyers and law firms are not trying to figure out how they can use it to do non-practice tasks like create marketing materials.

It’s true that generative AI can create fairly convincing human-sounding content, so law firms and their marketing managers may wonder whether they can use it to churn out content at scale. AI is a great assistant, but it still needs a human at the helm – especially in a high-stakes area like law. 

Below are some guidelines as to how law firms can currently use generative AI models like ChatGPT to help in the marketing efforts.+

Do Not Rely on It to Create a Finished Product By Itself

The first thing that lawyers and law firm marketing directors should realize is that you cannot rely on AI models to create a finished piece of content without human intervention. AI is a very convincing liar, and it is known to “hallucinate” answers that are just flat out wrong

It doesn’t take much to recognize that this can be a serious issue when creating legal content. Providing incorrect information could result in bar complaints or even a malpractice suit if someone who became a client used the information on your site for the basis of taking a specific course of action.

Additionally, even if you teach AI your brand voice, the fact is that AI-generated content does not capture the intricacy and personality of human writing. If you really want to make a connection with your readers, make sure there is a human touch to the final product.

Know What AI Does Best

Now that we’ve addressed some of the significant issues with AI content creation, it’s important to address the things that it can do extremely well. There is zero doubt that – when used correctly – AI can improve productivity and make the process of creating law firm marketing content easier. Some of the best use-cases for AI in legal content marketing include:

Topic Ideation

Sometimes, the hardest part of creating content is figuring out what to write about. After all, you can only package “why you need a [insert your practice area] attorney” in so many different ways. The fact is, however, that there is plenty to talk about in the legal field, and many questions that provide you an opportunity to connect with clients online.

Getting ChatGPT to spit out strong blog topics takes a little prompt engineering. For example, you need to narrow its output to consumer-facing matters (have you met a client that really wants to know the difference between assumption of the risk and comparative negligence?) and tell it some other details. 

Fortunately, the legal professionals at Lexicon Legal Content have done the hard part for you and created a legal industry-specific AI-Powered Legal Blog Topic Generator that you can use for free.

Getting Past Writer’s Block

So now you have some topics, but you are still looking at the blank page without any idea where to start. In cases like these, AI can help you get started. You can ask it to provide a basic introduction for your topic, which is often enough to get past writers’ block and put something on the page.

Outlining Your Content

Another place that AI shines is creating content outlines. Sometimes, it is just as simple as asking it to provide headers for an x-number of word article on your chosen topic. In others, you could ask it to get more granular and summarize pontiac ideas to cover in each section.

Read Every Word

When it comes to AI content, it is critical that someone with legal expertise (preferably someone with a JD) reads every single word of the output. A light edit adding some personal or brand flavor here and there is not going to cut it. As mentioned above, it is common knowledge that AI spits out incorrect information, and even a slight error could result in professional and legal consequences. 

In addition, AI may create content that is noncompliant with the advertising rules in your jurisdiction. A stray “specialist” or false statement about your experience could result in marketing materials that could land you in hot water with your state bar.

Run it Through a Plagiarism Checker

To vastly oversimplify the technology, generative AI uses advanced algorithms and available internet content to predict what word should come next. The fact that it is using existing content to create new content should make lawyers very nervous that the content that it generates may be extremely close to existing content on the internet. 

If you and some law firm across the street or across the country ask it to generate content on a similar topic, it may spit out very similar answers. For this reason, you should always run any AI-generated content through a plagiarism checker before publishing it. 

Keep in Mind that Without Significant Human Intervention, AI Content is Not Protected by Copyright

Earlier this year, the United States Copyright Office issued guidance regarding whether AI-generated content is subject to copyright protections. Feel free to read the entire document here, but the TLDR version is this: a work is not copyrightable when an AI generates content without human involvement, and providing a prompt is not sufficient human involvement to make a work copyrightable. In other words, if you tell an AI to “generate a blog on car accident law,” proofread it, and publish it on your website, you do not own it.

Outsource Content Creation to Legal Professionals

If this sounds like a lot to worry about when using AI to create content, it is. The reality is that in many cases, it is quicker to just write content from scratch the old-fashioned way than it is to have AI generate it and then clean it up. That said, when used correctly, AI can make parts of the content process more efficient and improve productively.

At Lexicon Legal Content, we leverage AI to create legal content for our clients that turns website visitors into clients. To learn more, call us today or send us an email.

Lessons from DoNotPay: The Ethical Implications of AI in the Legal Industry

Some shortcuts and hacks are worth it in life and business, and some simply aren’t. Some are harmless, appealing, less expensive, and time-saving in the beginning. Yet, they turn out to cause more problems and hassle than the situation presented initially without the shortcut. But, as one previously-aspiring attorney is coming to find out, AI in the legal realm is more of the latter—at least for now. So if you are an attorney or a marketing professional who works with attorneys, you’ll want to make a note of this case and learn from another’s mistakes instead of venturing down that path or similar ones yourself. 

“The World’s First Robot Lawyer”

San Fransisco’s DoNotPay is “the world’s first robot lawyer,” according to founder, CEO, and software engineer Joshua Browder. The tech company was founded in 2016 by Browder, a Stanford University undergraduate and 2018 Thiel Fellow who has received a remarkable amount of media attention in his short career. Browder says he started the company after moving to the U.S. from the U.K. and receiving many parking tickets that he couldn’t afford to pay. Instead, he looked for loopholes in the law he could use to his advantage to find ways out of paying them.

He claims that the government and other large corporations have conflicting rules and regulations that only stand to rip off consumers. With DoNotPay, his goal is to give a voice to the consumer without consumers having to pay steep legal fees. According to the company’s website, they use artificial intelligence (AI) to serve approximately 1,000 cases daily. Parking ticket cases have a success rate of about 65 percent, while Browder claims many other case types are 100 percent successful.

DoNotPay claims to have the ability to:

  • Fight corporations
  • Beat bureaucracy
  • Find hidden money
  • Sue anyone
  • Automatically cancel free trials

The company has an entire laundry list on its website of legal problems and matters its AI can handle, such as:

  • Jury duty exemptions
  • Child support payments
  • Clean credit reports
  • Defamation demand letters
  • HOA fines and complaints
  • Warranty claims
  • Lien removals
  • Neighbor complaints
  • Notice of intent to homeschool
  • Insurance claims
  • Identify theft
  • Filing a restraining order
  • SEC complaint filings
  • Egg donor rights
  • Landlord protection
  • Stop debt collectors

DoNotPay: Plagued with Problems

While his intentions might be relevant or even noble to some, they are landing Broward in his own legal hot water for which there may currently be no robot lawyer to represent him. 

State Bars Frown on AI in the Courtroom

In February, a California traffic court was set to see its first “robot lawyer” as Broward planned to have an AI-powered robot argue a defendant’s traffic ticket case in court. If his plan had come to fruition, the defendant would have worn smart glasses to record court proceedings while using a small speaker near their ear, allowing them to dictate appropriate legal responses. 

This unique and innovative system relied on AI text generators, including the new ChatGPT and DaVinci. While in the courtroom, the AI robot would process and understand what was being said and generate real-time responses to the defendant. Essentially, they could act as their own lawyer with the help of DoNotPay’s robot lawyer— a technology that has never been used within a courtroom. 

Many state bars and related entities quickly expressed their extreme disapproval when they learned about Browder’s plans. Multiple state bars threatened the business, even threatening prosecution and prison time. For example, one state bar official reminded him that unauthorized practice of law is a misdemeanor in certain states that can come with a punishment of up to six months in county jail.

State bars license and regulate lawyers in their respective states, ensuring those in need of legal assistance hire lawyers who understand the law and know what they are doing. According to them, Browder’s AI technology intended for courtroom use is clearly an “unauthorized practice of law.”

DoNotPay is now under investigation by several state bars, including the California State Bar. AI in the courtroom is also problematic because, currently, courtroom rules for federal and many state courts don’t allow the recording of court proceedings. Even still, Broward’s company offered $1 million to any lawyer to have its chatbot handle a U.S. Supreme Court case. To date, no one has accepted his offer.

DoNotPay Accused of Fraud

As if being reprimanded by several state bars isn’t bad enough, Broward and DoNotPay are now facing at least one, if not multiple, class action suits. The silver lining is that perhaps Browder will finally get to test his robot lawyer in court. 

On February 13, 2023, Seattle paralegal Kathryn Tewson filed a petition with the NY Supreme Court requesting an order for DoNotPay and Broward to preserve evidence and seeking pre-action discovery. She plans to file a consumer rights suit, purporting that the company is a fundamental fraud.

What’s even more interesting is that Tewson notes in her filing that she consents to Browder using his robot lawyer to represent himself in this case and even seems to dare him to do so:

For what it is worth, Petitioner does and will consent to any application Respondents make to use their “Robot Lawyer” in these proceedings. And she submits that a failure to make such an application should weigh heavily in the Court’s evaluation of whether DoNotPay actually has such a product.

Through her own research, Tewson has accused Broward of not even using AI but piecing different documents together to produce legal documents for consumers who either believe they are receiving AI content or real attorney-generated content. Suppose DoNotPay is actually using AI, as Broward claims. In that case, it’s obviously not producing quality work products, and consumers are starting to notice. 

A Potential Class Action Lawsuit

As if these legal issues weren’t already enough, next on the DoNotPay docket is a potential class action lawsuit. On March 6, 2023, Jonathan Faridian of Yolo County filed a lawsuit in San Francisco seeking damages for alleged violations of California’s unfair competition law. Faridian alleges he wouldn’t have subscribed to DoNotPay services if he knew that the company was not actually a real lawyer. He asks the court to certify a class of all people who have purchased a subscription to DoNotPay’s service.

Faridian’s lawyer Jay Edelson filed the complaint on his behalf, alleging that he subscribed to the DoNotPay services and used the service to perform a variety of legal services on his behalf, such as:

  • Drafting demand letters
  • Drafting an independent contractor agreement
  • Small claims court filings
  • Drafting two LLC operating agreements
  • An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission job discrimination complaint 

Faridian says he “believed he was purchasing legal documents and services that would be fit for use from a lawyer that was competent to provide them.” He further claims that the services he received were “substandard and poorly done.”

Edelson has successfully sued Google, Amazon, and Apple for billions. The NYT refers to him as the “most feared lawyer in Silicon Valley.”

When asked directly if DoNotPay would be hiring a lawyer for its defense or self-defending in court relying on its own tools, Browder said, “I apologize given the pending nature of the litigation, I can’t comment further.” Even still, he recently tweeted, “We may even use our robot lawyer in the case.”

What Lawyers and Marketing Professionals Can Learn From DoNotPay’s Mistakes

Stanford professors say that Browder is “not a bad person. He just lives in a world where it is normal not to think twice about how new technology companies could create harmful effects.” Whether this is true or not remains to be seen. In the meantime, attorneys and marketing professionals have a lot they can glean from Broward’s predicaments. They certainly need to think twice about the potentially harmful effects of AI technology use for several reasons.


The overarching theme that we can take away from Broward and his business’s legal predicaments is that AI isn’t something that law firms or attorneys (or even those aspiring to be in the legal profession) should dabble in, at least for now. It isn’t worth using AI, such as ChatGPT or Google’s new Bard, whether for online form completion like DoNotPay or marketing content like blogs or newsletters. You don’t want to give the impression that something was drafted or reviewed by a licensed attorney when in reality, it was essentially written by a robot. On the other hand, you also don’t want to be accused of piecing legal documents together or performing shoddy work as an attorney because you are using AI. 

While relying on AI might seem harmless in some areas, it could later prove problematic, as it has for Broward. For example, using AI for any of your work or marketing content could:

  • Tarnish your reputation in your community and with your colleagues and network
  • Have your actions called into question by your state bar association
  • Provide consumers with the wrong or simply invaluable information, proving disastrous for your marketing and SEO efforts
  • Lower your SEO rankings and decrease your potential client leads
  • Cause legal action for malpractice or fraud

Adhere to Professional Standards

Always remember to adhere to your professional standards and codes of conduct. If anything related to the use of AI seems questionable or unethical, treat it as such and steer clear of it. The use of AI as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a bona fide attorney, whether online, in the courtroom, or in representing your clients, isn’t acceptable under any state bar at the current time. Taking shortcuts that rely on AI isn’t worth facing professional consequences up to and including having your license suspended or terminated.

What This Means for Legal Content 

AI is permissible and even valuable for some minor legal content generation tasks, such as determining keywords or composing an outline. However, these new and still emerging technologies shouldn’t be used to draft entire blog posts, white papers, newsletters, eBooks, landing pages, or other online marketing copy. There are several reasons to avoid this:

  • AI-generated content may soon carry a watermark detectable by web browsers
  • We don’t yet know how Google will react to such content—although Google currently claims the quality of the content is more important than how it is produced, AI may not be generating quality content, and Google could change its stance at any point
  • State bars may view AI-generated marketing content as unethical or fraudulent
  • The use of AI-generated content could constitute the unauthorized practice of law in some states
  • AI content may provide incorrect information and come across as cold or impersonal, something attorneys definitely want to avoid when marketing to potential clients

Do You Need Help Producing Original Content?

If you are an attorney or marketing professional who needs help producing legal content, Lexicon Legal Content can help. Don’t cut corners and put yourself at risk by turning to AI-generated content. Our team of attorney-led writers can produce valuable content for your website or other marketing efforts that pass not only plagiarism detection but also AI detection. All content is either written or reviewed by a licensed attorney. Talk to a content expert today about we can meet your legal content needs. 

Why Lawyers Should Promote Their Awards in their Blog Posts

It’s estimated that over 2,000 honors or recognitions specifically target the legal profession in the United States. The number of awards given by bar associations, law schools, and media outlets has swelled tremendously during the past two decades. The law firms and attorneys receiving them can leverage them to their advantage by blogging about them.

Legal awards and recognitions are third-party validation of an individual attorney, practice or law firm’s credentials. No legal client is likely to hire a lawyer simply because of an award they received. However, it may get them on a prospective client’s radar or shortlist.

Simply put, legal awards and honors help enhance attorney and law firm profiles law firms, and differentiate them from the competition.

One way to get your audience and prospective clients to learn about the accolades you have receive is to start writing blogs announcing when you receive them.

Awards Set You Apart from Other Attorneys

Legal marketing isn’t easy, especially considering the many ethical and legal compliance constraints you must adhere to. You must be keenly aware of how you talk about your services, skills, and track record.

At the same time, many prospective legal clients don’t know how to tell one lawyer apart from the next and generally assume that they are all about the same. So how can you set yourself apart from the competition and still stay within your ethical and legal bounds?

There are many ways, but one of the easiest and most obvious is to include your award nominations and recognitions in your marketing efforts. This includes publishing blogs about the honors you receive.

Awards for attorneys aren’t typically handed out like participation trophies to the elementary soccer team. These awards, honors, and recognitions set you apart from the competition.

When you leverage them in an appropriate way, you can do so without seeming like you are bragging or at the risk of crossing any ethical boundaries.

Awards and New Attorneys

You can certainly benefit from writing a blog about a recognition or award if you are a newer attorney. When you first start out, you may not have much experience or many skills that differentiate you from your local peers. Receiving awards and recognitions might be the first thing that distinguishes you from someone else and ends up bringing you more clients.

Publishing a blog post about your award not only helps you with SEO but also establishes your authority locally within your legal niche and target audience, drawing more potential clients to your law firm’s website and increasing your numbers.

Highly Decorated and Experienced Attorneys

Attorneys who have been in practice for quite some time may have received multiple awards; some may be the same award year after year. While they might seem redundant, don’t discount these awards.

Having numerous awards or receiving the same recognition for many years in a row not only shows that a lawyer was experienced and successful then but remains that way now. Some potential clients will be more likely to hire an attorney with more recent awards and recognitions than someone who won them years ago but not since.

Tips for Writing an Award Blog Post

Follow the Award Advertising Guidelines

Professional organizations that award recognitions in the legal industry frequently have their own guidelines for announcing and promoting these awards.

When you publish a blog post about or publicize an award on your website or elsewhere, always be sure you comply with their guidelines. If you don’t, you could be penalized by the organization and prohibited from further promoting the award in the future.

For instance, Martindale-Hubbell requires that any rating internet advertisement includes the text below and either a specific explanation of the rating or a link to the Martindale-Hubbell explanation:

“AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM, and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are Certification Marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards, and policies.”

Some organizations require you to place a trademark symbol by their name or the award or otherwise refer to the award in specific terms.

Furthermore, some companies let you know you have won the award months ahead of the announcement and require you not to release the information until they make their formal announcement. Martindale-HubbellSuper Lawyers, and Best Lawyers all publish their guidelines online.

Include All Recognitions Awarded to Lawyers in Your Law Firm

If you work for a law firm and multiple lawyers at your law firm receive the same or similar recognition at the same time, be sure you write one blog to include all of the awards received by the lawyers at your firm and the law firm itself. You can list each attorney and what they were recognized for and provide a short bio about them.

Comply with Your State’s Ethics Requirements

Attorney advertising falls under state bar regulations, including legal ethics rules. Attorneys or law firms who violate rules of professional conduct may face penalties such as fines, public censure, or even disbarment. In these cases, the attorney, not their marketing department, will be held responsible for what is published online.

Before publishing a blog post about your recognition or award, review the specifics of the professional conduct rules in every state where you practice and are licensed to ensure compliance.

For example, most states prohibit any statement that isn’t objectively verifiable, such as “Tom Smith is the Best Lawyer in the Pacific Northwest.” However, “Tom Smith has been recognized by Best Lawyers®,” is permissible. If an award recognizes an attorney’s work for a specific year, geographic location, or legal practice area, be sure to include that in the blog post or other announcement.

Keep in mind that some states have precise requirements. For instance, the Supreme Court of New Jersey recently enacted a provision that lawyer and law firm awards, honors, and accolades may only be referenced when they can be verified and the awarding organization has made sufficient inquiry into the qualifications of the individual attorney or law firm.

New Jersey also requires the following to accompany any reference to the award:

  • The name of the award-issuing organization
  • A description of how award recipients are selected, in the blog post itself or by referencing an easily-accessible public source
  • The disclaimer: “No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.”

Remember, it’s your responsibility to check your state’s legal conduct rules.

Don’t Forget Local or Regional Awards

Just because your award or recognition didn’t come from Avvo, Super Lawyers, or Best Lawyers doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share it with potential clients and your target audience. In fact, it may be more significant to those local to you.

For example, in the Denver metro area, 5280 Magazine publishes a list of Top Lawyers annually every January. While people looking for a lawyer in the area may have never heard of Super Lawyers or Best Lawyers, many have heard of or even regularly read 5280 Magazine. Lawyers with an award from this magazine will stand out to locals, whereas lawyers with other awards may not so much.

Stay Away from Paid Recognitions

There are many awards and recognitions out there. To protect your integrity and remain ethical, it only makes sense to stay away from paid recognitions.

You want to be able to say that your award was earned and well-deserved; paying for one can undermine your credibility and authority to your audience and legal community. Some of them may even be scams. The only thing these honors are recognizing is your ability to pay, not your actual skills or expertise.

Although some may offer paid advertisements in their publications, real awards honor outstanding attorneys without caring whether they pay. Instead, focus your efforts on your clients, which will, in turn, likely put you in the running for reputable recognition.

Don’t Just Post Award Announcements

Effective legal blog writing, just like all other marketing efforts, requires ongoing action. You can’t just write a blog post each time you have an award or recognition to announce for your practice or firm. Not only could it come across as tacky to your prospective clients, but it also doesn’t help your SEO.

Writing and publishing a legal blog at least once or twice weekly to drive traffic to your site and generate interest. Blogging about your awards should only be a small portion of your blogs. Instead, focus on blogging about helpful and valuable content for your readers when you don’t have awards to announce.

Remember, you wouldn’t be an award-winning attorney if you didn’t have valuable information to share. Periodic sharing of awards won’t attract the interest of real people or online algorithms. You need to regularly publish a blog post for effective SEO.

Don’t be afraid to share your awards and accolades with your readers via your legal blog and even your firm’s newsletter, if you have one. Incorporate these tips, good SEO, and it will only be a matter of time until you start to reap the benefits.

Do You Need Help with Blog Writing? Turn to the Blogging Experts at Lexicon Legal Content

If you need assistance writing your award announcements and other legal blogging or don’t have the time to do it yourself, the attorney-led team at Lexicon Legal Content can help. Contact us today to learn more about our customized blogging and legal content services.

Google Update Impacts Legal Content Marketing

Google recently updated its Search Quality Rater Guidelines, and the direction it’s taken will almost certainly affect your legal content marketing strategies for your law firm. These guidelines are what Google’s search quality raters use to evaluate the quality of a page. The biggest reveals are the new spin Google put on the YMYL category (Your Money or Your Life) and the new emphasis it’s putting on E-A-T. E-A-T stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness – and it’s critical that your law firms’ website content demonstrates all three.

When it comes to legal content and search engine results pages, all of this makes sense, and it pays to pay attention – and to work with a legal content provider that stays on top of the latest developments in search engine optimization (SEO) as it relates to law firm websites. It comes to E-A-T, YMYL, and lawyers, it pays to work with the professionals.

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Google Wants You to Know that It Pays to Be Helpful

The world of SEO is abuzz about the helpful content update recently published by Google. While this latest offering doesn’t seem to be earth-shattering, it is important to familiarize yourself with it – and to generally keep up. As such, there are five basic tips that can help anyone out there who needs to pay attention to SEO, which means any law firm with an online presence. The message driving Google’s latest offering is that you should be taking a people-first approach – rather than writing for bots. When Google embraces its human side, it’s time for businesses to follow suit. 

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Is There a Magic Number When It Comes to Law Firm Blog Posts?

If you’re regularly updating your law firm’s blog, you already know that blog posts help you connect with current and potential clients alike. You may wonder, however, if there’s a magic number, schedule, or time frame regarding how often and when you should be posting. Should you be slapping content up every day – even if you really don’t have much to say – or should you leave people wanting more by posting intermittently? Fortunately, it’s no longer a guessing game – there are some tried-and-true guidelines to help guide how often you should be updating your law firm’s blog. 

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Expand Your Site’s Reach by Exploring Your Content Options

Your law firm’s website plays an important role in terms of marketing and reaching your target audience – and your content matters. Generating relevant and compelling content is the name of the game, but if you find yourself at a loss when it comes to choosing inspiring topics that resonate with your widest potential audience, you are not alone. Many firms find themselves recycling the same, tired titles time and time again, but you can do better, and we have some helpful hints to get you started. 

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Get More from Your Current Content with Historical Optimization

You recognize that content is king, but you may not be making the most of the content that you already have. And this is where historical optimization shines. Historical optimization sounds more technical than it needs to be – the bottom line is that it involves breathing new life into the content you’ve already published, which can do you a world of good in terms of giving your return on investment a bump.

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