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Law Firm Marketing Brief
Law Firm Marketing Brief

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A few weeks ago we noted the slowdown in law firm mergers this year, particularly the mega-deals that had become routine in recent years. But while most BigLaw firms seem to have hit the pause button on acquisitions, there is one notable exception. Denton's -- which already bills itself as the world's largest law firm -- this week announced a trio of new deals, expanding its already large footprint with a merger in South Korea, another in New Zealand and another in Central America.

What gives Denton's the confidence to keep plowing ahead with its world wide ambitions when other firms are pulling back? Well for one thing Denton's markets itself as "polycentric" and emphasizes that it has no primary office, culture or center of gravity. This certainly stands in contrast to most of its BigLaw competitors which are organized and run as "traditional" multi-national enterprises, with a primary center of gravity and national identity either in the US or UK. So perhaps not all growth is problematic in today's market but rather we are entering a new era in which polycentrism flourishes.

There's a very good overview article in The Artificial Lawyer this week that highlights four major trends in the legal tech market today. Platformization and consolidation head up the list, which strikes me as spot on, followed by the continued proliferation of new start-ups, which may prove to be somewhat more ephemeral, particularly if the legal market heads into a downturn, at which point venture funding may quickly dry up. The fourth trend mentioned in the article is perhaps the most interesting from the point of view of law firm marketing and positioning -- it's the trend that more and more law firms are not simply using tech as an off the shelf product but are actively pursuing their own application development in order to secure a competitive advantage. Closely related to this is something we have noticed in recent months -- an increase in the number of joint venture deals that law firms are cutting with tech companies, as an alternative to in-house tech development. Given how difficult a time most law firms have managing their own business, let alone forging ahead into the perilous world of technology development, a joint venture approach would seem to have distinct advantages.

Finally, I want to call your attention this week to a few articles that explore the intersection between legal practice and emotional well-being. Jane Genova explores the connection between loneliness and legal practice in a recent blogpost, citing the ABA survey that found 61% of all practicing lawyers score above average on the loneliness scale. The Lawyerist also has a good article on preventing lawyer burnout. At the other end of the positive thinking spectrum, there are a few articles that emphasize the importance of investing in yourself and your own career, both as a key to marketing success (as Jay Harrington suggests in his blogpost), and simply as a means of enhancing your sense of well-being (as practitioner Kristine Reed explains in her blogpost).

I don't mean to sound too much like Dr. Freud but I think there is an important message here for the marketing department. Instead of just conceiving the marketing function in narrow terms -- being primarily a matter of web-site design and sharpening the firm's brand promise -- it's important to realize that marketing can be part of the problem or part of the solution when it comes to promoting a lawyer's sense of connectedness and personal well being. It all depends on how you, the marketer, conceive of your task -- whether your lawyer-clients will see your requests for help as one more burden that contributes to burnout or far better (for everyone's sake) if they see how more effective marketing may ultimately enhance their opportunities for self-fulfillment.

In closing I want to highlight one more article by Link Cristin, a lawyer who is now the executive director of legal professional care at the Carin Treatment Center. What's interesting to me is that the basic treatment advice that Cristin offers to lawyers, whether they are suffering from depression, burnout or addiction, sounds an awful lot like what a good marketing professional might say -- bring your authentic self to work. In other words, when it comes to emotional well-being, it's up to each of us to either be part of the problem or part of the solution.

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Legal Business in Brief

  1. Large Law Firm Market Rebounded Slightly in Second Quarter   Legal Current: Thomson Reuters, August 5, 2019
  2. LeClairRyan - It's a Wrap   Law and More, August 8, 2019
  3. Litigation Financing - Encouraging Findings from Validity Finance, ALM Intelligence   Law and More, August 6, 2019


  1. Four Big Themes Of Legal Tech + Innovation in 2019   Artificial Lawyer, August 2, 2019
  2. From Associate To Legal Operations Pro: Where Law Meets Tech   Above the Law - Legal Technology, August 2, 2019
  3. Legal Tech Investments Down, But Definitely Not Out, In Q2 [Sponsored]   Above the Law - Legal Technology, August 6, 2019

Tips, pointers and presentations

  1. A B2B Marketer’s Field Guide to Webinars: Trends, Technology, and Tactics to Get Started Today   Hinge Marketing, August 7, 2019
  2. Facebook Scraps 20% Rule for Ads...Sort Of   Law Firm and Attorney SEO and Internet Marketing, August 5, 2019
  3. Expert Exposes Insider Tips to Achieve Higher ROI From SEO for Law Firms   Social Media Explorer, August 4, 2019

Portable Business

  1. Simmons & Simmons expands in Germany   Global Legal Post: Big Stories, August 2, 2019
  2. Hogan Lovells restructures in South Africa   Global Legal Post: Big Stories, August 2, 2019
  3. NRF insurance team heads over to DACB   Global Legal Post: Big Stories, August 5, 2019
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Legal Marketing

  1. How One Lawyer Captures Good Reviews and Builds His Client Intake   Larry Bodine Marketing Blog, August 5, 2019
  2. Survival Skill No. 6 for Lawyers: Bring Your Authentic Self to Work   Attorney at Work, July 31, 2019
  3. Use Project Management to Tame the Client Service Beast   Attorney at Work, August 1, 2019

Digital Marketing

  1. 20 of the Best Digital Marketing Quotes to Inspire the Modern Marketer   Digital Marketer, July 31, 2019
  2. Marketing Is Marketing, No Matter the Audience   Business 2 Community, August 2, 2019
  3. The Psychology of Design: The Color Black in Marketing & Design   Impact Blog, August 2, 2019
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Podcasts and Webinars

  1. Contented Content: The What, Why and How of Developing a Content Strategy, Part 1   Legal Marketing Association: Podcasts, August 7, 2019
  2. World of Marketing 5: The Legend of Bob Battle—the Original DIYer   Law Firm and Attorney SEO and Internet Marketing, August 6, 2019
  3. How to Develop a Digital Brand – part 2 [VIDEO]   Hinge Marketing, August 2, 2019

Vendor Updates

  1. Juro Launches NLP-Driven Contract Reader To Boost Inhouse Efficiency   Artificial Lawyer, July 31, 2019
  2. AI Pioneer Leverton Bought By MRI As Consolidation Continues   Artificial Lawyer, July 31, 2019
  3. Streamline Practice Management with AbacusLaw PALS, July 31, 2019

Marketing and Editorial Jobs

  1. Business Development Specialist (Investment Funds), For the New York Office of a Prestigious International Law Firm   August 1, 2019
  2. Business Development Assistant (Investment Funds), For the New York Office of a Prestigious International Law Firm   August 1, 2019
  3. Director of Associate Recruiting, For the New York, DC, Boston, Bay Area or LA Office of an International Law Firm   August 7, 2019
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