Working with Heroes: Inside the Plaintiff Law Firm

Working with Heroes: Inside the Plaintiff Law Firm

Tissues are pervasive at Plaintiff firms

Picture the last time you walked through your firm’s reception area, perhaps to greet a vendor who has come for a meeting. Did you notice any clients patiently waiting to meet with one of your attorneys? Well dressed suit or business casual?  Or did you not even notice anyone since they blended into the room.

Now try to imagine the waiting room of a Plaintiff law firm. There often will be families with young children; our receptionists always have toys and colouring books at the ready. The latest pop culture magazines occupy the coffee tables.  There are women and men of all ages and races. A personal injury firm’s reception looks more like your doctor’s waiting room, an Immigration lawyer’s office like the United Nations. Employment lawyer clients include the “suits” who visited your offices but they no longer wear their corporate uniform because they have lost their job. They all share the look of stress and anxiety; boxes of tissues are everywhere, from the reception to the boardroom. Each comes seeking legal advice, but more importantly, comfort during the most stressful time of their lives.

It is no coincidence that Plaintiff lawyers see themselves as heroes in a David vs. Goliath fight for justice. Their compassion, negotiation skills and problem-solving abilities are their superpowers to right the wrongs and navigate legal barriers. More extroverts find themselves in Plaintiff practice than in other areas of law, and they are genuine people persons. Marketing professionals in Plaintiff firms find that their attorneys are nice people to work with even if sometimes their passion for the fight can spill over.

Marketing for Plaintiff lawyers is unique; not only are clients individuals, we only meet them at their moment of need. They aren’t planning to be in an accident, take a harmful drug, get fired or divorced.  While brand awareness plays a part in our marketing strategies, building close referral relationships with other plaintiff lawyers is a more profitable investment of time and resources.

And then there is the Internet.  It has changed the way consumers shop for all things. They do most of their research online to narrow their choices and then look for affirmation of their results. So while they may still check in with the lawyer they used for their house sale, they are also closely checking those online reviews.  Plaintiff marketers spend a lot of energy collecting reviews from clients once they received their settlements and compare with the closest competitors. You may be surprised at how many clients mention they retained our firms after comparing Google Reviews.  

It is hard to miss all the personal injury billboards and commercials which seem to be everywhere as solo practitioners and large firms complete for clients. Over 30% of attorneys listed in Best Lawyers are from the Plaintiff bar, so it would be a mistake to dismiss this area of law as a collective of “ambulance chasers”. It is a highly competitive marketplace, often with millions of dollars riding on one client. 

Our marketers thrill in a constantly changing marketplace, many having left the more structured departments of corporate law firms. The added benefit is that there is great satisfaction working with lawyers who help individuals and not companies. I always am reminded of that as I walk through the reception area or look at that box of tissues in the boardroom.


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