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Want to catch up on some of the most memorable lawyer commercials to hit the airwaves (or the internet) over the past decade? Need a few tips for creating your own commercial? Then, this post is for you.
Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer practicing in the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices before he became the President? Probably. But did you know that he actively advertised his law firm in the 1850s through newspaper ads and speeches? Maybe not.
In the days since Lincoln’s practice, bar associations have begun to actively regulate attorney advertisements. In 1908 the American Bar Association banned most formal attorney advertising and permitted lawyers only to use business cards. However, in Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, the Supreme Court held that Arizona’s ban on attorney advertising was an impermissible restriction on free speech and found that attorney advertising would not only benefit consumers but also would not harm the legal profession.
The Bates decision and those that followed paved the way for modern attorney commercials. Love them or hate them, attorney commercials are marketing tactics that, at minimum, raise public awareness of the firm in the community and often result in more clients. We’ve rounded up a list of some of the most memorable and fun ads from the past decade just for you.
Looking for tips on making a commercial of your own? We’ve included a few pointers at the end of this post.
Jamie Casino is a personal injury attorney in Savannah, Georgia. He became an internet sensation when he started airing intense Super Bowl commercials.
2014: “I don’t represent villains anymore.”
2015: Overcoming Bullies
2018: “There are a lot of TV injury lawyers. But there is only one Jamie Casino.”
Isaacs & Issacs is a personal injury firm representing clients in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. The face of the firm is Darryl “The Hammer” Isaacs. The firm also found internet fame with their epic Super Bowl ads.
2019: Superhero Lawyer
2020: Hammer in Space
Marilyn D. York is a Nevada divorce and family law attorney who is well-known for her specialization as a Men’s Rights attorney focused on representing men in family matters. Her colorful commercials often get widespread attention on television and the internet.
The Marriage Therapist
“I can’t believe I even have to make this commercial.”
Trolman Glaser Corley & Lichtman is a personal injury firm representing people in the New York City area. Just over ten years ago, when the firm had one less named partner, it created a commercial that is still getting discussed on the internet today.
“There are some cases even we can’t win.”
Juan LaFonta is a personal injury attorney and former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives. His firm gained more widespread attention when he teamed up with Big Freedia to create these New Orleans bounce commercials in 2016 and 2017.
“Now that’s how you bounce a commercial.”
“Pick up the phone. He’ll handle your case.”
Brown & Crouppen is a Missouri personal injury law firm with many videos available on YouTube. Some of these are true commercials and some are not. Two of the most memorable videos on the law firm’s page don’t mention the firm at all. Instead, these videos are Super Bowl ads featuring founding partner Terry Crouppen’s message to Rams owner Stan Kroenke after the NFL team left St. Louis.
2016: “Here’s some free advice: just because it’s legal…”
2019: “We even made you a little something.”
Bonus: An Actual Commercial for Brown & Crouppen’s Legal Services
The Texas Law Hawk, Bryan E. Wilson, is based out of Fort Worth, Texas specializing in DWI cases. He also handles criminal defense and personal injury matters. He is widely known for his very energetic commercials advertising his “Talons of Justice” approach to the law.
The Law Offices of Scott Foster
In 2014 a zombie-themed commercial was developed to advertise for The Law Offices of Scott Foster in Kentucky during the Season 5 premiere of the popular AMC television series, The Walking Dead. Unfortunately, Mr. Foster passed away in 2017 and it appears his firm is no longer in operation.
Five Quick Tips for Law Firm Commercials
If you want to make a commercial of your own, here are five quick tips for you to keep in mind:
- Make sure you have a clear and engaging message. Regardless of whether you are incorporating humor or taking a more traditional approach to your ad, your message needs to be clear and delivered in an engaging manner. If you need an example of something a bit more traditional than the other commercials in this post, check out this ad from Henson Fuerst Personal Injury Lawyers.
- Invest in high-quality video production. It may be tempting to cut corners on your production costs, but you should not. If you do not have someone in your office that has experience making videos, you will need to hire a professional. There are plenty of high-quality commercials out there for inspiration, but one of our favorites is this 2019 Super Bowl commercial from Harris Personal Injury Lawyers.
- Think outside of the box. You want your commercial to stand out from the others. That doesn’t mean you need to make something that is off-brand or too over-the-top for your firm. Instead, it may just mean taking a step back for a slightly different approach. For example, this commercial from Atlanta attorney David Cheng is not your typical lawyer commercial but is still very clear, professional, and engaging.
- Don’t be afraid of humor and storytelling. It is okay to lighten up a bit and use something entertaining to share your message with potential clients. You need to stay true to your firm’s brand, but don’t feel pressured to wear a suit, stand in a library in front of books, or use any other typical element of lawyer commercials to share your message.
- Be mindful of ethics. Lawyer advertising may be widespread now, but your state bar association probably still has rules about it. Check your jurisdiction’s Rules of Professional Conduct and be sure your ad will comply with all ethical obligations before you start spending a bunch of money on a commercial that you can’t air.
Final Thoughts: Why Do You Care?
Maybe you don’t want to make a commercial of your own. That is okay. Many law firms do not make commercials and successfully build their practices with other marketing tactics. If that is you, then think of this post as a little bit of entertaining competitive intelligence.
However, if you have ever considered a commercial (or other video advertising), now is the time to do it. Video marketing is growing rapidly and with the advent of YouTube and video options on Facebook and Instagram, the ad space to share your commercial or video is likely cheaper than ever before. Even if you don’t have money in your budget to pay for airtime during the Super Bowl, you can upload your video to YouTube for free.