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  • Writer's picturePaul Richardson

Are Mainstream Marketing Tactics Too Shady for Law Firms?

Your professors in law school probably told you all their favorite lawyer stereotype jokes. The jokes hinged on lawyers being greedy and using deceptive rhetoric to achieve their ends. Today it is obvious that those jokes date from the era before online advertising and social media. Misinformation, false advertising, and wanton materialism and self-aggrandizement are the new normal. No matter where you navigate on the Internet, you find pages and pop-ups inviting you to click to agree to things you don’t have time to read. The malicious rumors even on websites ostensibly designed for commercial or educational purposes is enough to make anyone want to disconnect from the Internet.

The line between the personal and professional has become blurry, so unprofessionalism rules the day. Staying true to professional ethics while remaining competitive in online marketing is a challenge in many industries, but this is especially true in law. Despite what the old jokes say, we went into the legal profession because we believe in a moral code. Unfortunately, so many practices that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys are just normal in the world of digital marketing. Therefore, you should not trust just any marketing form to create your legal blog content; you need writers with in-depth knowledge of the legal profession.

Keyword Advertising with Your Competitors’ Business Names

For years, SEO experts have been encouraging businesses to try to rank highly for their competitors’ business names. People most often do this by inserting the competitor’s business name in places where it is obvious to search engines but invisible, or at least not very noticeable, to human visitors to the site. This may violate the Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys, though, on the grounds that it is misrepresentation of one’s law practice. Micah Buchdahl of Law Practice Today cites a case in New Jersey in which a law firm, let’s call it Alpha Attorneys, bought a paid advertisement that displayed above the organic search results and linked to the Alpha Attorneys site. The problem is that the listing did not say “Ad: Alpha Attorneys.” Instead, it used a competitor’s name, so if you clicked on the “Ad: Bloggins and Associates” result, it took you to the Alpha Attorneys site. The judge sided with the plaintiffs, whom we are calling Bloggins and Associates.

The Gray Web of Online Reviews

Like it or not, clients can post reviews of your law firm online. Responding appropriately to negative views can boost your online reputation. (The best response is to acknowledge the reviews, own up to your mistakes, and, where applicable, to tell your side of the story in a truthful and respectful manner.) It goes without saying that posting fake reviews is a violation of professional ethics, whether by paying for positive reviews of your law firm or writing negative reviews of your competitors’ law firms.

Law Blog Writers, Where Marketing savvy Is Never at the Expense of Professional Integrity

Don’t trust your marketing content writing to a marketing firm accustomed to the shady world of shameless advertising. Instead, choose the legal content writers at Law Blog Writers.


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