The verdict is in.  A lot of law firms don’t put much thought or effort into their slogans. The legal industry is littered with off the mark taglines that make their organizations look worse than if they had no line at all.  Worse yet, many firms then pay a lot of money in marketing costs to make sure as many people as possible hear their ill-conceived slogans.

There’s an old expression in the legal field that to decide to represent yourself is to have a fool for a client.  The same could almost be said for marketing.  Coming up with your own slogan seldom leads to a positive outcome.  Even those who hire an outside firm for creative expertise often end up with a poor lawyer slogan or attorney tagline as well.  So let’s take a look at a few firms and their marketing slogans and see who is innocent and who should be held in contempt.

These law firm slogans earned some good grades from Slogan Slingers:

  • Holland & Knight – “Industry focused. Relationship driven.” We give this one a B+ because it gets a lot across in just four words.  It lets you know that they’re experts on business but still make it a priority to get to know you and your needs. It’s the professional and personal approach that many clients want to see.  Plus, being a larger firm, emphasizing their personal approach addresses the concern that they are an impersonal Goliath.  The only thing this law firm tagline lacks slightly is memorability.  It’s tough because law firms tend to be conservative for the most part.  That can lead to somewhat generic attorney slogans.  But overall, this is a keeper.
  • Morgan & Morgan: – “For The People.” This one gets an A. For a personal injury firm, this really hits home for their target audience.  They don’t represent big corporations or insurance companies.  They are here for the little guy.  Plus this line has a similar ring to “We The People” evoking that spirit of the underdog Americans defeating the British. What’s more it’s just memorable.  It’s short and sweet yet broad enough in meaning that it can cover a whole host of legal services.
  • Connolly, Bove, Lodge & Hutz: – “IPO smart. Business Savvy. Client Connected.” This one uses a similar approach as Holland &Knight.  It leads with the business side and closes with a message on personal relationships.  We liked Holland & Knight’s law firm slogan but we like this even more because it gets specific about what they do.  Yes, that comes at the expense of brevity but it helps define them as a niche firm.  A-.  Great job!

These Law Firm Slogans should be taking the 5th:

  • Goulston & Storrs: – “Think Results.” This gets a C- because it is a really tired and overused attorney tagline…heck lines like this are overused in just about every industry which is another one of its problems.  Want a great advertising agency, insurance agent or cancer doctor?  Think results?  We’d rather they think of a better catchphrase.
  • Dickson Wright: – “Great lawyers. Great law firm.” This gets a D because it presents a generic benefit in a very generic way.  It’s forgettable.  Essentially both lines kind of say the same thing, too.  I’ve never heard someone say, “Oh all their lawyers are amazing but it’s a terrible law firm.” Likewise I’ve never heard “They have absolutely incompetent, unfriendly lawyers but it’s a great firm.”  Worse, their slogan makes them sound like a bunch of egomaniacs.
  • Jackson Lewis: – “All we do is work.” This gets a C- because it doesn’t tell a potential client a thing about the firm. Everybody works, but how well do they work? Are they overworked without time to give you the personal attention you want? There is something to be said for promoting a strong work ethic but really what clients want is results.  No, that doesn’t mean “Think Results” is back to being an acceptable slogan.  That message still needs to be delivered in a more memorable, effective way. It just means that Jackson Lewis needs to go back to the drawing board.  Too bad they don’t have time because all they do is work.
  • Irwin Mitchell: – “Towards a Positive Future.” Hopefully a more positive future is in store for their marketing.  It’s hard to tell what this even means.  Is it a positive future for the firm?  For its clients?  And it doesn’t sound like they can even deliver that. All they can do is head towards the positive. Gosh, maybe one day they’ll get there.  Aside from that, it lacks passion and any kind of specificity. A generic attorney slogan with a vague meaning can’t earn more than a D from us.

We see a lot of law firm slogan contests open up on Slogan Slingers.  Many firms walk away with some incredibly innovative lines.  Others choose to take a more conservative approach but still find a line that will be relevant and persuasive to their target audience.  Either way, they took action to help their firm stand out.  In the incredibly competitive landscape that is legal marketing, utilizing every last opportunity to set yourself apart is critical.  So don’t settle for a less than perfect line.  Whether you use an advertising agency or use Slogan Slingers, it’s time you get the line you need now.  We are now in recess.