A personal injury law firm that sponsors a city’s bike safety event or an immigration attorney who participates in a monthly free legal day are adding value to the community while representing their firm as brand ambassadors.
A law firm’s brand conveys its purpose, value, and identity. The brand is reflected in anything anybody sees, hears, and feels about your firm. This includes logos, the website, content, and personal interactions. Your law firm’s brand reflects the experiences everyone has with your firm, from attorneys and staff to clients to the community. The community can be a local geographic area, a specific audience, or a business or legal professional group.
Community involvement, either on an individual attorney or staff basis with the law firm’s support or from the firm itself, increases visibility and goodwill in the community, which helps establish a strong and positive brand identity. Here is how community involvement can greatly benefit your law firm’s brand:
- Enhanced Reputation: By actively engaging with the community, a law firm demonstrates its commitment to social responsibility and public service. Such actions can enhance the firm's reputation, showcasing its dedication to making a positive impact beyond the legal services it provides.
- Trust and Credibility: Community involvement helps build trust and credibility among both existing and potential clients. When a law firm actively contributes to the community, it establishes itself as a reliable and caring organization. This can strengthen client relationships and attract new clients who value a firm that goes beyond just legal services.
- Word-of-Mouth Referrals: Positive community involvement generates word-of-mouth referrals. Satisfied clients, community partners, and beneficiaries of the firm's efforts are more likely to recommend its services to others. These personal recommendations can significantly boost the firm's reputation and bring in new clients.
- Differentiation from Competitors: Community involvement sets a law firm apart from its competitors. While legal services may be similar among firms, a commitment to community engagement demonstrates a unique aspect of the firm's identity. Potential clients who resonate with the firm's values and community-oriented approach may choose it over competitors who do not prioritize community involvement.
- Employee Morale and Satisfaction: When law firm employees support others, they get a sense of purpose and connection to their community. When done with the support of their law firm, attorneys and staff feel more invested in their workplace, bonded to colleagues, and feel pride in their job. This increases employee retention rates, productivity, and job satisfaction. These happy employees will serve as effective brand ambassadors, supporting the law firm’s business development and hiring efforts.
- Positive Public Relations: Engaging with the community provides opportunities for positive media coverage and public relations. News outlets, local publications, and social media channels may highlight the firm's involvement in community events or pro bono efforts. Positive PR can raise awareness of the firm's brand, expand its reach, and create a favorable public image.
How Your Law Firm, Attorneys, and Staff Can Get Involved With the Community
Community involvement begins with identifying the cause you and your firm want to be a part of. In marketing terms, this means thinking about the target audience you identified in your legal marketing plan. However, community involvement activities may have nothing to do with who you’re trying to market to. That’s ok, as later we’ll go over how any community involvement can be leveraged to support your marketing and branding goals.
Here are just some of the ways your law firm, attorneys, and staff can get active in the community:
Pro Bono: Whether it’s a firm-sponsored event or through a legal aid or local bar organization, you can utilize your legal skills to help those in need. Organizations are often looking for attorneys to help people on a variety of issues, including immigration, domestic violence, restraining orders, adoptions, and tax issues.
Volunteering: Roll- up-your-sleeves-and-get-to-work volunteering has many options. From boxing up food for low-income families to beach clean-ups, hands-on volunteer work creates goodwill and connections with other volunteers and the people they serve.
Sponsorships: There are a lot of different events happening in any community, so there is a good opportunity to choose sponsorships that work for you and the law firm. These include your law firm’s logo on a banner at the Little League field, professional conferences where sponsorship packages may also include speaking or publishing opportunities, or donations to an organization that supports the arts.
Serve on a Board: Serving as a leader for organizations that are making a difference to a community—whether it be professional, religious, or a social action mission—generates a lot of visibility and trust. Many attorneys also find governing provides valuable professional experience and builds credibility.
Fundraising: Your firm may choose to participate as a team in a 5k walk to raise money for a cause or donate to and attend a silent auction that benefits the unhoused. While monetary contributions will always be appreciated, participation provides opportunities to network. Your law firm could even hold its own fundraiser, such as raising money for school supplies or bringing critical resources to a community hit by a natural disaster.
Presentations: Provide free virtual or in-person legal seminars or workshops. Discuss estate planning at senior centers or new business laws at the local chambers of commerce breakfast.
Outreach Programs: Create or participate in an existing outreach program to help those in need. Examples include mentoring at-risk high school or college students and rehabilitation programs to support ex-convicts and break the recidivism chain.
Ensuring Your Community Involvement Supports Your Law Firm’s Branding Efforts
All the above community involvement activities on their own generate brand awareness simply by having the law firm’s name and its employees involved and visible. But there is more you can do to ensure those efforts also support your branding.
At in-person events, consider having law firm participants wear brand shirts. Take photos and ask the attorneys and staff to do the same. Use those photos on the law firm’s website, social media platforms, or blog posts about the event and why it was meaningful to the firm and its employees. Be sure to use any hashtags for the event or tag the event organizer. When attorneys and staff post about the event on their personal social media, ask them to tag the law firm.
Include community involvement efforts on the law firm's website. This information generally appears on the firm’s “about,” “career,” or “mission statement” sections. It is also helpful to include that information on Individual attorney's bios.
Community involvement is a great way to support your law firm’s brand because of the visibility and goodwill it generates. Current and potential employees and clients will view your law firm as responsible, giving, and caring — all sentiments that contribute to a strong law firm brand.
Ready to take your law firm brand to the next level? Contact Scorpion today to learn how we can help you run your best legal business.