History of Lawyer Advertising and Legal Marketing


Lawyer advertising was banned in all states in the U.S. in the early 1900s. This was due to the concerns on the impact of advertising on the legal profession. Because of the nationwide ban, lawyers in the U.S. had little to no options on marketing their services to a wider range of potential clients.

As a result, people needing legal services had a hard time looking for lawyers who are the exact fit for their legal needs. The lawyer’s presence is confined in their brick-and-mortar office and business depends mostly on word of mouth referrals.

When Did It Become Legal for Attorneys to Advertise?

In 1972, the Bates court passed a decision that lawyer advertising was a form of free speech protected by the First Amendment. The bans on lawyer advertising were then lifted by the state bars. Lawyers can now advertise but are still subjected to the state bar’s regulation to avoid any false or misleading advertisements.

Different Forms of Lawyer Advertising and Return on Investment

From the early 1970s onwards, different forms of advertisement took off. Attorneys could advertise in newspapers and magazines, yellow pages, billboards and any appropriate ad space available. Lawyer advertising became more important for the legal industry to reach their targeted clients.

Popular forms of attorney advertising include:

  • Print: These include newspaper ads, phone book ads, and billboard ads.
  • Broadcast media: Examples are ads on television and radio.
  • Online advertising: These include online marketing, pay-per-click ads and attorney-client matching services.

Print and broadcast media don’t often generate income for the lawyers. They yield lower returns. They only pay for themselves and don’t often lead to clients hiring you. That is why these traditional forms of advertising were quickly overtaken by the modern form of attorney advertising – the online marketing methods.

Online advertising is the newest and most effective form of lawyer advertising when compared to the traditional ones. Lawyers are abandoning the older forms of advertising and have embraced the online marketing methods because of the huge impact online advertising and marketing has on their return on investment.

It provides more income in a shorter time period than any other form of advertising at only a small fraction of the cost compared to print and media ads.

How LegalMatch Plays an Important Role in Online Marketing for Attorneys

Attorney-client matching is a subset of online legal advertising. It matches the potential clients seeking legal help to member lawyers who are qualified and have the expertise in their specific legal concerns. Aside from the category of law, the location is also considered. This means that a potential client will only be matched to a lawyer that is within the client’s county or geographical area.

LegalMatch is an attorney-client matching service and a lead generation platform for lawyers. It gives the lawyers the right clients who have already presented a need for their expertise. This is made possible through the case intake process, where clients can provide relevant information of their specific legal issue. This saves the lawyers valuable time since they can pre-screen case postings and select only those cases that are right for them. The clients on the other hand can review lawyers matched to them. They can make the right selection as to which lawyer they think has the expertise and the right experience that can help them with their specific legal issue.

For the past two decades, LegalMatch has helped lawyers connect to a wide cross-section of clients in the U.S. With its robust platform, potential clients can easily be matched to a lawyer in less than a minute after posting a case.

A LegalMatch attorney membership enables lawyers to have a strong online presence and client reach. It helps lawyers gain potential clients who wouldn’t have found them through print and media ads. This helps them grow the business.

Here are some of the testimonials from our member attorneys:

With LegalMatch, the inflow of referrals has just been phenomenal. Over the last 8 months, I got anywhere from five to seven referrals a week and about eleven or twelve hires based on these referrals, which has done a tremendous amount for my business. LegalMatch has made my firm more successful. I would not have known about these people and they most likely would not have found me, among the hundred other family law attorneys in this area, without LegalMatch. Jennie H., Nacogdoches, TX, Family Law

LegalMatch has significantly expanded my client base. It has provided me with cases that I would not normally receive. I get a lot of clients who are passing through my city and get into some trouble. I also receive out of state clients looking for a local attorney to handle their legal matters. Without LegalMatch these types of clients would never have found me. Drew L., Baton Rouge, LA, Criminal Law

In digital advertising, the less “sell” there is, the better it serves consumers. LegalMatch provides the following features that print and media ads simply cannot match up to:

  • An attorney review process for potential clients to ensure that they are making the right selection for their specific legal issue.
  • A screening process for lawyers where they can pre-screen case postings and choose only those that are relevant to their practice, experience, and preference.
  • A remote process that reduces costs and time for those urgently needing legal help.

These features increase the likelihood that an actual attorney-client relationship is formed.