Marketing and advertising are often understood as the same thing, but in reality, marketing is a bigger umbrella under the ambit of which advertising falls. The legal standards governing Indian law and the professional life of a lawyer is not fitting into the current situation anymore. Advertising is one of the fastest ways where one can use the referral and build heavy impression from the very start.
ARE LAWYERS ALLOWED TO ADVERTISE?
It was clarified in the case of V.B. Joshi v Union of India, that lawyers are allowed to advertise only 5 things over the internet, i.e. online:
- Name of the firm
- Address, Telephone Number and Email Id
- Details of enrollment; Details of state bar council were registered; Name of the bar association currently registered under
- Areas of practice
- Professional and academic qualifications
The Indian scenario is that no advocate is allowed to solicit the work or advertise any work through any other medium other than that maintained by the Bar Council of India. The proviso of Rule 36 allows lawyers and law firms to maintain a website for themselves and provide information to the clients. So, this proviso acts as a ladder to bridge the gap between lawyers and marketing.
Every website of law firm you visit starts with a page of a disclaimer where it is clarified that “the website is designed only for the purpose of disseminating information…”
WAYS IN WHICH LAWYERS CAN ADVERTISE?
In the continuing scrimmage between the Bar Council of India and the lawyers which respect to advertising strategies, here are some methods or strategies which can help a lawyer advertise are:
- An interactive and informative website
Since it is the option of the person whether they want to receive the information through the website, this is a method to help those who want to acquire information through the website. There can be a list of clients which the law firm works with, and that gives an idea of how effectively the law firm is functioning. You can showcase what you or firm do.
Website is legally allowed and also a great tool for advertisement, so why not make the most of it, by creating an interactive website, where we have chatbots which can listen to the queries and help with legal guidance by an expert in case one is sought by the client.
Build your website with contact details through emails and telephones, schedule a meeting or a telephonic conversation through the website. This will give the ease of connectivity, and when it is easy, and the client needs legal assistance, they will seek this method.
- Build social media presence
Social media presence can be built by publishing a timely newsletter, by publishing blogs on articles of relevant legal topics. Even on platforms like Facebook, publishing some interesting legal news always captures the audience, and lets the person have a look at your website. Building a networking profile on LinkedIn will help build advertise your law firm and gain more access.
This is certainly a valuable tool and also comes free of cost, but don’t be too engrossed in promoting yourself on social media. At times, your time and attention might be just required to spend on developing the website more and more.
Through social media pages or blogs, not only publish what you have written, or employees of your law firm have written, publish content which you get from others, by giving them due credit as well. This will help people get motivated to read from your website and write for the website, blog, etc.
- Ask your clients
This method will not make you look small or make them believe that you do not have more clients. Always in a very diplomatic way put to the client that any legal help in your area of expertise is sought by the client, his family, or friends, you will be there to help. Make it clear that you have the time, resources, and professional to look after a new client or a new deal.
- Advertise indirectly
By saying this, I am opening the lawyers to offer not only services like solving disputes or entering into negotiation, etc. the method includes providing of services like Electronic books or hard-cover books, by organizing seminars, by intaking of interns, by providing for legal courses like certificate course, diploma course, capsule courses, etc. this will be a source of revenue also and help advertise yourself without disturbing the rules of advertisement.
Creating awareness like organizing campaigns, being associated with local NGOs, etc. to provide free services, filing of Public Interest Litigations on society relevant topics will help reach the people and build a client network.
Advertisement is directly possible with the help of a website and social media. However, there are various other indirect methods which will help build a presence in the market and let people know about your presence in the same. So, adopt the same, get more and more clients for yourself, and enjoy being in the profession.