Law Practice Management Asked and Answered Blog

Category: Marketing a Personal Injury Plaintiff Law Firm

Mar 29, 2011

Marketing a Personal Injury Plaintiff Practice


I am a partner in a five attorney PI plaintiff law firm in Central Kentucky. We have three partners and two associates in the firm. We are first generation. Our practice is focused 100% on PI plaintiff cases. While we focus on all types and sizes of PI cases we are not a high volume advertising PI practice. Our practice has been built upon our successes and referrals from past clients and other lawyers. We have never done much in the way of other forms of marketing and advertising other than a small yellow page ad and a Martindale Hubbell listing. We are finding it harder to obtain a sufficient quantity of quality cases as a result of increased competition from the advertising PI firms, statutory changes, tight fisted insurance company claim managers, etc. We believe that we may need to being doing more to market our practice. What are your suggestions?


We are hearing similiar stories from our PI plaintiff law firm clients across the U.S. Case counts are down, quality of cases are not what they used to be, competition is fierce, and cases are getting harder to settle. The strategy is different from a firm that wants to build a high volume practice (build a factory) from a firm that desires to build a reputation-based practice. In essence you need to determine whether you want to build a high volume practice (a factory) or continue with a high quality reputation-based practice. Assuming that you want to continue your reputation-based practice here are a few suggestions:

  1. Develop a long range strategic business plan – 10 pages or less
  2. Enhance and broaden the firm-wide marketing program to increase market awareness (referral sources and potential clients) and generate new client business. Review ROI from the firm’s marketing expenditures. Consider increasing marketing budget to 5%-10% of fee revenue.
  3. Develop the firm’s marketing infrastructure to include:

–    Adequate budget
–    First Rate Web Site
–    Appropriate directory listings
–    Inside Marketing Coordinator
–    Relationship Management Database
–    Capability Materials
–    E-News Letters via Service
–    Articles
–    Testimonials
–     Public Relations
–     Accountability by all attorneys and staff

4.    Develop a program for increasing the firm’s exposure to the newer younger generation non-PI and solo attorneys and small firms.

5.    Provide excellent client service

6.   Keep your yellow page ad for now but reduce investment

7.  Understand the power of PR in Trial Strategy.

8. Develop a formal lead tracking process and invest in resources

9. Organize to maximize contact with potential clients.

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John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

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