Because family law cases usually have a limited duration, there is a need to have a constant flow of new business to maintain a successful family law practice. After all, there is little repeat business in this practice area.  Since family law clients are usually individuals, most of whom have never dealt with a lawyer before, it is difficult to target a specific group for marketing purposes. While in the past business just came in the door by virtue of hanging a shingle outside, today, with all the competition and the myriad ways of communicating to potential clients, even the most seasoned professional needs to keep up with client development.

For those not adept at business development, figuring out where to begin can be daunting.  The following tips will provide some direction:

1. Let People Know Who You Are and What You Do

Potential family law clients are everywhere, but they will not know that you can help them unless they know what you do. Therefore, it is critical that you let everyone know about your practice.  This includes neighbors, friends, people at church/synagogue, people at your kids’ schools, everyone and anyone that you encounter.  Have your elevator speech prepared to give to anyone who is interested.  The more people who know about your specialty, the greater chance that they will refer you to their friends and family members who are divorcing or otherwise need a family lawyer.

2. Find a Marketing Tool You are Passionate About

It is easy to develop business if you are doing something that you enjoy.  For example, if you are a good writer, work on submitting articles to your local bar association publication or a family law magazine or website.  You can even be your own publisher these days by creating your own blog or sharing legal guides on other websites.  Think of topics that would be of interest to prospective clients.  If you enjoy speaking to groups, seek out opportunities to talk on a family law topic or put together your own seminar to a community group to attract potential clients.

3. Use Social Media

Social media provides an ideal platform for one to develop business.  Use platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to connect with others and to let them know what you are doing professionally. You can even post topical content from others to show the latest developments in family law.  Keeping your social media platforms fresh and up to date will keep your name at the top of the referral list of your contacts. While you are using social media to promote yourself, keep in mind what you are posting.  Negative or offensive comments about a particular topic can potentially offend potential clients, so keep your personal opinions limited to those social media sites you are not using professionally. Make sure that you use the privacy features to keep your private views private.

4. Keep Your Website/Web Bio Updated

Today everyone uses search engines to vet potential lawyers.  Thus, you’ll want to make sure that your online profiles, such as avvo.com and lawyers.com, are kept up to date with your current information – including your speaking engagements, recent articles you’ve published, the name of your blog, awards and achievements, etc.  Be sure to include your experience and the locations where you practice. If you have a firm website, make sure you keep your information current there as well. Even if you do not have the time to maintain the site yourself, it is so important to keep it updated that you should hire someone to do it for you.

While keeping new clients coming in is part of a successful family law practice, finding these clients should not be difficult because they can be anywhere and everywhere.  The most important thing you can do is to be ready to accept them by keeping all of your information on the internet up to date, finding marketing tools you enjoy using and making sure others know what you do.

Editor’s note:

Legal directory platforms like avvo.com and lawyers.com are good resources to showcase who you are and what you do. These websites allow attorneys to present a strong personal bio and experience, not only on the site but in Google results as well.