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Internet Marketing for Lawyers – Advice That Counts

Lawyers face the same challenges any business does. In order to get new business they must market their services, i.e., advertise. And lawyers deal with the same marketing and advertising challenge every business does – how to beat the competition. Plus lawyers have to assume that any Internet or non-Internet marketing or advertising they do may well produce little or no results for the amount of time and money they spend — regardless of what an outside marketing or advertising advisor may say to the contrary.

Prior to the Internet the main non-Internet marketing option or advertising choice for any lawyer was to advertise in the yellow pages. To this day the print yellow pages contain plenty of colorful, one page display ads that feature lawyers offering their services, and lawyers pay a lot for these ads. How effective these ads are is anyone’s guess — it’s hard for your colored, one page display ad to stand out when you have 20 other lawyers doing the exact same thing! The yellow pages companies, however, continue to promote their marketing and advertising philosophy that “bigger is always better” and “everything we sell is an opportunity,” so they often present a lawyer with a non-Internet marketing and advertising solution that costs plenty but often produces little.

This line of thinking, along with the use of print yellow pages in general, has gone the way of the dinosaur at a very accelerated pace. The yellow pages in print form had their heyday for many decades, but the population now goes to the Internet for the information they seek, so most print directories are collecting dust. A lawyer who advertises in the print yellow pages may well get calls, but they’ll most likely be from vendors using the yellow pages as a cheap source of leads.

The major paid search providers (pay per click search engines) tend to offer lawyers Internet marketing and advertising solutions in a manner similar to the way the yellow pages do with their print directories. “Bigger is always better,” so rather than realistically discuss with a lawyer a pay per click Internet marketing and advertising campaign that makes financial sense and produces a decent ROI, the pay per click providers will tell the lawyer to go for as many top listing keywords (the most expensive) as their budget will permit and bid as high as they can. The lawyer may go broke in the process, but at least they’ll get exposure! Many lawyers get into pay per click as a quick way to get leads but quickly exit a month later after spending lots of money for Internet marketing and advertising results that produce nothing but expense.

While pay per click Internet marketing and advertising is the running favorite of Internet marketing advertisers worldwide, pay per click advertising for a lawyer is usually an extremely expensive proposition for what they get. How much a lawyer is willing to “pay for a lead” takes on a whole new meaning with pay per click. The cost per click for many lawyer related keywords, e.g., “personal injury lawyer,” “criminal defense lawyer,” can range from $5.00 to $70.00 per click depending on the market, and when the typical lawyer’s conversion rate (the number of clicks it takes to generate a lead) of one to two percent is factored in, the lawyer can find themselves paying upwards of $500.00 to $7,000.00 per lead, and a lead is not a client.

Part of the problem lawyers face when they work with pay per click (and this translates directly into poor conversion rates) is that (1) they spend little time creating their pay per click ads and (2) the ads direct traffic to the lawyer’s website. Any Internet marketing professional who knows something about pay per click knows you never send pay per click traffic to a website. Instead you create special pages, i.e., “landing pages” for pay per click traffic to be directed to. The landing pages perform the job of convincing traffic to do what the lawyer requires, which is normally to contact the lawyer via e-mail or by phone.

Legal Internet directories and portals offer the lawyer a potential Internet marketing and advertising option because of their popularity and enhanced Internet visibility. How effective a listing in a legal Internet directory or portal can be for a lawyer in terms of marketing, advertising and Internet exposure will depend upon the particular attributes of the legal Internet directory or portal in question. All things being equal, legal Internet directories or portals that charge a fee to be listed in them make more sense as an Internet marketing and advertising choice than similar sites that offer listings for free. The lawyer has to be particularly careful, however, when they consider advertising in legal Internet directories and portals that “look” like they offer a lot — and a price to go with it — but for whatever reasons simply do not produce enough leads for the amount of Internet marketing and advertising money the lawyer must spend.

Many legal Internet directories and portals exist that have a very strong Internet presence, and they are excellent resource centers for lawyers, but this does not automatically make them good places to advertise. With Internet legal portals especially it’s not how many lawyers the portal attracts but how many people the Internet legal portal attracts who are searching for legal services. People have paid thousands of dollars for advertising in Internet legal portals that have produced nothing in the way of Internet marketing and advertising results. A very wise idea for any lawyer who considers advertising in an Internet legal portal is to get some very accurate user demographics on what kind of specific traffic the Internet legal portal is actually attracting.

What is a lawyer supposed to do? Everywhere the lawyer looks, whether the marketing and advertising media is Internet or non-Internet, considerable financial risk is involved, and a guarantee that the lawyer will get good, solid results for the amount of money they spend is often hard to achieve.

Ultimately the best way for a lawyer to go with Internet marketing and advertising – the way that will ultimately get them the best long term results for the money they spend — is to focus on getting their website to rank high in organic search results. When all things are considered, people on the Internet who search for goods and services mainly search for websites to find their answers. They may look to legal Internet directories and portals, and if they don’t find what they want they may turn to pay per click listings as a last resort (only about 30% to 40% of users bother with pay per click) but ultimately people who search the Internet are looking for websites that provide them with the answers they seek.

If a lawyer is looking for an Internet marketing and advertising solution that doesn’t require being part of the pay per click crowd, the lawyer may want to look into pay per phone call programs. Pay per phone call is like pay per click, but the lawyer does not pay for a call unless they receive one. And the costs for pay per phone call are normally substantially less that what the lawyer will pay for a click in many cases. A smart lawyer may even want to consider getting involved with several pay per phone call providers with the idea that between the providers the lawyer will receive enough leads in the aggregate to make involvement with these programs worth it.

Many of the Internet marketing and advertising solutions that a lawyer chooses to look into must be tried on a case by case basis. Absolutely nothing can be assumed. A pay per click advertising campaign that works extremely well for the lawyer with one search provider might fail miserably with another.

One last thing that a lawyer should be aware of when it comes to the Internet and a website presence is that appearances really do count. Many people have been on the Internet for 10 years and have correspondingly seen websites of all types and styles. People are used to seeing professionally designed websites. The lawyer’s website should be too.

How Personal Injury Attorneys & Serious Injury Lawyers Present Damages in Catastrophic Injury Cases

Personal injury lawyers commonly are consulted by a potential client who has been seriously injured or who has suffered catastrophic injuries as the result of the breadth of negligent conduct, from an auto accident or bicycle or pedestrian or motorcycle accident to medical malpractice, a product defect, food poisoning, or a defect or failure to maintain commercial or residential premises.

While “liability” in some cases may be simple, such as the auto accident lawyers establishing through witness testimony that the defendant driver ran the red light, the presentation of the damage case in every serious injury case is complex. Specific injuries sustained in auto accidents or premises liability cases, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis, quadriplegia or paraplegia, and the resulting loss of enjoyment of life, can be as complex to present by personal injury lawyers as the evidence of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome HUS in a food poisoning case, or cerebral palsy in an obstetrical medical malpractice case.

Furthermore, speaking again just in terms of the client’s “general damages,” the personal injury lawyers must use appropriate strategies to convey to the settlement judge or jury the life consequence of the serious injuries. Many personal injury attorneys refer to “general damages” as “pain and suffering,” but often the most persuasive strategy can be framed in terms of “loss of enjoyment of life.” One way that lawyers will present their clients general damages is by eliciting the testimony of the client, his family and friends, as well as photographs and home movies demonstrating all the activities that the client enjoyed most in his life before the accident, juxtaposed against a “Day in the Life” film, commissioned by the personal injury lawyer to demonstrate the courage of the seriously injured client as he confronts all of the obstacles and challenges presented by his daily life.

The personal injury lawyer must also present the client’s “special damages” including his past and future medical expenses and past and future loss of earnings or earning capacity. Past medical expenses are often easy to prove, simply gathering and summing all medical bills accumulated from the date of the accident through the date of the settlement conference or trial. Future medical expenses are much more complicated for personal injury attorneys to present, usually requiring the testimony of a number of medical experts, a life care planner and a forensic economist. Very briefly, the life care planner consults with the treating and the medical experts hired by the serious injury attorneys to arrive at the client’s life expectancy and itemize all of the medical expense, from additional surgeries to convalescent home or rehabilitation expense, to replacement prostheses or wheel chairs to medical supplies that the client will require over the course of his life expectancy. The personal injury lawyer will the present the “life care plan” to a forensic economist who will increase the individual costs over the time period using medical cost inflation statistics and then reduce the total to present value.

In the simplest of cases, involving the hourly wage earner, for example, the measure of past loss of earnings might be relatively easy to calculate, but the measure of future loss of earning is always complex. Again it requires the personal injury lawyer to engage a number of experts, including medical experts, and most importantly a “vocational rehabilitation expert” and forensic economist. The measure of future loss of earnings or earning capacity is the “net” loss, and so the vocational rehabilitation expert generally meets with the client, speaks with the clients physicians and the medical experts selected by the serious injury lawyer, reviews the clients transcripts from the schooling or advanced education he has received, and then provides a report to the lawyer describing the occupations for which the client is, subsequent to the accident, is disqualified to participate in, and the occupations for which he remains qualified. Depending on the client’s injury, there may also be a substantial difference between the client’s “work life expectancy” before and after the accident. The serious injury lawyers then provide the vocational rehabilitation experts report to the forensic economist, who in turn employs wage rate increase statistics, for the client’s occupation before the accident, and in those industries for which he is still qualified to be employed, if any, and applies general inflation statistics to the gross total loss of future earnings to discount to present value.

Please understand that above our California personal injury lawyers have discussed only the “simplest case” of the hourly wage earner. Presenting future loss earnings, for example, can be much more complicated, for example, in cases in which the client was a business owner. For a more complete discussion of the presentation of damages in serious injury cases, you are invited to consider How Serious Injury Lawyers President Damages in Catastrophic Injury Cases In that article we go into much more depth in explaining how serious injury attorneys present general damages and special damages, including in particular, future medical expenses and future loss of earnings.

It is a challenge for personal injury lawyers to properly and adequately present the damage case of the seriously injury client. It is a challenge that must be accepted by attorneys who regularly prosecute complex cases, such as medical malpractice, food poisoning or pharmaceutical product liability cases, as well as auto accident lawyers and premises liability attorneys alike. The special damage issues, which are the commonly the most complex, are the regardless whether the underlying liability is a simple auto accident or complex medical malpractice case. And the damage case requires equal attention, regardless of the underlying liability, by the personal injury lawyer who undertakes any serious injury case.

Divorce Lawyer: Key to Divorce

Divorce refers to the dissolution or the legal end of a marriage. Every state has its own legal requirements governing when a divorce may be granted. These legal requirements may include a residency requirement, grounds or a reason for the divorce, among others. The grounds for divorce may vary from being fault-based and no-fault based. All these requirements vary from state to state. Certain exceptions like ‘Irreconcilable Differences’ and ‘Irretrievable Breakdown’ are common no-fault grounds for divorce in almost all states. Your divorce could be the most important financial decision in life, as well as one of the most nerve wrecking. In such a circumstance, the key person who can see you through this is a divorce lawyer.The divorce lawyer helps you in making extremely important financial and emotional decisions like child custody, property divisions etc. You must choose a lawyer well versed and specializing in Family Law.You can look for a good lawyer by asking around, consulting your friends, relatives and acquaintances. A divorce lawyer with references will be more helpful than the one who is completely unknown to you and all people around. When you first meet the lawyer, give all case facts. The fee quoted by the person will be a rough approximate as the amount of legal work involved is not very clear. Usually, they charge by the hour, and a retainer fee as an advance payment may be desired by the lawyer. You are at liberty to interview a few lawyers before choosing one to represent you in court.To be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to enquire from the lawyers the following facts:o The relevant experience he/she has in Family Law and number of years of practice in this field.

o Steps involved in the divorce process as well as expected time frame and legalities involved.
o Filing fee and the fee that any additional legal assistants employed will ask for.
o Inquire about the Retainer Agreement policy of the lawyer/firm.
o Billing cycle of the lawyer.A good lawyer will answer all queries, and will try to address any concerns that you may have about legal implications or your case in general.A good divorce lawyer:o Will always be prepared for all your hearings.
o Will know exactly what your expectation from the case is.
o Will not be able to win all hearings.
o May not be able to answer your calls 24*7*365.Once you and your spouse start the proceedings, do not sign any paper for your partner without express knowledge of your divorce lawyer. Litigations and negotiations are little subjective so ask your lawyer about his/her policy in this matter.A good divorce lawyer is invaluable to your case, so you should choose one carefully. Also, once your case starts, do not change lawyers unless it is absolutely necessary as this may also harm your case. In case you are looking to change divorce lawyers, make sure that you get all information from the previous divorce lawyer such as who is the judge, necessary papers etc, so a smooth transition is possible. Once you place your trust in a lawyer, do it completely and assist him/her. After all, it is your own life.