A big-firm spin-off, the ten trial lawyers at the Collins Law Firm are tough as nails, handling national complex litigation cases from an office in a western suburb of Chicago, similar to hundreds of small general-practice firms. They wanted to ensure that they were never mistaken for those firms.
We developed a strategy that showcased their aggressive style with a little light humor, supported by a public relations campaign that challenged the politically correct movement toward lawyer “civility.”
We focused on the firm’s unique strength, an ethical but take-no-prisoners approach to litigation that favors representing the smaller underdogs against much larger corporations or law firms.
Using a combination of advertising and public relations, managing partner Shawn Collins wrote a series of op-ed pieces for legal and business periodicals that positioned him firmly on the side of the clients. He challenged the nationwide “civility” movement, declaring that the focus on attorneys being nice to each other in litigation is not necessarily in the clients’ best interests. These led to additional coverage and a bar association Civility Conference against some the bar’s most outspoken civility supporters.
Before selecting the ad among other compelling but less-aggressive messages, every firm attorney and employee was consulted. They unanimously agreed that the “shoe” ad captured the firm’s essence. The ad text summarizes their story:
“In a business fight, you have to put your foot down. When this happens you just might need a bare-knuckled trial lawyer to make the bully go pick on someone his own size. The Collins Law Firm has that kind of lawyer. We’re tough-minded and aggressive. We demand results… and send the bullies back home. Think we can help you? Contact …”
The advertising and marketing program has put the firm on the map in Chicago, and created an entirely new image for the firm, both inside and out. It became the central focus of attorney recruiting, used as a barometer to evaluate new lawyers’ compatibility with the firm. Candidates who do not buy into the advertising message are not hired.
In short order, the firm obtained a dozen new clients who cold-called the firm in direct response to the ad.
Working together, we sought maximum impact as efficiently as possible. The aggressive nature of the campaign has attracted significant free publicity as national publications featured the campaign. In fact, one magazine slashed its advertising rate because they were so interested in running run the Collins Law Firm advertisement in their publication.