“Bicoastal giant” Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe was one of the nation’s largest and most strategic firms. Based in San Francisco and New York, and led by a prominent managing partner and CMO, the 600-lawyer firm recognized early that the success of a law firm depends upon its ability to attract the top talent from the leading schools.
While Greenfield Belser developed a firm-wide branding initiative on a parallel track, Orrick’s well-known marketing director Norm Rubenstein sought Fishman Marketing’s assistance to build an aggressive law student recruiting campaign to drive its strong reputation for innovation and technology into more of the nation’s top law schools.
Today’s law students are smart, sophisticated, and cynical. They are too savvy to buy the typical hollow claims of collegiality, work/life balance and pro bono work combined with high salaries and short hours. The firm had a legitimately strong message and needed to convey it persuasively and credibly.
A multi-prong strategy, combining advertising, promotional material, and innovative marketing tools.
Working closely with both the firm’s skilled Recruiting and Marketing Departments, FM conceived the legal profession’s first brochure that makes absolutely no self-aggrandizing claims about the law firm.
In recognition of the savvy cynicism of their target audience, the entire brochure was built around direct quotes from credible media sources. There were no adjectives used, no facts alleged, or claims made without a direct third-party citation. It was entitled, “No Spin” because the firm does not try to shape the message, it just states the facts and lets the audience draw their own conclusion.
FM worked with Greenfield/Belser, the firm’s existing design agency, to create an eye-catching brochure which made a powerful statement to the target audience, built around its popular “O” brand. For example:
“We will simply reprint what the legal and business media are saying about Orrick without spin or hyperbole, and let you decide. You’re going to anyway. So lets start with the fact that vault.com recognizes we are ‘a fast-growing, aggressive firm… with ambitious expansion goals,’ whose clients are ‘movers and shakers on both coasts.’
“Catch a Break” computer game.
We also developed the nation’s first law firm computer game. This fun reflex-oriented game draws law student traffic to the web site, while reinforcing the firm’s central messages and office locations with the same positive media quotes while you play. It also creates a solid buzz on campus, showing Orrick as a creative, interesting, tech-savvy firm. Traffic drawn to the game drew law student viewers to the firm’s web site, where they learned more information about the firm.
Just before on-campus interviews at the major law schools, we distributed logo’d retractable modem cords into each student’s mail boxes (remember those?), giving them a useful and tangible reminder way to remember the firm, at a time before these cords were widely available.
The recruiting/marketing program was sufficiently innovative to merit its own publicity. FM and the firm’s outside PR agency generated numerous articles about the recruiting campaign.
Working with the same design firm, we developed an advertising and direct mail campaign using the computer game’s imagery to help draw traffic to the game — and the firm’s web site.
FM redesigned the recruiting section of the firm’s web site, and rewrote the firm’s NALP form to focus on the media quotes.
The recruiting campaign made an immediate impact upon the target law students, quickly enhancing the firm’s name recognition, and increasing the quantity and quality of the students interested in interviewing with the firm.