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The Absolute Best “Super Lawyer” Ad Design

A few years ago, Balch & Bingham had many of its attorneys selected for a particular “Best Lawyers”-type local publication, and the firm had bought an ad to support them.  But the firm’s terrific Marketing Director Nora Chandler didn’t want to do the typical self-congratulatory type of ad that all the other firms were likely to do, i.e. an awkward group shot of the lawyers with a simple, bragging sentence or a three-word/three-sentence alliterative headline.  Something like these:

“Committed to Clients.”  or  “Smart. Skilled. Savvy.”


Nora wanted something entirely different.  Something that would stand out, show their firm’s friendly personality, and also include the info about the lawyers who had been selected. We came up with a bunch of ideas, and below is the version Nora selected.  The headline:

“What?  You’d rather see another picture of a bunch of lawyers in suits?”

Balch BEST Super Leading Cigar Bulldog

Obviously, it stood out, even with an inexpensive Royalty-Free photo.  In fact, it was the only ad in the entire publication that got any attention at all.

The rest of the ads all looked alike:  too-carefully composed groups of lawyers in suits, smiling painfully, below generic headlines.  The other firms’ ads, at ~$10,000/page were de facto invisible.  No readers paid the costly ads any attention at all (except perhaps for the photographed lawyers themselves).

But the Balch ad was a surprise.

It was unexpected.  It stopped you on the page and made you read the headline.  It conveyed a sense of humor instead of self importance. Then the readers smiled and read the firm name at the bottom.

And what did readers see when they turned the page?  Yup, a bunch of lawyers in suits.

The photos below show how the Balch ad stands out in contrast to the typical “Leading Lawyers”-type ads.

Which one of these below are YOU looking at?

Balch ad plus cigar dog super best suits four others


Remember, whether it’s in print or online, if you want readers to notice you, you must stand out!  

Be creative.  Find a way to be different.

Don’t take the easy way out and do the same old thing.  And if you can’t, then don’t waste your money.  Do something else that will work.


We’re pleased to announce that this blog post received “SmallLaw Pick of the Week” from SmallLaw, “a popular email newsletter for solo practitioners and those who manage and work in small law firms.”  Their editorial team reviews hundreds of articles published during the previous week, and selects one as their  This blog post received this award last week.

SmallLaw pick of the week