The TV Landscape is Dominated by Ambulance-Chasing Lawyers; The Situation Isn't the Same for YouTube Videos


Many lawyers—especially those 20 or 30 years into their careers—believe that it's distasteful to actively advertise their services, which is an understandable reaction to the tacky, blaring, “call our 800 number and sue!” ads so common on daytime TV. It's important to recognize, though, that advertising your law firm on YouTube is a very different beast from running endless “ambulance chaser” spots during the commercial breaks on Judge Judy.

In the U.S., Lawyer Advertising Is a Relatively Recent Innovation


It may seem hard to believe—especially if you're a newly minted attorney—but it wasn't legal for lawyers to advertise their services in the U.S. until the 1970’s after a key decision by the Supreme Court. Before then, lawyers and law firms had no choice but to obtain new clients the old-fashioned way—by networking, attending trade meetings, and (most of all) counting on references from existing clients.


Most lawyer advertising on TV is of extremely poor quality and even poorer taste. Basically, these commercials encourage viewers to assign blame to someone, anyone, for unavoidable, everyday accidents: “Did you recently trip and fall? Someone's at fault! Call 1-800-SueThem today and get the cash that's coming to you!” (Sadly, this tradition continues unabated, especially during daytime talk shows.)


This is the reason many lawyers who started practicing in the 70's and 80's are reluctant to advertise on YouTube: they can't shake the conviction that YouTube videos are just like daytime TV commercials, and they believe they'll come off like the desperate bottom-feeders that have given attorneys all over the country a bad name. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, YouTube provides lawyers a much-needed opportunity to market their services in a sane, understated, and low-key way that doesn't bring dishonor to the profession.

Worried About How You'll Come Off on YouTube? You Need Professional Advice


If you take a look at the average lawyer promotional video on YouTube, you'll probably see a staid, professional, and probably slightly boring “talking head” clip in which the attorney discusses his area of expertise and the services he can offer to prospective clients. That—except for the “slightly boring” part—is exactly how you want to present yourself. The YouTube marketing experts at Gearshift can get you pointed in the right direction. Call today at 877-477-7883 for a free consultation!

Jim Folliard
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Founder, Director, Cinematographer, Photographer & Editor