I’ve mentioned this in previous articles but it is worthwhile repeating the importance within our jobs of being more than just lawyers; we need to be businessmen and women and strive to create recognisable legal brands.

Over time, firms have had to restructure and rebrand, of course for different reasons. One reason might be the continued difficulties which legal aid has presented to firms over the years; diversification into different legal areas, for example, might have been necessary for some smaller firms trying to survive both the financial crisis which gripped the country and the shrinking legal aid budget!

I work in the Queens Park area of Glasgow wherein there are several firms within a short radius offering the same services; given the limited population within the area, it entails competition between firms to secure clients. How do clients chose which firm to consult with? On the face of things, from the outside looking in, there aren’t many factors to distinguish between firms.

Mainly, I would think, especially in parts of the city such as the one I work in where everyone knows everyone, word of mouth is key. By extension, people refer their family and friends to a particular firm/solicitor based on that person or company’s reputation. In turn, that solicitor’s or firm’s name becomes an established brand, which is equated with the provision of a trusted and quality service.

Therefore, the bricks and mortar may look almost identical from the street, but clients may already have made their minds up about which firm to consult, out of the many different firms situated along the high street. There are several different aspects to creating a brand. Clients expect a reliable, trustworthy service; they rely on us to provide accurate, correct advice. Clients also expect an efficient, cost-effective service; the structure of the internal workings of the firm from admin to office management to legal work should be such that work is streamlined into a smooth, transitional process that flows as seamlessly as possible.

Overall, being part of the new generation of lawyers means staying one step ahead of the game in a market which is ever more competitive and which is constantly evolving. By creating a recognisable, respected brand, this is a crucial way in which firms can survive and, more importantly, stand the test of time.

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