Law Firm Marketers – Is There A Future?


By Bruce W. Marcus

I want to thank Iris, Larry, and American Lawyer Media for inviting me to address you today. After all these years of marketing professional services, I think of you as my people. With all we’ve been through since Bates v. State Bar of Arizona told the lawyers and the accountants that it’s okay to market out loud, those of us who’ve been doing this for any length of time share battle scars. And I’m not sure that war is over yet.

As many of you know, I’ve been marketing for lawyers and accountants for some four or five decades. The Marcus Letter, which began in the very early ‘80s in hard copy, sprung from my 1983 book, Competing for Clients, and then morphed into one of the earliest web-based newsletters for lawyers and accountants a few years later. The theme of that book is so revolutionary that people tended to not take it seriously. It was that in today’s environment, the practice of law and accounting are – or should be – guided by the clients, not by the needs of the practice. Revolutionary. To gauge the progress of professional services marketing since Bates in 1977, you need only note that I had to write several new editions to keep up. The latest is Client At The Core, in 2005. Were I foolish enough to write a new version today, it would be substantially different than it was in 2005. Oh, well. New stuff every day.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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