Market Focus: Lawyers
On a professional level, lawyers are more diverse. “Few attorneys today can claim to be general practitioners,” explains Wood. “There are dozens of areas of practice.” Among the New York State Bar Association’s membership, real property; business law; corporate law; litigation; and wills, trust and estate law rank among the most popular practice areas. But this can vary by geography. The majority of attorneys practicing in Delaware, for example, specialize in corporate law, says Bruhl.
Even within practice areas, lawyers tend to focus on specific aspects of their field, adds Richard Martin, the NYSBA’s senior director, marketing and information services. The challenge for marketers targeting lawyers is to research and understand the different types of lawyers and how their interests differ.
Finding Your Target
The scope of offers that appeals to lawyers might surprise you. There are, of course, the usual suspects: industry periodicals, books, seminars, office supplies and equipment, legal hardware and software, legal research, and other industry-specific products and services. Martin says timing and billing software, employee search services, and offers related to disaster preparedness and recovery also are of particular interest.
On a more personal level, Bruhl suggests marketers dealing in financial services, business periodicals, high-end travel magazines and services, and upscale catalogs are good matches for the legal market. Even fundraisers have experienced some success using the American Bar Association’s Donor List, which comprises more than 50,000 individuals who have contributed to the ABA’s Fund for Justice and Education.
“For some reason, mailers don’t think of lawyers when it comes to consumer prospects,” Vangundy continues. “It takes a lot of selling to get them to cross that barrier, but they usually find decent success when they use our file.”
With offers specific to certain aspects of law, finding the right target is relatively straightforward. “Area of practice is probably the biggest selection we offer on our legal files because if you are marketing to a securities lawyer, whether it be a book or a seminar, you want to make sure you are reaching a securities lawyer,” observes Monique Braban-Adams, vice president at NRL Management, which manages lists for Aspen Publishers and American Corporate Counsel Network, among others.