The Zen of Attorney Marketing: Quietly Building a Successful Law Practice


What if you could build a successful law practice quietly–without shouting your message but by letting your message be heard, without trying to find clients but by letting clients find you?

In my father’s day, attorneys didn’t do any marketing. Oh, they did a little networking or public speaking or they wrote the occasional article, but they did these things because they naturally flowed from what they were doing in their practice. They didn’t attend a bar meeting because they were “marketing”; they went because they enjoyed being there, catching up with their friends, and learning some things they could use in their practice.

It’s different today. Not because there is more competition, higher overhead, or a faster paced world. Yes, the world is much more complex than it was fifty years ago when my father started practicing, or thirty years ago when I did, or even fifteen years ago, before everyone had broad band and smart phones. But our world is not different so much because of those things but because we make it so.

We run and push and struggle because we’ve bought into the notion that to be successful, we have to shout louder, promote harder, and spend bigger. We advertise or jump on board the latest social media concept, not because it feels natural, not for the joy of doing it, but because we fear being left behind.

Is the effort worth it? We might bring in more clients but are we any happier? Too often, the answer is “no”.

How do we get back to the way it used to be when a lawyer’s practice grew naturally? By getting out of your own way and letting things happen, instead of constantly trying to make them happen.

It starts with letting go of assumptions that don’t serve us and realizing that marketing can not only be organic, for sustained success and true contentment, it must be. Marketing can never be something you loathe or feel like you “have to do.” It cannot be something you do, it must be an expression of who you are.

Leo Babauta, who writes the Zen Habits blog, reminds us that sustained success and contentment don’t come from following the herd or from doing things you resist doing but feel you must, they come from delivering value, something my father didn’t need to read, he just did.