What the pandemic taught small law firms about resilience in uncertain economic times 

A Black female attorney smiles while walking outside with trees changing colors in the background.

Change is the only constant in life. This quote by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus was never more apparent to small law firms than in 2020. At the height of the pandemic, many of the traditional methods small law firms used to attract and retain clients were upended. Coming to terms with this new reality, attorneys and firms were forced to pivot and adjust. For some, this meant exploring new practice areas and investing in new digital technologies. Ultimately, these strategic moves helped attorneys and small law firms not only weather the uncertain economic times the pandemic created with resilience, but it also set them up for continued economic success.  

Responding to legal market shifts with resilience

Pre-pandemic, your firm may have relied on referrals and more traditional forms of advertising to gain new clients. Sure, you had a basic website and maybe dabbled a bit in social media, but the digital world wasn’t where you invested the bulk of your effort, time, or marketing dollars. To attract local clients, you relied on sponsorships of community events and advertised in area movie theaters and grocery stores. But the pandemic changed everything. As events were cancelled, movie theaters shuttered, and people turned to online grocery shopping it meant your ads weren’t being seen. And as the backlog of cases at courts grew, referral traffic dried up.  

People still had legal problems. But those problems were different and may have fallen outside your normal scope of practice. As unemployment numbers surged and office workers stayed home, workers’ compensation cases dwindled. Likewise, the number of traffic accidents and DUIs plummeted. For you, that meant your practice also had to shift. People still needed your legal expertise, but they now needed your help resolving child custody disputes, real estate contracts and landlord tenant matters. So, you made a strategic move and went to work brushing up on less-familiar practice areas and perfecting video conferencing client calls and court appearances.  

Building an integrated digital presence

There’s no doubt that the pandemic forced change upon small law firms at a rapid pace, causing them to adapt with resilience. And one of the biggest changes centered on the methods law firms used to raise awareness of their services, build trust with legal consumers, and attract new clients. And it was obvious that a basic website and a few social media posts weren’t going to get firms noticed in the crowded online legal marketplace. Your firm needed to build a robust and integrated digital presence – and quickly.  

You knew that legal consumers would be turning to the internet in record numbers to learn more about their issues and to find, vet, and connect with attorneys. You knew your firm needed to be included in go-to, highly reputable legal directories like FindLaw.com and Abogado.com. You knew that legal consumers would also be turning to social media and online reviews as part of their vetting process. You knew that, to appeal and speak to potential clients, your website needed to do more heavy lifting and that blog posts offered an excellent way to demonstrate your expertise on specific legal issues. And you wanted to make sure that search engines were serving up your firm to legal consumers – especially in your area. So, you took the leap and acted.  

You did what you knew you needed to do to meet legal consumers where they were. You adapted and invested in an integrated marketing solution that helped your firm connect and build trust with legal consumers in need.   

Looking to the future

The pandemic taught solo attorneys and small law firms many lessons, including the need to be nimble and adaptable with resilience. It also magnified the importance of having a strong digital presence. As small law firms look to the future, the one thing that’s certain is that more changes are on the horizon. And when the next big change occurs, small law firms who invested in an integrated marketing approach will be well prepared and positioned.   

Learn more today about how an integrated marketing approach is the best way for your firm to reach its business development goals. 

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