Why Lawyer Marketing For Criminal Defense Attorneys Is Difficult

November 21 , 2022 | BY admin

criminal defense

There is a lot of competition in lawyer marketing for criminal defense attorneys. With many criminal defense attorneys in major cities, you need to work tirelessly to stand out from other legal professionals. Word-of-mouth referrals and the courthouse are helpful but alone, they will not generate the leads you need to stay successful and profitable for the long term.

Learn more about why law firm marketing is difficult for criminal defense lawyers. Also, find out how to make your law firm more competitive below.

Why Is Criminal Defense Marketing So Competitive?

Did you know there are approximately 250,000 criminal defense attorneys in the United States? There also are a growing number of criminal defense lawyers in urban areas. While there are higher crime rates in highly populated areas, more defense attorneys move to those communities annually.

Further, more attorneys are learning how to market themselves online to stand out from their peers. The legal field has lagged in online marketing for years, but this has changed. Standing out from other criminal defense lawyers means investing in effective law firm marketing. You can attract more new clients by following these criminal defense marketing tips:

Understand Your Law Firm

Developing a great lawyer marketing plan means understanding what your firm is all about. Your marketing plan message should address the concerns of your core audience and focus on your strengths. Some questions to ask yourself about your law firm are:

  • Who are your most typical clients?
  • How many legal clients do you have per year?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of your firm?
  • What are your most common criminal defense cases?

Understanding who your law firm is and does well will help you spend your marketing dollars more efficiently.

Build An Effective Mobile-Friendly Website

Most people searching for legal services do an online search to locate a criminal defense attorney. However, you are disadvantaged if you do not have a website. It may be hard to believe, but the ABA reports that 13% of attorneys still need a website.

If you have a website that is outdated, it also puts you behind the game. To start, the website should have excellent photos and an attractive logo. Then, the design should be intuitive, allowing the visitor to navigate the desired information in two or three clicks.

Your site should load quickly. There are many other criminal defense attorney websites in your city. If your site takes 10 seconds to load, the visitor will probably go elsewhere. It also is essential that your site load correctly on Apple and Android devices.

Remember, most of us do internet searches on handheld devices today. Therefore, your law firm web design team should conduct site tests to ensure it runs properly on all popular digital devices.

Search Engine Optimization

Your criminal defense law firm may have an excellent website. But what if your prospects cannot find it in Google? Your firm needs to use the best search engine optimization (SEO) methods to get the most out of the site.

This means having plenty of useful, informative legal content on the site that is updated daily or weekly. The content should contain long tail keywords that your prospects use to search in Google. For example, the keyword ‘criminal defense attorney’ will have millions of hits in Google. That is difficult to rank for.

Plus, if your law firm is in Miami, it does not help to rank for the term in Chicago. So, try a long tail keyword such as ‘best DUI criminal defense attorney in Miami-Dade County.’ Using long tail keywords your target audience searches with gives you the best chance of a high Google rank.

Content Marketing

Most successful attorneys write well, so put that skill to use to grow your criminal defense law firm. In addition, blogging on popular legal topics is an effective way to enhance your authority and brand.

Content marketing can be used to show your skills and expertise in your field. You increase confidence and trust when you offer helpful information to legal questions from visitors. Showing that you are a legal authority in criminal defense law means they may hire you when they need help.

Studies show that lawyers can improve engagement with their content by encouraging people to take action. For example, instead of just presenting static blog posts about criminal defense law, what about including polls, chats, and live quizzes in each post? Encouraging user engagement helps people to remember what they learned. Interaction increases clicks, and users are likelier to return for more helpful information.

Email Marketing

Email is still a cost-effective and valuable marketing method to build your client base. The first step is to construct an email list of clients and prospects. How do you build your list? Many attorneys offer free white papers and articles on their sites that users download in exchange for their email addresses.

Also, collect email addresses from past clients and ask if you can send them legal news updates. Once your firm has grown a large email list, use it to market to more clients. Rather than asking for business, send helpful information about legal topics. Ask for user feedback and what they think about a given legal topic. Sign up for an email management system such as MailChimp or Constant Contact to manage your email lists and e-newsletters.

Local Focus

Thinking small might be counterintuitive, but narrowing down your firm’s geographic focus in marketing is cost-effective. Most legal prospects look for an attorney in their local area. Therefore, legal marketing is most effective in the city in which you practice.

Start focusing your marketing on the local area by making local business listings in free sources, including Yelp, Bing Places, and Google My Business. Listing your criminal defense firm in these directories provides more local visibility. In addition, the more people see your law firm online, the more likely they will out when there is a need.

Online Reviews

It is estimated that 82% of American consumers check online reviews before being a product or service. About 80% of consumers check legal reviews before hiring an attorney. You can stand out from other criminal defense attorneys by managing your online reviews effectively.

Every time you complete a case successfully, ask the client for a positive review for Google Reviews, Facebook, Avvo, and others. Remember to check the advertising rules with your state bar association not ensure your requests for reviews are compliant.

Social Media

Having a high-ranking website will snag many people looking for a criminal defense attorney. But what if you can increase your online presence even more? That is what many attorneys do with social media marketing. There are many people social media sites to choose from, so you need to decide which are best for your niche. Many attorneys use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram to connect with their audience.

For example, many popular criminal defense attorneys follow top legal minds on Twitter and provide helpful information and insights. You also can repurpose blog posts from your website and use them on Facebook to interact with your fans. For example, many people want to know how a criminal defense attorney can defend them against various crimes. So write about some of your past cases and how you defended clients successfully.


A criminal defense attorney marketing strategy is only effective if you monitor the results. Your marketing team should track, report, and use analytic tools to find out how things are going on your site, social media, and other marketing methods. Every week, your team should check which posts and content have the most response and which are underperforming.

Avoid These Lawyer Marketing Mistakes

Using the above strategies will make your criminal defense law firm stand out. However, criminal defense law firm marketing is challenging and competitive. There are many other law firms online. So, it helps your marketing efforts if you do not make the following mistakes:

Being Inauthentic

Law firms all around the country are bombarded with new marketing ideas and software tools. It is wise to try new things, but review them before deciding. For example, will the marketing tool align with your firm’s brand and audience, and is it appropriate for your legal specialty?

For instance, some criminal defense attorneys have used TikTok effectively to educate their audience about the law. However, TikTok is a relatively informal social media channel. Will it be appropriate for your law firm and audience? This interaction can be appropriate for many firms, but others may be better served with content marketing, pay-per-click advertising, and print advertising.

Putting All Marketing Eggs In One Basket

Being visible is essential for a law firm, but it’s not everything. If prospects know about your firm but think you are credible, will they contact you? The image you offer in your marketing efforts is as important as being visible everywhere online. Your firm should consider how you are perceived and branded for the best results.


Criminal defense law is a competitive field. Therefore, your law firm needs to stand apart from other firms to obtain more clients in your city. Using the techniques mentioned here will help you improve your visibility, brand, and reputation, but sometimes, a law firm needs help from marketing experts. FORWARD Lawyer Marketing can assist with improving your law firm’s marketing presence. Contact our marketing professionals at (888) 590-9687.