Advocate and Client are part and parcel to each other in the legal profession. An advocate might be the best with his/her legal acumen but it is not possible to practice without clients. Practicing law and getting clients are two distinct skills. With an increasing number of lawyers, it is difficult to get client as new lawyer. Management of clients plays a vital role for an advocate in order to have an effective practice. Most of the law students who want to practice as an advocate in the future, primarily focus on their basics of the legal profession like extensive reading of law subjects and its practical application, researching skills, how to present an argument in the court and engage in various internships. They often ignore the art of getting clients. It poses a difficulty to get a client when they actually start practice.
Following ways can help to get first client as an Advocate (The list is not exhaustive):-
1. Friends, Family & Relatives
Friends, family & relatives will be the first referral to get a client for an advocate. You are best acquainted with them. You’ll become the first option they’ll refer if one of their friends or someone who needs an advocate. It is essential to keep them updated about your activities through call or e-mail on a regular basis.
2. Join the Bar Association of your Court
It is the first thing for an advocate in his/her to-do list. You must join the Bar Association of your court where you’re practicing. It is the place that will help you in making connections and building relationships with other advocates and they will get to know you, your work and your ability in the profession. It plays a liaison role and eventually, this can lead to mutual exchanges of clients all the time.
3. Public Speaking, Events, Conferences and Meet-ups
Advocate and Client have a fiduciary relationship, built on trust. It is very important that client have a trust in you. For this, credibility must be established. Public speaking is one good way to present you credible. Attending events and meet-ups provides you an opportunity to find a client. Find events with a maximum number of audiences, and get involved in that. Try to interact and listen to them very carefully. Having patience and a good listener are two important qualities of an advocate. Clients often look for such qualities when they hire an advocate.
4. Social Media: A Powerful tool
Social Media websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., play a pivotal role for an advocate in the promotion of practice and in getting clients. An advocate should to create his/her social media accounts with a well description of profile in order to reach out to maximum people. Always keep updating and entertaining your contact lists with discussions, debates and suggestions. It will also provide an opportunity to your connections to get interact with you. Paid Promotion on Social Media is another way to promote yourself and to ensure your presence in the market.
5. Online Marketplaces and Platforms
Nobody knows that you’re practicing until you tell them. With the advent of technology, online marketplaces and platforms provide a great opportunity to advocates in getting clients. Advocates, like other professionals, are free to advertise their services on Internet. Advocates can mention in their chosen websites, their names, telephone numbers, e-mail ID, professional qualifications and area of specialization. Adopt a custom e-mail ID with a custom domain name and a basic website and send this to all your contacts announcing that you’re open for hiring.
6. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a process of techniques and strategies to increase the number of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking in the list of results of a search engine. It is very preferable to an Advocate to get in top search of the list but it could be expensive. Let’s say you’ve expertise in IPR law or Criminal law and it is mentioned in the website then with SEO, whenever any person search for IPR or Criminal lawyer, your name or website will be in the top of the search list.
7. Blogging, Content Writing
Writing content is one of the important qualities of an Advocate. Blogging is the cheapest way to market you and attract potential clients. Research is the very first step in the legal profession. An advocate must focus on legal writing and publishing articles. Upload free content and basic information to answer the queries of potential clients. Answer a series of questions that your client may ask and blog them out. Your blogs can include both written content and videos. Upload videos of explaining the basics of law, different subjects of law, discussing contemporary issues, etc. Keep a review/discussion forum on your blogs for better suggestions.
8. Creating Online Legal Advice Services
In the growing world of technology and internet, the clients mostly look for legal solutions online. Through Legal chatting services, video conferencing services, e-mail lawyers, online legal documentation services, etc., can help an Advocate in attracting potential clients. It will save both time and money and much feasible for the client.
9. Commitment to your Profession
Ethics and morality for the legal profession are very important. Everyone’s ideas and opinions should be respected. Clear with your commitments to your clients. Maintain a good relationship with them as they are the best referral for an Advocate.
In a nutshell, it’s very simple, if you don’t ask, you won’t receive. Marketing is very crucial for an Advocate. In the initial years of practice, an Advocate should value in gaining experience, not the money. Effective presentation of skills can attract potential clients. In the modern world, marketing for clients has become a lot easier due to access to the internet. The Internet enables people to build up a social network and broaden it. Even strangers can connect to an Advocate easily online.
It is done just by being friendly and kind and building a relationship with the clients. Don’t lose hope so early, start interact with prospective clients. It is done just by being friendly and kind and building a relationship with the clients. Each advocate is unique on its own; one should always try various strategies to find clients. Focus on building client database right from the law school. Be confident and believe in yourself!!!
This article is authored by Kumar Satyam, student of B.A. L.LB (Hons.) at National Law University Odisha, Cuttack.
Also Read – Who Can be an Advocate on Record?