By Gerry Oginski, Esq.

Look back at the history of attorney advertising

In the ‘olden days’ the only way to get new clients was to hope someone walked into your storefront office. Then you hoped someone you knew would refer someone in need of an attorney. You took potential clients to lunch; played golf with them; went to networking meetings; handed out your business card, all with the ‘hope’ and expectation that someday, if someone needed your legal accumen, you would be the one and only lawyer they would call. This method worked for some.

Then in the early 70’s came attorney advertising. Most lawyers thought it was ‘vulgar’ and beneath them to advertise such a noble calling. Only those ‘ambulance chasers’ needed to advertise. It was beneath other ‘White Shoe’ lawyers to ever advertise that they were available to represent the down-trodden.

The dawn of attorney advertising went from television to radio to yellow pages to billboards, newspapers and classifieds. Each method of advertising was very expensive and usually a one-time thing. Once that newspaper was finished, your advertising dollars evaporate. Once that TV ad was done screaming “HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT? IF SO, CALL ME…blah, blah, blah,” then your ad dollars were over. If you failed to have your radio on at the right time to listen to your 15 second blip about your services, again, your ad dollars were down the tube. Billboards were nothing more than ugly visual distractions on your way to and from work.

Now don’t get me wrong. For some attorneys, their marketing campaigns were built around these advertising methods and many worked. However, the cost to create and maintain such large advertising was astronomical. Most lawyers, especially small firms and solo practitioners who wanted to advertise using these methods simply had no way to use traditional advertising for two key reasons:

They didn’t have the money, and

The traditional method of advertising did nothing to distinguish one lawyer from another. I’ve been in this business for 20 years and most of the time, cannot tell one law firm from another in their ads, so how could a potential client tell the difference between one law firm and another from a typical lawyer ad? The problem was they couldn’t.

So how are attorney videos going to solve this problem?

Simple. A video gives you the opportunity to show how you are different from everyone else. It shows how you talk, how smart you are and how you have helped other people in similar circumstances. In my opinion, video is the best way to distinguish yourself from every other lawyer competing with you.

Once your competitors recognize how important attorney videos are to marketing, you will lose any advantage of getting in on the ground floor. Take the bull by the horns now and recognize what this type of marketing will do for you in the long run. Videos have a ‘long tail’. This means that when someone searches for an attorney, that video will be there long after you’ve paid to have it created and uploaded. It will still be there whether 10 people view your video or 10,000. You create it and move on to creating the next video.

Pay per click is not the answer

Why not? ‘Pay per click’ means that you only are charged when someone clicks on your “sponsored” ad that appears on the top part of Google or the right hand side of Google. Using pay per click to get your website link on the ‘sponsored’ section of Google’s pages is the same as paying rent. Once you stop paying, your site is no longer going to be found. That’s bad.
Most firms using pay per click ads do not place well in the organic search engines on Google. When these firms realize that it is impractical to continue to pay for the ads, their websites are lost, never to be found again in a search for a lawyer. However, when you create educational content through informational videos, you improve your search engine ranking and make a visitor want to call you instead of the lawyer who has a faceless website.

Join me for the next installment when I discuss how my ‘turn-key’ solution is the solution to your problem.

About Gerry:

Gerry Oginski is a New York medical malpractice, wrongful death and personal injury trial lawyer practicing law in the State of New York. He’s been in practice since 1988 and has currently created and uploaded over 120 educational video tips on medical malpractice and injury law for consumers to view.

Gerry is a prolific writer and in addition to publishing informative articles online, he is an “Expert Author” at, and writes a regular column called YouLaw, devoted entirely to evaluating lawyer videos.
Potential clients call Gerry after watching his videos, not only to thank him for providing the information, but asking for more.
Gerry is available to help you create your educational online videos and can be reached at 516-487-8207, or lawmed10[at]

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avatarGerry, it was great to meet you and I am proud to say I have got my first video up on the web! Your online course is excellent. Take care.

David Brannen
Resolute Legal