Lawyer Marketing: It Sucks Not to Have Cases

Without cases, we cannot earn a living. Without clients, we can’t show the world that we have a brilliant legal mind. Without cases, we can’t pay our bills and can’t live the life we always wanted.

If you’re in a firm where your caseload has decreased, you’re in trouble.

If you’re a solo attorney who just opened an office and you have no cases yet, you’re in trouble.

If you’re in a law firm where you’re using traditional forms of attorney advertising with diminishing returns, you’re in trouble.

Why are you in trouble? Unless you’re able to generate leads that result in cases that produce income and profit, you will soon go out of business.

Many attorneys have been in this same exact position as you. I was in this position 8 years ago after I went out on my own and the handful of cases I took with me were resolving. I had no idea how to get new cases since I had always gotten referrals from colleagues and friends. I expected other lawyers to refer to me on a regular basis. That happened, but not as frequently.


There were days when I literally would stare at the phone wondering why it wasn’t ringing with new cases. I didn’t know how to make it ring. I didn’t have a clue how to create a system that consistently generated leads. I didn’t know anything about how to get a consumer looking for an attorney to call me instead of my competitors.

It got so bad that one day after coming back from court, my secretary, Frances, said that if I don’t get some new cases in quickly, I was going to go out of business. I wouldn’t be able to pay my rent, or more importantly, her salary. I didn’t know what to do. There was nobody who taught lawyers how to market their law firms back then.

I’d go home at night and wonder how I’d be able to face my wife and tell her we couldn’t pay the mortgage or put food on the table for our four kids. This was bad. Really bad. I was in trouble.

So, what did I do?

I did what most lawyers did. I copied the same garbage ads that all the other lawyers were doing. I figured that if they’re spending money and creating ads where people searched, they must know something I didn’t. I was so stupid. Yellow pages ads. I got a full page ad on page 9. Result: The only people who called me were people who had tried the other 8 lawyers before me and were rejected. I did however get enough cases to at least pay for the ad for a few years running.

I did TV ads. Classified ads. An ad in my synagogue.

I was scraping the barrel. I really thought that a 10 word classified ad in Newsday, next to 10 other classified ads for lawyers would generate cases. Result: Zero calls. I did display ads in local newspapers. My ad was next to an ad for a summer camp. The paper was an advertorial where if you paid for an ad, they let you write a fake article as if it were an editorial about your service. That generated zero calls. I sponsored some local businesses. Nada.

Here’s the best of the worst attempt to generate cases. I found a guy who was advertising in a legal journal claiming he could show you how to get cases. I was desperate. I was hungry. I was willing to try anything, even if it meant shelling out a few thousand dollars that I couldn’t really afford. My expenses kept piling up and my income was not improving. This system was so pathetic that I practically threw it out shortly after I received it.

Frustration. Anger. Envy and angst were lurking below the surface each day I tried to get new cases in, without much success. It was awful.

I kept looking for new things to do. Then I came across a guy called Trey Ryder who talked about something called “Education-based” marketing. I had never heard of that before. Also, another marketing guy named David Frey was also teaching education-based marketing. Yet, I couldn’t see how this could help an attorney until I saw one really smart solo personal injury attorney named Ben Glass in Fairfax, Virginia use this method to attract clients.

By the way, Ben is an enterprising solo lawyer, who would soon go on to build Great Legal Marketing to teach lawyers across the country how to ethically and effectively market their law firms.

Out of desperation, I decided to try and use video to teach my prospective consumers and clients. Nobody at that time was using video to do this. Video was new online and lawyers had no idea what to do with it.

I had an idea. A revolutionary idea. Why not use video to talk to my ideal client? Why not give them information they needed to know without giving legal advice. Nobody else was doing this.

You know what happened? After much frustration in getting video up online and being ridiculed by my own family for wasting my time and energy, I began to get calls. People were searching online. They were looking for an attorney. They were hungry for information. I was one of the first to give them information via video.

Over time, as I began to create more and more video I noticed a remarkable thing. The phone began to ring more often. The cases I’d get were better. The cases I took in were higher quality than what I would normally see. Then, it got to the point where most people who called my office began every call by saying “Mr. Oginski, I just saw your video about XYZ, can I ask you some questions?”

That’s when I really knew I hit the nail on the head. That’s when I decided to create the Lawyers Video Studio. I wanted to help other lawyers create educational video to market their own law practices. In fact, I’m proud to say that I am the only practicing trial lawyer in the country who helps other lawyers create video to market their law firms online.

Don’t be the last one to get onto video. Your clients and consumers expect to see you on video. That’s a fact. They want to hear you. They want to see you. They want to know that you have information that will help them. Give them what they want and you have gained a competitive advantage over other attorneys who do the exact type of work you do.

Want help getting there? Call me. I can help you. Just leave a message for Kathleen, my production manager at 1-800-320-4314 to set up a phone conference with me. You can also email her at I look forward to your call.

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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