After all, you are hiring a person who will soon know your most personal information. Medical information. Financial details. Family issues. Criminal background. Your lawyer will know your background. You are trusting a person with your information. That begs the question — If a lawyer cannot even honestly write for himself, how can you trust him or her with your personal details?
Based on what passes for lawyer advertising and lawyer website content, I must be in the minority. For many advertising lawyers the formula is simple — Pay a marketer to generate content. Write check. Smile for photos when requested. Repeat some catch phrase like “we got this” or “call me.” This lack of authenticity is precisely why lawyers do not build trust in their community.
Lawyer websites and blogs are an issue of trust. They are also an issue of providing valuable (correct) legal information to consumers. The two issues – Trust and Value – go together. Paid content marketing generators are usually not lawyers. Yet, many advertising lawyers blindly trust them to write consumer legal content. That’s crazy. When I read other lawyer websites, it is obvious much of the content is either (1) Incorrect or (2) Written so generally that it provides no value.
In my earlier post, I noted some billboard lawyers in Huntsville. Their website even provided wrong information about Alabama’s unique wrongful death laws. After some other discussions of that misleading information, they fortunately edited the content.
Another local blog is a perfect example. That “blog” recently posted an article on boating accidents. I have handled boating accident cases and the law related to these cases is very different than the law related to automobile accident cases. Yet, this other law firm article wrongly claims “Rules of the Water are Same as Rules of the Road.” The claim sounds good but it is completely WRONG.
Give the content marketer credit for that erroneous boating accident piece. The author managed to provide very little information of value. Yet, he stuffed the article full of keywords for a Google search. He stuffed the names of almost every northern Alabama lake, city and county into his post. That’s impressive. What’s the purpose of his article? The purpose is not valuable consumer information. It’s Google search.
At best, that other firm is oblivious of its bad content because it turned the matter over to a non-lawyer marketer. At worst, that other firm has lawyers who don’t know the correct law on an important issue.
I’m all for lawyers writing, teaching and advocating on important legal issues. We believe in that. We also understand many legal topics are open for discussion and debate. But, the discussion should be authentic. An honest dialogue (and honest debate) is what we need to build trust in our profession. The public and our clients deserve that.
At the Blackwell Law Firm, we specialize in personal injury cases. We are Huntsville personal injury attorneys who represent clients across Alabama. We believe deeply that lawyers should spend time studying and advocating in their specialty. That’s why we personally write legal articles and teach seminars in our field.