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Solo In Chicago

...empowering the Second City's entrepreneurial legal community

Friday, November 24, 2006

How to seek referrals from other lawyers...

I got a mailing recently from a lawyer, Karl H. Magnus, in Arlington Heights. Here's his Website. I don't mind giving him a plug...maybe he reads the blog. He sent out a 1/2 page glossy mailer saying "Referrals Wanted" for probate, real estate, estate planning and personal bankruptcy. He likely sent out the mailer to everyone who's a member of the Northwest Suburban Bar Association of which I'm a member.

I raise his mailing just to question the effectiveness of this is a marketing tool. Has anyone garnered decent business from this sort of mailing? I know Jay Foonberg recommends doing this and I think that's where a lot of people get the idea. I did this myself some two years ago when I started my solo practice and my experience was that it returned virtually ZERO. I think I got one referral that didn't turn into anything and I was put on one lawyers newsletter mailing list. I know a handful of larger firms run an ad every month in Chicago Lawyer seeking referrals.

My thoughts are if you're a smallish firm practitioner, then there's value in this sort of mailing when your practice is real niche. I don't think there's great value if you're in the family law, real estate, probate type areas. I know too many lawyers in those fields. Also, I think the big firm doing this might have some value. For example, any PI or med. mal. type stuff I always refer out and typically to bigger firms.

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