I can’t enjoy watching Ginger Z give the weather on Good Morning America without also having to watch attorney TV ads… you know the ones… where some lawyer is taking a sack of sandwiches to a client who was previously leveled by a trailer truck on I65 North…but the guy looks fine to me…and another one…where they’re having a big party at some bar…everyone dancing and drinking champagne … including the guy who was struck down by a freight train in Clarksville or some such place…who just got a $500,000.00 dollar settlement. Again, the guy looks fine to me…he’s even taking all of his friends to some island paradise with his big settlement. Then there’s another group of lawyers on TV whose telephone number I think is 800 800 800 or at least they say it is about 50 times during the commercial…whose going to forget a phone number like 800 800 800? Even when you don’t need that number it gets in your head and…it will not go away. Like a song you can’t stop playing in your head…like in my case it’s the theme to the kid’s show “Puppy Dog Pals” thanks to my 2-year-old grandson, Dubs…sometimes it just will NOT go away. Then you have your billboard attorneys… one in particular has a name you can’t pronounce… but his billboards appear everywhere. You remember this guy because you can’t pronounce his name. All ads are designed to make you NOT forget whom to call. Ads are designed to brand an image in your mind that you tend to easily recall or remember when the need arises. Lawyer Ads are no exception.
So how do you choose an attorney? Through TV ads…billboard ads? You are certainly free to do so. Lawyer advertising is relatively new. In fact, until the modern era lawyer ads were strictly prohibited. Before TV ads, lawyers were primarily hired by reputation alone. Everyone knew who the best lawyers were by their proven ability in the courtroom and such. That’s how lawyers were chosen…reputation as being a winner…someone willing to take up your cause and get things done. To my dismay, lawyer advertising would eventually evolve or rather…in some cases descend to where it is today. I’m proud to be an attorney. Being a lawyer is an honor. The practice of law should be held in high esteem. It still is in most countries, especially in Great Britain. Their solicitors and barristers cringe at our lack of professionalism and many of them…I’d bet…would be quick to blame our TV ads for contributing to their royal snootiness.
Many folks think it’s best to get an attorney from outside the geographical area of where their problem lies. I’ve never understood that kind of thinking. Local lawyers are more familiar with the local process. So, how do you choose an attorney if you need one? It’s up to you, of course. My advice is to simply do your homework, ask around, people will tell you because reputations travel. Just don’t knee jerk and hire someone based solely on a TV ad or billboard.