Legal Advertising ft. Harlan Schillinger ML114


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In this episode, Jim and Tyson interview Harlan Schillinger a Legal Marketing expert, strategist and consultant. They will go over what was like to advertise back then, the main changes in marketing and advertising nowadays, and common mistakes lawyers do.

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Legal Advertising in the early 80’s

“We then went out across the country and we met with law firms. That was the challenge. I went to the Yellow Pages, I opened up the book and I looked for the biggest add. I called the lawyer up and I said; I have something I’d like to run by you. And they were sceptical because they didn’t want to be the first.”


The phone banks lit up!

“When the commercial ran, the entire phone bank lit up. And at that point, lawyers said: where do I send the money, how do I sign up?!”


Marketing & Human Nature

“There was a tremendous correlation between advertising and human nature, because you have to make that connection...”


The change in advertising

“Things changed when competition started to come in. People started to build agencies. More and more lawyers started to advertise. The market got crowded and things changed in the consumers mind.”


Advertising Concepts

“The Internet is a game changer, because it allows you to reach a lot of people, it allows you to be yourself and that’s a whole new commodity. But advertising is advertising, you wanna appeal to someone…”


Talk to an audience as you would talk to a jury

“If you are looking for valuable business, you have to have more than a message, you have to have a story, because it’s about caring, it’s about compassion, it’s about realle restoring your life to the way it was before the accident…”


Marketing mistakes nowadays

Lawyers completely underestimate intake and conversion. Also, lawyers don’t understand how to develop a referral business from existing clients.


“If I had 1 client or I had 50, I would constantly stay in touch with them or find a way to stay in touch with them after settled the case. (..) I can honestly tell you that the best case that comes into your office comes through a referral.”




“Intake is answering the phone, and making somebody feel absolutely welcome and formulating a relationship as quickly as possible. Within the first couple of words, somebody is going to decide whether they are going to stay with you, or they are going to find someone else…”


Lead Docket, an intake management system that is focused on simplicity and a straightforward and consistent process for every lead.


  1. Gain better knowledge of where your leads are coming from
  2. Completely manage your marketing efforts
  3. Increase your profits without more spending
  4. Know your ROI on all advertising


Jim’s hack: Each time I do something different this month, I’m making it into a sticky note, and in the end of the month I’m going to compile all my sticky notes into different categories and then I’m gonna either automate it, eliminate it, or delegate it.   


Harlan’s hack: If you want to grow; WORK ON YOUR BUSINESS, NOT IN YOUR BUSINESS.


Tyson’s tip: Upload notes to your firm’s WIKI, so you can share notes with other people in the firm. People will learn from this notes.




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