Legal Marketing

Plaintiffs Firms Create News Websites Where Potential Clients Congregate


Plaintiffs law firms are spending money and time on websites and social media in marketing efforts that are beginning to take the place of more traditional ads.

Potential clients are increasingly targeted through websites set up to resemble community forums or news boards, the Wall Street Journal reports. The story starts with an example: The 23-lawyer law firm Parker Waichman Alonso set up several websites after the BP oil spill with news of the disaster. The sites had names such as bigspills.com, oilspillclaims.com and oil-rig-explosions.com, and invited visitors to submit contact information.

The firm has since filed about a dozen oil-spill lawsuits, the story says.

Parker Waichman spends about $1 million a year on digital marketing and employs 20 technology specialists to work on its 300 websites. The firm is also on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.

Other examples cited in the article:

• Florida law firm James, Hoyer, Newcomer & Smiljanich is pursuing litigation claiming that Westwood College misled students about tuition and their chances of finding jobs after graduation. It created a website called WestwoodScammed.Me. The college has fought back with a defamation suit targeting the law firm and its “new media Internet weapons.”

• Sokolove Law spends $12 million a year on what the article calls “digital outreach.” One of its websites, YazTalk.com, supports the firm’s birth-control litigation and links to its Facebook and Twitter posts.

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