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  • I think it’s a good idea for law firms to have a logo, but I don’t think brand awareness has much value for most firms.

    Most people who arrive on your law firm’s website will never have seen your logo before. I agree that a logo helps show that you are a professional, just like wearing a suit does, but brand awareness has got nothing to do with it. A good logo probably makes you look more attractive than another lawyer, but you only get awareness by putting your brand out there (i.e., advertising, blogging, social media), and most lawyers don’t do any of that. Some of the most successful lawyers I know have no need to.

    So while I generally think lawyers should get a logo, for most firms it should be about the same priority as letterhead. And it’s not worth spending a ton of money on it. You can get a perfectly acceptable logo from 99designs or oDesk or Elance for a couple hundred bucks.

    Now, if you’re a PI firm spending thousands on advertising, you should probably think more about brand awareness. But for the typical solo and small firm, a logo is a good idea, but it’s not worth spending a lot of time or money on.

    • Karin Conroy

      I agree that you don’t have to spend a ton of money on it. But it’s like
      everything else in your marketing arsenal: If you look like all the
      other attorneys and firms out there, especially if you’re brand new and
      working on establishing yourself, don’t expect to be able to set your
      pricing or expectations any higher than any of your competition. So at
      the very least try to be different, which is what creating a brand is
      all about.

      • Does the Mckenzie logo differentiate them from everyone else? Scales of justice is the go-to logo image, barely beating out the court house image and the gavel.

        • Daniel, Esq.

          Good point. We just designed a logo and website and social media platforms (launching Monday, who-hoo!). Only one person, so far, has been critical of the site design, and because it “doesn’t say anything about our practice.” I guess. But most logos or site-designs that do “say something about the practice” feature the same hackneyed images you always see. Law firms do have to convey a sense of seriousness and professionalism — so, no video clips of a lawyer yelling, “You call me, I HAMMER,” right? — but I wasn’t persuaded the answer is another scales-of-justice themed logo or site-design.

          • The Hammer is amazing. The best I have in my courts is Steve Miller and divorce EZ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXiJQVyLelM

            • Daniel, Esq.

              That ad is mind-blowing (“Look at this website. Work. Of. Art”). FWIW, I think “The Hammer” is a franchise of some sort, since I’ve seen a few different lawyers use that name, with virtually the same commercials. One “Hammer,” of course, stands heads-and-shoulders above the others; that guy’s a classic. Florida is home to some amazing lawyer ads, see, e.g., https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pseMw1q_xF4

              • Paul Spitz

                Yeah, nothing offensive or racist about that ad.

            • Paul Spitz

              Brilliant!

    • Re: 99 designs. As luck would have it we are going through a logo redesign.. and we really wanted to do it *right* this time.. so for $499 on 99designs, I ended up with over 200 submissions from designers all over the world.. and with all of those designs, we are able to easily make suggestions and recommendations, go through multiple rounds, ect. ect..

      Totally different than the first time, when we picked a guy and said, “makes me a logo”!

  • Florida Esq.

    FYI, the McKenzie Law Firm whose logo you featured is located in Florida, not Pennsylvania. In this case, “PA” stands for “Professional Association.”

  • legalofficeguru

    I think perhaps a distinction needs to be made between a logo and a wordmark. I would argue that most firms outside the Am Law 100 don’t need a logo but perhaps a wordmark instead. See John McWade’s explanation of the distinction (and why logos aren’t always the answer re: “branding”) here: http://www.mcwade.com/DesignTalk/2011/11/does-this-need-a-logo/

    • Daniel, Esq.

      But, for most smaller firms, the truth lies between McWade’s examples of Nike (needs a logo) and the neighborhood thrift shop (doesn’t need a logo). For a small firm, a logo can not only be memorable for “branding purposes” — which, I agree, is a fairly vague, hard-to-quantify benefit — but it gives potential clients a sense of professionalism and ability. And that can be valuable.

      • Paul Spitz

        The nike logo was pretty meaningless at first. Remember back in the 70s, when Nike first came out with the waffle soles? It was only through repetition that the logo became so iconic. The same is true of any logo. You have to use it, and keep using it, for it to become associated with your brand and memorable to consumers.

  • Omega Force

    Hey guys, you really have to differentiate yourselves from the competition. Ideally by positioning yourself as the authority in your law niche + locality…

  • PB Coleman

    It’s a visual and mobile world . . . Instant vetting takes place on handhelds. A firm logo reflects the message you are sending about your services. The design of your logo, website, digital and printed media should be included in strategic branding and imaging.