Video For Your Law Firm Website or Blog


Free: 10 Things the Best Law-Firm Website Designs Have in Common

For seven years, Lawyerist has published an annual list of the best law firm websites. Now, you can find out what they have in common.

Once you are getting visitors to your law firm website, the next step is getting them to interact with it. If your website or blog is part of your law firm marketing plan (and it should be), merely getting people to look at your site isn’t going to equate to potential client inquiries and new clients.

Video can be an effective tool to turn traffic into a potential client inquiry. However, the overwhelming majority of lawyer internet videos have been, quite frankly, bad.

What makes a bad law firm website video?

The typical problems with most law firm website videos stem from a misunderstanding of the very nature of online marketing. Law firm website videos should not be like television advertisements (in fact, lawyer TV ads would do better to be more like web videos).

The Internet serves many different purposes. Understanding these different purposes is critical to producing an effective video. For example, one of the Internet’s most common uses is as a research tool. Think about your video from the perspective of a legal services consumer. Does a video of a lawyer telling them how hard they will fight, a famous actor endorsing the firm’s services, or my favorite, a dramatization, provide any assistance or value to the researching consumer?

Let’s look at a more specific example in the one of the most searched for practice areas, criminal defense. An individual has been recently arrested for a crime. Now they are at home and want to learn more about their situation including possible consequences and what action they should take from here. They go online and begin to search. They will likely perform many searches. Let’s assume they arrive at the website of a criminal defense law firm. What will they see?

Will they see an angry lawyer talking about how aggressive, serious, and experienced they are? How will that be viewed by our example consumer? Assuming that this “lawyer ad” does resonate with the consumer, will it motivate them to fill out a contact form or call the law firm? Often times, if the law firm advertisement is well-done, it doesn’t engage the visitor or differentiate the lawyer. The consumer has already seen this.

Now let’s assume they arrive to a law firm website that has a video of a lawyer discussing what actions an individual should take following an arrest for the type of crime the consumer has been arrested. Perhaps the lawyer discusses the various options a criminal defendant has in defending their case. Maybe the lawyer describes the consequences and potential outcomes of various courses of action. Now the consumer has been provided valuable information from a legal professional. The lawyer has demonstrated her knowledge of the subject matter. Which video would resonate more with you (let’s hope you never need to hire a criminal lawyer).

What makes a good law firm website video?

Two of the most important components to producing effective videos online are talking identifying the problem the visitor has and offering information information about how to solve the problem. Too many lawyer videos focus on the qualities of the lawyer and not on the needs and problems of the visitor.

Another aspect of videos that is often overlooked is production quality. Poor video and sound quality can ruin even the best education-based marketing performance. Depending on your experience with video production, number of videos to be produced, and budget, buying the proper equipment or hiring a professional production studio are typically worth the investment.

DIY vs. hiring a professional

Typically, the DIY route is only for those lawyers with some experience in producing videos. Further, if you’re planning to set your handycam on a stack of books, forget about it. Not only will it take much longer to “get it right”, even your best efforts won’t produce quality results. Also, if you think going out and spending a couple thousand dollars on a high-end camera is the answer, think again. Just like any other tool, in the hands of a novice, it won’t perform. However, if you have some experience, some time, and are planning on regularly producing videos, then doing it yourself might make sense.

For most lawyers, hiring a professional production company is the most effective and efficient option. The question is figuring out which one to hire. Many of the biggest legal web marketing providers have video production services. In terms of quality and options, FindLaw produces very professional-looking videos. However, their videos often come with a steep price tag. Further, if you’re going to hire a production company, it’s very helpful to have a producer that understands the unique considerations that are specific to marketing a law firm online.

Whether you’re a DIY’er or are looking for professional help, a great resource for law firm videos is New York lawyer Gerry Oginski. As you can see from the videos on his own site, he is knowledgeable on both producing professional-looking videos and the components of effective education-based marketing. He’s also on the faculty at Solo Practice University. You can find more examples of his work on YouTube.

The next step: getting found

Once you have produced some quality videos for your practice, the next step is publicizing them. While simply posting videos on your law firm website is a good start, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. In the next couple years, the Internet will continue to move in the direction of interactivity. More and more search engine results pages contain universal search listings. Taking steps to get your videos found online will make a big difference in their effectiveness in the years to come. In fact, more and more legal directories, like Avvo are providing the ability to post videos. Publicizing your videos will greatly increase their value to your online web presence.


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  • Guy,
    Thanks for the mention!
    If your readers want more info about why you really need video to market your law firm, they can catch my educational webinar on March 17, 2010 at 12 pm (EST). How to register? Click here:


  • Randall Ryder

    You touch on a number of important points here Gyi.

    I do not think making vanilla videos with low production value is a good way to market. I do have a film and video production background, so perhaps I set the bar too high.

    HD cameras and video editing software have made it much easier for individuals to produce their own films, commercials, and videos. I think it is a terrible idea for a law firm to spend $5,000 on equipment and assume they can make their own videos.

    If you are practicing in a metropolitan area, there are undoubtedly many qualified videographers and filmmakers. Choosing an individual who has a background in film or video is the first step towards creating videos or advertisements that will stand out from the crowd. If you can find the right person, you can create a video or advertisement that looks better then 99% of the other stuff out there.

  • Steven Appelget

    Obligatory link:

  • 99.9% of lawyers should not use video for anything.

    Videos are not searchable. They take longer to watch than scanning text. They often load slowly and play choppily. They usually require Flash, which is not available on most smartphones. And as you point out, most people look silly and do a terrible job.

    When I was considering adding some video to my website, my brother, a film major, pointed out “it doesn’t sound like you need video for that.” He was right. There was no good reason to film myself talking into the camera, as Gerry does. (I have even seen people recommend creating a video with their text scrolling as they read it. Ugh.) It added nothing to the content, made it more difficult to access, and walled it off from Google.

    Use video only if you have good reason, a creative approach, and can do high-quality production. Otherwise, skip it, write some good content, and spend your money on a good photographer.

  • Gyi Tsakalakis


    Not sure if this was where you were taking this, but videos are becoming more and more prominent on universal search results. You can actually drive a lot of visitors by implementing “video seo” strategies. I wouldn’t completely rule out video “searchability”. Again, not sure if that’s what you were talking about.

    Other than that, we are in agreement.

  • Yes, but it is not the video that drives the search results, it is the written content and metadata that go with the video. If the content says everything you need to say, why bother with the video?

  • Trees

    I’d also add to keep it short and simple.

    I’ve been to numerous sites with fairly decent content that have the same flashy open for each segment. Yeah, I get that you like your logo animated in 3D but I want answers quickly – if your content is relevant, then I’ll care about WHO you are.

    I think much of the best content answers a visitor’s question(s) in less than 60 seconds or whets their appetite to contact the resource for more information.

  • Mike Jung

    It seems videos for lawyers are really getting more popular. Besides Avvo hosting lawyer videos this website: has a dedicated hosting business model for lawyers. Catchy name, too:

  • Michael J. Evans

    There’s a good answer to your question: “If the content says everything you need to say, why bother with the video?” It’s because Google is trying hard to integrate YouTube videos into the top positions on a regular Google search engine results page, so if you have properly optimized text accompanying a video, it’s more likely to get on the front page of Google than the same text would if it were merely in a blog post. Try this test: run a Google search for “Yamaha Rhino rollover,” a hotly contested search term. Notice that there are 427,000 pages competing for that term. Then look at the top results; when I ran the search (while posting this comment) the top 4 results were all videos. Of the 4 videos, two of them are videos I produced which show a colleague explaining what makes Rhinos roll over. The clients we have obtained through these videos seem to like the fact that they can get a feel for their lawyer by watching the video, rather than just reading some words and filling out an impersonal client intake form.

  • Video marketing is a great way for solo lawyers to create a connection with their potential clients. Online videos are relatively cheap to create and can be placed in a wide variety of sites around the net… all incoming links to your Firm’s website (Free seo in other words).

    Creating videos is one of the most frequent questions I get from my lawyer coaching clients. The things to always keep in mind are: 1. Read your state bar’s ethics rules in regards to advertising (internet advertising is still advertising), 2. make sure to connect with your viewer, and 3. consistency is key (putting your personality and knowledge out into the world through writing, blogging, speaking, and videos is a phenomenal way to gain expertise and respect in your industry… and to get clients knocking on your door for little if no cost.

    Sonia Gallagher, JD
    Coach for Lawyers
    Training Lawyers with the skills they need to thrive in their solo practices AND helping them implement them.