The verdict is in: People aren’t fond of attorneys. A Gallup poll published in 2023 found that attorneys are the #7 least-trusted profession, barely edging out journalists, car salesmen, telemarketers, and Members of Congress. Clearly, the people have spoken.
The perception gets even worse when you talk about personal injury lawyers, who are oftentimes seen as “ambulance chasers” and narcissists with their faces plastered on billboards all around town, or screaming at us through their television commercials.
The personal injury industry was worth a staggering $53.1 billion in 2022 alone, up 15% since 2018, according to IBIS World. As you might expect, the caseload for personal injury goes far beyond fender benders and neck problems.
Personal injury cases range from pedestrian/car/truck/boat/motorcycle accidents, aviation crashes, medical malpractice, and many types of workplace accidents. The level of complexity with these cases grows exponentially, based on the level of injury, fatalities, number of victims involved, mechanical technicalities, or human negligence.
Lawyers can’t specialize in all aspects of law, so it’s not uncommon for cases to be referred to another lawyer. Perhaps the case is not in the originating attorney’s area of practice. Or maybe the attorney does not have a history of success in that type of case. Or even that the case will require too much money and time for the firm.
For firms, picking a successful referring attorney is important because you want your client to be handled with expertise, experience, and compassion, even though you are not personally handling the case. After all, they originally came to you for a reason.
The law firm of Slack Davis Sanger (SDS) receives about 60% of their cases from referral sources; i.e., other attorneys, judges, local politicians, etc. rather than directly from plaintiffs. After nearly 30 years and now with three offices, the firm has been named a U.S. News – Best Lawyers® Best Law Firm, with many attorneys named Thomson Reuters® Super Lawyers. But with two managing partners being aviation attorneys, the firm has been primarily regarded as an aviation boutique firm.
The prominent law firm originally hired the B2B agency Spire in 2022 to handle its flagship networking event. But in 2023, the agency was tasked with redefining what the firm was known for, and to increase the number of case referrals from other attorneys. To obtain more cases in other fields of practice, it was imperative for the firm to expand on how referring attorneys viewed the firm’s capabilities.
The first step was developing messaging and positioning, which was done by a questionnaire and in-person workshop with all eight principal attorneys. During this process, the crucial question was: “Why do other law firms refer cases to SDS?” It was realized that the firm handled not just personal injury cases, but the toughest and most complex personal injury cases. Other firms lacked SDS’ technical expertise, could never resource the way SDS could, and that SDS’ win-rate was far superior.
Armed with a solid, directional foundation, visual and written campaign concepts were created with one bubbling to the top of everyone’s list—Complexity is our Specialty—short, sweet, and right to the point. It spoke to how the firm and its award-winning attorneys have the technical and legal expertise to outwork, outthink, and out-resource any opposition. The campaign also leaned into the empathy the firm brings to cases, and the resolution it helps bring to clients affected by life-altering catastrophe.
The campaign showcases simple, slightly ominous-looking visuals that highlight prominent practice areas, including medical malpractice, workplace injury, class action/whistleblower, aviation, and the SDS brand overall.
The Complexity is our Specialty campaign is chock-full of compelling headlines, including “Turning Trauma into Triumph,” “Converting Catastrophe into Certainty,” “Turning Tragedy into Trust,” and “Changing Crisis to Confidence.”
The campaign was rolled out across multiple platforms and publications, including programmatic banners, a geofence campaign run during an industry event, paid social, and print ads featured in prominent industry publications, like the Dallas Bar Headnotes and Austin Lawyer, among others.
Complexity is our Specialty began running in August and will continue to run through mid-November, ending before the holiday season. And don’t forget to check out the recent Spire on Spotify playlist inspired by this very campaign. To experience some judicial jams, simply rule in favor of Vol. 47: Crisis to Confidence.
Julia Cardali is a Principal/Account Supervisor at Spire, an Ad 2 Dallas “32 Under 32” recipient and the AAF Dallas “Young Professional of the Year.”