For those of you who missed my branding program at this year’s LMA Annual Conference, do not fret. I have taken the information and formulated it into this “Tip of the Week.”

At the LMA Annual Conference in Austin, my presentation showcased two organizations that have done a great job of incorporating specific law firm branding best practices into their legal marketing programs. One is the law firm of Freeborn & Peters LLP, which has wisely built its brand around five core values. The other is JAMS, which has created a terrific visual identity and positioning statement that quickly and precisely articulates exactly who they are and what they do.

Many legal marketers are familiar with the deliverables associated with a branding exercise – such as a logo, a tagline and a unique color scheme, which JAMS has nailed. But it’s important not to neglect the promise that builds the foundation that your clients respond to, and this is where Freeborn shines. That’s because a brand is so much more than your logo. At its core, a brand is a genuine promise that you make to your clients, shareholders, staff and communities.

To ensure the brand promise is authentic and the brand visuals articulate that promise, you should conduct a discovery exercise to help assess your firm’s unique identity so you can express it to your audiences better. Here a few questions to consider when going through a branding exercise:

  1. What is the firm’s purpose?
  2. What are the firm’s business goals?
  3. What are the firm’s core values?
  4. What is the firm’s culture?
  5. What is the firm’s personality?
  6. What are the firm’s unique differentiators?
  7. What is the firm’s voice?
  8. What is the firm’s story?
  9. What are the firm’s brand messages?
  10.  What is the firm name?

The verbal identity reflects how your law firm expresses its culture, characteristics and value propositions. This includes the language you use, the tone of your communications and the content of your messaging. Undergoing a branding exercise that explores the questions listed above will help guide you in creating both the brand voice and visual identity. When paired with concise brand messages, your law firm logo can speak volumes about your firm, its personality and its value proposition.

Legal marketers must remember that it is important to fuse your firm’s identity, core values and brand messages with your branded visuals, and – most importantly – your logo. Otherwise, you might have a striking visual but no message or promise to support it.

Interested in learning more about law firm branding? Contact me, Terry M. Isner, at