Allocation of pages to marketing, and a breakdown

Why law firms invest in research surveys primarily is to market their firm’s legal expertise. Accordingly, one might suppose they would include in their reports some description of that prowess. Surprisingly, in a group of 10 research reports, four of the firms did not avail themselves of that opportunity. Morrison Foerster MA 2016 (a 6-page report), Littler Mendelson Employer 2015 (a 37-page report) leave not a clue. Tiny buds of marketing appear in two others: King Spalding ClaimsProf 2016 (17 pages) starts with a letter from the group that conducted the survey to a partner of the firm and Berger Singerman SFlaRE 2017 (11 pages) notes as part of its logo: “Florida’s Business Law Firm.”

Those four firms show at the bottom of the plot below, because their ratio of pages with marketing material to total pages equals zero. The remaining six surveys vary widely in terms of how much marketing material they include as a proportion of their total report pages. Berwin Leighton ArbVenue 2014 allocates almost one out of every five pages to marketing itself whereas Wilmer Hale EcCrime 2003 shyly allocates approximately one-tenth as many pages.

Broadly speaking, a report might market the firm as a whole, a particular practice, or individual partners. Out of this set of six firms that used pages or partial pages of their report for explicit marketing, five promote the firm, three promote a practice group [King Spalding ClaimsProf 2016, Berwin Leighton ArbVenue 2014, and Seyfarth Shaw RE 2017], and three of them promote individual partners (Proskauer Rose Empl 2016, with photos and also with three non-partners; Wilmer Hale EcCrime 2003; and Squire Sanders Trade 2014, with the firm overall]. If individual partners identify their practice group, that detail could be said to market both the person and the practice.

To give one example of treatment, here is a portion of the pages that Berwin Leighton devoted to its arbitration practice and its firm as a whole.

Two of these reports also include a letter from a partner, a marketing device [Berwin Leighton ArbVenue 2014 and Proskauer Rose Empl 2016] while one of them includes a page of the firm’s office locations [Proskauer Rose Empl 2016].

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