At the start of any new law firm, you have to decide on a name. This name should convey professionalism, success, and knowledge. It needs to command respect and secure trust. Your name, along with your logo, are the first things a client will see when they come across your website or ads.
Your law firm name and logo design will create an initial impression of your business. What do you want that impression to be?
Table of Contents
- Initial Questions for Your Brainstorming Session
- Hiring an Outside Consultant
- Branding and Your Name Options
- Building Your Brand Identity
- Using a Style Guide
- Choice of Logo Design
There are always some basic questions worth asking yourself before choosing a name for your law firm. If you have partners, it’s definitely worth asking for their feedback as well.
- Can a solo practice use the word “offices” in their name? – If John Smith is practicing law on his own, should he name the practice “The Law Offices of John Smith?” What about if he practices alone but has multiple locations? People have different ideas about whether or not this type of phrasing is appropriate.
- Does every name need to be represented when there are multiple partners? – If you do want to represent each partner’s name, should you list the names alphabetically, by seniority, by age, or by experience? Should the ease of pronunciation and length of the name factor into your decision?
- How important is the geographic location of your law firm? – Should you include your location (or your region) in the name of your law firm? Keep in mind that some state bar associations will not allow you to use a name that includes geographic identifiers, so make sure that you check with your legal board before choosing any words that refer to a location.
- Should the type of legal work that you do be mentioned in your name? – Are you a personal injury attorney? Do you deal with criminal law or corporate law? Do you practice property law, international law, constitutional law, administrative law, or family law? The importance of using the specific type of legal work that you do is an individual preference that varies based on your needs. Consider whether or not you want the legal field as part of your name or whether you would rather use it in a tagline. You may want to ask this question while considering the other law firms in your area. Do the majority of them include their legal specialty in their name? Would you stand out or blend in among your colleagues?
- Do you need the name of your firm to be the same as your official legal entity? – You could, but this typically just makes your name more complicated and long. Many law firms think they must add “LLC”, but you do not always need to include your S corporation, LLC, or C status to your firm’s name. Clients will typically assume that you have the professional corporate liability coverage required. This can also be included as supplementary info within your marketing materials (or on your website) and therefore does not necessarily need to be in your name.
If you brainstorm through the questions above and find that you have numerous ideas from different partners, then it may be best to hire an outside consultant. An outside consultant can listen to everyone’s ideas and help to make the best name choice for the firm.
Naming your law firm is a serious step, and egos can be delicate. Asking someone to compromise (without the objective advice from a neutral third-party), may lead to issues right out of the gate. With so many differing opinions (surrounding such a permanent and important decision), it’s imperative to avoid stepping on any toes.
Are you the sole counsel of your practice? An outside consultant might still be useful. If you have questions about your firm name and want additional advice or suggestions, this really can go a long way.
Once you have a name (or several) that you like, it’s time to check those options from a branding perspective. Can you acquire a domain with the name you’ve chosen? You need a name that is available but also fits your law firm from a branding perspective. If your firm name and domain name drastically vary, your website will be difficult for clients to find.
Be sure to also check social media pages to see if any businesses have a similar account name. Are you able to register the name in your state database? You need to be easy to reach (and remember) to make the most of your branding opportunities.
Developing a brand identity for a law firm is critical. From company letterhead to giant billboards, your clients need to get a sense of who you are and what your firm does as soon as they see your branding. The brand identity needs to be consistent and representative of your unique skillset. All of your marketing materials should fit within your brand identity (which will become a strategic blueprint over time). It’s important to continually refer back to your identity to ensure you present a consistent, unified image to your legal clients.
Your brand identity will include your law firm’s name, website, social information, and logo design (as well as important information about your message and position in the legal world). A discussion about how you approach working with new clients should be in your messaging. Gather your team’s input, and be sure they are on board with your brand identity.
Every law firm should convey a core group of attributes: trust, prestige, confidence, knowledge, and professionalism. The best way to establish this when creating a style guide is to work with a professional designer. Typically you’ll want to stay within a color palette that has been tried and tested over time. A jewel-tone such as crimson red, navy blue, or forest green are industry favorites. Any “pop” color should be accompanied by a neutral (like white, black, gray, or beige), which will allow you to emphasize important info.
We also recommend sticking with bold colors rather than overly bright colors. The last thing you want is for your law firm to come across as childish.
Once you have you decided on your name and performed a brainstorming session for your brand identity + style guide, then it’s time to tie in the logo design. The logo should capture who you are as a firm and present a highly professional image. This is important because a poorly created logo can give off the impression that you lack professionalism. While font choice and color scheme will be drawn from your style guide, there are numerous possibilities for layout & imagery.
Reach out to us at Logo Coast when you are ready to build, redesign, or expand a brand. We have already helped numerous law firms develop extensive branding identities. Creating a striking logo for a law firm requires an eye for detail, an understanding of design aesthetics, and the ability to be unique. We’d love to create a logo for your law firm that garners the trust and respect you deserve.