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Setting the Right Tone with Your Family Law Branding

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Kameron Jenkins
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I’m convinced that family law attorneys have one of the toughest jobs out there.

The emotional tax that comes with handling serious issues like divorce and child custody day-in-day-out is steep, requiring just the right mix of empathy, resilience, and relentlessness.

If that’s you, hats off. I have so much respect for what you do.

Knowing that you deal with such sensitive and emotional matters, you’ve probably wondered more than once how you should present yourself to the world.

While it works for some lawyers to shout about their toughness to acquire clients, that’s just not you. How do you get more family law firm cases without sounding insensitive?

Family law firms need to take a different approach with their tone, branding, and message.

Related: A Game Plan for Marketing Your Family Law Practice
Related: Local SEO For Law Firms

How to Brand Your Family Law Firm: 5 Areas to Focus On

Since Juris Digital is a digital marketing agency, we’ll focus on those aspects of branding that have direct applications for your law firm website and other digital properties.

1. Tone & Voice

“Tone” or “voice” refers to the personality your digital content conveys. Here are some of my favorite examples of brands that have nailed down their digital voice:

  • Mail Chimp: jargon-free, genuine, and dry-humored
  • Screaming Frog: witty, helpful, and a little sarcastic
  • Bon Appetit: helpful, fun, and cool

Every family law firm is unique. You have the liberty to choose a brand voice that matches your unique personality, but there are some personality traits that it’d probably be best to avoid when coming up with your family law firm’s brand voice.

Brand tones your family law firm should avoid:

  • Urgency: Choosing a family law firm is a big decision that your potential clients are probably already overwhelmed by. Reading content that makes them feel rushed might send them right back to search results.
    • Examples: “Call now!” or “Don’t wait until it’s too late!”  
  • Lightheartedness: If someone needs a family lawyer, they’re likely going through a difficult time. Avoid any language that makes if feel to your potential client like you don’t take their situation seriously. This can seem uncompassionate.
    • Examples: “Kick that sucker to the curb!” or “No prenup? No problem!”
  • Aggression: Family law cases are usually already heated enough, so the last thing your potential clients probably want is an attorney who’s going to yell at them.
    • Examples: “Aggressive family law attorneys” or “We’ll fight for you!”
  • Cockiness: You may be great at what you do, the best even, but it’s best to leave the braggadocio out of your digital content. Nine times out of ten, people facing family legal issues prefer compassion over cockiness.
    • Examples: “We’re the best” or “We have X award”

There are exceptions to every rule, so it’s entirely possible these “tones to avoid” may work well for you in your specific locale or among a specific demographic. I recommend the free tool Google Optimize to test which copy leads to better website engagement, and use Google Ads data to see which tone converts better.

You should also pay special attention to your brand voice in these areas:

  1. Call-to-actions: The set-apart text that leads website visitors to take an action such as calling or filling out a form.
  2. Banner text: The text in the prominent “above the fold” (top) areas of your website, usually part of the website design.
  3. Directory descriptions: This is the brief elevator pitch for your law firm that’s in the description field of websites like Yelp.com.
  4. Paid ads: Your PPC ad copy and the text on your display ads.  
  5. Emails: Whether you’re emailing a current client or a prospective client, and whether the email is coming from the attorney, an assistant, or the billing department, use the same tone you’re projecting publicly.  

Remember, your message can change to fit the unique situation, but the tone in which you convey that message should remain consistent.

2. Taglines & Slogans

Think of a tagline or slogan as your law firm’s catchphrase. It should be short, striking, and memorable. A motto that quickly lets your prospective clients know what you’re all about.

Some famous examples of slogans:

  • Nike: Just do it
  • Subway: Eat fresh
  • McDonald’s: I’m lovin it

Notice that none of these taglines state the product or service. The best taglines convey an idea that compels potential customers to act. So how could this be applied to family law firms?

How to create a good law firm tagline:

  • Be client-focused: Your client is the hero, not you. Rather than using your slogan to shout “We’re awesome!” use it to make your potential customers feel awesome.
  • Focus on feelings: Focus on the main feelings your clients are experiencing when they come to you, and create a slogan that focuses on alleviating those feelings.
  • Avoid a direct pitch: A slogan is not your chance to give an elevator pitch. Save the “who we are and what we do” for your About Us page.

3. Logo & Imagery

Imagery is powerful – use responsibly.

Some of the best logos are simple (think: H&R Block), and many law firms simply opt for a stylized version of their business name. If you have an especially long law firm name (the longest I’ve worked with is a law firm with 5 named partners – a total of 50 characters), it might be a good idea to use an acronym for your logo.

You have a lot of flexibility with your law firm’s logo, and to be honest I haven’t seen a lot of truly terrible ones. Where you really have to be careful is the additional imagery you put on your site, such as stock photos.

Here are some guiding principles for choosing imagery for your family law firm website:

  • Avoid images that trigger pain. I think we’ve all seen one too many of those divorce stock images where the couple is fighting, playing tug-of-war with the kids, etc.
  • Use images that portray how your clients will feel after you help them. Remember, you’re there to solve their problems. A website with images that throw their problem in their face will cause them to associate your law firm with pain.
  • Avoid images that are too lighthearted. Be careful not to overcorrect from pain-triggering stock photos by using images of happy, smiling families. Use website images to respect the gravity of the situation.

Again, A/B testing tools like Google Optimize will help you determine which images facilitate better engagement with your website, but generally, the following principles serve as a helpful guide for your family law firm’s branding.

4. Colors

Color psychology (yes, that’s a thing!) plays an important role in family law firm branding. Color can have a massive impact on human perception, and can actually influence our mood.

Colors that would work well for a family law firm website:

  • Soft blues
  • Grays
  • Pale greens
  • White

Stay away from:

  • Reds
  • Black
  • Bright colors

Colors have the ability to present your law firm as a haven or a source of additional anxiety. Choose the former.

5. Topics

Once your brand has a digital voice (point 1), use it to address the topics that your potential clients care about. How can you find out what these topics are? Two main ways:

  1. Keyword research: There are various keyword research tools on the market, but one of the best ones is also a free one – Google! Type in the word “divorce,” for example, and you’ll likely see a “People also ask” box somewhere in the middle of search results and a “Searches related to” box at the bottom. Your potential clients are asking these questions – be the one to answer them!
  2. Talking to your clients: Family law firms are very familiar with the painful issues, concerns, and anxieties their clients face amidst legal issues. The same people sitting in your office are the people using Google to search for answers. Use your real client relationships to tap into content ideas.  

The buying cycle can often be longer for family lawyers because of how much is at stake. Your potential clients are going to be doing a lot more research than say someone who needs an emergency plumber for a pipe burst. Use that extended research phase as an opportunity to answer their questions and build the trust that’s necessary for them to choose you as their representation.

The topics you choose to address can contribute to your family law firm’s brand as much as your tone, tagline, images, and colors can. Choose them wisely.

Ready to grow your family law firm?

Deciding how you want to present your family law firm online is a lot of work. Juris Digital understands the nuances that come with each unique legal service area, and can do the heavy lifting to ensure your website is securing more family law clients, not turning them away.

Is your family law firm website turning potential clients away?

Juris Digital helps family law firms like yours get more quality cases from search engines. Ready for more and better leads?

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