Blog Post

Can midsized firms beat the AmLaw 100? Social media levels the field.


Legal marketing expert Heather Milligan recently wrote a fantastic blog post about why she’s no longer putting her firm’s money into traditional advertising. Instead, she’s more likely to invest in social media and blogging for all of the obvious reasons (lower cost, more targeted, more measureable). She also added that blogging, in particular, offers lots of appeal because “especially with JD Supra and Lexology, on a daily basis my firm’s blog posts are right there, next to our AmLaw 100 competitors.”

Bingo. That’s exactly why social media is a huge opportunity.

The internet and social media are now flattening the market for legal services. And now, midsized firms like Heather’s have an unprecedented opportunity to challenge the big firms for the most lucrative work.

While Heather’s 70-attorney firm could never match the AmLaw 100 folks when it came to advertising and sponsorship budgets – there is no reason why they can’t match their ideas. And with a good website combined with social media marketing, it’s easier than ever to get your firm’s ideas in front of decision makers.

In the era of social media, the advantage is increasingly going to those attorneys and firms with specialized expertise, a unique perspective and the willingness to share it. And as a result, there’s probably never been a better time to be a midsized firm.


4 comments... read them below or add one.
  1. Jorge Colón says:


    Yes, but….. :-) AmLaw 100 saw this coming before mid size firms did. But they failed to move in time. So yes, there is plenty of opportunity all the way down to branded solos.

    But no one has yet provided an answer to their ability to scale, not to mention that AmLaw 100 has the long-term relationships with key people at Fortune 1000. Besides when these legal giants do move, they tend to crush their under-capitalized competition – albeit slowly. :-)

    What is missing is the ability of smaller firms to collaborate at high levels of trust to build scale and compete with AmLaw100.

    Founder of The Online Bar

  2. Jorge – you make some fantastic points.

    Yes, the biggest firms will always get the biggest cases – and “scale” is one of the major factors that limit smaller firms. However, as you stated, lots of opportunity exists. There is plenty of lucrative work currently being performed by the AmLaw 100 that could be handled by other firms.

    In the past, there were huge barriers to getting on the radar of general counsel. Now this is much easier thanks to the internet. The best ideas can win, as long as you’re savvy about how you use your website and social media.

    Thanks again for the thoughtful comments!

  3. Jay Pinkert says:


    “Leveling” the playing field is probably an overstatement for the reasons Jorge cited, but I wholeheartedly agree that it opens new options for advance based on the strength of ideas.

    Maybe a different metaphor: chess — where piece value and position can outmaneuver an opponent’s numerical advantage

  4. Jay,
    Thank you for your thoughts. You make an excellent point — and the chess metaphor is aptly applied.

    Regardless of how much more level a good website combined with social media marketing strategy makes the playing field, it’s quickly becoming clear that legal practitioners with specialized expertise, a unique perspective and the willingness to share it, have an edge over other attorneys.

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