Blog Post

Clients via Google


Can attorneys really expect to get clients via Google? I think so. And, increasingly, I’ve been hearing about attorneys who have been successful in doing so.

I recently shared the Burger King story with Roy A. Ginsburg, an attorney at Dorsey & Whitney who has been writing the Quirky Employment Questions blog since 2007. On the subject of “clients via Google,” Roy offered a little bit of skepticism (and some fantastic insight).

When it comes to online marketing, Roy focuses primarily on blogging. While he has not yet garnered a client directly “via Google,” Roy doesn’t think that this negates the value of online marketing. He sees his blogging as just one more way to engage people, build his brand and nurture relationships. He points to one example where his blog helped develop a relationship that resulted in a six-figure client engagement.

When I asked him to explain exactly how he uses his blog to nurture relationships, he gave me two examples:

  • Each day, Roy receives an email digest of court cases filed in his region. He eyeballs the list in search of (a) cases in his niche, and (b) cases that relate to blog posts he’s written. When he comes across the right case, Roy sends an email to the GC of the company being sued. He offers the GC some thoughtful advice — and includes a link to the relevant blog post (which tends to be long and insightful).
  • Even if no relevant case has been filed, Roy often emails his blog posts out to clients and potential clients in order to keep them apprised of important legal developments — recent decisions, legislation, or other matters — likely to be significant to them.

The key to this strategy, he says, is writing valuable content. In fact, Roy's blog posts are considered so useful to in-house counsel that Lexology named him 2010 "Author of the Year” in two categories.

A Brilliant Marketing Strategy
Roy’s approach is brilliant because he’s getting valuable information into the hands of GCs at exactly the time at which they need it. Even if his emails and blog posts never directly result in business, they all help to build his reputation and build relationships. And, when it comes to marketing an attorney, reputation and relationships are everything.


7 comments... read them below or add one.
  1. Jerry Carlton says:

    I enjoy reading your website and blog. I have some questions about Mr. Ginsburg’s strategy of emailing general counsel of a party in a lawsuit. While it seems that it could be an effective tactic, I’m concerned that an unsolicited email to the general counsel would be considered spam. Is there any question about attorney ethics of such a contact? In my view, the State Bar of Texas is quite restrictive in its permissible communications with individually identified persons with whom the attorney has no prior relationship.

    • Dion Algeri says:

      Jerry — thank you for your kind words about our blog. A few thoughts regarding your question:

      —I believe that Jay said that he emails GCs that he knows (at least in passing). However, you might want to email him and ask him directly. You can find his email address on the Dorsey website.

      —State bar rules could definitely restrict this type of activity. However, rules differ from state to state – so I can’t really speak to the specifics of Texas.

      —Rules aside — in my experience, people don’t consider it spam when you write them a personal email (as opposed to sending a bulk email). I think that this is especially true if your email is specifically aimed at informing them (not selling).

  2. This is a great post and example. This is the future of networking. Build an online reputation that develops into an offline reputation. Generally speaking, those that don’t buy into the Internet as a tool for practice growth, have a narrow view of how it actually works. This stands as one great example. Thanks.

  3. The answer is yes, yes, yes. I addressed this issue in

    A couple of interesting points to add here: (1) after I posted my original piece, I received a number of calls from GC’s confirming that they do use the web and in particular, some of Google’s tools to watch industry trends; and (2) while my piece talks about 27% of GC’s use the web “exclusively to identify lawyers with requisite expertise on new engagements, today, a little more than a month a month after my original posting, a new report was issued showing that number has now swelled to 41%.

  4. Keith Lee says:

    Good article. Blogging is very worthwhile, but I think what is taking it to the next level here is that Mr. Ginsburg is actively reaching out and “cold” emailing GCs and companies. Many people blog, but don’t actively try to get the word out about it. It think the proactive steps taken here are what make the difference (it certainly has in the case of the blogs I have contributed to).

  5. Scott says:

    I like this approach because it doesn’t depend on Google. However, The reason Mr. Ginsburg doesn’t get any cases from Google is because his blog ignores the basic fundamentals of good blog structure and SEO. If each post were it’s own page with unique title tags, he would see a lot more action from Google searches.

  6. Something to consider: Nearly 75 percent (72.2%) of our annual traffic to is now coming from search engines. Its been going up each year by 5 percent over the last 8 years. That is significant imho.

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