What’s in a Name?

What your firm is called makes a difference.

Your name conveys information. It can be overt, implied, positive or negative. It may be consistent or inconsistent with what you want to achieve.

Here are a few examples:

Greg’s Discount Conveyancing (seniors discounts available) says it’s a kind of back yard business (proper law firms aren’t called ‘Greg’s’), it is seriously cheap, and it only does conveyancing. For Greg it is good and bad. Greg knows exactly the enquiries he will get – but are they the enquiries he really needs?

Jackson Fairbrother Lawyers (New York, London, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne) says it is about big business, internationally, it doesn’t convey price signals or mention specific areas of practice because its clients and target clients will know already. Greg’s prospects certainly wouldn’t even click the mouse. And nor should they.

For many firms, it is a real advantage to clarify what you do in the name.

For example, if Morgenstein Lawyers are specialist commercial litigators why on earth aren’t they called Morgenstein Litigation? It is an automatic funnel and is so much more web searchable.

The same thing goes for all specialists – Wills and Estates, PI, Family, Criminal and so on. The brand’s job is to filter out the people you don’t want and accelerate the ones you do.

What about funky names? Would Inspire Lawyers work? Funky names work up to a point. They may attract entrepreneurs and a particular type of private client. But Google the top 100 law firms in the major cities and funky almost doesn’t rate. The reason? Governments, GOC’s, listed companies, serious corporates, and conservative private clients want their law firms to look like ‘proper’ law firms. So funky will get you so far… but then you’ll probably hit a ceiling.

Names do make a difference.

Sure – for very established brands changing holds challenges. But for most firms, their full client and referrer bases are only a click away.


Published: Queensland Law Society – Proctor, September 2014 (p. 50)


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