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  1. #1
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    Law Firm Marketing
    Hi ABW community. First time poster here. I work for a law firm that was interested in using some affiliate marketing for lead gen. Anyone have any experience in that niche or any advice?

  2. #2
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Hi Jackrabbit86.
    There's an interesting article on Law.com entitled
    "To Own Your Blog Is To "Control" Your Professional Destiny"

    Read more: To Own Your Blog Is To "Control" Your Professional Destiny | Law.com

    I'm not involved in any affiliate work for law firms.

    The admin, About Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound, was/is an attorney so perhaps he could offer some ideas: ABestWeb Affiliate Marketing Forum - View Profile: Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound
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  3. #3
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    I used to work for a company which generated legal leads for lawyers. It was competitive to secure those leads, and for the most part they were pretty expensive for the lawyers to purchase, but if the source is good, the leads can be quite profitable as well. Would you be trying to get affiliates to send leads to your company, or purchase leads from a company already doing that?
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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  4. #4
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    I would want the affiliates to send leads just to me. Its a unique issue as we would want to just target leads in a specific location. The lead payout would be pretty profitable for the right person.

  5. #5
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackrabbit86 View Post
    I would want the affiliates to send leads just to me. Its a unique issue as we would want to just target leads in a specific location. The lead payout would be pretty profitable for the right person.
    The affiliate might wonder about compliance: how can the affiliate be sure he/she will be paid when fufilling this unique opportunity by sending all the leads to you?

    Most affiliates like trusted third party payers (just saying).
    This sounds like a clandestine operation.
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  6. #6
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    That's a good question. We would have to have some kind of legal contract along with a non-disclosure agreement and non-compete clause for the geographical area. The firm I work with would provide non branded content for your site then it would be up to the affiliate to rank it for the geo area. They would pay for qualified leads and leads that didn't fall into the geographical area could be used by the affiliate i suppose.
    Last edited by jackrabbit86; September 23rd, 2014 at 12:32 PM.

  7. #7
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    Rhia7 brings up a good point about affiliates having confidence in being paid. Sorry, you're paying the price for prior folks who failed to pay as promised via an in-house program.

    When buying leads from an existing company, it is possible to geo-target. If you do want to set up your own program, there's a lot involved in doing so. At minimum yoou would need a full-time employee and/or an OPM experienced in quality lead generation to help you get this type of program started. Lots of things need to be in place, so it will take someone with significant knowledge of the industry to do things right.
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  8. #8
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    There are a lot of lead generating sites out there for law firms like AVVO or Findlaw but the quality of leads they produce are terrible. I am an SEO that was hired in house to clean up his site so I understand the caution others would have with a set up like this from an affiliate stand point. Thanks for your advice though.

  9. #9
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    Yes, I'm familiar with those companies. There are others, fortunately. Glad to know you understand so much. What what I recall, affiliates specializing in that niche are willing to do things working with individual law firms. If you are up to establishing individual relationships, then it's a possibility for sure.
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  10. #10
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    I definitely want to establish individual relationships. Please pm me if you have anyone in mind.


    Thanks

  11. #11
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    I would recommend Nick Podrasky, NickNap on ABW; he was the AM who followed me at that company and he really understands lead gen. I know he has a white paper specific to this topic.
    Jeannine Crooks - Always happy to share what I know! - Voted Best Network Rep 2013 & 2014
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  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager NickNap's Avatar
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    Jackrabbit86 - I'd be happy to chat with you some more about this to help you review the options, the requirements, the tradeoffs, etc. It sounds as if buying from an aggregator is going to be the better fit for you, but without more details it's hard to say. (Thanks for the mention, Jeannine!)

  13. #13
    Super Dawg Member Phil Kaufman aka AffiliateHound's Avatar
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    Hi jackrabbit,

    The question of an affiliate program for legal referrals has come up here from time to time and the overriding issue is always what are the state laws on attorney referrals and can an affiliate program be in compliance. Such rules vary from state to state, and my only direct experience is in California, which, while has the most restrictive of those rules of any state, but which are still representative of many other states.

    The bottom line in California is that to charge any fee to refer cases to a law firm, the referring company has to quality and be certified by the State Bar. That is not an easy or quick process. Second, and even more important, is the rule that no person or entity except another lawyer licensed to practice in the state can receive a fee on a case by case basis. Rather, a certified referral service can charge a monthly fee to provide a number of leads, but cannot receive a fee directly based on any specific case, and certainly not a percentage of the fee received for any specific case. For anyone to do so is not just a violation of these rules, but is a felony, and the state is vigilant in investigating and prosecuting such matters.

    If you are serious in pursing this, the first thing you should do is ask for a formal advisory opinion from the ethics division of the state bar of your state.

    Per Rhia 7's comment, I practiced law for almost 30 years but have been retired since 2001. AND the above is not a legal opinion, but is a general discussion of the topic. You should seek your own formal legal opinion with counsel of your choice.
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  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager NickNap's Avatar
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    Quick note - Everything Phil has said I believe is correct. To refer cases and charge fees does in most states require a lawyer-to-lawyer transaction. And yes, every state's Bar Association does have varying rules.
    Luckily, for lead-gen, it's a slightly different matter and it was the folks at Total Attorneys who went to court to clear the way for all the other aggregators out there. I think this was about five years ago now.
    I'll try to dig up the information to see how they defined the difference. I'm sure it is in crystal-clear legal-speak.

  15. #15
    Full Member Lindy Rig's Avatar
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    Jackrabbit:

    I am in North Carolina and own a pre-paid legal services plan, registered with the NC Bar (not a franchise arrangement like we see all over the web), and I can tell you that the info from Nick and Phil above is very similar in NC, and would certainly preclude attacking the opportunity the way in which you seem to be leaning. I'd concur with Phil... have the firm get an advisory opinion from the ethics division.

  16. #16
    Affiliate Network Rep JCrooks - AffiliateWindow's Avatar
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    Legal lead gen firms have been around for years, generating countless leads each year. This question was long ago resolved.
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  17. #17
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    Thanks for the good feedback everyone.

  18. #18
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    jackrabbit86, I know this is an older thread, but curious how you fared in the legal lead gen space?
    We are an Affiliate network that at go live is focusing in the legal space. We have legal firm buyer lined up for any lead(s) we generate.

    Curious if you decided to spin up an offer and generate leads yourself, utilize an aggregator, post offers on an Odigger, or something else...

    Thanks!

  19. #19
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    Wow that lawyer affiliate thing is such a brilliant idea, i never even thought about that, thank you so much for ringing a bell in my brain, you just made my day !!!!! I'm going to investigate if it's legal in france too since it's such a sensitive issue.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackrabbit86 View Post
    There are a lot of lead generating sites out there for law firms like AVVO or Findlaw but the quality of leads they produce are terrible. I am an SEO that was hired in house to clean up his site so I understand the caution others would have with a set up like this from an affiliate stand point. Thanks for your advice though.
    This is a common misunderstanding, Avvo is not a lead gen site. It's a marketplace that allows consumers to do complete and detailed research in order to make smarter legal decisions. From an attorney POV it should be used as a high quality marketing platform that can be extremely effective if used properly, all while being free.

    PM me if you have questions about Avvo.

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