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How To Build a Criminal Defense Practice

Whether you’re an experienced attorney or a brand-new lawyer looking to make your mark in the world, building a criminal defense practice is a daunting project to undertake. There will be many pitfalls and obstacles that you must navigate through if you want to become a success, and it will take a well-thought-out and carefully executed business plan to get you there.

There are a few fundamental areas you must concentrate on to give yourself the best chance at success in becoming an experienced attorney, and in this article, we’re going to share five of them with you.

Building a Reputation

“There is no advertisement as powerful as a positive reputation traveling fast.” — Brian Koslow

When someone gets arrested for a crime or has criminal charges pressed against them, they usually have a plethora of options to choose from when it comes to selecting unlawful practices, lawyers, and attorneys. It’s a competitive industry, so you need to strongly consider what you’re going to do to make yourself stand out. 

While we will touch upon marketing strategies in the next point in our list, it’s essential that first, you remember the importance of your firm’s reputation. Firms with a robust and trustworthy reputation will stand a much higher chance of securing clients as they are perceived as more valuable and professional, which is exactly what people are looking for in a criminal defense practice. 

Finally, suppose you withhold a solid reputation within your community. In that case, you stand a great chance of securing recommendations via word of mouth, which is the cheapest and most effective form of marketing there is.

Internet Marketing and Advertising

When implemented correctly, your business’s online presence will quickly become your most valuable asset. Most people will first encounter your firm, and it is the place where the majority of the interaction will take place. 

As you know, first impressions count, which is why it’s crucial to make sure your firm’s online presence appears as professional as possible and conveys the message you wish to portray. 

Here is a quick checklist of some key points to take care of when starting:

  • Design a logo and branding material; 
  • Create a professional website with a relevant domain name;
  • Set up social media profiles on the main sites (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.);
  • Lits yourself in legal directories to gain authority for your website on the internet;
  • Invest in SEO marketing;
  • Upload all your legal certificates and verifications to prove your qualifications;
  • Set up online contact forms, so customers can get in touch.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you can embark on targeted marketing campaigns in your desired areas. You can go about many ways, but one of the most practical and cost-effective methods is social media advertising. 

Host an Active Blog

Hosting a blog on your website that’s regularly updated with relevant information is one of the best ways to attract new clients to your business, and if you do it correctly, it’s mostly free.

However, if you’re unversed in the world of SEO and curating content that will be favored in the eyes of Google, you should consider hiring a marketing expert to give you a head start. While it’s not impossible to wrap your head around these concepts, you’re probably going to be far busier managing more important things than finding the time to sit down and write blogs every day.

So how do blogs help you land new clients? 

  • They bring in free organic traffic from Google;
  • People looking for answers to specific queries are brought to your website;
  • It builds more trust and authority for your firm;
  • You can build an email marketing list;
  • It’s a great way to generate new leads for future opportunities.

For all the technology used in criminal justice firms, who knew that blogging would be one of the essential tools at your disposal?

Importance of Video Testimonials and Awards

As we touched upon earlier, one of the most effective forms of marketing is word of mouth. People want to hear what other people have to say about your firm: the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

Good reviews are a form of social proof for your service. Get enough of them, and you will build more trust and credibility in your field. If you have no feedback at all, it may raise suspicions with potential clients about your ability to deliver on your promises, and that’s not exactly good for business.

That’s why as soon as you start getting positive outcomes for your clients, ask them if you can get a testimonial from them and upload it to your site. This will make you look more believable to people who are exploring your area for the first time, and it could be the difference between landing a client or not.

Continuing Training for All Attorneys

Finally, it goes without saying that your firm needs to be excellent at what it does. It’s all well and good having a fancy website, an excellent blog, and a killer branding design, but if you can’t deliver results for your clients, your business will be going nowhere, fast!

Professional development is significant in the legal industry, and it’s your job to ensure your employees have the right skills and tools they need to serve their clients. Your attorneys’ professional development should be one of your top priorities if you want to be in it for the long run. This means investing in training courses, developing leadership skills, professional coaching, networking, and encouraging active industry associations.

Some of these skills for later professional development are written and verbal communication skills, the ability to work within a team, and stress resistance. Just as much is important to have research and analysis skills and be attentive to details, be patient, and last but not least, have defending skills to intelligently frame the arguments in order to win against the opponents. 

Not to mention, since the times are evolving every second, and the newer generation requires newer methodologies, just as everyone, lawyers need to follow this technology path as well, which means that a professional has to take procedures in electronic discovery. eDiscovery includes collecting, reviewing, and exchanging any information in electronic formats to use them later as evidence. This is a crucial skill to have and the ability to adapt to changes in times like this is always an advantage! 

Also read:7 Criminal Defense Attorney Strategies & Tactics 2022

In a criminal case, a defense is the argument(s) and supporting evidence that attorneys present to the courts with the aim of securing...


To succeed in a new criminal defense practice, you must be able to grow and maintain an excellent reputation by building credibility in your field. After all, the competition is fierce, and more often than not, the thing that separates firms that succeed from those that fail is how you market and position yourself to your potential clients. 

Think about your core values, your firm’s mission, and the standards you want to uphold. Once you have these concepts in your mind, ensure you perpetuate them across all areas of your business.

Article by Douglas Parker

Douglas Parker is a parallel legal assistant working with Manshoory Law Group, APC. He has always had a special interest in Law and Human Rights. Dedicating his free time to understanding the small details and specifics of these fields, Douglas enjoys exploring and analyzing them in his articles. His main goal is to make this sometimes complicated information available and transparent for everyone.

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