101 Law Firm Taglines – 2009 Edition

Taglines as branding devices have been a subject of  interest for some time now.  Jeanine Magsitza compiled a list of 100 law firm taglines in 2002;   Nathan Burke analysed AmLaw 200 firm’s use of taglines on their websites in 2005; and a few months ago, Carolyn Elefant advised on how to write a good tagline.

Curious to see whether taglines have changed much since 2002, we decided to update the list and see if we could find more. We compiled the list by scoping out hundreds of US, Canadian, and international law firm websites, starting with the AmLaw 100 2009 and  Lexpert’s 30 Largest Canadian Law Firms and Magsitza’s big list from 2002. If we could quickly discern a tagline, we made note of it here. We left out generic-type taglines that really only refer to a state or city, or simply to the number of years the firm’s been around.

Taglines follow a variety of formats and styles; repetitive pairs, patterns, puns, and wordplay all figure prominently, and all with the goal of describing the firm’s philosophy succinctly and (hopefully) memorably.  (For more discussion of tagline formats, see this report from InterAct Marketing.)

Do they accomplish those goals? You be the judge!

101 Law Firm Taglines – 2009 Edition

AmLaw 100 2009:

  1. Akin Gump: Power of Collaboration
  2. Alston & Bird: Leadership. Creativity. Results.
  3. Baker Botts : Deeper Understanding. Better Solutions.
  4. Baker & Hostetler:  Counsel to Market Leaders
  5. Bingham McCutchen: Legal Insight. Business Instinct.
  6. Bryan Cave:  A Broader Perspective (SM)
  7. Crowell & Moring: Experience. Creativity. Results.
  8. Dickstein Shapiro: Experience Innovation
  9. DLA Piper: Everything Matters
  10. Faegre & Benson: More together.
  11. Greenberg Traurig: We’re Built for Change (SM)
  12. Haynes Boone: Setting Precedent (SM)
  13. Holland & Knight: Industry focused. Relationship driven.
  14. Howrey: The Advantage of Focus (SM)
  15. Jenner & Block: When it’s a Matter of Importance. (SM)
  16. Jones Day: One Firm Worldwide
  17. Kilpatrick Stockton: Traditions of Innovation
  18. Locke Lord: Practical wisdom, trusted advice (SM)
  19. McGuireWoods: Relationships that Drive Results
  20. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius: We’re In This Together. Your Team and Ours.
  21. O’Melveny & Myers: Connecting Communities, Clients, and People
  22. Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker: One Vision. One Firm.
  23. Perkins Coie: Legal Counsel to Great Companies (SM)
  24. Reed Smith: The Business of Relationships
  25. Shearman & Sterling: Aligned for Excellence
  26. Shepard Mullin: Our Mission is Your Success
  27. Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal: Partnering for Progress
  28. Steptoe & Johnson: When Experience Matters (SM)
  29. Womble Carlyle: Innovators at Law

Other US law firms:

  1. Adams & Reese: Out in Front
  2. Andrews Kurth: Straight Talk is Good Business
  3. Arnall Golden Gregory: Not If, But How (SM)
  4. Barnes & Thornburg: Enduring Values
  5. Bernstein: A Business Approach to Legal Service (SM)
  6. Boyle Fredrickson: You’ve got ideas. We protect them.
  7. Burr & Forman: Results Matter
  8. Compatore Law: Legally Speaking
  9. Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz: IP Smart. Business Savvy. Client Connected. (SM)
  10. Cozen O’Connor: The confidence to proceed.
  11. Davis Wright Tremaine: Defining Success Together
  12. Dickinson Wright: Great Lawyers. Great Law Firm.
  13. Ervin Cohen & Jessup: It’s Not a Common Practice. (SM)
  14. Foster Townsend Graham: Damn Fine Litigators.
  15. Fox Rothschild: Let Our Experience be Your Guide (SM)
  16. Fredrickson & Byron: Where Law and Business Meet
  17. Gardere: Legal Knowledge. Human Wisdom.
  18. Goulston & Storrs: thinkresults
  19. Greenebaum: Breakthrough Law (SM)
  20. Grodsky & Olecki: What makes us different makes us better.
  21. Halloran & Sage: Your solutions start here. (SM)
  22. Harris Beach: Lawyers you’ll swear by. Not at. (SM)
  23. Holland & Hart: The Law Out West
  24. Holme Roberts & Owen: Experience Listens. Be Heard. (SM)
  25. Jackson Lewis: All We Do is Work (SM)
  26. The Law Firm for Non-Profits: Helping Good People Do Good Things®
  27. Leonard Street & Deinard: Uncommon Wisdom. Common Sense. (SM)
  28. Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith: Client Focused. Results Driven. (SM)
  29. Miller & Chevalier: Discern the Difference (SM)
  30. Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton: The Law Firm Built for Business (SM)
  31. Munsch Hardt: Right Firm. Right Now. (SM)
  32. Murthy: We Know Immigration Matters (SM)
  33. Phillips Nizer: Resourceful Representation (SM)
  34. Quarles & Brady: Common Ground. Uncommon Vision.(SM)
  35. RMKB: A Better Legal System (SM)
  36. Rose Law Firm: A Heritage of Results
  37. Sheehy Ware & Pappas: Experience you need. Results you want.
  38. Snell & Wilmer: Character Comes Through (SM)
  39. Strellis & Field: Experienced. Driven. Effective.
  40. Watt, Tieder, Hoffar & Fitzgerald: Building Solutions (SM)
  41. Wells Jaworski & Liebman: Effective. Efficient. Expeditious.

UK law firms:

  1. Berrymans Lace Mawer: Clear Concise Advice
  2. Bond Pearce: Clients First
  3. Browne Jacobson: Law, less ordinary.
  4. Charles Russell: Understanding Relationships
  5. Clifford Chance : Committed to Helping Our Clients Succeed
  6. Holman Fenwick Willan: Lawyers for International Commerce
  7. Irwin Mitchell: Towards a Positive Future
  8. Lawrence Graham: Lawyers. Just Different.
  9. Linklaters: Globally Minded
  10. Mischon: Not just any law firm.

Canadian law firms:

  1. Aikins, Macaulay & Thorvaldson: Legal Expertise with You in Mind
  2. BCF LLP :  …Making it Possible
  3. Blake Cassels & Graydon: Business is our Signature
  4. Borden Ladner Gervais: It Begins with Service
  5. Brazeau Seller: Business people. Business law.
  6. Clark Wilson: BC’s Law Firm for Business
  7. Cox & Palmer: The Difference is a Great Relationship
  8. Crease Harman: We Mean Business.
  9. Fasken Martineau DuMoulin: Beyond Results (TM)
  10. Field Law: Our Practice is Your Solution
  11. Fillmore Riley:  Practicing Excellence
  12. Fraser Milner Casgrain: Your Future is Our Business
  13. Gowling Lafleur Henderson:  A Tradition of Excellence
  14. Lang Michener: High Performance (R)
  15. Langlois Kronstrom Desjardins: A large firm with a human touch
  16. Macleod Dixon: Local Expertise, International Depth
  17. McMillan: Take the Lead
  18. Robinson Sheppard Shapiro: Our Independence Makes the Difference
  19. Siskinds: Leaders in their Field
  20. Stewart McKelvey: When Results Count.
  21. Zvulony & Co: A Small Firm That Acts Big. (TM)

Reader-contributed taglines:

Did we miss your firm? or get it wrong entirely? Drop us a note in the comments, or an email in the coming days, and we’ll revise accordingly.

And finally, a huge thanks to Emma Durand-Wood (who now has a profile on the Stem website).  Emma was responsible for pulling this idea from one of our brainstorming sessions, researching and then compiling the list! A great project, with valuable results!

Comments

  1. Interesting survey. I’m now curious to know why some firms that have had tag lines have dropped them. Did the sentiment they expressed become inaccurate? Go out of style? Or go by the wayside during rebranding exercises?

    @ 3:02 pm
  2. Likewise, an interesting survey: but have some of the firms thought hard about what the tagline says about their firm? For example, whereas it may be comforting for clients to know that all Jackson Lewis (25) do is work, I am not sure I would want to work there myself. Does a tagline improve either client service or the client expereince? And does it reflect the culture (whether actual or aspirational)? “Not just any law firm?” Well, what then?

    @ 1:48 am
  3. Pei Wang said:

    Hull & Hull LLP: Trust Experience (TM)

    @ 8:05 pm
  4. Kevin said:

    Stewart McKelvey used to go with “The Law. Firm.” Which I thought was cheeky and smart.

    @ 5:44 am
  5. [...] law firm taglines By Randy Wilson Steve Matthews of Stemlaw provides a list of top U.S., Canadian and U.K. law firm taglines.  Two firm might be a bit chagrined at the [...]

    @ 7:18 am
  6. Krista Dawkins said:

    I’ve always liked multi-meaning of the tagline for Greenbery Glusker: “The Counsel you Keep” (TM)

    @ 12:49 pm
  7. Patrick Lamb said:

    Valorem Law Group is a litigation law firm made up of big firm refugees. We do complex business litigation using non-hourly fees. Our tag line? Results, not hours.™

    @ 6:41 pm
  8. The revealing thing about most of these taglines is that you could switch them with one another and clients would be none the wiser regarding which firm you’re talking about. “Solutions,” “experience,” “success,” expertise,” “excellence,” and let’s not forget, “business” — like most law firms themselves, they’re largely interchangeable.

    @ 9:34 am
  9. I hope the taglines are used for something more, because they are all very forgettable. I hate to think about how much time and money each firm spent in trying to come up with their tag line.

    @ 10:09 am
  10. I think I have more modest expectations than most. There are often too many perspectives/stakeholders to do a tagline well; and the larger the firm, the more difficult the challenge; hence the more generic applications. If taglines are akin to a product slogan, then they are expendable, and may be replaced every couple years. But if they are closer to a corporate mission statement, then perhaps a more long-term commitment is required. I suspect a tagline could serve both purposes, but question if they do either extremely well.

    I liked 2 points in Tom Kane’s post: 1) taglines can do damage internally, which I agree; and 2) questioning whether they can bring in business. A tagline by itself? it’s difficult to see how. But as part of a very consistent overall presence – may make more sense.

    My own feeling is that taglines don’t do much for firm brands, but kind of run side-car to the firm name. I don’t expect them to make sales, or influence sales decisions. If they help the firm’s internal planning process, or help introduce the firm to ‘first time viewers’, then that’s all we can really expect.

    @ 10:54 am
  11. Tag lines can be of *some* help.
    Part of my target clientele is the LGBT community, but it sometimes seems a bit much to put a rainbow flag on everything, so I offer will/estate services, making home/hospital visits with a tag that reads:

    “Out in Ballard/Straight Talk”

    My boys seem to like a little humor among the darkness of our task.

    All respect – David

    @ 2:39 pm
  12. rjon robins said:

    Jordan Furlong hit the nail on the head. Most of these tag lines SUCK because you could switch them with one another and clients would be none the wiser regarding which firm you’re talking about.

    With the exception of the few that define a narrow practice area these are all hollow and a meaningless waste of space – which is a shame because the space occupied by a tagline can be put to much better use to actually guide prospective clients in their search for legal representation.

    I mean what does it add to anyone’s understanding of the firm to know they’re promising to put “clients first”? Is that REALLY adding anything helpful to your understanding? “Oh, wow! What a relief let’s hire this law firm because unlike the rest they promise to put my needs first!”

    OK, I’m done ranting now. Back to laughing ;-)

    @ 4:35 pm
  13. Unique Law’s tagline is Illuminating Solutions.

    @ 4:44 pm
  14. Lisa Solomon said:

    What strikes me is how many of the taglines are about the firm, not about what they can do for the client (or the prospective client). For example:

    Jones Day: One Firm Worldwide
    Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker: One Vision. One Firm.
    Dickinson Wright: Great Lawyers. Great Law Firm.

    I like the following taglines because they focus on the benefit to the client:

    Boyle Fredrickson: You’ve got ideas. We protect them.
    Holman Fenwick Willan: Lawyers for International Commerce
    The Law Firm for Non-Profits: Helping Good People Do Good Things (SM)
    Dolden Wallace Folick: Insurance Law Expertise…It’s Our Policy

    And then there are the “what were they thinking?” taglines:

    Berrymans Lace Mawer: Clear Concise Advice (but if you’re looking for grammatical advice, go elsewhere)
    Zvulony & Co: A Small Firm That Acts Big. (TM) (you mean they overstaff and overbill?)

    @ 6:39 pm
  15. Steve Barrett said:

    Interesting…I did a speech in ’99 on Branding that included many: Text of slides = below:
    “Branding…Seriously”

    Fulcrum Conference
    3/9/99 San Francisco

    Steve Barrett
    Practice Development Director
    Paul Hasting Janofsky & Walker LLP

    — The National Employment and Labor Law Firm
    — In Business With the World
    — Legal Partnering
    — Commitment to Corporate Counsel
    Counselors. Advocates. Innovators. Problem Solvers.
    — Our Results Speak For Themselves.
    — Masters of the Intellectual Property Maze
    — On the Pacific Rim
    — The California Firm With National Reach
    — Leaders in the Law of Ideas
    — We Know the Territory
    — The Florida Law Firm
    — A Global Law Firm for the 21st Century
    — Counselors For a Changing World
    — Partnering Law & Technology to Meet Your Needs
    — …Means Business
    — The Law Firm For Today’s Gulf South
    — Where Law and Business Converge
    — Partners to Industry Leaders Worldwide
    — Lawyering For the Information Age
    — Uncommon Wisdom. Common Sense.
    — Leaders in the Law of Ideas
    — Hard Working Law
    — Staying Ahead of Change
    — In Court Every Day
    — Not Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
    — Limited Liability Partnership, Including Professional Corporations”

    The last two appeared most frequently ;-}

    @ 7:11 am
  16. At Galbraith Family Law our tagline is “Resolving Family Conflict With Heart”

    @ 8:02 am
  17. Erin West said:

    I think some above commenters are missing the real point with the Jackson Lewis tagline “All We Do is Work (SM).” The firm is exclusively focused on employment and labor law, so this line is obviously a nod to their expertise. Anyone who works within the firm, or wants to work for the firm, will KNOW THIS.

    @ 10:41 am
  18. Taglines can do some good as far as the visual identity of a law firm goes. We’re used to seeing the law firm logo comprised of a collection of names. These logos can look staid, bland, dull — visually identifying nothing and no one but the partners whose names appear in the thing. Add a phrase (see above) and you’ve got a shot at a presence.

    @ 2:59 pm
  19. [...] have slogans and taglines to advertise themselves.  Recently, the legal blog Stem collected 101 Law Firm Taglines from firms all over the world.  There are several varied approaches.  What do you think is [...]

    @ 6:53 am
  20. I agree that large firms have to struggle with many personalities, a collective image and in that search for the perfect wording they end up saying very little. Sadly, they probably hired people to create a ‘tag line’ and restrained their creativity too.

    In a business which traditionally goes by names of partners which can mean very little to lay people/clients there needs to be description. In an era of internet search, the tag line also needs to attract business via search words relevant to the consumer.

    So there is a lot going on. To be a do-it-yourself-er in a large firm is a mistake. It can also be a mistake for a solo unless you have some knowledge about consumer behavior and understand the tag line’s purpose.

    It has to resonate with the client, not the law firm. It has to convey a convey so much in so few words. It can’t do this if the law firm /solo doesn’t have this clearly defined.

    To create an effective tag line know your mission; your raison d’etre or you can’t brand yourself effectively.

    Don’t diminish the value of an excellent copywriter who understand the power of words on an audience.

    @ 6:21 pm
  21. [...] brand is not an illusion, fabrication or lie. Branding is not a tag line (which are all pretty much the same and stupid). And branding is most definitely NOT a logo. Branding is, however, the “packaging” around what [...]

    @ 12:15 pm
  22. Scott Rogers said:

    Best Law firm tagline ever… Maser Amundson, P.A. (elder law) : “Your Rock In A Hard Place”

    @ 7:10 am