How can a socially diverse law firm leverage its social make-up in marketing?
By Charlie Britten
11 Mar 2020
There is a lot of talk about diversity in the workplace today. But how can a diverse law firm enjoy a marketing edge?
If there was once a time when law firms in the UK were dominated by white men with elite educations at public school and Oxbridge, those days are long gone. Not only are educational backgrounds far broader in an age when many more people go to university, but so too is the make-up in terms of gender and ethnicity.
Of course, diversity is a major buzzword now, with a range of different groups seeking more representation and recruiters keen to stress their adherence to legally-binding obligations barring discrimination in various areas. Matters like religion and belief, sexual orientation and disability are also important issues.
In the legal sector, bodies like the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) have done much to research and highlight the advantages of having a more diverse profession, not least because it provides firms with access to more talent.
How the legal workforce has diversified
Moreover, the workforce is indeed diverse. The most recent SRA study, in 2017, found that:
- 48% of solicitors were women, compared with 47% of the overall workforce.
- Women will soon make up the majority of lawyers, as female students accounted for two-thirds of the 2018 university legal course intake.
- More significantly, a fifth of lawyers were from black and ethnic minority groups, up a third from 14% in 2014.
- Black lawyers had trebled in number and Asian lawyers were also more numerous.
- Almost half of all lawyers were the first person in their family to go to university.
While some other groups were underrepresented - such as the disabled - and the number who went to public school was still disproportionately high, the overall picture is certainly one of greater diversity.
The result of all this is that many firms will be more socially diverse. The question is: How can such firms use this in their marketing?
People like us
An obvious way a firm can connect with its clients is by being like them:
- Many people from ethnic minority groups, for example, may feel more confident about getting a good service from lawyers who are from the same group
- The same may apply to women, members of a religious minority or the disabled
- While these can all be sensitive topics, it should not be underestimated - the inability to make a social connection could help a firm win business
- There’s no need to make this an overt element in marketing; it can be made self-evident through a good website with names and faces demonstrating diversity
To achieve this, it is important to be clear what market you are serving, so devising an accurate buyer persona is vital.
Diversity implies open-mindedness
A less tangible element of a diverse firm is the implication that it represents more open, tolerant and inclusive attitudes, which in turn could increase trust. Indeed, showing that you are committed to a cause can be both a great motivator for your staff and also an attraction for potential customers.
Diversity can aid specialisms
A more diverse workforce can also help with certain areas of law. For example, people from cosmopolitan backgrounds may have more organic understanding of situations such as immigration, which can supplement their technical skills. Similarly, women dealing with criminal cases in which other women have been the victims may be able to display more empathy.
What tools are available?
As ever, the best digital marketing tools can vary, but small and medium enterprises can benefit greatly from using content marketing and social media to highlight their distinctive and diverse natures.
This may include:
- Speaking on video on social media - regional or ethnic accents may help connect with some people
- Blog content that can subtly highlight the understanding various diverse aspects of a firm’s workforce bring
- Similarly, diversity can be highlighted through the company website and this can be a focus of its development
How can BeUniqueness help?
At BeUniqueness, we have great experience in helping firms capitalise their own USPs and authentic qualities. With a tailored plan to help emphasise these, we can help your firm enjoy strong growth.