If you think Instagram is only for millennials, think again. It's fast becoming one of the top marketing channels for building your brand and meeting potential clients, with relatively little effort. That's good news for a top attorney like you with a busy calendar.
Not convinced? Super Lawyers' new playbook, Not Just for Travel or Food Bloggers: How Top Attorneys Can Use Instagram to Connect with Potential Clients, explains how embracing the fastest-growing social network can help to convey the values of your firm, build trust and showcase your exceptional reputation.
Social media is about engaging your audience and building personal relationships. Instagram is based on building those relationships visually. Images are powerful and can succeed where words fail. Studies show that humans remember approximately 10 percent of what they hear, 20 percent of what they read and 80 percent of what they see. With those statistics, it's no wonder that more than 71 percent of U.S. businesses are on the platform.
We all know that people connect with images on an emotional level. Therefore, giving potential clients a glimpse behind the scenes of your practice and showing them your human-side through imagery can be key to securing future business and building trust. Now their connection to you has become personal and that makes Instagram a powerful tool.
The best way to make Instagram work for you is to first know your audience. Grab their attention through images that they find intriguing. For instance, Big Horn Law, who represents victims of motorcycle accidents, fosters connection by posting images of their attorneys and their bikes. Take their example and connect on a personal level by sharing your hobbies and interests. Most importantly, put some thought into showing them exactly who you want them to see.
We realize that this is easier said than done, but don't worry, we have you covered. Download our new Playbook on Instagram for Super Lawyers selectees to learn more about how you can bring awareness to your firm and set the stage for Instagram success.
If you think law school was difficult, it has nothing on the circumstances these Super Lawyers overcame. From escaping political unrest in the Philippines to trying to change the views of women in an entire profession, the following stories evidence the varied backgrounds yet similar resolve of Super Lawyers selectees. Read each story and see what's happening with other Super Lawyers and Rising Stars selectees.
The women in this cover article joined the male-dominated legal profession in the 1970s and started a shift in its demographics. Here are some of the things they heard along the way:
"These women blazed a trail, facing challenges I can't imagine dealing with," says Christine Segarra, whose class of 2013 at Tulane Law School was nearly 60 percent women. "They established what is acceptable and what will not be tolerated in this profession. ... I'm grateful that they made it possible for me to have a normal work environment."
José Bautista was born in Makati, Manila, the central business district in the Philippines. It was a comfortable life. Yet he remembers open sewers where trash would be running.
He grew up in the brutal era of Ferdinand Marcos, the dictator who declared martial law and crushed political dissent. Those detained for political reasons might disappear forever.
One day, when Bautista was 8, rumors circulated that people were threatening to kidnap him.
It's still a mystery to Bautista what it was all about. "I can never get a straight story from my father," he says. "I'm not sure I want to know. It was very politically charged then, but whether or not that had any link to why we fled, I couldn't tell you."
After being told to pack a bag, Bautista and his parents left immediately.
The family arrived with the clothes on their backs and $5,000. Bautista's father started an office supply company, walking everywhere until he could afford a car. They spoke English in the home, and as the office supply company boomed, the family moved to Palos Verdes, an enclave on the Pacific coast.
After attending Washington University as an undergraduate, and then law school at St. Louis University, it took the help of a former St. Louis law professor to land him in Kansas City via a clerkship with Circuit Court Judge Michael Manners.
He soon landed at Franke Schultz & Mullen, taking on insurance cases, and then moved in 2002 to Davis Bethune & Jones, where he joined a small shop of seven lawyers and began laying the frame for his railroad work.
In 2009, Bautista decided to launch his own firm. At first he and his partners were shoestringing it-MacBooks, iPhones, letterhead and a P.O. box.
Less than a decade later, Bautista is standing at the entrance to Bautista LeRoy's new digs, a two-story, 15,000-square-foot building in an up-and-coming part of midtown Kansas City. It's another significant crossroads for a guy who's no stranger to being the new kid on the block.
Read the entire article to learn about Bautista's upbringing and how he became one of the top-rated attorneys in the country.
The statistic is noted by nearly every lawyer interviewed here: Women make up 50 percent of law school graduates. But their representation in firm leadership remains unequal. Despite the strides made during the last few decades, challenges remain for women in the legal industry.
In the feature article, we talked about these issues with eight Milwaukee-area women on the front lines-some who blazed trails in the 1970s and others making noise in the early stages of their careers.
Look at the full article to read their stories and see the entire list of Wisconsin selectees.
Also, catch up on all the latest issues of Super Lawyers Magazine in the digital editions.
Emile Banks has come a long way. Arrested while growing up in Chicago for trying to scare neighborhood bullies with his mother's handgun, he spent a night in jail at 12 years old. "I had to sleep with a bunch of criminals," Banks told us in the 2006 issue of Wisconsin Super Lawyers Magazine. "I knew one thing: I was never going to end up in that place again."
He never did. Instead, Banks ended up as the founder of Emile Banks & Associates in Milwaukee, where he's built a notable personal injury defense practice. He's also known for his sermons at Christian Faith Fellowship Church, where he's an associate pastor. Occasionally, his passions intersect.
His two careers have some commonalities. "It's all about persuasion," Banks says. "When you're on the pulpit and ministering the word of God, you're telling people it's true and applicable to their lives. When I'm in court, I'm persuading the jury that it's my story, and a story they should accept."
A pivotal case for Banks involved a single mother who attended his church. Accused by a large corporation of not filing the appropriate paperwork and owing money to them, she did not qualify for legal aid. So Banks chose to represent her pro bono and won.
"She was tearful, crying, and said she did not know what she would have done [without our help]," says Banks. "Lawyers are expensive, and many of us want to do pro bono work, but the pressures of making profits for the corporation get in the way."
It was this desire to take on more pro bono work that led Banks to start his own firm.
"It actually ended up being the greatest decision in my career," he says. It allows him to take on many clients for free or at reduced rates.
"Emile could have taken the easy way," says Fehring. "He could be an in-house attorney for a large corporation, to flesh out their diversity. Instead, he decided to start his own firm."
Banks prays before the start of each trial. "I never want to walk out of a courtroom feeling ... that I have prevented someone from obtaining something they had rightfully coming," Banks says. "I never argue a position I don't truly believe in. I have been in a position [where] clients have asked me to say things to help their case. If it's not a fact, I will not say it, no matter what the client says or threatens to do."