January 29, 2012|Kim's Blog, Lawyers, Marketing|

It’s not often that I am stopped in my tracks by really inspired marketing of legal services but it happened this week. And in the area of marketing of family law services.

The family legal market is going through a period of unprecedented change – Legal Aid has been swept away for all but a few special circumstances, mediation has been thrust into the spotlight, there are some highly rated (by the quality media) smartphone divorce Apps and everyone waits with baited breath to see what will happen at the commodity end with the advent of ABS.

Mishcon de Reya has been doing some smart marketing of late (see May 2011 blog post http://kimtasso.com/legal-marketing-case-study-mishcon-de-reya) but it’s latest venture is inspired.

Teaming up with Debrett’s – “the modern authority on all matters of etiquette, social occasions, people of distinction and fine style” – it has produced Debrett’s Guide to Civilised Separation a 64 page paperback with illustrations (?) with a cover price of £12.99 which covers:

  • The Legal Process:  From advice on getting the most from your lawyer to a clear explanation of child issues, money matters and Court Proceedings
  • After the Event:  Everything you need to know about spreading the news, telling the children and cooperating with your ex-partner to dealing with the extended family and wider social circle
  • New Beginnings:  From symbolic gestures, such as name changes,  to dating after a divorce, new relationships and re-marriages
  • The Facts:  A clear guide to the process of divorce, answers to frequently asked questions and a glossary of legal terms

Highlights include advice when it comes to handling the personal issues associated with a major life trauma to reduce unnecessary animosity and distress, counsel to avoid being vindictive, how not wasting your lawyer’s time, communicating effectively, prevention of being a dinner party bore and what women do about their names post-divorce.

A book on non-legal aspects of divorce is not new. One of the earliest thought leadership campaigns in this arena was done many years ago by a partner at a small London law firm called Ross & Craig. Simone E Katzenberg’s “I want a divorce?” was unique in that it offered a practical approach to the emotional and legal implications of marital crisis and focused on the psychological stages (breakdown, shock, anger, gain, hatred, grief and acceptance) and it was endorsed by Relate.

Where Mischon de Reya scores is in its positioning at the top end of the market by associating itself with a brand that is the touch stone for those at the highest echelons of society.