Ethically Marketing Your Law Practice

Pay attention to the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct related to internet marketing Before you redesign your law firm's website or start a new internet marketing campaign.

The first step is reading all of the applicable bar rules for attorney advertising. Additional information can be found in the comments to each rule and the advisory ethics opinions interpreting the rules.

Although the rules in the State of Ohio are restrictive, an attorney can stay in full compliance while still having an extremely effective internet marketing campaign. Taking an ethical approach to marketing means following the letter and spirit of each rule.

Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct - Read the rules on information about legal services including Rule 7.1 for Communications Concerning a Lawyer's Services, Rule 7.2 for Advertising and Recommendation of Professional Employment, Rule 7.3 for Direct Contact with Prospective Clients, Rule 7.4 for Communication of Fields of Practice and Specialization, and Rule 7.5 for Firm Names and Letterheads.

Ohio Ethics Advisory Opinions - Search through the Advisory Opinions that provide advice for attorneys on the application of the Ohio Code of Professional Responsibility.

Why do we market?

We are trying to create trust in the eyes of the consumer of our services that are deciding to use us as their law firm, or continue using us as their firm.

What is Internet marketing all about in 2016? It is to leverage your law firm’s off line marketing, as well as to have people meet the firm online, which is where the majority of people will engage your firm 1st!

To gain confidence in the legal profession today, consumers need to see a nice brand, a video, a great profile, social media, a blog, and something they can connect with over the not so good lawyer on the list.

Social Media- This is the one area of legal marketing that some really embrace, and others kind of embrace, and some completely ignore. The question often asked is why do we need social media if we are a business firm? How can social media help our firm? How can it help our clients? Social media is how firms stay connected to their clients, friends, attorney colleagues, their network. It is a way for prospects to see how firms interact with their network, how people react to their posts, who the firm knows, that they know. Linked-In, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and other mediums are all open to firms and their brand. Think about potential hires, prospective clients, current clients, friends of the firm, Attorneys, the community, and others will potentially be effected by the firm’s brand on social media. Also, individual Attorneys can leverage the firm’s content and posts on their personal social media.

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John H. Phillips

John H. Phillips


Prior to practicing law, Mr. Phillips received a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering and a Master of Science in Engineering. He worked as an engineer in Cincinnati, Boston and Minneapolis prior to practicing law. As an engineer he was responsible for Quality Assurance and Regulatory Compliance at three nuclear power plants.

Mr. Phillips received his law degree from the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. While living in Minnesota, he was appointed twice by Governor Rudolph Perpich to serve on the Hazardous Substance Injury compensation Board where he was Vice Chairman. He left Minnesota to join the litigation department of Taft, Stettinius and Hollister where he focused his practice on environmental law and litigation. In 1994, he left Taft, Stettinius and Hollister to become managing partner of what is now Phillips Law Firm, Inc.

Mr. Phillips lives in Anderson Township with his wife and four children. He is actively involved in his community where he has been President of the Hamilton County Board of Health, Secretary of the Park W. Gast, Jr. Education Foundation, Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the Cincinnati Chapter of Triangle, Inc. (an engineering, architecture and science fraternity at the University of Cincinnati), and President and Founder of a non-profit organization for continuing legal education programs known as the Northeast Lawyers Club. He is a member of the Cincinnati Bar Association, and serves on the environmental law committee, professional responsibility and ethics committee, and real estate committee. He is also a member of the Ohio Free and Accepted Masons and the Syrian Shrine in Cincinnati, Ohio

Mr. Phillips handles a wide variety of cases for clients. He handles personal injury cases, business disputes, legal malpractice, and insurance claims. He has litigated cases from Texas to Minnesota, and from New York to Oregon. He represents businesses and individual clients in the areas of personal injury cases, business disputes, legal malpractice, insurance claims, construction law and building code compliance, real estate law and development, landlord-tenant, business formations, non-profit corporations, and estate planning. Mr. Phillips also has significant experience handling complex litigation and environmental issues. He represents clients with issues regarding the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (Superfund), Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, Atomic Energy Act, and National Environmental Policy Act, to name a few.


He served two terms as a member and President of the Hamilton County Board of Health.

He was twice appointed to the Hazardous Substance Injury Compensation Board by Minnesota Governor Perpich. He served as Vice Chairman on this state board which reviews personal injury and property damage claims related to the release of hazardous substances.

He is Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the Cincinnati Chapter of Triangle, Inc. (an engineering, architecture and science fraternity at the University of Cincinnati).

He was awarded the National Triangle Fraternity Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2002.

He is the President and Founding Member of the Northeast Lawyers Club (an Ohio Not-For-Profit Corporation Providing Continuing Legal Education to attorneys).

He is secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Park W. Gast, Jr. Education Foundation (an Education Foundation at the University of Cincinnati).

Interesting Experience

He is an experienced litigator and trial attorney with multiple bench trials, jury trials, and administrative hearings too numerous to count including legal malpractice, medical malpractice, personal injury, contract, business, environmental law, and zoning.

He has drafted many ordinances including an anti-nuisance zoning ordinance for a local village to prevent undesirable businesses from moving into an area, an environmental justice ordinances to prevent the spread of environmental hazards on low income areas, and regulations on rabies, sewage disposal and other public health issues.

He has brought private enforcement cases against government officials that ultimately resulted in the felony conviction and five-year prison sentence of a City Mayor.

He has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Cincinnati’s in the Biology Department teaching “Environmental Law for Non-Lawyers”, and he has been an Adjunct Professor in the Nuclear Engineering Department teaching “Reactor Lab” and “Radiation Detection and Measurement.”


William Mitchell College of Law, Saint Paul, MN – 1989. Received Juris Doctor by attending law school evenings while working full time as a nuclear engineer.

University of Cincinnati College of Engineering, Cincinnati, OH – 1984. Received a Master of Science in Engineering while attending on full scholarship as a Teaching Assistant and Associate Professor.

University of Cincinnati College of Engineering, Cincinnati, OH – 1982. Received a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering.

Law Related Work History

Phillips Law Firm, Inc. Cincinnati, OH – 1994 – present. General practice law firm which has o a very strong business law, personal injury, legal malpractice, environmental law, tax law, bankruptcy, adoption, and bike law practice.

Taft, Stettinius and Hollister, Cincinnati, OH – 1990 to 1994. Associate attorney practicing in the litigation department. Handled all aspects of environmental law, litigation, and regulatory compliance.

Engineering Related Work History

Northern States Power Company, Minneapolis, MN – 1979 to 1981 and 1984 to 1990. Senior Engineer with experience in Quality Assurance, Nuclear Fuel Management, Core Analysis, Safety Analysis, and Licensing.

Yankee Atomic Electric Company, Framingham, MA – 1984. Loss of Coolant Accident Analysis and Thermal Hydraulic Engineer.

University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH – 1982 to 1983 Adjunct Professor in the nuclear engineering department.

Cincinnati Gas and Electric, Cincinnati, OH – 1982. Nuclear Fuel Performance Engineer.

Author and Lecturer

“Legal Alert,” a monthly environmental column published in “Metal Finishing” magazine.

Professionalism among lawyers – “What’s wrong with us?” – An analysis on lawyers, litigating and public perception of lawyers.

Ethics – “The year in review” an analysis of changes in the law affecting all lawyers.

Substance Abuse in the Legal Profession – “What drives you to drink?” An analysis of danger signs and where lawyers can get help for substance abuse problems

Legal Analysis – “Does RCRA Really Apply to Your Environmental Remediation?”

Legal Analysis – “Potential Contractor Liabilities and Indemnifications for the Environmental Restoration Management Contractor at the Fernald Environmental Management Project”

Legal Analysis – “Decommissioning America’s Commercial Nuclear Power Plants: Running the Regulatory Gamut”

Engineering Analysis – “Reactor Coolant Pump Operation During Small Break Loss of Coolant Accidents at the Yankee Rowe Nuclear Plant”

Education Analysis – “Teaching Radiation Health Physics at the University Level,” The University of Cincinnati was a recipient of a $30,000 grant based upon this work.

Expert Witness

He has testified in legal malpractice cases as to standard of care, reasonableness of attorney fees, and damages for both Plaintiff and Defense Cases.

Michael Brown

Michael Brown

Client Development Consultant


  • University of Cincinnati- BS in marketing 1994

Employment History

  • 1987-1999- Seiko Time Corp- KY, OH. Worked with Independent Jewelry stores and large retailers on their Marketing programs to drive sales and traffic to their stores.
  • 1999-2007: Bureau of National Affairs- Legal Publishing Sales executive
  • 2007- present: FindLaw- Senior Client Development Consultant

Professional Information

Michael Brown is a Legal Web Marketing Consultant with FindLaw and Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business and works with large, small, and solo law firms in Southwestern Ohio, South East Indiana and Northern Kentucky. As someone who has worked with Attorneys and firms for Sixteen years, he approaches law firms as a consultant first- educating, questioning and discovering a firm's objectives. He puts together internet marketing strategies that help lawyers and law firms attract and retain new business while maintaining their current client base. He speaks regularly to Legal Associations, local Bar associations, Statewide organizations like KJA, and OAJ as well as nationwide webcasts on legal marketing trends and best practices.

Prior to FindLaw, Mike worked with BNA Inc, assisting Attorneys and Law firms on their Electronic/Internet legal research solutions.

Personal Information

When Mike is not helping lawyers gain new clients, he is busy with 3 kids ages 21, 18, and 15 and his wife of 26 years and 2 dogs. Mike loves to play golf, Emcee charity events, Auctioneer, entertain, sing, dance, and announce Football, Lacrosse and Soccer games for his kid’s grade school and High-school teams. He is also the MC of the annual Thanksgiving Day Race in Cincinnati! He is an avid Bengal and Reds fan!

He was born and raised in HydePark/Mt.Lookout area of Cincinnati, and still lives there today.


  • Top 5 consultant 2010, 2012, 2014
  • Runner up Rookie of the year 2008
  • Top Divisional Consultant 2008, runner up 2013, Top Consultant 2014
  • 5 time Top Regional Consultant award
  • 5 time Presidents Club Winner

Prior CLE Speaking Experience

Speaker at the Annual Ohio Association of Justice, Kentucky Justice Association, Ohio Bar Association, Cincinnati Bar Association, Dayton Bar Association and numerous nationwide webcasts for lawyers on the topic of lawyer marketing.

Please Connect with me:

Face Book: Cincinnati-Internet-Lawyer-Marketing-FindLaw-Michael-Brown

Linked In: Michael Brown Findlaw

Google+: Mike Brown Findlaw

Twitter: @legalwebguy

FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters Business

2914 Alpine Terrace

Cincinnati, OH 45208