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If you’re a lawyer trying to stand out, getting good at public speaking is like having a secret weapon. Sharing knowledge person-to-person is a powerful way to get your name out there, especially for solo practices or small firms. It’s also a great way to get an edge on your competitors who are drowning in SEO and knee-deep in blog posts.

We’re not talking here about debate competitions or radio interviews. Instead, give talks, join panels or get involved in community activities. No matter your practice area, you can earn trust and snag new clients by sharing what you know. 

Here’s a quickstart guide to public speaking as a promotional opportunity, including strategic workshop ideas for lawyers in various practice areas.

Public speaking ideas for personal injury law 

Try to brainstorm a workshop, seminar or presentation that you can offer on repeat (or in a series!) to entities in your community. In-person opportunities are extra juicy, but online webinars and workshops can be powerful, too. 

Remember, craft an offering that’s specific to your area of practice—and your unique expertise.

Community events or panel discussions: 

Bicycle Safety and the Law
Safety Measures for Avoiding Common Accidents
Preventing Workplace Injuries (offer jointly with a union—or a corporation)


Navigating the Claims Process: Tips for Success
Recent Developments in Personal Injury Law
Maximizing Compensation in Personal Injury Cases

Legal clinics and free public teaching:

Understanding Medical Malpractice Claims
Dealing with Insurance Adjusters After an Accident
What Are Your Rights After an Accident?

Public speaking ideas for estate planning

Community events or panel discussions:

Estate Planning Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them
Special Needs Planning for Families
Common Misconceptions About Wills and Trusts
Tax-Saving Strategies Through Estate Planning (offer jointly with financial advisors)


Essential Estate Planning Documents: What You Need to Know
Legacy Planning: Leaving a Lasting Impact Through Estate Planning
Digital Estate Planning: Managing Your Online Presence After Death
Creating a Generational Wealth Plan

Legal clinics and free public teaching:

Protecting Your Assets: Strategies for Estate Planning
Estate Planning for Aging Individuals

Public speaking ideas for criminal defense

Criminal defense lawyers should be aware that most defendants will probably not out themselves by attending public events. However, smart framing and online webinars can work well in this practice area.

Community events or panel discussions:

Addressing Legal Issues in Criminal Justice Reform
Exploring Alternatives to Incarceration: Rehabilitation and Diversion Programs
Legal Implications of Substance Abuse Charges (offer jointly with addiction recovery centers)
Juvenile Justice and Your Rights


Understanding Your Rights When Facing Criminal Charges
Navigating the Criminal Justice System: Tips for Defendants
Know Your Rights: Interactions with Law Enforcement
Expungement and Record Sealing

Legal clinics and free public teaching:

Building a Strong Defense: Strategies for Criminal Cases
Understanding Plea Bargaining and Negotiation Strategies

Public speaking ideas for business law

Community events or panel discussions:

Starting Your Own Business: Legal Considerations (offer jointly with a Chamber of Commerce)
Legal Challenges Facing Small Businesses
Legal Resources for Local Businesses
Employment Law Essentials for Small Businesses
Startup Pitch Event (with legal advice included)


Intellectual Property Protection for Entrepreneurs
Navigating Regulatory Compliance in Your Industry
Business Entity Selection and Formation

Legal clinics and free public teaching:

Contracts 101: Understanding the Basics

Public speaking ideas for family law

Some topics in family law are more personal. People may prefer to watch a webinar in private rather than attend a public event. Think strategically about which topics you cover in public venues.

Community events or panel discussions:

Protecting Your Children: Legal Issues in Adoption and Guardianship
Financial Planning for Divorce (offer jointly with financial planners)
Domestic Violence Awareness and Legal Resources


Legal and Emotional Considerations in Navigating Divorce
Divorce Mediation vs. Litigation: Pros and Cons
Co-Parenting Strategies After Divorce
Understanding Spousal Support and Alimony

Legal clinics and free public teaching:

Child Custody and Visitation Rights: What You Need to Know
Prenuptial Agreements and Asset Protection

Review and next steps

On the Internet, you may not be able to compete with bigger firms for keywords or ad placement. But in your community, public speaking can put you on the front line and top of mind.

Public speaking positions your firm as helpful, knowledgeable and accessible. Free workshops, webinars and other legal clinic offerings don’t have to take a ton of your time. You can even repeat the same workshop several times per year. 

The person-to-person connection is an unbeatable on-ramp for gaining more clients and more brand awareness, especially for smaller firms on smaller budgets.

Pro Tip: Many of the topics listed above would also work well as whitepapers or lead magnets. Finally, make sure to check your local bar association’s guidelines before you offer any public events.

Growing your firm requires online and offline marketing. Reach your audience online with a great website that won’t break the bank and reach them in real life with public speaking. You got this!

About the Author
The team at OneFirst Legal has built websites for thousands of law firms across the United States. Fueled by data and whole lot of creativity, OneFirst helps law firms make a powerful first impression online with websites that convert visitors into clients.