What Should I Name My Law Firm?

Branding

Whether you’re fresh out of law school ready to start your own firm or thinking about rebranding your existing practice, you might be wondering, what should I name my law firm?

If you find yourself legally ready to practice law, opening your own law firm may be in your best interest. You will have the freedom and flexibility to provide your legal services to a wide range. In addition, the name of your law firm will be an important part of growing your practice.

Or, you might want to boost your presence in your community by rebranding your current firm’s image. Maybe you recently brought on a new partner expert in divorce law while you specialize in family law. Naming your law firm should reflect this new change.

Whatever situation you find yourself, having the right name for your law firm can bring you new clients or turn them away.

Here are some of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to naming a law firm.


PART 1: USING THE RIGHT NAME

PART 2: NAMES TO AVOID

PART 3: BRANDING YOUR LAW FIRM

PART 4: UNDERSTANDING YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY


PART 1: USING THE RIGHT NAME

Historically, law firms were named after their founding partners. You’ll often see names like, Smith & Associates, Davis Brooke & Cromwell Law Associates. While some firms still follow this method, the industry has adapted to new trends to try and grab the attention of potential clients.

When it comes to your law firm, choose a name that captures your practice in a way that connects to the people who need you.

Here are a few guidelines to choosing your law firm name:

  1. Use Family Surnames. It’s not uncommon to start a law firm with a family member. Doubling your names to represent your law firm would work for husband and wife partners, parents and children, or even between siblings.
  2. Use Partner Surnames. You can acknowledge all the partners in the law firm by putting their surnames into the new law firm name. If you were founded by 4, you might have a name like: Glaxo, Smith, Slate & Cline.
  3. Use Memorable and Catchy Surnames. Plain and common names like “Smith” might not stand out in you law firm’s name. If possible, use the catchy surnames first like “Glaxo” which may be more memorable.
  4. Order Of The Names. Be careful! When deciding the name for your firm, your partners (or even you) may want their name to go first. Often, the first two names of a law firm will be remembered if there’s more than two. Be sure to choose the most memorable names for those first two.
  5. Keep Names Brief. If you’re partnering with a large group of graduates, having a 10+ long law firm name will be a bit of a mess. Try shortening the name down to one main name and associates. This is also useful when it comes to creating name cards, signage, and other forms of advertisements. Addition note: don’t use names that are too difficult to pronounce (and remember).
  6. Double Check Your Acronym. There’s nothing more embarrassing than creating a name for your law firm that condenses into a less desirable word. If you’re partners are: Paul, Eric, & Emily Law Associates, you’ll end up with a short version off “PEE Law Associates.” Rearrange your names or restart with a fresh new idea.

PART 2: NAMES TO AVOID

Now that you have an idea as to how to name your law firm, there are a few distinctive don’ts you should also consider.

  1. Don’t use non-lawyers as your partner(s). You are not permitted to form a law firm with non-lawyers acting as partners.
  2. Don’t use misleading names. Choosing a name like, “New York Law Association” implies that you are state run law firm. You cannot imply any connections to public, government, or charitable legal services.
  3. Don’t use names of people already holding office. Having a name like “Trump & Associates” may be deemed illegal. You cannot use the name of a lawyer currently practicing law in a public office.
  4. Don’t claim false partnership. If you aren’t practicing with anyone else, don’t claim that you are. If you are sharing an office with another lawyer but you are not practicing together it would be misleading to use a name like, “Schuster & Smith Associates.”

Be sure to check whether you can legally register your name. You may not be able to register the name you want if it is already taken as every state has different restrictions.

For a complete understanding of how to legally name your law firm, please see the Rules of Professional Conduct

PART 3: BRANDING YOUR LAW FIRM

There are a few things you can do to make your name more memorable and your service well known. Here’s a few tips for branding your law firm’s name.

  1. Keep it short. Using a single word may be useful for branding and marketing purposes. For example, “Justice Legal Attorneys” could become known as the go-to lawyers for getting “justice.”
  2. Use your area of practice. If you’re a divorce lawyer, defense lawyer, corporate lawyer, or any other kind, put that in your name. This helps you differentiate from all the other lawyers can can be useful if you plan on putting your law firm on a website.
  3. Get a trademark. If you’re thinking of growing a large practice in your area, considering trademarking your name early. Do this if the branding associated with your law firm is original and distinct.

PART 4: UNDERSTANDING YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY

Getting a second opinion from friends and family can help you determine the best name for your law firm. Create a list of your top 3 and send them out in an email. Get the people closest to you to vote on a name that resonates with them.

In addition, you may want to do some research on your local community where you intend to practice. Selecting a name that has no negative associations will make for a better business.

Final Thoughts:

Take special consideration when considering the name for your new law firm. The name you choose can have an impact on your prospective client’s awareness. Choosing a name that is easy to remember as well as highlighting your area of specialty will be the ideal approach.

  • Justin

    If you are focusing on just one area of practice, such as personal injury law, what is your take on including your area of practice in your name.

    For example, “______ Injury Firm, PC”?

    Would it be any better, or worse, to include the word “law” in the name as well?

    such as, “______ Injury Law Firm, PC”?

    I have selected a name for my firm, and I have filed with the secretary of state just a few days ago. I chose to go with the latter version (did not include “law”), but now I am feeling remorse. I am inclined to amend the name to include law because I feel as though the name may sound a bit more official, clear, and/or complete with the word “law” added in there.

    Your sincere advice and/or impressions in this regard would be very appreciated.

    Thank you.