Legal Translation to the Languages of Law Firm’s Foreign Clients
Legal translation is very important for law firms and corporations. In order to attract clients from abroad, law firms must not only find ways to reach these prospective clients, but must also differentiate themselves from competing firms after the same clientele. As discussed below, one way firms can differentiate themselves is by crafting compelling multilingual marketing messages in the native language of the foreign-born clients that contain important educational information.
When generating multilingual legal content for such educational marketing materials, firms should emphasize their expertise in the areas of law that are likely to interest foreign nationals. Such material should contain practical tips for the types of legal problems or issues that the prospective clients are likely to encounter. By providing clients with the translation of helpful legal information, including translation of legal terms, firms can demonstrate their capability to handle the legal needs of the foreign born clients much more effectively than they can through traditional marketing means.
Translate Law Firm’s Blogs into the Languages of Foreign Clients
One way to market to foreign-born clients in a non-threatening way is through blogging. Many firms have found blogging to be an extremely useful, not to mention cost-friendly, marketing tool.
Blogging is an extremely effective avenue for a firm to to convey educational information to prospective clients, highlight a law firm’s areas of expertise, and differentiate itself from competing firms.
By having blogs professionally translated into the native language or languages of the firms’ target market, law firms will demonstrate their commitment to meeting the needs of foreign-born individuals and will likely make prospective clients more comfortable about contacting a firm that makes the effort to communicate in the client’s own language.
It is important to note that law firms should keep blogs free from “sales pitches” or other self-serving statements as this tends to lessen the trustworthiness of the information contained in the blog. Instead of self-promotion, firms should strive to create foreign language blog posts and other marketing materials that covey empathy, cross-cultural sensitivity, and expertise in the legal field. If successful in doing so, prospective foreign-born clients will be naturally drawn to the firm. The last thing a law firm would want is for clients to be turned off by pushy messaging.
Publish Law Firm’s Translated Articles on Ethnic Websites
In addition to posting multilingual blog posts on the firm’s own website in Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, Portuguese, Arabic, Korean, Japanese and other foreign languages, firms should also consider publishing articles in ethnic print media and on ethnic websites in the applicable foreign languages in order to further reach the sought-after foreign born clients who may not be otherwise directed to the firm’s website. Some topic ideas include:
• Criminal law/Miranda rights
• Attorney-client privilege
• Personal injury litigation
• Federal/State court system and structure
• Bankruptcy law
• Family law (e.g., prenuptial agreements; child custody agreements; divorce proceedings)
• Business law (e.g., consumer contracts; real estate contracts; insurance contracts)
• Employment litigation
• The U.S. Constitution
Multilingual Translation of Legal Terms and Legal Information
Even though, generally speaking, there is a plethora of information on all the above subjects within the public domain, foreign-born clients may not be familiar with how to locate reliable information concerning these issues, especially in their native language. By posting such information on the law firm’s website, the firm is providing a valuable service to their niche market. Firms may even want to take it a step further by including a user-friendly “frequently asked questions” (“FAQ”) tab on the firm’s website in order to further educate prospective foreign-born clients on the basics of the particular areas of law within the firm’s practice.
In addition to blogging and utilizing print media, firms should consider publishing monthly newsletters that are available both electronically and via printed materials in order to reach the target market more completely. While many or most individuals may be internet literate, some individuals, especially older persons, may not be comfortable with utilizing, or communicating through, the internet. Firms should strive not to “forget” these types of clients who may be more effectively obtained through non-technological means.
In sum, providing prospective clients with free and reliable legal information translated into their native language can be an extremely effective marketing tool. Aside from traditional marketing materials, firms can reach such clients more easily through well-crafted and information-rich blogs. Of course, as with any type of marketing, law firms should always be mindful of the Code of Professional Conduct and any and all state ethical rules/standards in generating such material.