Making it easier to grow your law firm


This section covers succession, specialisation, mergers, selling a law firm, becoming a partner, and business structure

How to plan and execute the process of starting up a new legal practice that is compliant and financially healthy

How to set up your firm’s systems to provide the information that enables you to improve profitability and cashflow

How to avoid professional negligence claims, with examples of common problems and suggested solutions. Plus FAQs on PII

This section only covers SRA Accounts Rules and GDPR at the moment. Compliance for start-ups is covered in the Starting up...

How to protect your law firm from cyber attacks. What steps to take if your systems are hacked

How to recruit and retain a team that is both happy and highly effective, dealing with the HR issues along the way

In marketing, like anything, you need to get the basics right. Otherwise the time and money you invest in marketing will be wasted

How to win new clients, make the most of existing relationships, encourage referrals and generate new leads

How to approach creating a law firm website that works, from agreeing your objectives to making sure you get the results you want

Why lawyers need to know about social media, how to make the most of the opportunities and how to avoid potential pitfalls

How to use PR to build your firm’s reputation; and how to create cost-effective advertising – traditional and online – that delivers results

How to use Instagram - for law firms

Rachel Tombs Rachel Tombs, founder of legal marketing and business development firm Orion Legal Marketing, looks at why lawyers need to be aware of Instagram and sets out a realistic approach to using it. (Updated 26 April 2023)


As a lawyer, it can be difficult to imagine how or why you would use Instagram. Instagram is a visual platform, based on pictures and videos – but law is not a product that naturally lends itself to imagery.

At the same time, it's clear that using images well significantly improves the effectiveness of social media networking. And that's not just true of Instagram, but across all the major social media platforms.

To many, it seems that this is the future of social media, as so many teenagers and young adults consider Instagram their most important social network. With support from parent company Facebook, the total number of active users globally has passed 1.35 billion. In the UK, 46% of the population are active users (Instagram UK Statistics 2023).

Instagram is primarily for sharing photos, video and images from a smartphone. Just like other social networks, you can interact with other users on Instagram by following them, being followed by them, commenting, liking, tagging and private messaging. While you can access Instagram from a computer, people tend just to use their smartphones.

"A picture of an agricultural lawyer up to his knees in muck – now that's someone I can identify with"
Bill Biddell, farmer, Hampton Estate


Picturesque law

It isn't easy for lawyers and law firms to come up with associated imagery, but it's not impossible either. For many law firms, the obvious choice is to focus on their people. Pictures of smiling lawyers literally give the firm a face and help create a perception of approachability.

Take this a step further by aiming for pictures that give an impression of life behind the scenes, rather than the standard posed headshot. Show a picture of your indispensable office manager getting a ten years' service award or blowing out the candles on a birthday cake. Share a picture of your new associate alongside an old picture of your newly qualified self twenty years ago.

Here is the Devon and Cornwall firm Stephens Scown, celebrating a charity run with an eye-catching picture on Instagram when the platform was relatively new. The firm now has a gallery of over 1,000 posts, including messaging added to some pictures.

Instagram gives people a peek behind the curtain and personalises, in a visual way, the business of law for people in a way that makes it accessible.

Look for opportunities to take pictures of community involvement. Snap a picture of the speaker at the Chamber of Commerce meetup, or your junior colleague crossing the finishing line at the fun run. Involvement with charities and community groups naturally lends itself to this sort of picture.

Other images might be more directly linked to your legal expertise. For example, you might have a picture of your new publication or a short video clip of you starting the keynote speech at a conference. You might decide to tie your imagery to your area of practice, with pictures of landscapes (for an environmental lawyer) or unusual houses (conveyancing).

Examples of lawyers using Instagram include BLM (@londonfamilysolicitor), Stephens Scown and well-known lawyer Kevin Poulter.

Image from @londonfamilysolicitor's instagram

It's worth finding out whether any of your colleagues maintain an Instagram account or take regular snaps. If so, ask whether you can have a look through and if they would be happy for any useful pictures to be shared by the firm.

"Experiment with imagery that includes a question to draw people into your post. Demonstrate your expertise in the caption by answering the question you've posed, to encourage likes and comments."
Helen Cox, marketing consultant, Helen Cox Marketing


Using your images

Instagram is an excellent tool for creating and holding the images you create. You can then share these images through your other social media accounts – for example, LinkedIn, Facebook and X/Twitter.

In some cases, an image naturally lends itself to an immediate posting – for example, when a new colleague joins the firm, or you attend an event. In others, you can treat Instagram as more of an image archive, looking through to find the right image to spice up a post you want to make.

Every time you add a relevant image or video clip to a post, you make it more engaging, increasing the likelihood that people will see and react to it. Over time, you help demonstrate and develop your personality online, making it easier to build relationships and recruit new staff.

The Instagram platform

If images can be shared through other platforms, what about Instagram itself?

There may be some lawyers whose clients and referrers are particularly active on Instagram. If so, like other social media, you should look to build your presence there. But in reality, most lawyers will see little reaction to anything they post there and even less in terms of business benefits.

If you're using Instagram to create imagery, you'll need to have a profile. It won't hurt if you take the trouble to add captions and #hashtags to your pictures that might increase the chances of people seeing and reacting to them. But you won't want to invest significant time or money in the process.

Instead, take a watching brief. Spend a few minutes each month having a look at what accounts other lawyers are using, the sorts of images they are sharing and whether they are getting a reaction. See if you can find client accounts and whether you share any interests. Learn about how people use hashtags and which ones might matter to you.

If you have key clients who are in sectors such as food, hospitality, fashion, or design, they may be extremely active on Instagram. Even if all you do is 'like' and comment on their posts, you are helping to build and maintain the relationship with that client - which, for many law firms, is a difficult thing to achieve.

So, consider having an Instagram account, even if you post few pictures yourself. And enjoy the view.

Yasmin Khan-Gunns"Instagram gives you access to a whole new community, from legal professionals from around the world to universities and charities."
Yasmin Khan-Gunns, family law associate, BLM

Instagram top ten

  1. Show people and personality.
  2. Demonstrate community involvement.
  3. Look for opportunities to illustrate your expertise.
  4. Check whether your colleagues can provide content.
  5. Avoid direct self-promotion.
  6. Use the Instagram app on your mobile phone to take photos.
  7. Aim for a relevant image with every social networking post.
  8. Use hashtags on Instagram to make your images more visible.
  9. Check what other lawyers are doing for inspiration.
  10. Keep a watching brief to see how the Instagram platform develops.


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