The annual Summit of The National Trial Lawyers is a unique opportunity for the top civil plaintiff and criminal law attorneys to gather, network, and exchange points of view and ideas. It’s also an avenue for legal-related agencies and providers to meet-and-greet, while also learning about the latest updates in the legal vertical. This year, the NTL summit took place as an in-person event that allowed us to meet valued partners and industry leaders after a very long while. 

Among the conference’s various events and notable moments, we closely followed the 2021 Golden Gavel awards. These awards occur every year, and their mission is to single out the top-performing law firms (and their partners) in 12 categories to determine those who shape the marketing landscape in the industry. In today’s article, we’ll go over the categories and showcase the most significant winners and their remarkable efforts and achievements.

1. Best Brand Video

The winner was Ward Law Group, based in Florida, which worked with Crisp Video to shoot and produce a brand storytelling video. During the 168 second video, the attorney couple explained how they differ from other firms, what they stand for, and how their brand ensures quality and persistence. Then, close to the mid-part of the video, a testimonial adds to the narrative, creating an emotional element and tying the brand to the clients. Giving a human aspect to the brand and utilizing all their assets (from logo to mentions on personnel and locations) made the ad stand out and win the award.

Watch the winning Video

2. Best Outdoor Ad 

The last 18 months have been rough for outdoor ads and billboards. COVID-19 reduced traffic, and as a result, fewer people were on the streets walking or running. For Personal Injury attorneys, that didn’t necessarily mean a drastic decrease in cases. On the other hand, those who acted proactively and invested strategically managed to stay on top of the challenge. The Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers acted that way, and their outdoor ad won the relevant 2021 award. Their billboard conveys a clear message while keeping the visuals clean and displaying their message in a prominent position along with the law firm’s logo and phone number.

Golden Gavel 2021 Outdoor Ads Award


3. Best Radio Ad

The best radio ad comes from the Nashville-based Personal Injury law firm Cochran LLC. In just 60 seconds, the agency (openjar) and managing attorney created and released an effective and efficient spot. The spot creates a necessary connection with local audiences, showcasing the “Nashville born and raised” nature of the attorney and their willingness to fight for the people of Nashville. Bringing radio to the spotlight is vital, as it shows that combining it with suitable digital media can prove to be effective for brand awareness. Additionally, it helps law firms stay top of mind within their communities.

Listen to the winning Radio ad


4. Best Testimonial 

Testimonials are among the most critical assets for any law firm. Whether you’re a solo practitioner or a multi-state law firm, your clients are what matter most. On this occasion, the Elk & Elk law firm out of Ohio joined forces with Crisp and created an emotional testimonial, showing a medical malpractice case and how it affected the life of a child and her family. The testimonial tells the story out loud and emphasizes that the attorneys stood by the family for all their needs. Creating such an asset is priceless as it can be used on various occasions and platforms, from your law firm’s website to your social media profiles.


5. Best TV 60 second ad

The winner here is none other than Mike Morse. He is known in the legal vertical for his forward-thinking and creative mentality; we can’t forget that he was one of the attorney-stars during the first lockdown. This time, the Michigan-based attorney (with Lerner advertising) created a 1-minute TV spot with a vintage look called “Masked-Man,” without any audio conversations. Instead, it uses only music and quotes to further plot development. The powerful message and the ad’s success is a living example of how TV can still be compelling during digital days when done properly and combined with other campaigns, such as PPC, SEO, or community outreach.


6. Best Social Media ad

Social Media platforms are constantly gaining ground, from Facebook to Instagram, and even TikTok or Clubhouse. Several attorneys have understood it and caught the wave. Still, this year’s award went to Brown & Crouppen, P.C. Their managing attorney Ed Herman is a Facebook star with a page that boasts over 16k followers and a law firm Youtube channel nearing the 20k mark. The law firm won the award for its overall presence and the following video published on their channel. The humor, combined with the professionalism and reach of Social Media, allows the law firm to stand out.


7. Best PR ad

This year’s Golden Gavel award went to the Zanes Law Firm in Tucson, AZ. With the help of Whitehardt advertising, the law firm created promotional material for their community giveback activities. The local schools found themselves in a difficult situation, with limited resources, and teachers struggled to provide their students with the necessities. The Zanes Law Group stepped in and invited the young students and teachers to come over to their offices, meet and greet, and receive 100 school bags full of supplies. That initiative was well received, and it’s now a company policy for the law firm to take part every year. The empowerment of the local teachers with around 40k of school supplies per year has put Zanes Law in the spotlight, creating a wave of positive PR for them.