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How to Grow Your Law Firm: Advice from One of the South’s Most Prominent Attorneys

One of the leading trial attorneys in the southeast will be the first to tell you that traditional marketing only goes so far when it comes to growing your law firm. Bob Cheeley is a founding member and the managing partner of Cheeley Law Group, LLC, located in Alpharetta, Georgia, which has won more than $600 million for plaintiffs. With legal ads ubiquitous throughout digital and legacy media, it’s natural to assume those are the most reliable method for attracting new clients, but even in 2024, Cheeley credits personal recommendations for his group’s success and reputation as one of the south’s top legal teams for high profile cases. 

Whether Cheeley is mentoring in-house attorneys or ambitious students in law school, he always emphasizes the value of personal trust that can be earned by building strong roots in a local community.

“I’m still getting the majority of my cases that way through word of mouth,” Cheeley said. “A lawyer’s best calling card are the people who know you and trust your character. They are the best form of advertising, especially when they tell others about your results. People hear about those results, and they know that you’re capable of going the distance for them.”

For attorneys in major cities and metro areas such as Atlanta, Cheeley acknowledges that a high amount of competition can be challenging, but neighborhood connections can make a major impact.

“in a city the size of Atlanta, it’s hard to be known because there are so many voices competing for the same business,” Cheeley said. “It’s important to be involved in your neighborhood, to let people know what you do. Personally, I’m involved in my church, and there are several thousands of members. I’ve had cases where the client interviewed other attorneys, and they were really just not comfortable with the other attorney’s character. Your name gets spread around, among people who trust each other’s word.”

Cheeley cites his faith and upbringing as the reasons he has grown passionate about helping people with challenges outside of the legal realm. He believes God called him to not only help clients as a trial attorney, but to help anyone within his community who comes to him in a time of need.

“I’m a Chrisitan, and I think a lot of my wisdom comes as inspiration from my creator,” Cheeley said. “Whenever I meet with someone, I try to understand and empathize with what they’re going through rather than talking about myself. I try to teach the other young attorneys in my firm to do the same thing. Take the wisdom that you obtain over the course of your life, and use it to help others.”


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