Why do law firm logos suck?

My most recent project is for the Texas based law firm Anderson | Patterson. In doing research for the identity, I looked at many law firm logos and kept asking myself why the logos of all these law firms were so boring and outdated looking.

 
I don’t have a good answer to the question, other than to say that the branding for their company is not really given much consideration. Most of the identities are just a plain logotype, which is fine, but the typeface chosen is usually very dull. Most all of the other logos offer the same symbols, either a balance symbol, or a gavel.  Usually, clipart that looks something like this below:

gavel2.jpg
law firm scalebalance.jpg
gavel2.jpg

The problem with clipart, is that it’s available to anyone. Meaning that your brand identity, which is supposed to be unique to your firm, is not very unique at all.

Now, there is nothing wrong with using these symbols in your logo. I even went this route with the final concept chosen for Anderson Patterson and one other I presented; using a vague gavel shape as seen from above. But I tried to at least mix it up a bit, and make sure it didn’t look like every other law firm logo out there. Obvious can be fine so long as it’s unique.

For Anderson | Patterson, I found myself trying to walk the line between being creative yet professional, while keeping it simple, but not boring.

Law firm logo and brand identity

 Business Cards

AndersonBizCards.png

Letterhead

AndersonLetter.png

A few other unused concepts:

APClassic.jpg
APiconic.jpg
APLigature.jpg