Photo by Billy Surface

How the Texas Law Hawk Landed in a Super Bowl Ad

Fort Worth attorney Bryan Wilson makes such funny commercials that he's got too many clients now.

The commercials for your law practice have made you an internet star, and that was before your appearance in the Taco Bell Super Bowl ad. How would you describe your commercials?

It’s a combination of rowdiness, freedom, America, and Texas. And it’s thrown at you loudly. Most people think they’re funny. They’re all in three parts. The first part is the real attention-grabbing, crazy part. The second part is to teach a legal lesson. And the third part is to slow it down and calmly tell them I can talk pretty normal sometimes. I hate ads. I think they’re bad for you and mess with your brain. So I wanted to make something funny enough that people are going to share it on their own.

How much time do you spend coming up with these ideas?

It’s a lot of time, honestly. We get done shooting one, and I have a list of ideas we didn’t use for whatever reason, and I take those ideas and put them into a note document on my phone. When someone says something funny, I pull out my phone and write it down. Occasionally my buddies will meet up—we went to the batting cages recently—and come up with ideas.  

How much do you spend on these?

The first one, the budget was $500. It was just me yelling in a parking lot. The second was $1,000 or $1,200. The third one, the budget was $1,500 or $2,000, but we went over a little bit. I don’t hire production assistants or a lighting crew. I don’t hire anyone. It’s mostly just my buddies helping out.

Do the commercials work?

Oh, my God. I have too many clients right now. I had to pause the criminal appointment list. Right after each new video, there’s like a month of pretty consistent calls. The first time, I didn’t have a call answering service. God-almighty, the call answering service is amazing. I’ve had three calls since you and I started talking.

Where did the Law Hawk persona come from?

I came up with this when I was doing mock trials in law school. It was just something I came up with to make people laugh. As I was recording the first one, the guy I had shooting it kept telling me, “Louder and more energy and crazier,” and he chose the craziest take every single time. Law Hawk is wild in a controlled way. But it’s also about making sure people understand that cops can’t violate your rights.

How separate are Bryan Wilson and the Law Hawk?

Three or four beers, probably.
 

Do other lawyers call you the Law Hawk?

Lawyers around Tarrant County do. Some of them did it at first to try and embarrass me, like, “Oh, here comes the Law Hawk!” But I always introduce myself as Bryan. I never introduce myself as the Law Hawk. That would be about the douche-iest thing someone could do.

How much were you influenced by other legendary attorney personalities, like the Texas Hammer?

A lot. I grew up watching Judge Judy and Jerry Springer, and sometimes Maury, when they’d have paternity tests revealed. And they always had these commercials like Brian Loncar, the Strong Arm, or Jim Adler, the Texas Hammer, and I just loved them. They looked so serious, but I knew as soon as they turned the camera off they were laughing.
 

What sort of clients do the commercials attract?

People who want a funny attorney. That’s what they tell me. I remember the first person, who came in because he saw a video where I busted through a wall and tackled a cop.

If someone calls the Law Hawk, what should they expect?

A lot of people, when they meet me, give me a look of mild disappointment. They just think I’m going to yell everything. What they should expect is that I will be at the office until midnight or 2 am sometimes, fighting for their case, making sure they get a fair trial under my watch. I work my ass off for my clients. 

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