Law school graduates enter the legal market with strong analytical skills, but often lack much of the practical knowledge necessary to run a successful law firm, which can make or break a fledgling legal practice. Thinking like a lawyer will only get you so far in the competitive world of small, individual law firms, and that’s why effective marketing is so important, especially if it’s not taught in law school.
The good news is that there is a simple and effective way to reach legal consumers in 2022: an informative, professional and user-friendly law firm website.
Websites are the online equivalent of your law firm’s front door and are a great way to showcase your strengths. It’s the first place potential clients look for more information about your law firm, now that traditional advertising methods like yellow pages ads are all but obsolete.
Unfortunately, many law firm websites leave a lot to be desired, with gavels and scales of justice peppered across a home page and outdated content written a decade ago. If this sounds familiar to you, there’s no better time than now to make a change.
While launching a new website or revamping an outdated one may seem like a daunting endeavor, it’s probably easier than you think. The information in this column will help you get started and cover some ways to develop a website for a law firm, including creating one yourself, using lawyer-founded website design companies, or using the services of law firms. of website design from a technology company that your business already uses.
If you are tech-savvy, you may want to consider designing your law firm website using a web design tool. There are two options that I would recommend if you decide to go that route.
First, there is Wix, which I used to create my website. It’s easy to use, affordable, and includes everything law firms need to build strong websites, including blogs, SEO tools, analytics, and social media integrations. There are many different website templates available, along with access to free stock images. Pricing plans start at $16 per month.
Another popular website building tool is Squarespace. Like Wix, Squarespace offers easy-to-use templates and robust website functionality is available, with blogging, analytics, SEO tools, and more. The basic plan starts at $16 per month. Both Wix and Squarespace offer free trials.
Full service websites
Creating and maintaining a website from scratch is not a viable plan for many attorneys. If that describes your situation, there are many design services available. Below you will find companies founded by lawyers or provided by legal software companies. Because they have experience working in the legal industry, you can rest easy knowing they understand the ethical and marketing needs of law firms.
First, there is Justice. It was founded by two attorneys, Tim Stanley and Stacy Stern, in 2003. In addition to providing website design services, it focuses on increasing access to justice, with free databases on topics including Supreme Court cases USA and COVID-19 laws. If you choose to work with Justia for website design, you will also be supporting a company that fights for good.
AttorneySync, founded over a decade ago, is another company to watch out for. Co-founder Gyi Tsakalakis is a lawyer, and the company offers a hands-on, hype-free approach to website design. It also provides online marketing services.
Another option to consider is Uptime JurisPage, a website design company that provides a host of SEO and marketing services for law firms. JurisPage was co-founded by attorney Andrew Cabasso in 2012 and the company was acquired by Uptime Legal Systems in 2016.
Stacey E. Burke, an attorney, has a law firm consulting business that offers website design services. She was founded in 2010 and can also provide branding work on social media and law firms.
Next up is PaperStreet, a company founded in 2001 by attorney Peter Boyd. Along with website creation, the company offers Internet marketing and law firm branding services.
LawLytics is another company that offers website design services; was founded by attorney Dan Jaffe in 2011. The company offers a selection of website templates that you can customize before sending them to their design team. An advantage of using LawLytics is that you are in full control of the website once it is complete and can easily make changes as needed.
Finally, MyCase, a practice management software company, also offers website design services for clients. In the interest of full disclosure, I am the legal technology evangelist with MyCase. Integrations with the MyCase platform are available with your website services. For example, a company’s customer portal and web intake forms, combined with lead management tools, can be integrated into the website and payment links can also be added. Web services have a one-time setup fee of $1,500 and a monthly hosting fee of $100, which includes maintenance and ongoing support.
Now that you know where to start, what are you waiting for? Legal consumers actively consider websites when choosing a lawyer and expect law firms to have modern, well-designed, and functional websites. With so many website design options available, there’s no excuse to rest on your laurels, and there’s no better time than now to update your law firm’s virtual front door with a website makeover.
Nicole Black is an attorney, author, and journalist based in Rochester, New York, and is the Legal Technology Evangelist at MyCase, a company that offers legal practice management software for small businesses. She is the nationally recognized author of Cloud computing for lawyers and is co-author of Social networks for lawyers: the next frontier, both published by the American Bar Association. She is also co-author of Criminal Law in New York, a Thomson Reuters treatise. He writes regular columns for ABAJournal.com and Above the Law; she has written hundreds of articles for other publications; and speaks regularly at conferences on the intersection of law and emerging technologies. Follow her on Twitter @nikiblackor she can be contacted at [email protected].
This column reflects the views of the author and not necessarily the views of the ABA Journal or the American Bar Association.