I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on law firm web site design and with all the scooting around the internet I do, I’ve developed some pretty solid feelings about what I like and don’t like regarding aesthetics, functionality, content, features, and so forth. It was with some interest that I perused the list of web sites (American … the international list, which includes Canada, won’t be made available until later) that received IMA (Internet Marketing Attorney) Awards for 2006/07.
Personally, I found some of the top-rated sites a little “busy” by my standards but then, reading the comments, it became apparent that Micah U. Buchdahl, who does the reviews, has heard this comment before about the choices. It’s a personal thing, I guess. Still, I must say that my favourite contenders were the sites that looked a little cleaner … less cluttered.
Yesterday I listened to a radio programme, Coast to Coast, cohosted by J. Craig Williams and Robert J. Ambrogi and produced by the Legal Talk Network. In this particular programme the elements of an effective law firm web site was discussed. Experts taking part in the discussion were:
1. Tim Stanley, CEO of the legal Web site company Justia.com and former CEO and co-founder of FindLaw,
2. Pete Boyd, Florida attorney and president of PaperStreet Web Design for attorneys, and
3. Dennis Kennedy, lawyer and legal technology innovator.
There were some very good tips presented in this discussion. One that stood out for me is that it’s important to be aware that people are increasingly using the internet instead of the yellow pages to find local products and services. This means that having a strong web presence is becoming all the more important. The participants noted that having a web presence involves more than just having a web site and that law firms need to really pay attention and not just once a year.
I’m ready to face the web site committee now, I think.