To prevent anarchy and entrench order, various nations around the world are guided by different sets of laws in different forms which at times as a result of volume are ambiguous and need to change with changing times. Law firms exist to interpret the law and exist in various forms all around the world.
A law firm, by its nature and structure is a useful part in every society and lawyers are very much in demand for various civil and criminal disputes. As lawyers get more experienced with more wins, their practice tends to grow through referrals from former clients and colleagues.
In the last two decades, the world has advanced greatly with things formerly deemed impossible being done due to the spread of the internet. Along with others, how businesses reach and interact with clients has improved with a lot more channels available than there were a few years ago
As a result of referrals coming naturally to them, one question we get asked a lot when presenting our Web design/development service to lawyers is; “How would having a website benefit my firm/practice?” We have answered this question so many times over and over and as such this would be a summary of ten different answers we have given to different prospects and clients at different times which we hope would be of help to you if you are on the fence trying to decide if your firm needs a website or if you need a re-design of your existing site.
So why do law firms need their own websites?
1. It increases productivity
While most sites are just showcase pieces with a Home, About Us, FAQ and contact page, your website can do much more to enhance and improve the productivity of your legal theme.
Your design agency can add a feature which takes note of your calendar and allows prospects schedule appointments with you only at times when you’re free lessening the workload on your secretary, you can include a case and document management system which allows any member of your legal team to login to your website and update in real time the progress on each brief you are handling as well as relevant documents and even incorporating e-signatures. These can be paired with a client portal which would allow your clients to also login and view current progress and actions to take even allowing them make payments directly from your website to your firm. This takes a lot of steps and procedures away allowing you to focus on the core business.
2. It makes your legal firm more visible
Going through life we realize that a lot of the opportunities we come across were possible just because we showed up, because we were available. In this age, the first thing most of us do when we have a question or need a service is to make a search for the answer or service on the internet.
Having a well-designed and Search Engine optimized website for your law firm as well as relevant published content would ensure that any prospect who enters your specialization (e.g divorce lawyer), your location (e.g law firm in Montreal) or a common question bordering around services you offer (e.g How do I incorporate in Aberdeen?) has a high likelihood of being exposed to your website and content you’ve posted online making it more probable they can end up as a client of yours or refer others to you. Compare this to not coming up at all in results.
3. A website saves resources
First time prospects who contact your firm directly might have a lot of questions to ask for example, What do you specialize in? Can you help with my particular issue? Where is your office? Who are your partners and what are their qualifications? What cases can you refer me to that you were successful with?
Having a front desk person answer these same questions over and over can be a drain on resources as it would be a lot better for prospects to come pre-qualified. When your legal firm has a website, a well thought out and curated FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section and About us page would answer the majority of questions a first timer would have saving the time a member of staff would have spent going over these questions again and again.
4. It improves your firm’s marketing
To get a steady flow of clients, every Business must be involved in one type of marketing or the order, exposing services, skills and expertise to prospects daily. While as a firm you most likely already attend networking events, legal conferences and similar gatherings, a good site in the name of your firm would amplify these efforts! How? There is a finite amount of information you can put on a Business card but you can put as many Articles, Photos and Videos as you would want on your website which would give prospects who visited your website from your Business card a well-rounded view of your firm.
As we spoke concerning search previously, details of clients who find your website on the internet and are interested in your services can instantly be captured and information sent to you in real time to act on if you integrate a lead capture mechanism to your site (this can also be achieved using a messenger chatbot which converses with clients using pre-recorded questions to segment contacts according to their needs).
5. A website educates Clients and prospects
One of the best ways to sell is to teach and a site loaded with information, cases and news is a great way to educate your clients about the law and about your firm by extension. You can give tips on how to get out of simple legal issues on your website.
A good setup would have information such as the partners in the firm, the cases won by the firm, how long the firm has been in business and partners have been practicing as well as anything a likely prospect would want to be educated about, it should have a confused prospect who visits leaving with new knowledge and solutions.
6. It amplifies your credibility
Every client wants to be sure that the lawyer they’ve handed their brief to is credible and competent and in this age, one of the things majority of clients would expect while researching on their prospective lawyer would be a well-designed and informative site. Client stories and case studies as well would increase any prospect’s perception of the firm.
A reputable web design company would ensure that your target prospects see your website and your firm by extension as the final solution to their legal problems as a result of well placed and thought out content and features.
7. It makes you easy to remember
We’ve all been at events where we meet someone and the next day found it difficult to remember details about that person and how the person can be of help to us. A prospect being able to search the internet for the snippets of information they remember about you or your firm and getting the information they need and more from your portal is priceless and a way to ensure that you are remembered.
You can also set up a periodic newsletter sending out interesting and timely bits of information regularly to signed up client emails (after asking for permission) which would enable you to keep in touch with existing clients and also keep you at the top of their minds in case they have a legal issue.
8. It is an extension of your brand
As a practice with standards for how your printed material, calling cards, company colours and other things look, you must have hired a branding agency or at least have guidelines for the look and feel of your Business. Different brands resonate in different ways with different people and as such, depending on your type of legal practice, your website would likely be the first port of call and the first impression for prospects which makes it having your branding and voice representative of your entire operation.
9. You can showcase your expertise through a Blog
A Blog is a section of your website (like this on ours) on which you can share Articles, Podcasts, Videos and other types of content showing your expertise and daily routine. One advantage of a Blog is that the more content you upload to it, the more opportunities for your firm to be found on search engines via keywords in that content.
The typical client wants to work with an expert as the only rational reason anyone would want to get in a court case would be to win that case so carefully released and researched content which projects your firm as an expert in solving the problem your client has greatly increases your lead generation activities.
10. It can get you more clients
In conclusion, more (qualified and targeted) clients are a good thing for every Business. A recurring theme in all 9 points listed above is that an expertly designed website with a great layout and smooth userflow would do all of the above for your legal firm and in no small way, attract new clients which would improve your bottom line making it a wonderful investment.