If you add a blog to your website, you
may be able to show your knowledge and
capabilities to potential clients. It is a way
to deliver your message and why potential
clients should contact you instead of a
Through a website, you also can build a
better relationship with
your existing clients by
sending them a monthly email or newsletter
to keep them apprised
of any pending litigation or the current status of a project you’re
doing on their behalf.
With appropriate security, you can allow them
access to their electronic files, as well as the
ability to review and
comment on their litigation or project. (Take
a look at State Bar
Ethics Op. 09-04 for
issues you need to think
about when allowing
your clients online access to view and
retrieve their files.) And your clients can
reach you anytime by email. Replying to
their emails in a timely manner is a great
way to develop a better professional relationship, as well.
Building a website does not require a
big investment. There are many low-cost
tools available that can assist you to develop your own site, which you can do as your
practice allows. However, a decision to not
have an online presence is costing you in a
loss of clients and income. Simply put, you
cannot afford to not have a business website in today’s legal market.
A final thought: Make sure to heed the
Ethical Rules. A website is an advertisement,
and whatever you put on it must comply
with your professional obligations.
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE by Richard Platt
If you do not have a business website for your
practice, then you should. According to the Pew Internet and
American Life Project, a long-term study on Internet usage in the
United States, 92 percent of online adults now use a search engine to
find information on the Web. In addition, nearly 60 percent of adults
use the Internet to find information on local businesses, including
lawyers. If you do not have a website, then you are losing out on a
large number of potential clients—no matter
how wonderful you are as a lawyer.
Another reason for a website is that “first
impressions matter.” A website allows your practice to make a first impression on the 60 percent
of adults who are using the Web to research local
businesses. The site needs to have important
information such as your professional bio and
contact information. You may want to include a
list of regular corporate clients that you represent
(disclosing names and representation information only with your clients’ permission, of
course), the areas of your practice, any certified
legal specialties you or your firm members may
have and testimonial information from clients
concerning the quality of your practice. You can
add client information forms that will assist your
clients and you in providing effective legal services. A website is your opportunity to tell potential
clients to contact you rather than go to another
An effective website will serve as a foundation for marketing your
services. Even though traditional methods of referral are valuable to
your practice, law firms need to market themselves in today’s business
environment. A website should not be your only marketing tool, but
given the Web-based focus of consumers, it can serve as a
base for your marketing activities.
In a recent article in the Law Practice Magazine, the
cover story is “Everything is Marketing.” The magazine
dwells on the activities that lawyers should be focusing on in
the marketing of their business. It includes articles on social
media, cultivating credibility and how to keep a client happy.
All of these activities should have a Web presence as a part of
your firm website.
Your competitors probably have an online presence. If so,
then they are visible to potential clients on a 24/7/365 basis.
A website is a relatively inexpensive marketing tool, and if the
competitor’s website is well designed and user friendly, they
have an established presence that online adults seek. AZ AT
afford to not
have a business
Is Anyone Out There?