What should lawyers put on their websites?

Despite all of the different ways that a lawyer can communicate with the public, lawyer websites continue to play an important role.

Both as a means for distributing information, as well as, marketing, websites should be at or near the core of your web presence.

But just as other forms of communication, lawyer websites must comply with ethical obligations. They should not include false or misleading information. They should not operate to create unreasonable expectations.

Here are some things to think about when launching a website or blog for your law firm.

What Do You Do?

Before you get to choosing a domain or a content management system, you need to think about what your website will communicate.

Perhaps one of the most important things for your website to communicate to visitors is what you do.

You might think that the answer to this question is obvious. You’re a lawyer. But what does that really communicate to people? That you went to law school? That you’re innately adept at arguing?

When you communicate what it is that you do, you need to communicate it from the perspective of the people who might hire you. In other words:

How do your current clients, as well as, the potential clients you want, describe what it is that you do?

Sure, they might start out by saying, “My lawyer….” But they’ll likely talk more specifically about what their lawyer does for them.

This should be the first question that your website answers. And it should be clear and consistent on every page of your website.

Why Should Anyone Hire You?

Perhaps equally important as communicating what you do, you must communicate why someone should hire you. And, “I fight hard, am passionate and have experience,” isn’t going to cut it.

Again, think about the answer to this question from the perspective of you clients. Why do your clients hire you? Here’s an idea: ask them.

Ask them why they hired you in the first place. Ask them what aspects of your service they appreciate most. It’s likely other will appreciate those things too. Communicate those things on your website.

And it’s even better if it comes from them.

A Law Firm Website Checklist

  • Educational Background
  • Experience
  • Area(s) of Practice
  • Contact Information
  • Firm History
  • Prior Engagements
  • Former or Current Clients
  • General Information About the Law
  • Links to Other Websites
  • Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
  • Disclaimers

These are just a couple of the basics.

Ultimately, your website should be evaluated by its ability to achieve the goals for which it was created.

If the primary purpose of your website is to provide general information about you and your services, then it should be evaluated by the people who are looking for general information about you.

If the primary purpose of your website is to provide a portal for client communication, then it should be evaluated by your clients.

If the primary purpose of your website is to generate potential client inquiries, then you need systems for measuring, monitoring and evaluating the quantity and quality of new clients that are generated through it.

What’s the primary purpose of your website? How are you communicating the value of your services? How are you listening to feedback?