Law Firm Websites That Work
Posted Apr 1, 2009 10:50 PM CDT
By Rex Gradeless
The bad news is that any law firm or solo practitioner not utilizing Web 2.0 technologies is lagging behind the technology curve.
If they fail to adapt, they might as well terminate their entire Internet campaign. However, the good news is that many legal sites are utilizing Web 2.0 technologies that promote their image, improve blog traffic, increase business and even facilitate recruitment of young talent.
A legal website that is making very effective use of Web 2.0 to attract young talent is Foley Hoag. The recruitment site is equipped with a link to a Facebook networking page, a Flickr feed showing photos of employees, a microblog of events happening at the firm, a FAQ section, video interviews, a comments section, lawyer profiles, a blog with RSS feeds, and the necessary share and save buttons needed for bookmarking the site. The site effectively injects itself into the thicket of the young, tech-savvy lawyers of tomorrow.
With the power of these technologies combined, potential employees get a feel for working at Foley Hoag. Establishing a healthy work-life balance tops the many concerns of new lawyers. So, importantly, the Flickr photo stream shows employees enjoying themselves at baseball games, casino nights and conferences, and even battling the mighty sea together on a sailing vessel. Videos allow you to hear about the firm from the employees’ own lips. The truth is always in the pudding. Finally, the firm’s Facebook page taps into Facebook’s trendy network of young professionals.
Well played, Foley Hoag!
While several other Internet locations deserve mention (see “Web 2.0 Masters” ), I do have some criticisms. All such sites need to create a way, such as a comments page, for potential employees to have a live conversation—to ask questions and receive responses online without a filter. Sites also need to create Twitter pages.
In this Web 2.0 world, legal professionals need to adapt their recruitment plans to reflect the reality that the lawyers of tomorrow are immersed in.
Branding, Burkey Belser
Solo, Susan Cartier Liebel
Innovation, Tom Mighell
Virtuality, Richard Granat
All Business, Neil J. Squillante
Web 2.0 Masters
Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr
Choate, Hall & Stewart
Several other law firms are worthy of mention for their efforts to attract young talent with Web 2.0 technology.
For instance, the Facebook page of Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr incorporates videos, shares photos, answers questions, and stays connected with both current and potential employees. Many young professionals have Facebook pages, so this is a great tool for recruiting future lawyers.
To see a viral video recruiting campaign done right, check out the recruiting page of Choate, Hall & Stewart. The site features hilarious video parodies like Choate vs. Megafirm—spins on the Mac vs. PC commercials—and they will have you laughing. They also have similarly effective recruiting videos (see Summer Associates, Choate at Work, Choate Culture and Why Choate?).
For a site to help with that legal job search, SimplyHired gets our nod because of the ease of using its site. The service is free and the page layout is intuitive, clear and downright phenomenal. It has integrated LinkedIn pages, which allow potential employees to search for people they know at law firms that are hiring. Finally, they are using the mega branding tool, Twitter, to post jobs!
Rex Gradeless is a third-year student at Saint Louis University School of Law. He publishes the Social Media Law Student blog and for the past year has been working for the Simon Law Firm in St. Louis. He also represents indigent clients at the Saint Louis University Legal Clinic.