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Law Practice Management

Law Firm Website Redesign Lesson: Review Photos as Well as Text

Posted Dec 7, 2009 2:54 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Even when a well-known legal consultant is handling a law firm website redesign, it's important for partners to retain an oversight role, a small Texas law firm has learned the hard way.

Stock photo illustrations of seeming crime victims published in connection with descriptions of Lindeman, Alvarado & Frye's sex crimes defense practice were disturbing, Above the Law contended in a post late last month.

"Does the firm really need to include a picture of a potential victim of the crime?" the law blog commented. "This is like using a photo of a bullet-ridden body to advertise murder defense, or photos of the mangled victims of a car accident on a DUI defense attorney’s website."

When attorneys at the seven-lawyer firm focused on the issue after ATL's critique, they apparently saw a problem with some of the photo illustrations, too. The questionable photos were soon removed, and partner Jim Lindeman tells Texas Lawyer they weren't appropriate for his firm's website.

"We missed a marketing issue," he tells the legal publication, noting: "It's not our practice to do anything outside the ethical bounds or the moral grounds. Our role is to market our firm as experienced professionals. We, as most lawyers, as all lawyers, zealously defend our reputation, and we think our reputation in this community is excellent."

The firm also missed a required pre-publication review by the State Bar of Texas Advertising Review Committee, thinking that the consultant had handled this, the Texas Lawyer article notes. As a result, it will have to pay a $300 fee rather than the standard $70.

Additional coverage:

Above the Law: "Texas Criminal Defense Firm Can’t Defend Its Photos"

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