When it comes to law firm websites, there’s transparency – and then there’s Levenfeld Pearlstein.
As part of an overhaul of its site, the Chicago-based law firm added information most firms prefer to keep out of public view, such as fee formulas and hourly rates for everyone from support staff to senior counsel (up to $800, if you’re wondering).
And instead of just listing areas of practice, the website has pie charts illustrating the average value of cases and graphs showing how the firm helped its clients. In IP cases, for example, the firm’s three top services were (a) licensing and co-branding, (b) strategic portfolio analysis and IP culling and (c) filing in emerging countries.
There’s even a page where lawyers eyeing a job at Levenfeld can watch videos on the hiring process and expected compensation.
“We want people to make informed decisions about working with us,” says the firm’s director of client development Andrea Maciejewski, in this ABA Journal article. “We’ve incorporated transparency into our culture for years. This website seemed like a natural extension of that.”
And it says so, right there on the home page: “Our Firm: A law firm built on transparency and client service. Right down to our website. Meet our talent, see our pricing, and learn about your client experience.”
What’s in Your Display Window?
Think of your website as an online storefront. Your home page is the equivalent of the front window display. It should be attractive and inviting to people passing by. It should also give them a clear idea of what they will find inside.
In that respect, Levenfeld Pearlstein is merely giving shoppers the same information they would eventually get when they sign on as a client. They’re just giving it to them in advance. And they’re putting it out there for the whole world to see.
“We’re in a digital age, and the people looking at our website want to learn as much as they can about us,” says Maciejewski. “So why not share all of that information up front?”
3 Takeaways to Improve Your Website
Regardless of whether you like Levenfeld’s approach or hate it, one thing is clear. They’ve thought about what they want their website to do for them. This sets them apart from many firms, which often shell out big bucks for websites without knowing what they want to accomplish and why.
Here are three takeaways from the Levenfeld approach:
- Use your “About Me” page to differentiate yourself. Levenfeld doesn’t waste time trying to convince prospective clients they’re competent and qualified. They start with that assumption. “Doing good legal work isn’t just what we aspire to – it’s where we begin,” according to the site. “Many law firms promote their ‘value proposition,’ which they define as high-quality work, responsiveness, efficiency and reasonable fees. To us, those are just the basics of doing good work for clients.”
- Show your values. Levenfeld devotes an entire page – plus a two-minute video – to its Core Values (caring about its employees, clients, communities and the planet). It touts its commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and highlights its membership in a Global Alliance that links clients with vetted business partners worldwide.
- Use your current clients to attract new clients. Levenfeld’s landing page is divided in half. On one side is information about the firm. On the other side is an invitation to Meet Our Clients. “More than just a list of names and logos,” it says. “Get to know our clients. Read their profiles and learn about their businesses, goals, and successes.” There’s contact information for the clients and interactive maps showing where they’re located. The message: this firm is proud of who it represents and is helping boost their business.
What are your thoughts? Is greater transparency a good thing? Do you see any downside?
- ABA Journal http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/chicago_based_levenfeld_pearlstein_goes_for_open_book_approach_on_website/?utm_source=maestro&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tech_monthly
- Levenfeld Pearlstein http://www.lplegal.com/home
Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. During the course of his 35- year career, he has been a solo practitioner, corporate lawyer, legal editor, Legal Aid staff attorney and insurance risk manager. Today he helps lawyers and firms succeed through marketing, work-life balance and reclaiming passion for what they do. He is available for consultations, retreats and presentations (www.yourlawlife.com). Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-619-2441 to learn how Jay can help your practice.