With the abundance of lawyer websites in your specific legal practice and geographic location, you have to rely on potential clients to sift through countless lawyer websites and hope that yours stands out. But, let’s face it: not only do these competitors work in the same practice area and location as you, they also have outstanding credentials, winning results, and appealing websites that showcase their knowledge and experience.
How, then, are you supposed to stand out?
As consumers, whether we like it or not, many of us make our decisions based upon our emotions and connections with the company, product, or services. Therefore, it’s not enough for you to emphasize that you care about the client; the client needs to care about you as well. By establishing this connection, you have a better opportunity to appeal to clients and have them reach out to your law firm.
With the help of effective content and visuals, your website can elevate itself in a substantial way by differentiating yourself in a significant and meaningful manner.
You as a person – not a lawyer
You know you are more than just a lawyer – you are a human being. But, do your prospective clients know that? We can’t deny that there is a stigma imposed upon lawyers; however, you can help change this mindset by offering an approachable perspective in your law firm’s website.
In Ann Juergen’s article “Practicing what we teach: the importance of emotion and community connection in law work and law teaching,” she emphasizes the value in lawyers building and resonating emotional intelligence in their field. While she models her argument based on the law professor-student relationship, her views are still applicable to the lawyer-client relationship. In order for the client to trust the lawyer, the lawyer needs to display a level of vulnerability to reinstate the fact that the lawyer is, after all, a human being and therefore capable of feeling.
In your homepage or attorney profile, consider the following questions within your content:
- Why did you decide to go into law?
- How did you choose to practice in this law area?
- How have you developed as a lawyer and person in your legal practice?
These may look like soul-searching questions – though a little soul-searching never hurt anyone – but offering a snippet into your motivation and journey as a lawyer humanizes your overall law practice and promotes that idea that prospective clients will contact and work with an attorney who is a caring individual.
You in the practice
Having winning cases in your website boosts your legal credibility, but it only offers one facet into your practice area experience. Expand your reach by offering a new lens into your personal involvement within your legal area.
For example, we hear a lot of stories about the winning cases, but we don’t get to hear much about the impact of these cases. Without compromising confidentiality, consider the cases that you worked on that had an influence on you and your work:
- Which case was the most rewarding for you and why?
- How have you gained insight from working on these cases?
Having these anecdotes in the practice area pages in the website add another layer to what would normally be textbook descriptions about your law firm’s practice.
You may also want to consider including your outreach causes related to your practice area. For example, if you focus on elder abuse, it would be worth noting that you volunteer to assist senior citizens in nursing homes. Establishing such connections reveal that you are invested in your practice area beyond legal bounds and that you can offer that same type of compassion when working with a client.
In sum – results do matter, but people matter more.
You in the community
Community outreach is a positive way to localize your law firm and get your name out to the public. In the about page or article section of your website, include information regarding how you have contributed to the community:
- How do you relate to your geographic location?
- What is meaningful to you about your law firm’s location?
- Has your law firm supported community organizations or events?
Highlighting your engagement within the community gives your law firm’s website the ability to branch out with varied and meaningful content. Annie Lainer Marquit’s article “Public Counsel: Community Development Lawyers Building Foundations for Healthy Communities” shares the numerous ways Los Angeles lawyers are coming together to strengthen communities by providing their legal services to address issues in the community. The result a community of people from all walks of life coming together to build a positive environment. This “pay if forward” attitude again sets the foundation that people and the community are the forefront of your business objective.
Breaking legal barriers
Ultimately, the goal for your law firm’s website is to have more potential clients contact you and use your services. Whether you focus on personal injury, criminal defense, or family law, there is the underlying truth that lawyers are there to help alleviate clients’ suffering through legal means. Your law firm’s website can embody this message by emphasizing the humanistic side that comes with practicing law.
Juergens, Ann. 2005. “Practicing What We Teach: The Importance of Emotion and Community Connection in Law Work and Law Teaching.” Clinical Law Review 11, no. 2: 413-424.
Marquit, Annie Lainer. 2012. “Public Counsel: Community Development Lawyers Building Foundations for Healthy Communities.” Journal Of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law 21, no. 1: 9-16.