IT’S A MAJOR AWARD!!!
We were thrilled to see our wonderful client Berner Klaw & Watson‘s new website on Lawyerist’s Best Law-Firm Websites, 2015 Edition. And not to toot our own horn over here, but we’re going to have plenty of worthy clients up for this accolade in 2016. Oh. Snap. No I di’nt.
But seriously, we’ve been having a blast working with small law firms over the last few years and meeting the challenges they face in the virtual world. And a big checkpoint for them is recognizing the difference between a template and a fully customized website.
Berner Klaw & Watson recognized the value of having a website that stood out from so many others in terms of aesthetic, functionality and message.
One of the first things we noticed when we began researching the law community was the proliferation of industry-specific template providers that so many law firms turn to. And if you’ve ever had to do online research to find a lawyer, you probably know what we’re talking about. After visiting a long series of sites, so much of the template styles, stock photos, and (dreaded) pop-ups leave you thinking:
- Boy, these folks love pictures of [gavels, scales of justice, leather-bound book collections, quill pens, American flags],
- These all look the same,
- There’s not much about this site that lets me know what this firm is really about, and
- Oh look! A little lawyer is walking across my browser! Look at that little guy! Hey buddy!
But don’t get us wrong; we realize that many firms just starting out may not have the capital available for a full custom job and need to set something up on the fly. After all, we’ve worked with enough lawyers now to realize that it’s their tenacity, work ethic and track record that gets them most of their work; but their website, like for so many other businesses, is the window to their identity, having the ability to offer clients not only a glimpse at what they’re made of, but also valuable resources to assist with daunting legal hurdles.
Berner Klaw & Watson realized that they wanted to present a clear, consistent identity with their branding and web presence. They recognized the value of having a website that stood out from so many others in terms of aesthetic, functionality and message.
I mean, they’re not as outside-the-box as, let’s say, Adam Reposa—
—but I think we can all be grateful that they won’t stand out quite like that.
The other thing about lawyers that we’ve learned: They’re pretty smart. While everybody would love to have a sleek, gorgeous website, aesthetic isn’t everything. As we saw in the Lawyerist comments section:
To Joseph, we must say that we agree 100%. Good looks with no conversion don’t cut it. That’s why you need a design firm that does its research, considers content strategy and user experience, and implements analytical tools to monitor site use and implement updates as needed. But hey, don’t underestimate the appearance of your branding and site. As Sam Glover retorts, “Viewing websites primarily through the lens of traffic and conversion numbers will get you into trouble. Image matters. Reputation matters.” Indeed they do, Sam.