Best Law Firm Websites in 2010

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Sometimes we all need a few visuals to help us understand what we like. I have a practice of keeping a reference file of great law firm websites to help inspire the design, functionality or content of future sites.

In my book, websites cannot be considered the best unless they look good, are easily found and provide the information and functionality users are seeking. I have listed below a few websites I like – a few only meet one two of these qualities as well as my favorite law firm websites that meet them all.

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Law Firm Website: Axiom

Notes: This site employs full screen images of the firm’s attorneys outside of the office, enjoying life. I enjoy the unique visuals that provide a great emotional quality to the site however I do not find it easy to navigate through and find information.

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Law Firm Website: Munger, Tolles & Olson

Notes: This firm has a nice calming color scheme that looks great as well as a consistent left column navigation that makes for great functionality of the site. The conservative neutral color scheme with the burst of the more modern orange is very well done.

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Law Firm Website: Dorsey & Whitney

Notes: The Dorsey site is the first site that comes up in a Google search of my local area as well as two other metro areas I searched for when conducting a generic “lawyer, [insert city, state]” While this is a significant SEO feat, the website is lacking in any design impact.

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Law Firm Website: Lindquist & Vennum

Notes: Similar to the Dorsey site, Lindquist does a great job with SEO and is easily found. While the site is somewhat sterile and corporate looking, they have done a great job of integrating local imagery from the cities where they are located that provide familiar images for potential clients.

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Law Firm Website: Katten Muchin Rosenman

Notes: According to eye-tracking surveys, you will first notice the company logo, scan through the nice calming image, then land on the right drop-down box that ask “How can Katten help you?”. This is a brilliant example of branding combined with the functionality your potential clients are seeking.

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Law Firm Website: Donohue Green

Notes: I love how this site integrates a warm neutral with a clean modern feel. There is also a great combination of a traditional site that employs great visuals and layout with a “news” section that includes a blog for the firm to expand into Web 2.0 and provide additional content and news.

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/misstinykitten/3188630340/in/photostream/)

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  • http://gregoryluce.com/ Gregory Luce

    Not to nitpick, but you should at least disclose the fact that your company developed one of these sites (Donohue Green). Seems fair to ask.

  • http://www.nuagebranding.com Grace Astari

    I thought it might be interesting for you to see that Asian firms are also evolving in their communications (all your examples after all are US based).

    http://www.abnrlaw.com/ is an Indonesian Law Firm that my firm recently rebranded and developed marketing collateral for. I think you’ll find it of the same standard.

  • http://www.deferolaw.com Mark at Defero Law

    These are rather traditional law firm websites, somewhat bland.
    I like Clifford Chance’s new site and the way it incorporates scrolling blog updates by partners. This suggests constant activity on the site and offers the user the notion that lawyers are trying to engage with clients through means outside of the traditional lawyer bio.

  • http://www.bluephoenix-webdesign.com Steve

    Yeah, I wouldn’t really say that these are the best legal websites of 2010. They don’t really capture the connotation that people have in their mind when they think about a lawyer. I really like Steve Meshbesher’s site. Google it. It looks really cool

  • http://jpaye.com/ J. Paye

    I am a regular reader of your blog. I enjoy your blog post on website design. Most of the sites featured on the post belong to large law firms that have a substantial marketing budget to put toward designing a website. Or they are able to afford the admission fee to have their sites entered in various website competitions.

    The legal landscape is changing and more solo and small law firms are emerging. This blog post would be more inclusive if it also featured solo and small law firm websites that are well designed. This segment of the legal community tends to get overlooked because they do not have the budget to compete with the marketing efforts of larger firms.

    Clients have said that my site is fresh and well designed. (I truly believe the public’s voice should weigh more heavily in determining the best designed legal website.) My site http://www.jpaye.com shows that solos and small firms can create compelling and well designed websites on a limited budget.

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      I like the layout, but all the flashing and swooping things ruin it for me.

  • http://bungaweb.com/ K. Grennan

    The world has many lawyers but like us designers many lawyers are not in the big firms or working with the big budget clients everyday. When working with lawyers they seem to get sucked into the lawyer website factories in the marketplace because of uncertainty. These companies build lawyer after lawyer sites re-using content, images and layouts. This hurts your Brand SEO and conversions. I like seeing any business big or small interested in investing a little more in themselves to reach the market. Can not stand having those little people come out of nowhere on the website to tell me why the law office is the best.

    I keep trying to sell lawyers on mobile versions of a website because weather you are getting divorced or hurt at work or in an accident people can privately search the internet on the phone today.

  • http://www.seattle-personal-injury-attorney.net/ Chris T.

    I’m a Seattle Car Accident Attorney and would say a big budget isn’t necessarily what’s needed today. With the availability of social media, if you stay active and relevant, and as long as you have decent content on your site…big bucks aren’t necessary.