There were no criteria embedded in our contest, but here’s what I think works about BD&P’s website.
First, of all, those big, clear images look great and humanize the law firm and its lawyers. You’ve got pictures of the lawyers, but they are not sitting in front of stuffy law books. And they aren’t always in suits.
Also, keep in mind that BD&P is a pretty big firm, with well over 100 lawyers, and a couple dozen practice areas. Building a website targeted to a narrow client profile is out of the question. The focus has to be on the firm and its people, making them look good, and making it easy to contact them. Basically, it just needs to be a directory. And it is — just look at the search box front-and-center. It also needs to be a directory that makes you want to hire the firm and its lawyers. Overall, BD&P’s website absolutely does that.
Does BD&P’s website convert leads to paying clients? I am sure it does, although not in the same way solo and small-firm lawyers think about conversion. BD&P’s size and broader focus mean its marketing strategy will be different than that of a smaller practice. I doubt online marketing plays a huge role in that marketing strategy, apart from making sure the firm looks good and making it is easy to find out more about its lawyers.
The only thing I don’t like about BD&P’s website is the content on the attorney bio pages. All that’s on them is a boring CV. With all the personality BD&P is trying to show on the rest of the site, and since the site basically is the directory, this seems like a huge missed opportunity. I’ll bet that the attorney directory is the most-visited part of the site, so I would think BD&P would want to do more than list their practice areas and graduation dates. If I were in charge, I would relegate that information to a secondary page or downloadable CV, and instead help each lawyer craft a personal statement.
That’s not a minor quibble, but overall, you guys definitely picked a solid, excellent-looking website for our best of 2013. Nice work!