BREAKING: Law firm websites are boring and repetitive.

Pick three or four firms at random, visit their websites, and pretend you can’t see the logo identifying the firm. Try to guess which firm it is.

You probably can’t, obviously. Law firm websites are pretty much all the same, but Adam Smith doesn’t think it has to be that way. He cites a couple of examples of actually-distinctive website copy. Is your website distinctive at all?

Read Growth is Dead: Part 8-Now What? on Adam Smith, Esq. (via MyShingle)


  1. Sam Glover says:

    Title fixed. That was a freak copy-and-paste accident.

  2. Susan Gainen says:

    Why should law firm websites be different from the law firm brochures that were distributed in the Time Before The Web?

    With some narrow exceptions (Robins Kaplan’s recruiting brochure from the late 1980’s comes to mind because it asked and answered “Who are these people and why should I want to work with them?” which is the central question of recruiting), they seemed to have been written by three guys in a warehouse in a random suburb.

  3. The number one offender of website sameness is Scorpion design. It’s like Web 2.0 went on an all night bender with bottom shelf liquor and vomited a law firm website.

    I swear that I can go to an attorney’s site and immediately know that Scorpion made it.
    Signs that point to a Scorpion site:
    1) Dark brooding colors; 2) too much shiny; 3) embedded videos; 4) insipid, generic text; 5) auto-play animations of some attorney walking out and prattle on some uninspired “we’re so aggressive blah blah blah rights blah blah fight for you!”

  4. Jerry S says:

    You know who worries about websites looking the same? The vain website owner and the designer who frets about losing design money due to customized templates. Do you drive a custom car or do you order a certain make and model (a template) and customize it with paint, interior, wheels and other options?

    As a potential client, what I hate are cluttered websites that load slow and are so artsy that they obscure the information I came to find. Now, if you have little to no content feel free to substitute design for content. I won’t mind because I won’t bother with it either way.

    • Sam Glover says:

      I think you have “good design” and “lots of stuff” confused. Don’t worry, so do many website owners.

      • Jerry S says:

        In that case, I didn’t say it very well. What I was trying to say is that the “stuff” and its quick availability is all I care about. Design is only important in that it should not look amateurish and the structure should be intuitive. Complete originality is not important to me.

        • Sam Glover says:

          This post wasn’t about the look and feel, in any case, but about the content. And, ironically, it isn’t about templates. Lawyers all write the same (original) stuff for their websites that nobody (including you) cares about, and they ignore the stuff potential clients might actually like to see.

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