Smartphones and the internet have made mobile law practice reality. For many lawyers this leads to checking emails on the couch, over the weekend, and other times outside of “working hours.” I do my best to set limits, but it still happens.
Should your website explain your normal business practices and what clients should expect from you?
Some discussion is a good idea
Explaining what your normal business hours are, the policy for returning emails and phone calls, and your approach to client relations is a good idea. If you only make office appointments between 8-5, with limited exceptions, put that on your site.
If your firm makes it a point to always be available for clients, no matter the time of day (many criminal defense attorneys work this way), put that on your site.
Even if your normal practice is to only conduct business during normal business hours, but you will be available at other times in specific situations, that should go on your website. For some clients, your availability is not that important. For many clients, however, knowing when and if you are availability is critical to whether they hire you.
Too much detail might drive away clients
Expressing rigid rules on your site could be off-putting to clients. For example, if you only respond to emails and phone calls during normal business hours, that may severely limit your client base. Even if clients do not need to contact you after hours, those type of statements can be interpreted negatively and could reflect a firm attitude that is not client-centric.
Maybe you check your work email once a day on Saturday and Sunday. There is probably no reason to put that on your website. Some clients may think that means you are available on the weekends. Others might think you are not as available as they would like. Most potential clients would probably find that statement relatively meaningless.
Explaining your approach to business and clients on your website can be a good thing, but make sure you express the right information and the right attitude.