Legal Technology

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Websites

More and more attorneys and law firms are taking advantage of the 365/24/7 opportunities to showcase their practice’s services and expertise by building and publishing a website.

Here’s a list of practical items for consideration by anyone building a website:

  1. Buy your own domain name. Make it a .com address. Use your name with PC or law; combine last names or use the firm specialty for a suitable domain (i.e., workerscomplawyer.com). Try not to use initials, hyphens or unintelligible spellings. Where do you research/buy domain names? www.whois.com is a reputable registrar.
  2. Have fresh, clean content with no large files or lengthy downloads. Picture and sound files are notoriously large. If you use a flash intro – lose it! Flash intros not only cause very lengthy load times, they may disrupt search engines from properly spidering your website and they are annoying to boot!
  3. Have professionally edited text that has been proof read. Make sure that all links and pages are tested from an “outside” computer. To clean text, block/copy into Notebook and then block/copy from Notebook into the on line editor. Notebook strips away any stray code.
  4. Use language that speaks to your audience, have clear and easy to follow navigation, professional headshots of firm personnel and prominently post the firm address and phone number. For SEO purposes it doesn’t hurt to publish a Google Map on your contact page. Statistically speaking, you will get more contacts if you also list an e-mail on your landing/home page. However, for spam purposes, I recommend that you use a generic address such as “contact” or “info” @yourdomain.com
  5. You also want to make sure that you provide fresh content to your website on a regular basis. Some painless content can be found by listing partner speaking engagements, adding published articles or a copy of the firm’s newsletter.

If you do not wish to learn how to build and/or maintain a website, you have lots of options; but there are also lots of nuances and even hazards to publishing on line. Set up a call if you'd like me to help you figure out what would work best for your firm.

 

*Updated from March 2008 post here


Friday, December 28, 2012

3 Techs To Help Lawyers Start The New Year Off Right

Be resolute. Don't just think about it. DO SOMETHING.

Here are 3 techs that help lawyers be better at what they do (and why):

1.  Ruby Receptionists - based out of Oregon, this fast growing, dynamic company helps lawyers by providing incoming answering, light call routing and qualifying services.  I have heard story after story from practicing attorneys just how Ruby helps them.  Answering calls for any law office is an extremely important function.  Ruby does it right and knows the rules re: working with legal.  BONUS - they don't just work with legal, so if you are a small business owner/controller, feel free to also call 1-866-611-7829 and tell em Andrea sent you <-no, I make no $$ but they have been known to send me a gift card or two which I buy a round of whatevers when live.... ;)

2.  Amicus Creative Media - based out of Long Island like me, this company is owned by a still practicing lawyer who certainly understands the rules when it comes to making sure a law firm's website is done correctly, with appropriate disclaimers and tech in place.  For a reasonable set set up fee, attorneys get custom design services and for a reasonable monthly fee, hosting which includes access to an administrative panel for updating content; creating blog posts and such.  Not as end user friendly as WordPress, but not self-hosted either <-removing the costs on time and budget re: keeping up with current releases of WordPress and all your widgets; as well as your hosting account and domain registrations.

3. Office 365 - I moved over mid-2012 and feel confident recommending it, especially in light of the recent announcement by Google that it is removing ActiveSync for Outlook users and the ability to host a domain's email for free.  Not that I use Google or Gmail for my domain email - just that those of you who use it and sync to Outlook are not going to be able to do that anymore (Clio users are NOT affected).  The worst part about Office 365 is all the pricing levels - can get pretty confusing.  So it's a good thing I know Ben Schorr! In fact, he was kind enough to do a webinar for The Legal Connection Comminity site which explains everything very well in under an hour.  The site set for public launch 1/1/13 but those of you reading this can get at just Ben's presentation here for free. Ben is a certified Microsoft MVP - if you sign up through him, you pay no more, but have a very friendly/knowledgeable legal IT person to turn to in times of need. <-priceless!!  Ben's website is: www.rolandschorr.com

I know everyone has no budget. I do hear people say they think Ruby is expensive (how they can say a few hundred PER MONTH for professional phone answering and such is expensive is beyond me) but I just don't want anyone to travel over and believe them to be free. If you are just starting out and really have NO budget, use Onebox or Ring Central or another unified messaging technology for $30 or so per month so at least you are not giving out your direct cell; and can have a professional recording done for your incoming message. However, once you start going over to the positive side of cash flow, you now have to figure out how to do more in less time.  Ruby lets you stop worrying about being able to personally answer each call - and just get the work done!

As for Office365 - I have chosen the Enterprise option. For about $21 per month, I get all that is Hosted Exchange along with 5 licensed copies of pretty much every software app Office has ever come with. No more updating for me. No more worrying about email hosting and security. Got it covered without the borg. ;)

There you have it - 3 technologies you can seriously consider adding to your practice in order to start 2013 off right!

 

 





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