Welcome to LawyerCasting(TM)

Welcome to LawyerCastingTM, a new blog from eLawMarketing (edited by attorney/Internet marketer Joshua Fruchter) covering "best practices" in online marketing for lawyers and law firms, including websites, blogs, podcasts, webcasts, email marketing and much more!

Read the posts below and in our archives to learn all the latest tips and strategies for using the Internet to market your law firm and develop new business. Enjoy and prosper!

Is Your Law Firm Website Copy Client-Centric (Good) or Lawyer-Centric (Bad)?

When drafting copy for a website, law firms often tend to employ legal industry jargon that may be difficult for prospective clients to understand. They may also describe successes using terms of art that are not meaningful to site visitors. While writing clear and understandable website copy in plain English (using active verbs) can be challenging, investing the time to do so can pay dividends in terms of increased visitor engagement and better conversion of visits into leads.

The usability expects at Nielsen Norman Group (NNG) offer 3 essential guidelines for writing what they call "user-centric" website copy.

Continue... "Is Your Law Firm Website Copy Client-Centric (Good) or Lawyer-Centric (Bad)?" »


Announcing the Launch of Salesforce.com Consulting Division for Law Firms

We're happy to announce the launch of our new "cloud consulting" division that will focus on offering Salesforce.com consulting services to law firms.

Salesforce.com is the #1 cloud-based CRM application in the world with a user community exceeding 1 million users. The core application is extended by hundreds of differents apps created by a large community of Salesforce developers to meet diverse functional needs.

While Salesforce has not made the same inroads into the legal community as it has in other industries, we see Salesforce as an exceptional tool for law firms and attorneys for practice management and marketing that law firm marketers and administrators should consider as an option when upgrading their firms' practice management and marketing functions.

For example, when managing cases and other matters, Salesforce enables attorneys to:

  • Track the status of key matter tasks, documents and deadlines with matter Dashboards
  • Create "exception" reports to identify missing documents and unfinished tasks
  • Assign tasks to individual attorneys, paralegals or other staff members and set deadlines
  • Create custom document templates from your frequently used documents and forms that can be populated with data from your contact fields
  • Update clients on matter status at key intervals
  • Integrate with third party applications to import data relevant to pending matters directly into Salesforce

Continue... "Announcing the Launch of Salesforce.com Consulting Division for Law Firms" »


Client Gilbride, Tusa, Last & Spellane Launches New Law Firm Website Running on Drupal

Gilbride, Tusa, Last & Spellane is a leading Connecticut law firm with offices in Greenwich and New Canaan (as well as 3 locations outside Connecticut) that recently launched its new website.

Running on Drupal, the website features a slideshow on the homepage with thumbnail navigation. Following SEO best practices to boost search engine visibility, all site URL's incorporate keywords, and the title and description tags for each page can be customized.

Consistent with good website copywriting, the homepage conspicously highlights the industries in which the firm has a strong track record.


Client Edelman LLC Launches New Crowdfunding Blog on WordPress

Our client, crowdfunding lawyer Ari Edelman, Esq., recently launched Above the Crowd, a new crowdfunding law blog focused on the SEC's new equity crowdfunding rules.

Running on WordPress, the blog includes a crowdfunding FAQ, and more broadly, also covers legal issues related to the JOBS Act.

Edelman founded his new law firm after spending many years at larger NYC firms representing corporate clients ranging from startups to Fortune 1000 companies, in corporate, M&A and securities matters.


What Law Firms Can Learn from the Healthcare.gov Website Debacle

By now, everyone is familiar with the Healthcare.gov website debacle - the multiple glitches and technical defects that stymied the efforts of individuals to sign up for health insurance via the new federal online health insurance marketplace that launched on October 1, 2013, under the Affordable Care Act.

But what use is failure if we can't learn from it? To that end, the usability experts at Nielsen Norman Group have penned an article, entitled "HealthCare.gov’s Account Setup: 10 Broken Usability Guidelines," that walks through ten key usability guidelines that the Healthcare.gov website violated, and that should be avoided by other organizations launching new websites and other web applications.

Continue... "What Law Firms Can Learn from the Healthcare.gov Website Debacle" »


7 Best Practices for Law Firm Website Carousels

First, what is a website "carousel" you might ask? Briefly, "carousels" are the navigable slideshows frequently displayed on law firm homepages through which visitors can scroll to learn more about a firm's practice areas, recent accomplishments, and/or other distinguishing qualities. Each frame of a carousel typically consists of a large bold image, a small amount of descriptive text, and a link to learn more about the subject of the frame. The key advantage of carousels is that they allow multiple pieces of content to simultaneously occupy prime real estate on a website homepage. Here's a link to an example we deployed for one client.

But the usability experts at Nielsen Norman Group (NNG) warn that carousels are a double-edged sword that can do more harm than good to a company's image if not properly designed. In a recent article entitled "Designing Effective Carousels: Create a Fanciful Amusement, Not a House of Horrors," Kara Pernice, Managing Director at NNG, cautions that, among other issues, the designer of a carousel may intend it as a collection of images that togther tell a story, whereas many visitors may only be focusing on the first frame without navigating further. However, the image and copy in that first frame, taken out of context, may give users the wrong idea about an organization.

To help companies design more effective carousels, Pernice offers up 7 best practices along with screenshots of sample carousels illustrating her points.

Continue... "7 Best Practices for Law Firm Website Carousels" »


Four Poor Navigational Choices for Law Firm Websites That Drive Visitors Away

Jakob Nielsen, Ph.D., is perhaps the leading guru on Web page usability, and so when his firm, the Nielsen Norman Group, criticizes certain approaches to website navigation, webmasters should pay heed.

Recently, Jen Cardello, a director at Nielsen Norman Group, published an article entitled, "Four Dangerous Navigation Approaches that Can Increase Cognitive Strain," that describes four different approaches to website navigation that cause mental strain and distress for site visitors, thereby causing them to become irritated and frustrated, and thus more likely to leave the site prematurely.

Nielsen illustrates each of these poor navigational approaches using "Before" and "After" case studies of companies that employed these approaches, and then fixed them with guidance from Nielsen's firm.

Continue... "Four Poor Navigational Choices for Law Firm Websites That Drive Visitors Away" »


Client M. Robinson & Co. Launches New Tax Law Blog Running on WordPress

M. Robinson & Co. is a leading Boston tax law firm that represents businesses, individuals and non-profit organizations in connection with Massachusetts and federal tax law matters.

The firm recently launched the Massachusetts Tax Alert Blog. Running on WordPress, the blog will analyze recent Massachusetts and federal tax law developments. Among the plugins installed is one that helps the blog administrator manage the photos and bio links of the blog's multiple authors.


Client Ademi & O'Reilly Launches New Law Firm Website Running on Drupal

Ademi & O'Reilly is a leading securities class action law firm based in Wisconsin that represents classes of investors in securities fraud, mergers & acquisitions, and shareholder derivative litigation.

Running on Drupal, the firm's new website features a number of cutting edge features, including a "case" section detailing the firm's new investigations and cases, and ongoing and settled cases. Prospective clients can view the details of any case, and if applicable, complete and submit an online form to request representation. Upon submission, the prospective client's information is formatted into a PDF file suitable for filing with a court and forwarded via email to the attorney responsible for new case development.


Client Glancy Binkow & Goldberg Launches New Law Firm Website Running on Drupal

The leading securities class action firm of Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP recently launched a new website designed and powered by eLawMarketing.

For nearly 25 years, the Glancy firm has successfully prosecuted class action cases and complex litigation in federal and state courts throughout the country. The firm has recovered billions of dollars for investors, consumers, and entities injured by corporate wrongdoing.

Running on Drupal, the Glancy firm's new website features a number of cutting edge features, including sophisticated "case" pages that contain descriptions of cases that the firm is investigating or litigating, along with copies of related press releases, complaints and other documents, and embedded forms allowing investors to submit their trading history and other relevant information.


Client Ryan Ryan Deluca LLP Launches New Law Firm Website Running on Drupal

We'd like to congratulate the Connecticut litigation law firm of Ryan Ryan Deluca LLP on the launch of their new website earlier this year.

Ryan Ryan Deluca LLP is a litigation law firm with over a 50-year history in Connecticut focused on insurance and business-related litigation. The firm has tried hundreds of court and jury cases to conclusion – averaging 15 to 20 jury verdicts per year.

Running on Drupal, and employing a sleek, Web 2.0 look-and-feel, the website features a number of cutting edge features, including a navigable Javascript slideshow on the homepage with strong visuals highlighting the firm's various litigation specialties, and a regularly updating homepage with "deep links" to further details on recent firm news, successes and publications.


Great Tip to Prolong the Longevity of your Law Firm Email Alerts and Newsletters

I had the pleasure of speaking last week on a panel presenting on "Growing Your Business Through Internet Marketing" at the 2012 Connecticut Bar Association Annual Meeting.

Among the other speakers on the panel was an employment lawyer, Scott Schaffer, who publishes an email newsletter, Workplace News, that is distributed to human resource professionals and other labor and employment attorneys. Scott shared many valuable tips on how he uses his email newsletter to generate new business.

One strategy that we repeatedly recommend to our own clients is to use your email newsletter or alert campaign "clickthrough" reports to generate leads. For example, if Scott sends his newsletter to 500 subscribers, and 100 subscribers open the email, and of those 100 subscribers, 25 subscribers click a link in the email to read a full article, Scott follows up with each of those 25 subscribers. The logic is that clicking on a link demonstrates interest, and so the subscribers with "clickthroughs" become Scott's "low hanging fruit" to see if he can convert that interest into new business.

But one tip I had never thought of before, but which makes great sense, is Scott's inclusion of links to various online resources within each issue of his newsletter - such as the full opinion of a case, or full text of a new regulation or law. Scott's thinking here is that if he includes a link to the actual text of the case, regulation or law he is discussing, subscribers will retain the email in their inbox (or move it to a folder) so they can easily access the link in the future. That is, Scott thinks in terms of providing his readers with access to online resources that they'll want to keep handy for future reference.

And lo and behold, Scott continues to see clickthroughs on links in his newsletter long after they were distributed. Now that's longevity in a day and age when emails are frequently deleted upon receipt.

In a nutshell, to increase the shelf life of your alerts and newsletters, include links to resources (even if they do not appear on your website) to which your readers will likely wish to refer back to in the future.

For a sample issue of Workplace News, click here.


The Latest Law Firm Email Marketing Benchmarks and Best Practices

We're pleased to announce our latest "State of Law Firm Email Marketing" report documenting benchmarks for five key performance metrics (opens, clickthrough, conversions, bounces and unsubscribes) generated by law firm email marketing campaigns aggregating 8,168,215 emails distributed by our top law firm clients between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2011.

Legal marketers can use the report to:

  • Gauge and improve the performance of their own email marketing campaigns
  • Discover how their campaigns are performing relative to the campaigns of their peers
  • Learn more about “best practices” in the creation and distribution of law firm email marketing campaigns

Click here to download your free report.

Should you find that your law firm's email marketing campaigns are falling short of the benchmarks in the report, consider an email marketing audit.


Congratulations to Client Carlton Fields on Launch of New Innovative Website

We'd like to congratulate client Carlton Fields on the launch of their new dynamic law firm website. What's special about the site is that it focuses extensively on resources relevant to the business and legal needs of the firm’s clients. From substantive content offering valuable client resources in varied formats, including how-to articles, checklists, client interviews, and guidelines, to a mobile site that makes on-the-go access simple for those with iPads, smartphones and tablets, the new site conveys a clear commitment to meeting clients' needs.

For instance, the "Business Solutions" section of the website addresses such timely client concerns as alternative legal fee arrangements and developing a budget for new legal matters.

A page dedicated to RSS feeds offers the option of instant notification whenever new publications, releases, events or career opportunities are published to the website.

The firm's blogs include coverage of recent Florida Appeals Court decisions and developments related to class actions.

We recommend a visit.


Zuckerberg's Law of Social Sharing - Are You Taking Advantage?

Hope all of our readers had a wonderful holiday season. Over the New Year weekend, had occasion to read an interesting article in MIT's Technology Review concerning the "law of social sharing." Apparently propounded by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, the law predicts that "every year, for the foreseeable future, the amount of information you share on the Web will double." Those familiar with the history of computing will undoubtedly catch the allusion to "Moore's Law" conceived of by Gordon Moore, a founder of Intel, who famously predicted that, every two years, the number of transistors that can be fitted onto a chip of any given area, for the same price, will double. No one ever accused Mark Zuckerberg of lacking ambition.

The Web is rapidly being reshaped and redefined by social sharing of content, and Facebook has certainly facilitated that trend with its ubiquitous "Like" buttons, and new technology that allows apps and Web sites to automatically share your activity via Facebook as you browse. Internet titans such as Google and Salesforce.com have jumped on the bandwagon with social sharing features being added to their own applications.

Of course, as the article points out, the exponential growth of social sharing cannot continue forever - people have only a limited number of hours today to devote to social sharing, and will naturally filter out the more inane updates, and focus on those most important to them.

Still, for legal marketers, Zuckerberg's Law merits consideration - does your firm's website, and its blogs and email newsletters, include a social sharing tool? It can be as simple as incorporating an "Add This" icon. If not, that's definitely a feature to add in 2012. To be sure, most people won't care about your latest alert concerning, say, a new IRS regulation addressing some arcane international tax issue. But for the few clients who do, you'd be well advised to give them access to tools that let them share that and other firm content with their like-minded peers.

Click here to read the full MIT article.



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