Awards — and Advice — for Law Firm Web sites

The Internet Marketing Attorney Awards for 2006-07 are in, and many Philadelphia firms are on the list, for good and for bad.

Law firms from around the country have their sites reviewed by law firm marketing consultant Micah Buchdahl of High-Tech Marketing for Lawyers, and can be awarded a maximum score of 50 points for topics such as design, content and usability.

Reed Smith ranked 2nd among the 249 largest law firms that were put to the test, resulting in a score of 44. Buchdahl said the site was descriptive, navigable and gave a unique touch with the use of pictures of firm attorneys as graphics.

“All large international law firms strive to create a Web site that looks, feels and works like Reedsmith.com. Here is some free consulting advice for Dechert — visit this site and start stealing ideas,” Buchdahl said. “Not every firm chooses the Web as a significant business development tool. Reed Smith has dedicated the time, money and resources. The result is superb.”

Saul Ewing wasn’t too much further down the list with a total score of 40 points.  Buchdahl said he liked the newly redesigned site.

“The site is loaded with content, including promotion of upcoming Webinars. In the firm’s home city of Philadelphia, a bunch of others who shall remain nameless (Fox, Dechert, Cozen, etc., etc., etc.) could take a lesson,” he said. “Excellent integration of design, data and the firm’s brand.”

Speaking of Fox Rothschild, Dechert and Cozen O’Connor, those were the three lowest-ranking Philadelphia firms on the list.

Cozen O’Connor came in second to last among the 249 firms with a total score of 11.

“The copyright 2001 symbol on the site should say it all,” Buchdahl said. “I could not believe that dark, ‘say nothing’ home page was still my introduction online to a firm that is known for doing so much pro-active marketing.”

Dechert racked up a total of 18 points, with comments that the firm’s new office is a much better presentation than its Web site.

“They’ve never gotten it right,” Buchdahl said. “For some reason, the firm’s marketing vision has never matched the enormously successful growth.”

Buchdahl said Fox Rothschild has one of the oldest sites remaining on the list, giving it a total score of 19 points.

He said the only comments he could give were a repeat of two years ago because nothing has changed.

“For the most part, this is that family car that you know you need to replace, but if you could just get 10,000 more miles out of it … next time the engine blows, trade it in,” he said.

— Gina Passarella, Staff Reporter

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