Law Firm Website Design Best Practices & Examples – Forbes Advisor

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Law Firm Website Design Best Practices & Examples – Forbes Advisor
Law Firm Website Design Best Practices & Examples – Forbes Advisor


Your law firm’s website design needs to make an impact. After all, your site is the first point of contact for many of your potential clients. It needs to capture their interest, establish your credibility and convince them you’re the right attorney to represent them. Whether you’re creating a new site or redesigning an existing one, the following best practices will help. To help we’ve compiled law firm web design best practices and examples.

1. First Impressions Matter

As with all things in life, when it comes to your law firm’s site, first impressions are important. And that first impression is going to happen within the first 50 milliseconds after a visitor lands on your site. This means you have 0.05 seconds to capture their interest before they click away.

So how do you make a good first impression? You do it with a design that’s simple and professional, with a dash of personality—all while guiding your visitors to the information they need.

Vela Wood Law Firm

Example: The boutique corporate law firm Vela Wood does just this. Its home page features an impressive cityscape visual, with a slogan that’s both simple and appealing. The LEGO bricks analogy that pops up is a playful take on one of the firm’s practice areas. This playfulness draws visitors to click around the site to see if the home page’s personality is reflected throughout (it is), and in the process learn more about how the firm can serve their needs.

2. Be Innovative—But Not That Innovative

There’s a tendency for lawyers to want to blend in with the crowd, resulting in a slew of cookie-cutter law firm sites. But let’s face it: The legal world is extremely competitive. And this means your site needs to stand out from the crowd.

A balance is needed, though: Research shows that people strongly prefer sites that are both simple and familiar. So you need to know when to meet user expectations. For example, people expect navigation links along the top or on the left side of web pages, and a clickable logo that links back to the home page.

Beer Attorney Website

Example: Beer Attorney does a good job of balancing uniqueness with the conventional. From the firm’s very niche specialty—clearly spelled out in the navigation bar—to the depiction of each of its attorneys as a different style of beer, its creativity is clear. But conventional elements are also there, with a navigation bar that’s placed along the top, and a logo that links to the firm’s home page.

3. When in Doubt, Less Is More

It can be tempting to crowd as much content and images onto a page as you can—after all, you want to keep your visitor’s attention. But a crowded web page might actually have the reverse effect: Too many elements on a page can cause confusion and prompt visitors to click away as quickly as they can. In fact, 84.6% of web designers believe that web pages with a crowded look is the most common mistake businesses make.

PortaLaw Website

Example: But keeping things simple doesn’t have to mean boring. PortaLaw, an employment and human rights law firm in Vancouver, BC, has an elegant home page that provides ample information without any hint of overcrowding. Its slogan lets visitors dealing with a work-related legal issue know they’re in the right place, and there’s a clear call to action (CTA) in the “Book a Meeting” button in the navigation bar.

4. Direct Visitors’ Attention to Important Elements

When a visitor lands on your site, you want them to turn their attention to specific elements, such as a CTA or a selection of text. You can accomplish this by organizing the elements on your page according to their priority—a design principle known as visual hierarchy. Size, color, contrast and placement are a few ways you can effectively prioritize elements on a page.

West Coast Trial Lawyers

Example: Arnold & Itkin, a firm of maritime law attorneys, uses this best practice multiple times on its home page, effectively creating several above-the-fold experiences without requiring visitors to leave the page. A block of text about their success immediately draws the eye, with prominent CTA buttons underneath that use white to provide contrast against the blue ocean background. This effect is repeated when you use the bottom navigation bar to jump-scroll to other sections on the page.

5. Be Mobile-Responsive

How mobile-friendly is your site? Mobile responsiveness is a must in today’s world, where clients are just as likely to be searching for an attorney on their mobile devices as they are from their desktops. This means it’s essential for your website to function as well on mobile as it does on a monitor or laptop screen—no matter the size of the device or the orientation (vertical or horizontal).

You can check how mobile-friendly your site is by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

Law Firm Website Design Best Practices & Examples

Mobile Version of The Law Firm of Tamara Holder

Example: Women’s rights lawyer Tamara Holder’s website looks impressive on desktop, with a “Let Us Know How We Can Help” contact form prominently featured on the right-hand side, and accolades displayed below the fold. Viewed on mobile, the site loses none of its intensity, and retains functionality in both vertical and horizontal orientations.

6. Watch Your Load Times

People expect sites to load quickly, and even more so when it comes to mobile browsing. In fact, mobile load rates affect everything from viewing time to conversion rates to bounce rates. An added bonus? Google considers page speed in determining mobile search rankings.

This means it’s crucial to pay attention to how fast your website loads, on both desktop and mobile. Certain web design elements, such as the size and number of images and videos, can have a dramatic impact on your site’s loading times. You can check your site’s speed using a tool such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

Law Firm Website Design Best Practices & Examples

PageSpeed Insights Example

Example: We tested a large firm’s website that has lots of graphics, photos and videos. But the site isn’t slow: When we tested it using PageSpeed Insights, it scored a 99 in performance on desktop and an 85 on mobile. Many of the law firm sites we checked clocked in with mobile scores under 50, so it was nice to see a website full of content and graphics loading quickly on mobile.

9. Be Clear About Your Practice Areas

Visitors to your site are there for one reason: They’re looking for a lawyer who can help them with a specific legal issue. So, it’s important to highlight your services on your home page, and have clear links in your navigation bar to pages describing each of your practice areas. Remember those 50 milliseconds? You want a prospective client to see immediately that you provide the legal services they need.

Law Firm Website Design Best Practices & Examples

Bhatt Law Group Website

Example: When you land on the home page of Bhatt Law Group, you see each of its three practice areas featured in CTA buttons. Clicking on these CTAs displays a one-line summary of the area of law, the attorneys practicing in that area, and another CTA button to learn more. Additionally, when you hover over each of the practice area links in the navigation bar, you’ll see sub-practice area categories. Hover over these and you’ll get a menu that drills down to specific types of incidents.

10. Put Your Attorney Bio Pages to Good Use

We all know that people hire lawyers, not law firms. And this means your attorney bio pages are prime internet real estate. It’s no time for any of your lawyers to be shy. This is the place to pull out all your honors, awards and accolades, and showcase selected successes and client testimonials.

Law Firm Website Design Best Practices & Examples

TSMP Law – Attorney Bio Page

Example: TSMP, a corporate boutique law firm in Singapore, does a phenomenal job of showcasing its lawyers’ achievements on its bio pages, using a layout that’s both readable and eye-catching. Each lawyer’s bio features photos, client testimonials, contact information, accolades, notable briefs and appointments. There’s also an interview with the lawyer, links to recent articles they’ve written and their latest media mentions.

11. Leverage Your CTAs

There’s no better way to entice visitors to take action than with a CTA link or button. You should have CTAs on every page of your site. From a simple “Read more,” to requests to “Book your consultation,” your CTA prompts visitors to engage with your site. And in the online world, that’s a win right there. The key to effective CTAs is to make them clearly visible—buttons work well—and place them where a visitor would naturally take the action specified.

Hangley Law

Example: The home page of midsize Pennsylvania law firm Hangley, Aronchick, Segal, Pudlin & Schiller does a good job of showcasing the firm’s personality, all while enticing visitors to click and interact with the site. A strong orange color highlights all CTAs throughout, whether they’re in the form of buttons, circles or links. Scroll to the bottom of the home page, for example, and there’s a nice shout-out to the artist whose artwork adorns the site, with the link coming, appropriately enough, in the form of an orange CTA button.

12. Accessibility Makes a Difference

According to the CDC, one in four adults lives with a disability. That statistic alone highlights how important accessibility in website design is. But website accessibility is also mandated by law. And while the law doesn’t outline any specific criteria, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provides helpful guidance.

You can check the accessibility of your website using the WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool. In addition to checking for features such as alt text for images, which allows assistive devices to read image descriptions, this tool also checks for ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications), a specification consisting of HTML markup that assists screen readers.

Law Firm Website Design Best Practices & Examples

WAVE Web Accessibility

Example: When URLs for the home page and various internal pages of Seattle family and immigration law firm Zafiro Law’s website were plugged into the WAVE Tool, it confirmed that the site used accessibility features such as alt text image captioning for screen readers and ARIA specifications. For example, on the firm’s child custody practice page, the first image is read by screen readers as “father kissing child and smiling.”

13. Use Professional Photography

We can sum up this best practice with one phrase: “Say no to stock photography.” Visitors aren’t impressed by generic stock photos. But this doesn’t mean you should stay away from photos. In fact, you need photography on your website: Relevant images capture your visitors’ interest, increase the time they spend on your site and help to establish credibility. Consider using a professional photographer to help you build trust by capturing moments of authenticity.

Law Firm Website Design Best Practices & Examples

JLongtin Law Website

Example: Criminal defense firm JLongtin Law’s practice focuses on the role mental health issues play in criminal matters. The firm’s tagline is “compassionate criminal defense,” and the site’s photos accentuate this throughout. From the firm’s founder, Jennifer Longtin, to the team around her, whose views are expressed in the site’s blogs, the photos have an authentic and warm feel that works well with the site’s overall tone.

14. Embrace the Power of Videos

Put simply, video marketing works: Video marketing improves lead generation and conversion rates. It also has the added benefit of increasing visitors’ time on a page. And there’s the trust factor: A video of you talking about a legal issue or answering a legal question people often ask lets potential clients see for themselves what you’re like, and get a feel for whether or not you’re someone they want to represent them.

Law Firm Website Design Best Practices & Examples

Kelley Uustal Trial Attorneys

Example: When you look beyond the legal aspects of any personal injury case, there’s always a story waiting to be told. And personal injury law firm Kelley | Uustal tells these stories superbly using video. The firm has chosen to frame these stories around the theme of personal victories, transforming tragedy into something uplifting. And each video also acts as a case study to show potential clients the results the firm has achieved.

15. Focus on Readability

Readability in website design is all about making the text easy to read. This is where design elements such as typography and white space come into play. You want to choose simple fonts that are larger rather than smaller, and use bullets and short paragraphs to enhance the white space around the words. Remember that scannable content is key: Readers scan websites for key points, and you want to make it easy for them to do so.

Law Firm Website Design Best Practices & Examples

Teresa DiNardi Law

Example: DUI attorney Teresa DiNardi’s site uses the Proxima Nova font, a sans serif font that’s easily readable on both small and large screens. The site also makes good use of bullets, short paragraphs, H1 and H2 headers and white space, resulting in content that’s easily scannable.

16. It’s About Credibility and Reputation

A Thomson Reuters survey found that 89% of respondents looking for a lawyer sought out information about reputation, and 68% read reviews. This highlights the need for law firm websites to include social proof and other content that builds trust and credibility. Consider including pages dedicated to testimonials, reviews or successful case results. It’s also a good idea to include other forms of social proof throughout your site, such as ratings and recommendations from external sites, media recognition and association memberships.

Law Firm Website Design Best Practices & Examples

Staver Accident Injury Lawyers

Example: Personal injury law firm Staver Accident Injury Lawyers highlights its social proof right above the fold on its home page. Visitors landing on the site see a Snapshot view that includes a link to the firm’s Google reviews. Additional tabs showcase awards and specific reviews and case results. Scroll down the home page and there are other sections featuring more social proof. The site also has a dedicated page for reviews and one for case results, and reviews and awards are featured on each of its practice area pages.

Bottom Line

Whether you want to redesign your current law firm website or you need a website for your new practice, these law firm website design best practices can give you a head start on creating a site that both potential clients and the search engines will love. For more insights, check out our step-by-step guide on how to build a website.


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