It is hard to imagine any firm not having a website today. But I know small firms in my area of the world that don’t. Simply put, without one you are not considered a player. Period.
People looking for a lawyer, whether corporate counsel or individuals, check out a firm’s website to get information and yes, a feel for whom they will be dealing with on a matter. It doesn’t matter the size of your firm. Unless you do not want to market your firm, you need one.
Thanks to Carolyn Elefant of MyShingle for alerting me to Jim Calloway’s assertive statement that every law firm regardless of size needs a website. He points out that a site doesn’t need to be expensive, nor does it have to be elaborate or take a lot of time to set up. He even provides a link to a reasonably priced hosting service. (However, I must admit that I had a nightmare of an experience with recently in setting up a shopping cart, but that is another story). You can find many others by doing a “web hosting” search on Google. Even Yahoo provides hosting services.
Jim identifies things that you should have on your website:
*Your own domain name (not a sublink of another domain),
*Names and contact info on attorneys (and presumably a bio),
*Directions and map to office,
*Practice areas that firm handles (I would add with brief, well written descriptions),
*Good content (again, well-written without typos, and in simple and clear language), graphics and pictures, and
*Disclaimers regarding not rendering legal advice on the site, and jurisdiction(s) of practice (and no attorney-client relationship establish by their merely contacting the firm).
Finally, he cautions that you check your state’s ethics rules to ensure compliance.
Bottom line: As Jim states, “having no web presence makes about as much business (or legal marketing) sense as having an unlisted phone number for your law office.” How true.