October 2003  Volume 29, Issue 7
October 2003 Issue
       Send Feedback  Table of Contents
PracticeDevelopment Clips
by Larry Bodine

Vindication. At last, there's hard data that Web sites really do bring in business. The details are in TouchPoint Metrics' report "Best Practices in Legal Marketing: Effective Use of Web Sites" (www.touchpointmetrics.com). The company interviewed 30 leading law firms, and 17 of them-in the preceding 12 months alone-had generated a combined total of 159 new clients whose first awareness of their firm was its Web site. The best practice identified in the report: putting a link on the home page to industries served by the law firm. The worst practice: failing to identify on the home page that the site is for a law firm!

Size does matter. According to a newly released suvey by the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center, 100 percent of all law firms with 50 or more lawyers have a Web site. Among the smaller firms responding to the survey, it appears there is a lag. Of those with 10 to 49 lawyers, 85 percent have a Web site. Of those with 2 to 9 lawyers, 56 percent have a site. Only 29 percent of the solos maintain a site. Details on the survey are available at www.lawtechnology.org/surveys.

Get the jump on the devil. Although the concept of cross-selling seems simple, the devil is in the details. The keys to success are overcoming objections that partners raise and focusing on firmwide, rather than individual, goals. To jump-start a cross-selling program, lawyers must keep in mind these central goals: retaining current clients by establishing as many points of contact with the firm as possible; expanding client relationships by assuring that the client is completely satisfied with the firm's service and inquiring into additional business problems the client has; and familiarizing the lawyers with the client, so they know the client's business and understand the client's industry.

You be the judge. Chicago's Miller Faucher & Cafferty uses testimonials from judges on its Web site. Talk about great PR-and why not take this route? The reasoning is that if the judges have something favorable to say about the lawyers in the published, public, permanent record, the firm is free to put it up on the Web. Take a look at www.miller faucher.com. Click on any link and a testimonial from a judge, complete with the source citation, appears at the top of the page.

Who's hiring professional marketers? The job market for marketing directors is opening up, especially in New York, D.C. and Los Angeles, according to recruiter John Byrne of LawProSearch. He also reports that in recent searches for marketing directors and business development managers, prospective employers were offering salaries that ranged from $100,000 to $150,000. Byrne says the openings are region dependent and also seem to be more at the midlevel. Interestingly, he notices that a number of big law firms are hiring CMOs with no legal industry experience.

Larry Bodine ( lbodine@lawmarketing.com) is a Web and Marketing Consultant who advises law firms on how to get more business. Based in Glen Ellyn, IL, he can be reached at (630) 942-0977.