Ten AmLaw 100 firms launch new sites: a quick look at what’s freshBy Greenfield Belser, a Finn Partners Company
October 12, 2016
Want the quick, easily digestible dish on professional service firm web design and development trends? Check out or revisit sitevisitsSM, our catalog of websites from the 200 largest professional services firms.
Updates are made quarterly to sitevisitsSM. Recent and noteworthy changes to law firm sites are in focus here. 10% of sites reviewed are new (so far) this year. Here’s a snapshot of the 10 new sites launched with a quick review of what we liked about each.
Baker & McKenzie was a green ribbon winner from our very first launch. The latest site begins to push the boundaries of both design and structure. First of all, we like the homepage that is reminiscent of Saturn and its rings. We suppose Baker & McKenzie can claim to be a planet. Why not? They’re big enough. The organization and structure is outstanding. Careers is completely focused on the young lawyer. Excellent. Best of all is the About Us section which rotates through a set of fast facts in an engaging way. Two thumbs up.
Without saying so directly, the firm’s box logo becomes an animated device to suggest outside the box thinking in a large, international law firm. The new website is clean, user friendly and efficient in information delivery. Within the knowledge section of the site, we really like the topic centers. Each, like the Brexit Hub or Global Media and Telecommunications Watch, are rich informational microsites that aggregate content based on issue, rather than firm practice areas. Feels very "big consulting" to us and very smart.
Cleary’s prior site gave a tip of the hat to the importance of the Internet. The new site is a sharp departure in style, borrowing the most common tropes (a good thing) of user experience to deliver information to buyers.
Slaughter and May is nothing if not busy with the process of updating its site frequently. That’s impressive. Whether the hemline goes up or down, the firm consistently defines and redefines itself, suggesting just how much it values its perception in the marketplace.
With each new site launched, large law firms like McDermott are moving away from the old template (rectangular rotating marquee with columns of news underneath) to the new responsive and more visual way of communicating lots of information. McDermott’s new site scrolls North to South on all devices and works to minimize what we call the “wall of words” that dominate too many professional service firm communications. Kudos to the firm for both the spirit and presentation of its Social Responsibility report as a quick-”read” e-book.
We are not unbiased reviewers to Orrick’s new site since we were responsible for the original brand almost 20 years ago. The firm certainly stands boldly to declare its five majors in technology, energy & infrastructure, finance, litigation & IP and transactions. Buyers must welcome such clarity, something we encourage as well, although a lot of market-making industries can fit under those umbrellas. The use of the logo as a design element is something we noted with approval by Accenture in our original round of reviews.
Website technology has come a long way. When information is simple and cleanly organized, the site delivers with lightning speed. Information seekers will get what they need from Lewis Brisbois’ site with astonishing alacrity. The familiar navigation and internal structure will be satisfying to buyers of legal services.
Goodwin Procter has seemingly always been a leader in legal marketing. Their latest redesign simply proves the claim. An unusual navigation structure on the home page delivers content in an engaging way. Images may be stock, but that’s not the feeling the reader gets from the experience. The idea of client value embedded in the logo is nicely explained on the firm’s Approach page.
In some ways, the new Arnold & Porter website has a similar vibe to the old. The big difference is responsive design and some additional contemporary visual elements. What remains constant are the firm’s DC roots and government-focused clientele. While that is not the complete picture of this reputable international law firm, we like the unique feature of the site that allows visitors to search firm professionals who have served in the ranks of government on the state, national and international levels. Ben Franklin said “experience is the best teacher,” and Arnold & Porter clearly demonstrates that its experience runs deep.
Right from the top we like the simplicity of the three main navigation items: Professionals, Services and Search. Other navigation is accessible behind the hamburger menu, yet it is nice to see these items front and center as visitors tend to be most interested in these pages on law firm sites. We also like the case studies center for its content and design. Related case study links on service and industry pages are smart, as buyers want to know who you’ve worked for, what you’ve done and how it turned out.