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Bad law firm websites

By September 25, 2003Uncategorized

I’m working on a long post on what makes a good firm website that I will post soon. But just now I had an experience with Holland & Knight’s website that reminds me of the #1 requirement for a firm website: make it easy to find attorney contact information, especially E-mail addresses.

If you go to the Holland & Knight website you’ll note that the first page doesn’t make it perfectly easy to find attorneys’ contact information. They call the attorney information “biographies.” I don’t want a “biography.” I want “contact information.” Apparently, “biographies” include contact information. Not intuitive, but okay I’ll accept that for now. Interestingly, if you pick the “biographies” link on the left side of the main page you don’t get where you need to be; you wind up here, which doesn’t include a way to search for attorneys by name.

If you happened to choose the “biographies” link that runs across the top you get something slightly different (???) which allows you to select to search alphabetically. So let’s say you pick the letter “L” and wind up here. (How many clicks have we made so far?).

So now you have some people’s names with contact information. And you see the little E-mail icon? Go ahead and click one of those and you’ll see that it doesn’t load the E-mail address into your E-mail program. Oh, no indeedy. They aren’t going to turn over control to you. The H&K E-mail icon is a proprietary way of sending email which doesn’t allow you to know the person’s E-mail address. Is this some sort of spam solution? Or is this just poor web strategy? You decide.


P.S. If you appreciate my observations, you might want to join my inner circle.

7 Comments

  • I checked that lawyer site. They would have been better off using contact forms. Not sure why so many Attorneys use thier emails online. They then just get spammed and miss the clients that are emailing them

  • Arshia Javaherian says:

    I just found your blog on bad law firm website from 2003; in it you note that you are drafting a long blog on good website, where can I find that. I am a young solo practioner developing my own website (while I am poor and don’t have much business…I am information hungary so please feed me).

    Thank you,

    Arshia Javaherian

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  • Some email harvesters can still snag email addresses even if you use forms. It alldepends on how you use them, how the backend is set up, etc… Even if you don’tuse forms, there is still a way to display your email address on your site and haveit be un-harvestable. It just requires a little snippet of Javascript.

    Here it is for anybody who is interested:

    <script language=”JavaScript”><!–var name = “webmaster”;var domain = “legaldex.com”;document.write(‘<a href=”mailto:’ + name + ‘@’ + domain + ‘”>’);document.write(name + ‘@’ + domain + ‘</a>’);// –></script>

    Let me know if you find it useful!

    Cheers,

    Cynthia TurcotteLegalDex.comDigitalRainmaker.LegalDex.comwebmaster@legaldex.com

  • Ernie says:

    Denise, you are SO right. I fixed it. Thanks!

  • Typo fix: you meant to say Holland & Knight for the link (not early biz blog adopter Holland & Hart), right?

  • Dave Stratton says:

    Concerning the webmail built into the site:

    Looks to me like a sophisticated system to keep spammers fromharvesting email addresses — plus with the benefit of the insertionof a disclaimer before allowing anyone to email via the site.

    I recently noticed that Martindale Hubbell is doing the same thing.That is, you can email attorneys from their Martindale Hubbell entry,but you have to do it through the M-H web email.

    They used to have the email addresses published for the world to see.

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