Law firms: Build human connections
10 August 2022
Showing a softer, more human side has been a challenge for law firms even dating back to a time before websites existed. This problem has persisted into the digital age. It’s understood that firms need to present a buttoned-up, professional image. However, it’s also important to present a softer, more human perspective. The two are not mutually exclusive. Unfortunately, many firm websites rely on cookie-cutter design and content structure. With a focus on news, press releases and thought leadership, the people at the firm often take a backseat.
The fact that the ‘humanity gap’ persists is due in no small part to the ineffective presentation of the people who embody the firms. The most obvious place to build human connections is through a firm’s people landing page. Yet, so many contain nothing more than a simple search function for locating attorney biographies; the pages feature poor headshots and profiles that are littered with bullet points and devoid of personality.
Building human connections extends beyond the people landing page and attorney profiles. It begins with the overall website design and extends through to social media. A holistic approach should consider the user’s first impression when arriving at the firm website. A clean design with warm, welcoming visuals (think fewer pictures of generic buildings, more images of people at the firm), prominent brand positioning and values and a description of what the firm is known for help tell the firm’s story and inject more humanity.
Building stronger human connection requires a renewed focus on the people that comprise the firm. This requires taking a step back to examine the content strategy on the website and asking whether a visitor to the site would feel connected to the firm through the people. If the answer is “no,” then work needs to be done to weave the human side of the firm into the site. This does not mean simply sprucing up the bio copy and saying job done. It requires a multi-pronged approach.
Quotes, achievements and individual accolades should not be relegated to bullet points on a biography page; they should be highlighted throughout the site where appropriate. Even thought-leadership pieces have more impact when they are delivered with more humanity. From a visual perspective, the use of high-quality photography with a purposeful creative direction will not only portray your people in a warm, welcoming and professional fashion, but will also tie in with the firm’s visual imagery, creating a coherent and memorable brand identity.
Law firms simply must work harder to communicate their humanity, personality and culture to their target audiences. It has to start on the people landing page – a robust search function with filters, coupled with information about the firm’s culture is essential – but it should extend beyond, to sector and service description pages, thought leadership and social. Firms that successfully implement these basic humanising aspects will have a leg up on those who don’t.
Speak to one of our law firm experts to find out how we can help your business build better human connections through an engaging brand and compelling content. Contact Duncan Shaw in New York, Greg Hobden in London or Gigi Yung in Hong Kong.