It’s 2015 which means we can count on the Lawyerist to publish their annual list of the best websites in the legal industry. They included several of ONE400’s favorites (Bighorn Law has been bookmarked for a while) but we stumbled across a few others this year that would’ve been strong contenders for their list. The websites that made our list excel in both form and functionality–they are responsive, the design and content are polished, and they provide easily accessible methods to get in touch with the firm. In no particular order, here’s the ONE400 list of best law firm websites for 2015:
Two words: understated elegance. From the photo on the homepage to the use of typography on the site, this site has a dignified tone and distinct personality. The contact information in the footer is helpful because it’s easily accessible from any page, and the fixed navigation bar allows the user to easily navigate to the other pages. On mobile, the site accommodates even the clumsiest of fingers with a navigation menu that has links of a comfortable size. Aside from the graceful union of design and content, the best part of this site is on the homepage: as you scroll, you’re delighted to find that the rest of the page scrolls up and over the photo which remains fixed in the background. These fine details that go above and beyond the standard requirements of a law firm website are definitely appreciated and do not go unnoticed by us.
When you first come to this site, you are immediately struck by the polished photography and as you explore the rest of the site, you realize this is custom photography of the firm’s people. This shows that the firm has invested considerable time and effort into their site and overall brand, which enhances its value. The presence of its members on just about every page of the site humanizes what would otherwise be very technical practice areas (insurance, commercial, banking). The way the site organizes its content is also well thought-out: the site’s pacing of content helps minimize decision paralysis by keeping the homepage simple with only three options to explore the practice areas. Once you get to the practice area pages, they are rich in information with links to explore the subpractice areas and read relevant blog posts. Overall, Turks Legal is another great example of what results when you combine polished content with thoughtful design.
This site is one of the first law firm websites we have come across that features a full-page background video which quickly sends a message that this law firm is innovative and different. Adding to the dynamism of the homepage, the site also features a running queue of recent news, demonstrating how active the firm is. When you get to the navigation, there are a lot of nifty features such as being able to search directly for a member within the dropdown menu, or having an image of a particular location and its contact information appear as you hover over the name of each location. Curious as to how these features would behave on smaller handheld devices, we found that the site works just as well on a phone, with certain features adapted specifically for these devices where hovering isn’t possible. The attention to a high performing mobile site and the sleek organization of content certainly sets the bar for all law firm websites.
For this site, Pablo Picasso’s famous quote “Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist” comes to mind. This firm is bold for going with a layout that defies convention but that doesn’t compromise usability. On every page, the firm’s contact information is prominently displayed and there is an interactive feature that suggests a specific lawyer for you based on your occupation, thus addressing a common pain point of finding a point-of-contact. Despite not having a typical navigation bar, it is easy to navigate throughout the site, and the slick interactions of having the menu links slide down, followed by the rest of the body content tastefully nudges the user to digest the content in that order. For smaller devices, the creative minds behind this site keeps it simple with a brief description of the firm and contact information, making sure the core essentials are prominent for users on the go. The unique design combined with the delightful interactions makes this less of a website and more like a work of art.
This site is the epitome of modern, from the development down to the typefaces. On the homepage, similar to Turks Legal, there are a limited number of choices that the user can make. Acapo takes this a step further by placing the two choices above the main navigation, making it clear that choosing one of the two options is the desired action. Another neat example of how this site guides user behavior can be found on an individual service page: as you scroll, the submenu on the left remains fixed, allowing the user to quickly navigate to a specific section. Guiding user behavior is one thing, but influencing user perception is another, and the site has done a great job of making IP seem approachable to the layman without diluting the complex nature of this field. Finding visuals to describe IP is not an easy task but this site has done a fantastic job of featuring compelling and relevant imagery. In terms of the written content, much of it is written in a question/answer format that breaks the information down into digestible chunks. Unsurprisingly the site looks and performs great on mobile, making it a solid favorite of ours.
These sites are among some of the best we have discovered this year and we view them not only as great examples of law firm web design, but also as promising indicators that the legal industry as a whole is investing more in better design for better business. If you would like to learn more about law firm website design, contact ONE400 – we are happy to help!