Report: Top law firm websites are terrible

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By William Holmes on


Security flaws, slow load times and “abysmal” mobile experiences

The vast majority of global law firms’ websites are crap, new research has found — despite outfits spending millions on online platforms and agencies with “impressive credentials”.

Ultimedia’s scathing Digital Maturity report, which ranked 100 leading law firms based on the effectivenes of their websites and social media strategy, listed “security flaws, ineffective messaging, slow load times, abysmal mobile experiences and poorly executed digital marketing” amongst its criticisms.

The researchers broke down their analysis into 10 different categories that spanned everything from social media and email marketing to website effectiveness and personalisation to come up with a ‘digital maturity’ score for 100 top outfits.

But some legal players were praised for their online savviness. DLA Piper and Baker McKenzie were crowned joint winners for digital maturity with White & Case taking the silver-medal position and Allen & Overy finishing third.

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US firms topped the charts for social media with White & Case, Vinson & Elkins, Latham & Watkins and Sidley Austin all scoring well in this category.

Although “social media is a great way to engage in relevant discussions, attract new potential employees and amplify content marketing activity with regular posts,” the report highlights that “none of the top law firms are consistently active across the five social platforms we included in our test”. Just 38% of firms were considered to be using social media to a good standard.

“All of the top 100 firms have LinkedIn company pages and 88% have YouTube channels, but they’re not using their platforms effectively,” according the report. “Even those law firms that have a presence on the key social media channels failed to achieve high marks” and “many firms had a presence that wasn’t updated frequently”.

Indeed, some law firms are even looking to their new recruits for inspiration. Legal Cheek has been closely following the rise of legal influencers and how law firms can benefit from their social media clout through collabs with current and future trainees.

Ultimedia’s CEO Craig Johnson said the inability of the top legal firms to get to grips with digital marketing was “staggering”.

“There’s a huge opportunity for progressive law firms to usurp competitors, reach new audiences and dominate the sector digitally,” he said. “Whilst many firms are investing in expensive digital systems there is a lack of execution.”

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