Law Firm Websites: Bios and Headshots vs. Marketing Speak

Whether by design or by accident, Vinson & Elkins’ use of attorney bios on its home page makes a clear, engaging and — some might argue — innovative branding statement.

Over the past several months the team at website development and marketing firm Great Jakes has been making a persuasive case for fundamentally reconceiving law firm websites as marketing platforms for individual rainmakers (instead of the traditional focus on firm practices/capabilities), and the firm recently reconfigured it’s own services offering to deliver that model.

Interestingly, despite an otherwise unremarkable website, V&E’s home page makes the case for how a simple array of bios can command attention and communicate a brand message.

What stands out:

  • Attorney headshots are the only images on the page and therefore immediately grab and anchor visitors’ attention.
  • As the dominant design element, the “Featured Lawyers” box — by design or default — communicates a unique value proposition: the broad capabilities, professional accomplishments and diversity of its key players.
  • Visitors read bios more than any other website content type, and placement on the front page stimulates click-through to the full bios as well as to additional pages of featured lawyers.

Imagine how impactful this approach would be with a few more graphic blandishments to make the site more visually appealing, and dynamic content to add usefulness and depth, attract search engines, and encourage repeat visits.

What law firm sites — large, mid-size or small — do you believe leverage rainmaker bios to their best advantage?

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