Law and marketing don’t always mix. But sometimes, you can use your website to showcase your expertise, or use your legal know-how to improve your website. Find out how to put your law degree to work on your website.
Many lawyers are proud of their law degree. We make a point to let people know we have our J.D. and where it comes from. We might hang our degree prominently on the wall where clients can see it or feature it in our Attorney Biography pages.
But a law degree is more than a piece of paper. It represents that we have an understanding of the law, and we know how to apply that understanding to help clients in need of legal advice. So why not put your law degree to work for your website?
Frequently Asked Questions
An FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions page is a great place to feature your legal know-how and put your law degree to work. FAQs give you a chance to give short, generic answers to some of the questions your clients ask you every day. Depending on the size of your firm, and you website’s layout, you may benefit from several FAQs, one for each practice area.
What makes FAQs so useful is that they give readers a glimpse of your legal expertise, without giving away the farm. You can provide a very basic summary answer to the question, and then invite readers to contact you for more information. Because they were already looking for an answer to their question, these are hot leads that can easily be converted into paying clients.
Informational White Papers
Another way to make your law degree work for your website is by putting together more in-depth white papers on various topics covered by your firm. A white paper is a longer piece of writing – possibly 1500 to 2000 words – that gives a summary of the general rule of law, provides examples, and outlines some of the issues that can affect the case. White papers can take the form of “How To” guides, op-ed articles, or leaflets. In fact, you may already give a similar tool to clients who come to visit your office, or to provide information in your waiting room.
Including an informational white paper for each practice area provides highly interested readers with a demonstration of your legal expertise. It shows them you truly understand the issue they are facing, and that you can bring your knowledge to bear to help them. Because this content is longer, it gives you more space to flex your legal muscles, and it provides more answers for current and would-be clients.
What would a legal website be without boilerplate? Depending on your practice area and your jurisdiction, local rules of professional responsibility may require that your website include certain disclaimers. Most often, these disclaimers include:
- That the information provided is not legal advice
- That you don’t have an attorney-client relationship with your readers
- That confidential information shouldn’t be shared in any open forum
- That you can’t guarantee the outcome of readers’ cases
Whether you write legal contracts every day, or just know how to research a disclaimer, put your law degree to work and save a few dollars by drafting your own legal disclaimers. Your web designer can make sure they appear on the right pages to protect you from any future lawsuits.
We lawyers are taught to be writers. While the tone of your website shouldn’t match your briefs, you can use your law degree to add value to your website, generate new client leads, and save some money on your content. You don’t have to let your J.D. gather dust on the wall. Take it down and put it to work. Your website will thank you for it.
Lisa Schmidt is a writer for Legal Linguist in Ferndale, Michigan. She provides blogs and web content for lawyers and small businesses. If you need help creating high quality content for your law firm’s website, contact Legal Linguist today to schedule a meeting.