Long-Term Benefits of Saul Ewing's New Website

law firm marketing, saul ewing websiteFour years ago, Saul Ewing's Web site was so bad that it was the target of scorn of online commentators.  The firm, which has 300 lawyers in nine offices throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, revamped the site and realized a 50 percent savings in new Web site development costs and it actually resulted in new business for the firm.

"Stale content, non-user-friendly navigation and the inability to make quick changes were characteristics we wanted to discard. Building adaptability into the Web site design certainly paid off for the firm. But in a perfect world, a Web site could help make money as well as save, and our site has done just that," said Frances W. Sheldon serves as Web technology administrator for Saul Ewing. 

You can read Sheldon's entire article about the redevelopment of the site, but here are the highlights:

  • For their Web site design and development firm, they chose Delphic Sage of Manayunk, Pa.
  • The built the site using Microsoft's SQL database, allowing the firm to link an event, publications or news story to the participating attorneys, the appropriate practice groups and the closest office location, so the event is noted on the bios, practice group and office pages, as well as on lists of events.
  • The firm recently licensed custom software to produce proposals and pitch materials, and the Web site is the source for nearly all of the content in this proposal generator.
  • To keep content fresh, the home page displays the next five upcoming events, contributed from across the firm, and reviewed via an approval process.
  • A third of the homepage is devoted to a Flash graphic that communicates marketing messages with humor. One of the five messages asks, "Will you have the right counsel when you need it?" Then it displays an "Assistant Gatekeeper, City of Troy, circa 1200 BC" exclaiming, "Look everyone, a present from the Greeks. Let's open the gates!"law firm marketing, Saul Ewing website
  • The Web site had earned a place at the center of the firm's marketing.

Saul Ewing's experience proves that technology can be used for business development -- not just marketing.  A frequently-updated, content-rich site will attract clients and will make the phone ring.

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Kevin OKeefe - October 1, 2007 12:58 PM

Problem is Larry, that the site is already outdated in that there's no RSS feeds for new publications and the like. A lot of what they wanted could have been accomplished with blog software at lower expense with greater benefits. I saw this after reading the article at law.com and a leading legal technology expert pinged me when he saw the same.

Remember not only are news and legal updates difficult for their clients and prospective clients to get without an RSS feed, but the content is also inaccessible to bloggers and reporters looking for information Saul & Ewing is publishing via subscriptions to keywords and key phrases at Google Blog Search.

Over 20% of senior exec's at the nations largest businesses and the vast, vast majority of the media use RSS. The Wall Street Journal calls the use of subscribing to searches via RSS the lazy man's way of investigatory journalism.

It's great to give these firms kudos for successes like this, but it's most important that experts like you take a critical eye as to what is actually being accomplished to avoid the blind leading the blind scenario that has hsitorically hindered law firms' effective use of technology for marketing.

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