Lawyers come with different specialties. You could be a trial lawyer, criminal lawyer, civil disputes lawyer, corporate or immigration lawyer or an expert on cyber law. Most people may not be aware of the different niches that a lawyer may practise in. Meaning you are grouped with the hundreds of other lawyers in your area! A well designed website can propel you from mediocre to expert in no time. Making sure people find you when they search for your specific specialty.
I am assuming you are convinced that your law practice needs a website. If not, you must first check these top six reasons why you cannot survive without a website. We now get down to brass tacks, and see how your specific business niche can benefit from having a website.
1) Establish your Niche
There are over a billion searches globally for the word 'lawyer'. Since this is too wide an area, let us try to narrow it down to a small area. The search term "pune lawyer" gives us 12,600 results. The term "trial lawyer pune" gives only four results, and what's more, they go to the same listing site.
You may provide only one small service, say you are a notary in a certain area. Your website is the main instrument in letting people know 1)what you do 2) that you are available 3) where to find you. And this is good enough as a starting point.
2) Advertise various services
The common man does not know much about law. Which means they do not know enough to even ask questions about the specific services you can provide. Listing various services can save either side a lot of time and angst. The moment you make something easy for your customer, you begin to establish trust. And that is the cornerstone of any business transaction.
3) Educate and Inform people
You can post some information on the typical process followed to achieve something at a high level. For example, say someone is filing for divorce, it will help if you outline the various steps that a couple needs to take until they are granted a divorce. Or let us take a happier example - process to get a marriage license.
This kind of information will guarantee that people are aware of what is expected from them, and also have realistic expectations from you.
4) Provide helpful resources
You can lend a helping hand to customers by providing links to downloadable forms, processing times, court timings, court addresses, FAQs, past experiences of other clients etc. In short, you can provide as much information as you want to help your customer, and make the legal process easy for them.
5) Advertise products or packages
A good website is your big advertisement to the world. You can advertise rates for various services. If you are reluctant to pinpoint a number, you can always give a range or a starting sum or an hourly rate. This helps you filter people who will never want to pay beyond a certain sum, either because they don't want to or they are not able to.
6) Leverage Social Media
A socially enabled website can take things up a notch. You can integrate your website with Facebook, Twitter etc. and interact with customers via these media. Any dialog with customers is an advertisement in itself, since it shows people what your expertise is, how you communicate, whether you go the extra mile etc.
Wherever you are in the world, your legal website is the best argument for people to hire you.