Wachtell may be the most prestigious firm out there (according to Vault), but it has the industry’s worst Web site, as rated by Jonathan Thrope of the American Lawyer. We’re not completely sure we trust his judgment though, since he was “sucked in” by Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice’s animated dog. We waited for it to do something cool, but it just stretched and yawned.
According to Thrope, law firms are getting more serious about online marketing and using Web sites to create a distinctive brand. In general, law firm sites strike us as fairly dry. And boring. There are a few exceptions, like the Van Winkle Law Firm’s split personality bio page. North Carolina-based Van Winkle adds a personal touch to its site with dual bios (and photos) for many of its attorneys: one with professional highlights, and another focused on hobbies and life outside of work.
Other firms experiment with offbeat advertising, but seem to be using it to recruit attorneys, not clients. Like Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle’s creation of a Facebook page, and Stoel Rives’ free-style running promo on YouTube.
Of the assortment of staid sites in the AmLaw 100, five made Thrope’s cut for the worst. Check them out after the jump.
Here are Thrope’s top five stinkiest sites, along with two “dishonorable mentions.”
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz: Reminiscent of a seventh-grade history project.
Davis Polk & Wardell: Not much better than Wachtell’s. Simply a brochure placed online.
Cravath, Swaine & Moore: As one Web reporter described it, this site is Spartan. Associates don’t even get bios, and the attorneys that do have meager descriptions.
Pepper Hamilton: White space can sometimes be a good thing, but not when it makes up a third of your home page. Is something still loading?
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom: Skadden apparently thinks the Cold War is ongoing — and they’re on the side of the Soviets.
Dishonorable Mention: Sullivan & Cromwell and Kaye Scholer.
Since all of these firms continue to pull in the big clients, and big bucks, we have to assume that TTT sites are not detrimental in the legal business. Perhaps “dry and boring” are what clients want from Biglaw.
The Best and Worst of Am Law 100 Sites [American Lawyer]