Benesch Apportunity

Law firm marketing and technology don’t always go well together. When firms try to go high-tech, the results are often mortifyingly cheesy.

To avoid humiliation, many law firms — often culturally conservative, risk-averse institutions — play it safe. But caution can also result in some of the worst law-firm websites, ones that get compared to “a seventh-grade history project” or “[s]imply a brochure placed online.”

Sometimes, however, a law firm gets tech right. Check out the new iPhone / iPad app developed by the Benesch law firm, the subject of a nice write-up in the Cleveland Plain Dealer (via Morning Docket).

What does the app, called “Benesch Apportunity,” actually do? And might other law firms want to implement similar apps?

Let’s learn more….

Benesch Apportunity's interactive desktop.


Here’s the report, from Alison Grant of the Plain Dealer:

The free “Benesch Apportunity” app from the iTunes store automatically sends out a notification when an attorney position is available at Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff. The 165-lawyer, seven-office firm says it has about two openings a month.

Hold on a sec. There’s an app that can actually help me get a job, an honest-to-God legal job? At a law firm? With a salary? This sounds even better than such awesome apps as Zit Picker, iBubbleWrap, and Beautiful Boobs. (And maybe even Grindr.)

Who are the folks that Benesch is targeting, in terms of geographical areas and seniority?

Benesch bucked the trend by continuing to hire during the downturn — it’s up 24 attorneys in the past 16 months. The business law firm has offices in Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, White Plains, N.Y., Wilmington, Del., and Shanghai.

Benesch plans to make its hiring app available on Droids and BlackBerrys, in addition to Apple iPods and iPads. It’s targeting law students as well as attorneys interested in making a lateral move from another firm.

“We’re really looking for people who are using this technology,” said Chris Reuscher, chair of the hiring committee, “and students are looking for firms that are ahead of the curve.”

Benesch is not the only law firm with its own app. Some Biglaw shops are already in the game, according to the Plain Dealer:

A scattering of firms with U.S. operations have created apps for smart phones and tablet computers.

Among them are megafirms Morrison & Foerster, based in San Francisco; Allen & Overy, a London giant with 36 offices; and Littler Mendelson, the nation’s largest employment and labor law firm, which has a Cleveland office. Several small personal injury firms also have apps.

But all of them are “rehashes” of firm web sites, with bios on attorneys and firm news, said Julie Gurney, the senior marketing communications manager who spearheaded Benesch’s app project. “I’m fairly certain we’re the only law firm whose app is not just a regurgitation,” she said.

To learn more about the Benesch app — which was designed by Bennett Adelson-Microsoft Solutions Center, a Cleveland-based IT firm — you can check out the press release below, or read the full Plain Dealer article (with quotes from yours truly).

As for Above the Law, we have not yet developed an “ATL app,” although it’s on our to-do list. We do, however, offer a Jobs Board and a Job of the Week, which we hope will prove useful to those of you who are seeking employment.

Good luck to everyone who is still in the hunt; things are improving, but times are still tough. Every little edge can help — even if it’s just an app.

Benesch uses new app to alert potential hires about jobs at firm [Cleveland Plain Dealer]
Law Firm App Alerts Job Seekers to Openings [Robert Ambrogi's LawSites]
Benesch Apportunity [iTunes]

Earlier: The Worst Law Firm Websites
Adventures in Lawyer Advertising: Pocket-Sized Legal Advice


BENESCH FRIEDLANDER — PRESS RELEASE

BENESCH LAUNCHES APP FOR RECRUITING ATTORNEYS

CLEVELAND, OH – May 18, 2011 – Benesch is pleased to announce the launch of its premiere recruiting app, ‘Benesch Apportunity™’ for iPhones and iPads, targeted toward law school students and lateral attorneys interested in a career at Benesch. Benesch’s on-campus recruiting schedule, a listing of Benesch attorneys by law school, links to the firm’s social networking sites and other resources are available through the recruiting app. A ‘push’ notification proactively sends an alert to users any time a job opportunity opens at Benesch. Users can send the job information directly to themselves or a friend via email.

Apportunity™ is intended to be informative and helpful, but it is also fun to use. The look is based on a stereotypical attorney’s desk (scales of justice, legal pad, coffee, etc.) and it is entirely interactive.

Benesch’s Chief Information Officer, Karen Anzuini, said, “Apple announced last month that they have sold over 100 million iPhones and iPads to date. At Benesch, we focus on using this and other technologies creatively to collaborate and communicate with clients, colleagues and friends. Apportunity™ communicates useful, relevant and timely information to potential candidates through their mobile devices. The interface is fun and fresh, not your ‘typical’ law firm look.”

Benesch’s Senior Marketing Communications Manager, Julie Gurney, said, “What’s unique about our recruiting app is that it’s not just a rehashing of information from the firm’s website. Through strong collaboration between the firm’s Marketing, Technology and Recruiting Departments, we’ve developed something that is not only fun to use and on the cutting edge of legal industry technology, but it is also extremely practical and relevant to its intended audience.”

To download the free Benesch recruiting app, visit the Apple App Store on your iPhone or iPad (keyword: Benesch).

About Benesch

With offices in Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Shanghai, White Plains and Wilmington, Benesch’s practice and industry groups include Business Reorganization, the China Group, Compensation & Benefits, Construction, Commercial Finance & Banking, Corporate & Securities, Litigation, Energy, Health Care, Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, Polymer Industry, Private Equity, Public Finance, Public Law, Real Estate & Environmental, Tax, Transportation & Logistics, and Estate Planning & Probate. Benesch is dedicated to superior client service through its First in Service program and is focused on growth both organically and geographically in order to continuously improve its ability to serve its clients. For more information, visit www.beneschlaw.com.

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