Staff identities on your web site?

In today’s discussion on Larry Bodine’s Law Marketing site, a law firm indicated it was being investigated for including paralegals along with attorneys on its web site under the category of “attorneys.” The question was asked why is this a problem?

My response was that it is merely a matter of labeling:

This is merely a matter of labeling. As someone recently said to me, “Words are everything!”  If you label a category “attorneys,” everyone in that category must be an attorney.  You might create a separate category under the heading of staff … or better yet, separate categories for “paralegals” and “staff.”  Most firms do not list their staff, a mistake in my opinion.   Proper labeling will solve your dilemma ..

Margaret McCaffery further responded as follows:

I’m really glad to hear Ed Poll say that not listing staff on law firm websites is a mistake. Clients often have very simple questions that they don’t need a lawyer to answer and they appreciate having a contact who can help them. Also, I’ve noticed that many RFPs are asking for paralegals’ profiles as part of the proposal. They don’t want to rack up partner billable time with simple procedural questions. Similarly, business development staff can often handle day to day contact with high maintenance clients who wouldn’t expect to receive a bill for that service. Having these staff on the website is good for everyone.

For reasons well-stated by Margaret as well as enhancing the morale of the entire firm, it is a good idea to include staff on the web site. It’s like giving them a business card that recognizes they exist and are part of your team. Inclusiveness will produce more harmony for all, increase productivity and therefore profitability of the firm. It’s not “we” and “they,” it’s us!


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