In the August edition of bar news, the OSB announced that all passwords will be reset this fall. Lawyers, law librarians, and others who have access to the OSB member site will be required to create new passwords “that meet modern security standards.”
In late June, PKWARE announced the end of life for Viivo encryption. If you’ve relied on Viivo to protect your files in Dropbox or elsewhere on the Web, you need to find another encryption solution sooner rather than later.
How Long Will Support Continue?
Users of the free and commercial versions of Viivo will have one year of support.
What Does Viivo Recommend?
While Viivo can be used after the service is shutdown, the company does not recommend this. All customers should move to another encryption solution.
How Long Do I Have to Act?
Viivo service will remain online until July 1st, 2018. (But don’t wait until next year to tackle this issue!)
Research and select another encryption solution (see below).
Clients are ready to act when they visit your site. Don’t bury your phone number in teeny, tiny font in the footer of your website. It should be prominent – above the fold, easy to find, and presented as a call-to-action. 74% of prospects beginning a search online end up contacting lawyer’s office via phone.
Offer Maps, Directions, Parking, and Transportation Links
Eighty-five percent of clients use online maps to find legal service locations. Ask your web designer to add a Google Map with a marker to your website. Offer directions and links to parking and other transportation options. Include a photo of the outside of your building and surrounding businesses. This will make your address easier to spot.
Other Important Tips
Get expert help with SEO – 62% of legal searches are non-branded (“Your city” “divorce attorney.”)
Mobile is increasingly important. A Google Legal Services Study in 2013 found 69% use both a smartphone and a PC for research. Ownership of mobile devices has grown exponentially in the last four years. In 2015 a Pew report suggested that one in five Americans access the Internet only on their smartphones. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out.
Focus on local. A FindLaw survey in 2014 found that 71% of people looking for lawyers think it is important to have a local attorney. Clients don’t want to travel if they can avoid it; they may also assume local attorneys know the local judiciary better. Whatever the case may be, follow these tips from Five Best Practices for Law Firm Websites.
As Lawyerist suggests, ban interstitial pop-ups. They’re annoying (particularly on mobile) and likely to be blocked anyway by your potential client’s browser.
Do include proper attorney profiles. Five Best Practices for Law Firm Websitessuggests including practice areas, a unique differentiator, newsworthy legal issues you’ve resolved, and of course your experience and education. What else can you include: how about community involvement? Interests? Hobbies? Something, anything that will personalize you a bit more.
Incorporate social media and link to your blog. These are pretty much no-brainers.
Consider online intake, contact forms, and online scheduling. While most clients would rather call you, there is an audience who prefers web-based contact and online does have its advantages. If you use practice management software, intake may be built into your product. Otherwise, look at Lexicata. Scheduling options include Setmore, FlexBooker, and TimeCenter among others.