Is Your Law Firm As Joinable As A Startup?

Posted by | May 18, 2016 | Trends | No Comments

Most law firms struggle rationalize spending so much on a new website.

But the ROI can be summarized in one word: Recruiting.

Attracting top talent in today’s marketplace is something every law firm is interested in. Regardless of their industry, it’s a process that takes significant time and money to do properly. And now that millennials comprise a larger portion of the active workforce, the way in which companies recruit needs to evolve to meet job seekers’ needs.

Otherwise the firm’s employer brand won’t attract the next generation of attorneys.

Assessing the joinability of your law firm

Forbes recently ran an insightful article calling millennials venture consumers, in that they’re not looking to fill a slot in a faceless company, any more than a good venture capitalist is looking to toss money at a faceless startup. They’re looking strategically at opportunities to invest in a company where they can make a difference, preferably a place that itself makes a difference.

Does that describe your law firm?

For most, the answer is no. Law firms still have 5-10 year old websites that are uninspiring, unapproachable and undifferentiated from the competition. Instead of being interesting, values-driven portals for recruiting top talent, they’re just templates. Digital storefronts. Electronic brochures that don’t reinforce why that employer brand is worth joining.

It’s hard to build an iconic employer brand with marketing like that.

Consider your expanding competition

What’s more, the legal playing field has been widened. Law firms are no longer solely competing with other law firms for top talent, they’re also competing with innovative and exciting tech startups who are recruiting the same smart, creative, high performing candidates.

That’s the evolution of the modern workforce. Companies are now considering lawyers in ways they didn’t used to. Plus, an entire generation of lawyers is graduating into a saturated marketplace, full of debt, and presented with job options beyond the traditional legal landscape. Why wouldn’t they seek employment with burgeoning, innovative companies? Startups are in dire need for top talent to help them with their issues around intellectual property, industry regulation, contracts and litigation.

And so, law firms have no choice but to communicate a recruiting message that their brand comes from an innovative, forward thinking place. Especially the older, established, name brand firms.

How one brave law firm took the leap

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 1.53.53 PM  Bandujo’s client, Carroll McNulty & Kull, is a law firm who took dramatic leap with their creative and look and feel, thus breaking the mold of the traditional law firm. Their brand is unconventional in every way, from look to language to legacy. Since their founding in 1997, they have created a law firm unlike any other, one whose clients are the first priority and whose partnership is built on friendship, trust and a common philosophy and work ethic.

In fact, when Managing Partner Garry Kull walked into Bandujo’s office for our design kickoff meeting, his first words communicated his vision perfectly:

“On our new website, I don’t want the scales of justice anywhere!”

That’s how we knew CMK truly was different from the competition, not just a law firm that said they were different.

Bandujo got to work on redesigning their brand identity, centered around the mantra that CMK is not a faceless company and is making a difference. And, that they are changing the game in terms of the look and feel of staunch law firms promote themselves. After all, how you appear is almost as important as what you stand for. And making sure those two qualities were representative of each other is what we helped CMK achieve through our identity design, based on the values we know and understand of the marketplace.

One element of the redesign that was a distinctive attribute of their website were the portraits of its lawyers that live up to its home page motto, a law firm unlike any other. Using approachable, lifestyle like, almost Instagram-esque photography, we created an unconventional look unlike any other law firm website in the marketplace.

We were able to humanize their employees, creating a brand that felt approachable and most importantly, joinable.

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 1.54.10 PMWhat was the result?

CMK’s website is now used as a branding benchmark in the legal industry, proving what’s possible when a law firm takes its employer brand seriously. According to Kull, the firm’s Careers page is now the most trafficked page on their site. Future lawyers by the thousands are standing in line to become part of this company’s culture.

Taking your law firm to the next level

American Lawyer, who recently featured our client in an article about humble law firm websites going upscale, said it best. “Firms are redesigning their websites to make them more attractive and user-friendly to prospective clients and hires, and more easily distinguished from one another in a competitive marketplace.”

It’s a smart strategy. Millennial lawyers want a law firm that develops and grows its associates. A firm makes an impact, instead of simply talking about impact. A firm that gives young talent a voice.

There’s no need to rationalize spending money on a project like that.

If your law firm still has sticker shock about the price of redesigning your brand, that’s normal. You’re not alone. But in a competitive landscape where law firms are not only competing for top talent with each other, but also with the highly attractive startup community, having an interesting, values-driven recruiting digital portal has never been more important.

Bandujo often tells our clients, “Building a beautiful website is the investment, but building a joinable employee brand is the dividend.”

If we can help you with your online recruiting efforts, reach out anytime.

What branding barriers are holding back your law firm from getting to the next level?

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