LFM 2014 BigLaw Report: Responsive Websites? Not So Much… Yet
This year, we will be trying a different format for our annual state-of-mobile-BigLaw reports. In the past, we have done so in two large posts (one for the mobile web and one for mobile apps). This year we will roll out smaller sections one-by-one. Let us know what you think!
Putting aside mobile apps, a law firm’s main options for a presence on the mobile web include:
- Ignoring users with smart phones and tablets (not recommended)
- Creating a separate mobile website separate from the firm’s “main” website (often with a web address such as m.lawfirm.com)
- Creating a “responsive” website
As defined by our friends over at Great Jakes, “Responsive design is a technology that dynamically adapts your website to fit on any screen size – from iPhones, to iPads, to desktop computers.” While designing a responsive website is far from simple, this approach can be considered a best practice for effectively connecting with the full range of mobile users.
So, if responsive websites are the next greatest thing, are BigLaw firms on board? Based on our research, out of all the AmLaw 200 and Global 100 firms, there are only 11 firms with responsive websites:
- Archer & Greiner
- Bird & Bird
- Cahill Gordon & Reindel
- Dickstein Shapiro
- Foley Hoag
- Lane Powell
- Nixon Peabody
- Paul Hastings
- Ropes & Gray
- Winston & Strawn
Screen shots from each of these firm’s responsive websites can be found below. Two firms with particularly unique designs compared to their peers are Nixon Peabody and Winston & Strawn.
What explains the fact that so few firms have responsive sites? Mostly timing and resources. Retrofiting an existing website to take advantage of responsive design takes a significant amount of resources. For the most part, firms will wait until updating their existing websites to the next generation before implementing responsive design. We expect many more firms to have responsive design websites over the next few years as they upgrade their websites.