Your Law Firm's Internet Presence CLE at NYCLA, Presented by Andrew Cabasso and JurisPage

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Slide Deck from NYCLA's March 21, 2014 Bridge-the-Gap CLE Segment "Your Law Firm's Internet Presence" by Andrew Cabasso and JurisPage. …

Slide Deck from NYCLA's March 21, 2014 Bridge-the-Gap CLE Segment "Your Law Firm's Internet Presence" by Andrew Cabasso and JurisPage.

Topics include:
- Setting Up Your Law Firm's "@yourfirm.com" Email (and why you need to stop using @aol.com and @gmail.com)
- Social Media Dos and Don'ts
- Creating a Law Firm Website (how to effectively represent your law firm online
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Overview and Tips
- Internet Marketing Tips (setting up and monitoring your PPC campaign)
- Attorney Ethics Issues Online (Topics include Blog Ethics, Website Disclaimers, URLs, Judges, Advertising, Review Sites, and Astroturfing)

More in: Technology
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  • Show of hands – who here knows someone using AOL for their emailKeep the hands up – how about Gmail?
  • This is one of the biggest offenders I’ve seen – attorneys who use “yourname@aol.com” or “yourlawfirm@aol.com” email addresses. As of now, corresponding with clients from an @aol.com or @gmail.com e-mail address is unprofessional. You need an email address that is “yourname@yourdomainname.com.”
  • This is one of the biggest offenders I’ve seen – attorneys who use “yourname@aol.com” or “yourlawfirm@aol.com” email addresses. As of now, corresponding with clients from an @aol.com or @gmail.com e-mail address is unprofessional. You need an email address that is “yourname@yourdomainname.com.”
  • This is one of the biggest offenders I’ve seen – attorneys who use “yourname@aol.com” or “yourlawfirm@aol.com” email addresses. As of now, corresponding with clients from an @aol.com or @gmail.com e-mail address is unprofessional. You need an email address that is “yourname@yourdomainname.com.”
  • This is one of the biggest offenders I’ve seen – attorneys who use “yourname@aol.com” or “yourlawfirm@aol.com” email addresses. As of now, corresponding with clients from an @aol.com or @gmail.com e-mail address is unprofessional. You need an email address that is “yourname@yourdomainname.com.”
  • This is one of the biggest offenders I’ve seen – attorneys who use “yourname@aol.com” or “yourlawfirm@aol.com” email addresses. As of now, corresponding with clients from an @aol.com or @gmail.com e-mail address is unprofessional. You need an email address that is “yourname@yourdomainname.com.”
  • If you’re serious about security and controlling your own infrastructure (or you’re a masochist, or have more money than you know how to spend)
  • 1) SEO: Google’s search algorithm cares about social media sharing2) Go where potential clients are3) Engage other professionalsEither use it or don’t – don’t half-use it
  • Possibly talk about Findlaw here
  • Possibly talk about Findlaw here
  • Possibly talk about Findlaw here
  • Ask if anyone has had good marketing success and if so what have they done
  • How many people know how much money they spend in online advertising per lead? Per client? This information can be obtained, so if you don’t know you better get a new marketing firm.
  • http://www.greatlegalmarketing.com/library/Conn_Disciplinary_Chief_Zelotes_v_Chern_Memorandum.pdf
  • http://www.greatlegalmarketing.com/library/Conn_Disciplinary_Chief_Zelotes_v_Chern_Memorandum.pdf
  • Created a “well founded fear” of bias
  • Judge friend requested a female litigant in a divorce case. Under advice of counsel, client did not respond. The judge awarded most of the marital debt to that client and gave the opposing party disproportionately excessive alimony.It’s ex-parte communication; 2. it’s grounds for recusal.Second, court goes against Domville saying that a judge friending an attorney is not grounds for recusal.
  • Amounted to ex parte communicationsJudge reprimandedAttorney posted “I hope I’m in my last day of trial” Judge responded yes.
  • A local prosecutor in Vegas was a substitute judge.Demonstrated bias against prosecution.Lost his job because one of his interests on MySpace was - “Breaking my foot off in a prosecutor’s ass.” and improving my ability to”Jonathan MacArthur, a 34-year-old criminal defense attorney, listed among his interests beating prosecutors and used a graphic phrase that he said was common “among blacks, people who associate with blacks or in a sports context.”
  • Young attorney didn’t know what he was doingMade up practice areas he served though he didn’t and had no experienceDickey, a 2008 law grad, violated lawyer ethics rules by falsely stating on the websites that he had graduated from law school in 2005 and falsely stating he had handled matters in federal court, the court said. He also listed about 50 practice areas in which he had little or no experience.He also set up Internet profiles at LinkedIn, lawyers.com and other online directories that contained “material misrepresentations of fact by overstating and exaggerating respondent's reputation, skill, experience and past results,” the court said.

Transcript

  • 1. JurisPage.com Your Law Firm’s Internet Presence CLE Friday March 21, 2014 An Andrew Cabasso and JurisPage Joint
  • 2. JurisPage.com Overview • Email • Social Media • Your Website • SEO • Internet Marketing • Ethics
  • 3. JurisPage.com Email
  • 4. JurisPage.com
  • 5. JurisPage.com Your Email Address You want yourname@yourlawfirm.com 4 Steps
  • 6. JurisPage.com Your Email Address: Step 1 $10/year Buy a .com domain
  • 7. JurisPage.com Your Email Address: Step 2 Find an e-mail host provider Most likely your registrar offers email too (Godaddy, 1&1, Rackspace, etc. all have inexpensive plans) $5 / user / month Google Apps Freefor up to 5 users Zoho
  • 8. JurisPage.com Your Email Address: Step 3 Change your MX records Go to your domain registrar settings to change the e-mail records (called “MX records”) following your e-mail host’s instructions* *if you get your email from your domain provider, this is not necessary
  • 9. JurisPage.com Your Email Address: Step 4 Configure your e-mail client Follow your e-mail host’s instructions (this will let you access your email via Outlook or your phone).
  • 10. JurisPage.com Alternatively… • Option B: Mail server – Cost – Security – Stability – Scalability – IT guy
  • 11. JurisPage.com Social Media
  • 12. JurisPage.com Why Engage in Social Media?
  • 13. JurisPage.com Why Engage in Social Media? 1) SEO: Google’s search algorithm cares about social media sharing 2) Go where potential clients are 3) Engage other professionals Either use it or don’t – don’t half-use it
  • 14. JurisPage.com Which Social Networks? • Google+ • LinkedIn • Twitter • Quora • Esqspot Focus on 1 or 2 • Facebook • Pinterest • Meetup
  • 15. JurisPage.com Google+ • Highest SEO ROI • G+ gets “authorship” for blog posts
  • 16. JurisPage.com LinkedIn Have a Company page that your current employees can join, a personal profile so that clients can give testimonials
  • 17. JurisPage.com Twitter
  • 18. JurisPage.com Twitter • Link to blog posts • Discuss events in your practice area that don’t warrant a blog post • Engage other attorneys
  • 19. JurisPage.com Quora A Q&A website – use it to answer relevant questions in your practice area and build authority
  • 20. JurisPage.com Esqspot In-person networking / online community
  • 21. JurisPage.com Hootsuite
  • 22. JurisPage.com Hootsuite • Saves time, posts to every social network simultaneously • Scheduled posts
  • 23. JurisPage.com Websites
  • 24. JurisPage.com
  • 25. JurisPage.com Things You Need to Have a Website 1. Domain: yourfirm.com 2. Hosting: to make your site accessible 3. Website: preferably using a CMS like Wordpress
  • 26. JurisPage.com What’s a Website For Anyway?
  • 27. JurisPage.com What’s a Website For Anyway? • Getting new leads • Convincing current leads to become clients • Establishing authority in your niche among other attorneys
  • 28. JurisPage.com What it Should Have 1. Clear indication of the type of law you practice 2. Contact: Forms and Phone Number 3. Attorney Bios 4. Practice area pages for each type of case 5. Social Proof: Testimonials/Verdicts/Settlements 6. Professional design / layout
  • 29. JurisPage.com Make it Mobile-Friendly ? % web traffic from mobile
  • 30. JurisPage.com Make it Mobile-Friendly 40% % web traffic from mobile Google’s algorithm penalizes non-mobile sites
  • 31. JurisPage.com Mobile-Friendly Example Not Mobile-Friendly Mobile-Friendly
  • 32. JurisPage.com Websites – Mobile Sites http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/08/making-sure-your-website-is-ready-for-smartphones/
  • 33. JurisPage.com Getting it Built: DIY Wordpress, Wix, Godaddy Pros • Cheap • You’ll know how to update your content Cons • Steep learning curve • Hard to design • Have to worry about ethics rules • Bad SEO
  • 34. JurisPage.com Getting it Built: Professional Use a Legal-Focused Developer Ask Them: Be Careful:
  • 35. JurisPage.com Getting it Built: Professional Use a Legal-Focused Developer Ask Them: • Will it be mobile-friendly? • Will I be able to update it myself? • If not, will you update it? • What CMS will you use? • Use Wordpress if possible • Will it be SEO-ready? • Sitemap, Meta Tags, Content • How fast will it load • Under 3 seconds is best • Can I see an example of your work? Be Careful:
  • 36. JurisPage.com Getting it Built: Professional Use a Legal-Focused Developer Ask Them: • Will it be mobile-friendly? • Will I be able to update it myself? • If not, will you update it? • What CMS will you use? • Use Wordpress if possible • Will it be SEO-ready? • Sitemap, Meta Tags, Content • How fast will it load • Under 3 seconds is best • Can I see an example of your work? Be Careful: • Don’t use other peoples’ content • Templates can be boring • Make sure your site isn’t available through both www.yoursite.com and yoursite.com • Make sure they’re accessible
  • 37. JurisPage.com Building a Second Website • Useful for class actions • Geared towards a specific client type • Plaintiff / defendant sites
  • 38. JurisPage.com Search Engine Optimization
  • 39. JurisPage.com
  • 40. JurisPage.com
  • 41. JurisPage.com I Want My Site to Come Up in Google! On Site • Page Content • Meta Tags • Interlinking • Posting Frequency • Page Speed • Mobile Readiness Off Site • Backlinks – Quality > Quantity • Social Mentions • Social Profiles • Directory Profiles
  • 42. JurisPage.com Blog, Blog, Blog • Blogging makes you an authority • Fresh content tells Google your website is still relevant • Differentiate yourself • Networking and referrals On Site
  • 43. JurisPage.com Keys to Good Blogging • Write for readers, not machines • Stay current • Stay consistent • Be patient! On Site
  • 44. JurisPage.com Use Key Language Optimize keywords Some Popular Attorney-Related Keyword Descriptors I’ve Come Across: Aggressive Top Affordable Cheap Best Local And… yes, unfortunately “attornies” On Site
  • 45. JurisPage.com Hurdles to Blogging • “I’m too busy” – Outsource • “What would I write about” Blog Topic Suggestions: On Site
  • 46. JurisPage.com Hurdles to Blogging • “I’m too busy” – Outsource • “What would I write about” Blog Topic Suggestions: Newly decided cases Recently enacted laws Recent controversies Information on your practice area for the non-lawyer / potential client On Site
  • 47. JurisPage.com Privacy Policy No one reads them except 1. The lawyers who write them 2. The developer who copies one and substitutes his/her company name 3. Search engine robots On Site
  • 48. JurisPage.com 7 Ways to Increase Backlinks 1. Local Business Directories 2. Social SEO 3. Lawyer Directories 4. Guest Posting 5. Forum Posts / Blog Comments 6. RSS 7. Press Releases Off Site
  • 49. JurisPage.com Local Business Directories • Google Places • Getlisted.org Off Site
  • 50. JurisPage.com Social SEO • Social media sites (as much as some of us may hate them) are vehicles for linking your content for SEO • LinkedIn • Twitter • Facebook • Quora Off Site
  • 51. JurisPage.com Lawyer Directories • Reach many more visitors of popular legal websites that get top organic billing • Lawyers.com/Lexis/Martindale • SuperLawyers • FindLaw PageRanks for Legal Directories FindLaw - 7 SuperLawyers - 7 Avvo - 6 Lexis - 6 Martindale - 7 Lawyers.com - 7 Off Site
  • 52. JurisPage.com Reputation Management If you get a bad review somewhere, it’s not the end of the world. There are PR firms and SEO firms that specialize in burying bad reviews. Off Site
  • 53. JurisPage.com SEO Tools • Google Analytics – Monitor website traffic • Google Webmaster Tools – Sitemaps, inbound link analysis, keyword analysis • Google Keyword Tool – Analyze prospective keywords • Pingdom Website Speed • Feedburner – Create RSS feed for your content / blog • Keyword Position – Where does your site show up for a particular keyword? Tools
  • 54. JurisPage.com Google Analytics Tools
  • 55. JurisPage.com Google Webmaster Tools Tools
  • 56. JurisPage.com Pingdom Website Speed Tools
  • 57. JurisPage.com FeedBurner Tools
  • 58. JurisPage.com Keyword Position Tool Tools
  • 59. JurisPage.com Internet Marketing
  • 60. JurisPage.com
  • 61. JurisPage.com Internet Marketing Advertising in Google, Bing, and Facebook can get clients to your website (through the front door). Once they’re there, it’s up to your website to get them to stay with you.
  • 62. JurisPage.com Keys to Success
  • 63. JurisPage.com Keys to Success 1. Use landing pages! 2. Track your campaigns carefully 3. Test changes 4. Try different marketing channels 5. Abandon campaigns that aren’t working
  • 64. JurisPage.com Example Landing Page
  • 65. JurisPage.com Landing Page Basics • Eliminate distractions: navigation, social links, extraneous information • Align landing page copy with ad copy • Include social proof • Have a clear call to action
  • 66. JurisPage.com Track Your Campaign ROI
  • 67. JurisPage.com Track Your Campaign ROI • Review keywords periodically • Track ad click through rate • First page vs. top-page cost • Track conversions $/Lead $/Client
  • 68. JurisPage.com Test Changes • Keywords • Ad Copy • Landing Page Copy • Landing Page Geography • Geography • Time of Day
  • 69. JurisPage.com Try Different Channels Directories Search Engines Social Networks Retargeting
  • 70. JurisPage.com Ethics
  • 71. JurisPage.com Ethics – Attorney Advertising • ATTORNEY ADVERTISING 7.1(f) • “Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome” 7.1(e)
  • 72. JurisPage.com Ethics - Expectations • Cmt. 12 to 7.1 • Non-comparative characteristics are permissible statements even though not factually supported • “Hard-working” “dedicated” = yes • “Best” “hardest-working” = no • “Big $$$” “We win big” = no - expectation
  • 73. JurisPage.com Ethics - Expectations • Board of Managers of 60 E. 88th St. v. Adam Leitman Bailey, PC – Firm advertising highlighted that it “gets results” – Judge cut fees from $112,000 to $60,000
  • 74. JurisPage.com Ethics - Astroturfing Yelp, Inc. v. McMillan Law Group, Inc.
  • 75. JurisPage.com Ethics - Astroturfing
  • 76. JurisPage.com Ethics - Astroturfing • Rule 7.2 – A lawyer shall not compensate or give anything of value to a person or organization to recommend or obtain employment by a client, or as a reward for having made a recommendation resulting in employment by a client
  • 77. JurisPage.com Ethics - Astroturfing • Rule 7.1 – (a) A lawyer or law firm shall not use or disseminate or participate in the use or dissemination of any advertisement that: (1) contains statements or claims that are false, deceptive or misleading; or (2) violates a Rule
  • 78. JurisPage.com Ethics - Expertise • “Specialties” – Yelp – LinkedIn (not likely an issue anymore) – NYSBA Opinion 972 (6/26/13)
  • 79. JurisPage.com Ethics - Blogs • Concerns about blogging?
  • 80. JurisPage.com Ethics - Blogs • Concerns about blogging? – Advertising ethics issues – Blogging about clients – Getting sued – Defamation
  • 81. JurisPage.com Ethics - Blogs • A blog is not an attorney advertisement unless the “primary purpose” of the blog is for the retention of the lawyer • NYSBA Opinion 967 (6/5/13)
  • 82. JurisPage.com Ethics - Blogs • “Advertisement” • “any public or private communication made by or on behalf of a lawyer or law firm about that lawyer or law firm’s services, the primary purpose of which is for the retention of the lawyer or law firm.”
  • 83. JurisPage.com Ethics - Blogs • Hunter v. VA State Bar • VA criminal defense law firm has blog posts, where every blog post is about his firm – Disciplined by state bar b/c no advertising disclaimer, taking First Am. Position – VA S.ct. concluded that his blog was atty advertising
  • 84. JurisPage.com Ethics – Blogs • Blogging about clients • Need written permission if on-going matter • In re Pershek (2009) – Pub defender referred to crim clients in blog, tried to anonymize them but did a bad job • Anyone could’ve put pieces together to see who she wrote about • Non-Confidential info may still be embarrassing to client – Don’t get to that level
  • 85. JurisPage.com Ethics – Blogs and Stock Photos • Rule 7.1 (c) • No fictionalization of a law firm w/o disclosure • Stock photos 16 instances
  • 86. JurisPage.com Ethics - Advertising • Rule 7.1(q) • “A lawyer may accept employment that results from participation in activities designed to educate the public to recognize legal problems, to make intelligent selection of counsel or to utilize available legal services.”
  • 87. JurisPage.com Ethics - Advertising • Rule 7.1(r) • Without affecting the right to accept employment, a lawyer may speak publicly or write for publication on legal topics so long as the lawyer does not undertake to give individual advice.
  • 88. JurisPage.com Ethics - Advertising • “Recognition of legal problems” (Cmt. 9 to 7.1) • Lawyers should encourage and participate in educational and public-relations programs concerning the legal system, with particular reference to legal problems that frequently arise. A lawyer’s participation in an educational program is ordinarily not considered to be advertising because its primary purpose is to educate and inform rather than to attract clients.
  • 89. JurisPage.com Ethics - URLs • 7.5 (e) – Website URL • A lawyer or law firm may utilize a domain name for an internet web site that does not include the name of the lawyer or law firm provided: (1) all pages of the web site clearly and conspicuously include the actual name of the lawyer or law firm; (2) the lawyer or law firm in no way attempts to engage in the practice of law using the domain name; (3) the domain name does not imply an ability to obtain results in a matter;
  • 90. JurisPage.com Ethics - URLs • Winlawyers.com vs. nycriminaldefense.com
  • 91. JurisPage.com Ethics - URLs • Cmt. 2 to 7.5 • Can always use your firm name or an abbrev. • Can use practice area (e.g. realestatelaw.com) – 1. Must have firm name on every page – 2. Can’t say “contact realestatelaw.com” unless firm name is included in the ad – 3. No implied results • E.g. no “win-your-case.com”
  • 92. JurisPage.com Ethics - URLs • 2003-01: Lawyers’ and Law Firms’ Selection and Advertising of Internet Domain Names – The web site bearing the domain name must clearly and conspicuously identify the actual law firm name; the domain name must not be false, deceptive or misleading; the name must not imply any special expertise or competence, or suggest a particular result; and, it must not be used in advertising as a substitute identifier of the firm.
  • 93. JurisPage.com Ethics - URLs • Antonelli-Legal.com • MEN-Law.com • HeaneyDisabilityLaw.com • NYChapter7lawyers.com • NYInjuryVerdicts.com • NYInjuryExperts.com
  • 94. JurisPage.com Ethics – Referral Fees • Rule 7.2 – referral fees • Totalbankruptcy.com referral fees case – 5 attorneys found to violate 7.2 (in CT)
  • 95. JurisPage.com Ethics – Referral Fees • Rule 7.2 – referral fees • Paying “subscription fees” for advertisements – The line: paying “per referral” • Subscription services – Martindale/Lexis, Avvo, Superlawyers, Findlaw, Tot alattorneys
  • 96. JurisPage.com Ethics – Outsourcing Marketing • You can’t outsource ethics to your legal marketing / SEO team • Adwords, blog posts, SEO done by a third- party can’t violate the rules • If you outsource, make sure they know the attorney ethics rules, what they can / can’t do
  • 97. JurisPage.com Ethics – Internet Marketing
  • 98. JurisPage.com Ethics – Internet Marketing
  • 99. JurisPage.com Ethics - Retention • Rule 7.1 (k) • Retain computer-based advertisements for 1 year • Retain website redesigns for at least 90 days
  • 100. JurisPage.com Ethics - Judges • Don’t tweet during a trial, you’ll regret it • Friending judges is tricky… • Don’t blog about a pending case or judge • Rules 3.5, 8.2, 8.4
  • 101. JurisPage.com Ethics - Judges • Don’t write a blog post about a judge • NY lawyer suspended for 5 years • Attorney wrote a blog post to campaign for the attorney’s client who was imprisoned after being held in contempt by the judge • The blog named the judge, tried to create a campaign to pressure the judge to free the client
  • 102. JurisPage.com Ethics - Judges • Rule 8.4 (d) • A lawyer shall not: . . . engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice
  • 103. JurisPage.com Ethics - Judges • Rule 8.5 • (a) A lawyer shall not knowingly make a false statement of fact concerning the qualifications, conduct or integrity of a judge or other adjudicatory officer or of a candidate for election or appointment to judicial office.
  • 104. JurisPage.com Ethics - Judges • Rule 3.5 (a) • A lawyer shall not: • (1) seek to or cause another person to influence a judge, official or employee of a tribunal by means prohibited by law . . .
  • 105. JurisPage.com Ethics - Judges • Rule 3.6 • No extrajudicial statements the lawyer “knows or reasonably should know” will be publicly disseminated and can prejudice the matter
  • 106. JurisPage.com Ethics - Judges • Rule 8.1 • No false statements concerning the quality, integrity, or conduct of judges
  • 107. JurisPage.com Ethics - Judges • Domville v. State (Fla. Jan. 2012) • Judge friend requested a prosecutor in the case
  • 108. JurisPage.com Ethics - Judges • Chace v. Loisel (Fla. Jan. 2014) • Judge friend requested a litigant in an ongoing case
  • 109. JurisPage.com Ethics - Judges • Matter of Terry (N.C. 2009) • Attorney messaged judge on Facebook regarding a pending case
  • 110. JurisPage.com Ethics - Judges • Florida State Bar v. Conway (Fla. 2008) • Blog criticizing judge as “unfair witch” • Public reprimand
  • 111. JurisPage.com Ethics - Judges Las Vegas substitute judge sacked
  • 112. JurisPage.com Ethics - Advertising • Matter of Dannitte Mays Dickey (S.C. 2012) • Attorney made false statements on his website • Used the word “specialist” • Public reprimand
  • 113. JurisPage.com
  • 114. JurisPage.com References • http://jurispage.com/category/ethics/
  • 115. JurisPage.com Thank You Andrew Cabasso Phone: (800) 863-7603 Email: andrew@jurispage.com Twitter: @andycabasso LinkedIn: linkedin.com/pub/andrew-cabasso/a/770/614 Blog: jurispage.com/blog Slides available at slideshare.com/jurispage Free SEO for Lawyers eBook available at jurispage.com/ebook