Law firm websites were once fairly drab listings of lawyers, locations, service areas, and sometimes—but not always—clients. Some firms have been upping their game recently by overhauling their websites to tout victories and their legal prowess but few are doing it in the same way as President Trump’s longtime counsel Marc Kasowitz.
With glossy, professional-looking videos featuring Kasowitz and others, New York firm Kasowitz, Benson & Torres rolled out a new websiteMonday with sharply contrasting black-and-white images and a slogan: “CREATIVE. AGGRESSIVE. RELENTLESS.”
In a video, Kasowitz, with his leonine head of white hair and impeccable suit, is anything but shy about his firm’s abilities, boasting that the firm finds client solutions that “are sometimes almost miraculous.”
Kasowitz, known for his lawsuits involving Wall Street titans, appears to be emphasizing his—and the firm’s—combative credentials. He asserts in the video that “it’s hard to think of an area where we haven’t had great success.”
Like Kasowitz Benson, more firms are starting to turn to video and other animation to liven up their sites. The website, designed by London-based creative group Living Group, includes some bellicose images. One is a dog with bared teeth—labeled “relentless focus”—and another shows a boxer’s wrapped hands. A third shows a fencer holding his blade. The firm did not return a call asking for comment about the website.
“It’s distinctive, and it might make some people uncomfortable, but anyone who sees it will understand the message in an instant,” said Robert Algeri, partner at Great Jakes Marketing Company, which creates law firm websites. Great Jakes created award-winning law firm websites, including Herrick.com and Oblon.com, also incorporating video. Both are gentler videos, aimed at creating a trusting atmosphere and a connection, Algeri noted.
Some newly merged firms have used revamped websites to cement their new identities, such as Squire Patton Boggs, which resulted from the 2014 merger of Patton Boggs and Squire Sanders.
Increasingly law firms are viewing their websites “as more than a piece of advertising,” said Helen Bertelli, vice president of Infinite Global, a branding and communications agency.
“Websites are becoming the central hub of firm business development efforts,” she said. “Savvy firms drive traffic to their websites and then tap the analytics that arise—meaning what people are reading, what’s trending and search engine optimization—to make informed business decisions.”
In addition to Herrick.com and Oblon.com, where video is a mainstay, law firm websites such as Winston & Strawn also have turned to video to explain the scope of the firm’s practices as well as its commitment to diversity and to pro bono work.
Some law firms such as DLA Piper are adding unusual new approaches to their website information and marketing. In 2015, the firm’s website released a 50-minute movie called “In a Flash! (A Lesson about Cybersecurity)”. It featured dozens of actors, and was based on an original screenplay written with input from a dozen DLA Piper lawyers. The firm also made an earlier movie, in 2012, called “At What Cost,” about fraud at a fictionalized company.
Other firms haven’t—so far—rushed to emulate that model, but the Kasowitz website stretches the boundaries by putting Marc Kasowitz and other partners in movie-like settings. On the site’s home page, several short videos, including Kasowitz’s, unsparingly extol the firm’s virtues. Also prominently displayed are short descriptions of some of the firm’s major cases, including MBIA’s $5 billion action against 18 large banks and Harbinger Capital’s investment in Lightsquared.
In the video, a stern and prosperous looking Kasowitz underscores his toughness, warning that “more often than not when we first come into a case, within a short period of time, the other side comes to the client and wants to settle.”