Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP // Law firm website of the month

This law firm's website has a personal touch

By Todd Harrison

On Thursday August 26th, 2010

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Litigate For obvious reasons, there is a massive gap in size and scope between websites for large Toronto law firms and those of most smaller firms. Litigation firm Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP embraces this divide, offering a site that — while simple in design to the point of being rather stark — offers a deep well of content and a few well-placed Flash touches.

Ease of navigation was a priority when creating this version of the site, says Firm Administrator Gerry Tipold. It launched in 2008, after a six-month development process, and was preceded by a key online branding shift: the firm decided against using a version of its moniker for a domain name, and settled instead upon litigate.com.

The URL decision, like the site’s design, speaks to Lenczner Slaght’s overarching, Waldenesque web philosophy: simplify, simplify.

Tipold spoke to Precedent about this centring principle, and about how the firm’s online image works in tandem with its people and philosophy.

Why was the decision made to use litigate.com as your site’s domain name?
Tipold: We decided against using some iteration of the firm’s name because we could not come up with something that was short and easy for people to use. Lencznerslaght.com or even lenczner.com can be difficult to spell for anyone not familiar with our firm. Prior to litigate.com we used LSRSG.com (for Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin), but we found that people would often leave out one of the letters when sending an email to us or searching for our website. Litigate.com is much easier to spell and it really captures what we do.

How does your site’s straightforward design reflect the firm’s brand?
We have tried to keep our website simple and easy for people to use. Everyone is quite busy these days, so we want people to visit our website and get the information they are looking for quickly and easily. The straightforward design does reflect the firm’s brand of getting straight to the heart of the issues without a lot of fanfare along the way.

Many law firm websites are rife with stock photography, something your site eschews. Why did you make that choice?
We want people to feel comfortable when they come to our office. We have tried to capture that same feeling when they visit our website. Generic stock photography loses some of the personal touch. We want the website to reflect the character of the firm and you can lose that when you use stock photography. We pay close attention to the photographs of our lawyers as they are the ones our website visitors want to see.

Your collection of case information is interesting and well-organized. Why is it buried in the bottom-of-screen navigation?
That’s an interesting observation, as we are quite proud of our case list. We had a link for cases displayed prominently on the right side of each web page, so that it would be easy for people to navigate to, but we recently relocated it to the bottom of the page temporarily while we work on it. We are currently working on a complete revamp of our cases in order to integrate cases with the lawyers who have worked on them.


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