Finding good photos that accurately represent your firm can often be one of the most challenging parts of the website design process. Many attorneys struggle with finding appropriate images that make the firm seem professional and successful, yet still approachable. One solution that is often utilized is the inclusion of photos that depict attorneys working with clients.
These photos can enhance the site but generally only if they look photojournalistic and not posed. They also tend to work best in transactional/service oriented firms and are not as relevant for litigation disputes or matters where there is an adversary. Of course, criminal defense firms should steer clear of such images.
An example of site that successfully incorporates such images can be seen by visiting www.bradley-law.com. As you scroll through the practice area pages of the site, you find various images which include attorneys working candidly with clients and colleagues.
As with all elements of your firm’s website, there are a few things to consider before including client depictions:
Does your state have ethics rules on including photos of clients or models acting as clients? The State Bar of Texas, for example, explicitly prohibits the use of actors to portray clients.
Are your clients comfortable being shown on your website? Will you make all featured clients sign a consent form?
Do you have a photographer who has experience shooting candid office photos?
Will these photos appeal to your entire target audience? If you work with individuals but also serve as counsel to large corporations, it might not be the best idea to prominently display a photo of you reviewing a will with an elderly couple.
If you decide that client photos aren’t the right approach for your firm, you should still include a quality photo of all of the attorneys (and your staff) on the About Us page. It seems like a simple solution but can go a long way in making you seem more approachable to a website visitor.