2019 Mid-Atlantic Your Honor Award, Technology Management: Beveridge & Diamond

In 2018, Beveridge & Diamond (B&D) overhauled its website to mirror the changing landscape of environmental law. This practice area is rapidly evolving from traditional “smokestack,” “drainpipe,” and land contamination issues to major technological advancements, new U.S. and international regulations, pressures from customers and non-government organizations (NGOs), and a focus on sustainability and product safety throughout the economy, creating new challenges and opportunities for the firm and its clients. To thrive in this new business landscape, B&D needed a website that would not only reaffirm its longstanding position as a leading environmental law firm, but also project the firm as nimble, forward-thinking, and on the forefront of emerging issues defining the new era of environmental law. B&D also wanted to amplify the presentation of its litigation practice, which encompasses over half the firm’s work, and to better showcase the firm’s greatest asset—its people. Unique features of the new website include:

Interactive Homepage
To convey the breadth of the firm’s competencies, especially around emerging areas of law, B&D created an interactive homepage that allows users to mouse-over hotspots on carousel photos to reveal information about the firm’s capabilities. Each expanded hotspot also includes a link to additional information within the site. See the leaf icons on the homepage here. The photos themselves represent major areas of the firm’s practice and the industries it serves.

In addition, the tagline stakes the claim on what sets the firm apart—its focus on environmental law—and the subsequent focus area bullets and featured content calls out the breadth of its environmental practice, including litigation. The site also was redesigned from a static 800x600 pixel site to a fully dynamic site.

Focus on People
To reflect its values of diversity and inclusion, the firm wished to place more emphasis on the personalities of its professionals and their deep engagement in the subject matter, with the hope of provoking a stronger emotional connection with website visitors. To help accomplish this, B&D engaged Zinn Photography to take new portraits of all lawyers and paralegals. Each website bio now includes two photos: an “action” shot and a traditional head-on portrait. B&D reimagined bios to better convey the human side of each person by offering the option to include a prominent lead-in headline, a quote in the sidebar, and tabs describing niche areas of work, community involvement, and/or the person’s life outside of the office. Recognizing the critical client-service roles of its other personnel, the firm added bios for paralegals and names and contact details of legal administrative assistants to lawyer bios. Examples include Paul Hagen and Julius Redd. In keeping with the firm’s focus on people, the homepage includes a “Featured Attorney” section that cycles through all B&D lawyers.

Attorney, Service, and Industry Microsites
The website also features attorney microsites, essentially small websites for each attorney that fit within the firm’s larger website. Attorney microsites can be customized to the specific business development needs of each attorney and contain any number of pages/tabs or type of content. This format gives lawyers the freedom to amplify unique areas of their practice that may not “fit” within the infrastructure of the other areas of the website. For example, the microsite format allows Aaron Goldberg to go into detail about his nuanced work on precursors without overwhelming his bio or requiring a full practice area page for this unique area of work.

B&D’s service area and industry pages also use the microsite functionality, which allows similar flexibility. Examples include Air, Climate Change  and Transportation.

Calls-to-Action and Automatic Content “Teasing”
To both cross-sell and inspire action, B&D’s website takes advantage of Great Jakes’s User Engagement Toolbox, which allows the firm to easily create and manage sidebar content, including automated “suggested content” teasers that keep site visitors engaged and showcase relevant capabilities and resources without taking excessive resources from the firm’s marketing team to manage.

Resource Centers
To demonstrate the firm’s expertise in cutting-edge areas of the law or in certain regions, B&D used the Great Jakes microsite technology to create a series of “Resource Centers.” Each Resource Center contains a repository of content designed to enhance the firm’s reputation in a specific area, and more importantly, offer a value-add to clients by curating useful information in one place. Especially following the recent addition of the firm’s Seattle office, the West Coast Environmental Resource Center has helped B&D build its brand in the region, while also inspiring collaboration between the Seattle and San Francisco offices. While B&D has not, to date, been able to directly attribute new business to the Resource Centers, they run analytics on the Resource Centers and present them to lawyers to help lawyers understand the value and reach of their efforts to contribute content. 

Visual Brand Refresh
The firm logomark had not been updated since the late 1990s and its traditional font and conservative color scheme (navy, evergreen and brown) did not convey the firm’s dynamism nor that of the rapidly-evolving environmental law sector. To better establish B&D as modern and dynamic, the firm updated its logo as part of the website overhaul. The refreshed logo features brighter colors, a streamlined form, and sleek typography. The firm wanted to retain both its diamond-shaped icon as a visual cue to the firm name, and its use of green and blue, which represent land, water, and sky and also appear consistently in the logos of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and many state and international environmental agencies, strengthening the firm’s connection to its core practice.

Other Recognition
In addition to LMA’s recognition, B&D was also thrilled to receive accolades from both the Horizon Interactive Awards honoring B&D’s website as Best In Category (Legal), and it was a Gold Winner in the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals’ 2019 AVA Digital Awards.

 

By Jennifer Bonesteel, Manager - Regional Business Development, Littler 

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