2016 Winners: Website  —  Individual Portions of Website

First Place

Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC


SummaryYHA | Levenfeld

At Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC, lateral hiring is a real production. The Chicago firm puts a lot of effort into finding the right lateral people. Like many firms, Levenfeld Pearlstein relies on lateral recruiting not just to attract talent but also to bring in growing books of business—making it a task of paramount importance and a key business development strategy.

The firm also has a very well-defined culture that values transparency, accountability, collaboration and entrepreneurial thinking, which doesn’t make it a good fit for everyone. It happily remains a mid-sized firm, further magnifying the importance of each and every hiring decision. These are all factors that make it particularly important for Levenfeld Pearlstein to vet its lateral candidates carefully.

In 2014 the firm built a video-intensive microsite that was designed to give potential laterals as complete a picture of life at the firm as possible. This new microsite helped to enable potential laterals to make a more informed decision about their interest in joining Levenfeld Pearlstein.

Honorable Mention

Gray Reed & McGraw, P.C.

Gray Reed Microsite System

Summary YHA | Gray Reed

As a full-service commercial firm, the majority of Gray Reed & McGraw, P.C. marketing efforts are focused on securing legal work from large-scale companies. Consequently, the firm’s class action plaintiff’s work was not being well represented on the website.

A typical plaintiff looking to join a class action lawsuit isn’t likely to come to the firm website, but rather search using keywords relevant to the class action matter. In the strategic planning, the firm identified a need to assist its class action plaintiff’s work with customized, quality microsites.

Working with Content Pilot LLC, Gray Reed created a microsite infrastructure that allowed them to quickly produce customized websites that target key niche areas of legal work, such as driving business for their plaintiff’s class action work. The primary goal of the campaign was to increase the number of visitors interested in finding out more about Gray Reed class action work and increase the number of signed class action engagements.

To be first to market, the microsite system was integrated into Gray Reed’s main website, allowing them to quickly pull information and content together using the new templates. This allowed the firm to create microsites dedicated to key issues and target markets (e.g., corn farmers with Syngenta GMO Corn microsite) within four hours or less, which helped ensure they are able to get ahead of the competition.

Most of the research and planning of this project was regarding the technology. One of the firm’s primary goals was to capitalize on search engine optimization (SEO) and drive people to these microsites. It was imperative that Gray Reed was able to build on their SEO. In addition, it was essential that the technology would seamlessly integrate with Gray Reed’s main website.

Working with Content Pilot, the firm analyzed all these factors and determined that a microsite infrastructure could be created within the budget. Examples where crossovers exist among all the microsites to the Gray Reed website include bios and news pages. This allows the firm to make edits to a bio and have it take effect in all locations or they can customize the bio specifically to that microsite.

Each microsite is highly targeted for one specific topic, increasing its relevance to visitors and search engines. As an example, the SyngentaCornLitigation.com microsite was an immediate success. By February, the microsite placed in the number one spot on Google for a variety of search terms. By fall 2015, the microsite was averaging at 1,250 sessions per month, and the firm received more than 50 clients directly through the microsite. In addition to signing plaintiffs, the microsite ultimately helped in Gray Reed being named as part of the co-counsel leadership team for the Syngenta corn multi-district litigation cases.

Honorable Mention

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP and Knox Design Strategy

Practice Group Blogs

Summary YHA | Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP delivers a full range of services across more than 20 practice groups in both litigation and commercial law. The firm’s practice groups and attorneys are regularly ranked among the leaders in New York and nationally by the most respected industry guides, based on client and peer reviews.

Seeking the capacity to provide a valuable new resource to clients and the industry at large, Patterson Belknap partnered with Knox Design Strategy to develop a platform for delivering relevant content by leveraging audience segmentation. As the firm learned, users are not looking for a law firm as much as they need a “law firm that can help me with my issue.” The individual practice-specific blogs provided a platform for addressing specific needs.

The firm collaborated with Knox Design Strategy on the digital content strategy, design and development of a content-rich blog series for three of its practice groups. The attorney-initiated content helped to establish the firm as thought leaders and increase the visibility of the individual attorneys whose ideas are amplified on this platform. Given the frequency of publishing (e.g., the firm’s antitrust group published 171 posts in 15 months, the biologics team published 46 in less than eight months), the attorneys needed an easy to use, visually appealing and responsive digital platform to house their wealth of knowledge and resources.

The firm has surpassed its initial marketing goal to expand the relationship with its online audience by increasing visibility and site visitors. Results have been immediate and dramatic.

The antitrust and biologics blogs have appeared on page one of Google for an average of 170 key phrases. They have also been picked up by JD Supra and Lexology, with 26–60 external websites linking back to the practice blogs. The antitrust blog’s external visibility includes 189,266 JD Supra reads and 10,381 Lexology reads since launch in 2014 as well as over 21,000 visitors since its launch in July 2014.

The biologics blog had 37,965 JD Supra reads and 4,727 Lexology reads, and almost 10,000 visitors since its launch in February 2015. The data securities law blog had 10,082 JD Supra reads and 2,606 Lexology reads within the first month of launch. On average, readers are interacting with as many as five pages per visit. With average bounce rates between 2.76-5.5%, the number of users who leave the blogs after just one page visit is extremely low (i.e., the average bounce rate is between 40-60%).

Patterson’s practice blogs have become valued resources, delivering timely, relevant content. A custom resource library was developed for the majority of the blogs with the end-user in mind, to provide relevant materials in a concise, user-friendly format.

The custom author posts are also relationship-builders. Biologics blog leader Irena Royzman has received numerous calls from reporters for quotes based on blog posts she has published, including in The Washington Post, The Pink Sheet, The Tan Sheet and World Intellectual Property Review. Royzman was also invited to speak at industry conferences due to her blog posts.

Legal reporters have also called partner Craig Newman for quotes in follow up to blog posts regarding data securities issues. A recent post on the data security law blog, “The Evolving Landscape of ‘Hacking Back’ Against Cyber Attacks,” had over 4,600 reads and was named one of the 20 most-read articles on JD Supra in October.

This platform has allowed Patterson Belknap to position itself as a provider of valuable insights and knowledge while staying connected to current and potential clients whose content needs are increasingly immediate and varied.