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Web Site Survey Results
by Barbara Lewis MBA and Dan Otto MBA

In 1999,  Centurion Consulting Group conducted a survey of the top 60 Los Angeles law firms to find the answer to the common question from attorneys: "Do web sites generate business?" Here are the results of that survey.

The total percent of the top 60 Los Angeles law firms with web sites was 89%. The major purpose for having a web site was as an on-line brochure. Attracting new clients, competing with other firms and recruiting were listed as the second top reasons for having a web site. Other purposes mentioned were for firm communication, responding to clients, sales aid, supplemental literature, information source and for future extranet access.

The top target group for web sites was potential clients, followed closely by recruitment and existing clients. Others mentioned the general public and lateral hires as their target audience as well.

Half of the respondents rated the success of the web site as above average with a four out of five, while the other half rated their web sites as average, giving themselves a three.

An equal number of respondents answered yes and no to the question of whether or not their webs site brought them any new clients, while 25% were unsure. (These firms should be tracking client origination.) Of those who received clients as a result of their web site, the top client matters were corporate law and litigation, followed by contract reviews, copyright disputes, e-commerce work, entertainment and intellectual property.

Half of the web sites were maintained in-house, with a marketing department, IT manager, and an information service named as the top three maintainers. A quarter said their web sites were maintained either  in house or were out sourced, while the other 25% maintained their web site solely by an outside source. Those outside sources mentioned as responsible were Westlaw and Net-scope, Inc. The cost of developing the web site widely ranged from $5,000 to $45,000.

In tracking the success of the web site, the number of hits to the web pages was the most often used indicator. Comments from clients and the number of inquiries, in general, were the next measures of success.

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