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How To Take Your Legal Practice Mobile

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A smartphone that fits snugly into the average hand is more powerful than the computer that took us to the moon. That kind of technology is amazing. If you’re not using it, you’re getting left in the past.

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2004, perhaps.

There’s so much more to a smartphone than taking calls. And if you’re not taking your legal practice mobile, you’re not taking advantage of this great device. Keep reading for the proof.

Mobile Legal Practice

Why go mobile?

I can link you days worth of Gartner research saying it’s the future (along with law practice management software, but that’s a post for another time). There are a ton of reasons why. You’ve probably heard at least one. Here’s six.

1. It goes everywhere

As plugged-in as our world is, and as much as people have been complaining about it since the dawn of radio, most media can be easily avoided. Televisions don’t follow you around everywhere. Desktops stay on desks. Even the lightest laptop gets closed and slipped into a case sooner or later.

Not so with mobile. People carry their phones everywhere. They sleep beside them, they fiddle with them even when there’s no signal, they feel like an arm has been torn off when they forget it someplace. Phones are vital. Which means that they can serve as an always-on link between your firm and your legal clients.

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2. Mobile marketing is on the rise

Many “traditional” forms of marketing are going down. Magazines are going, just like newspapers, unfortunate sacrificers are the alter of digital progress. And you aren’t still using TV ads, are you?

In contrast, mobile marketing is going up. In fact, mobile consumption of media jumped from just 4% to 20% between 2009 and 2013, a 400% increase, and in 2014, mobile usage overtook desktop computing completely.. That’s an amazing counter to those downward trends. You’d be foolish not to give mobile marketing a try.

3. It’s cost-effective

How many apps do you have on your phone? A few? A lot? Alright, now how many do you have on your computer? Exactly.

About 70% of people have paid-for apps on their phone. And while people don’t spend much on those apps individually, little numbers add up. And any amount is more than is being spent on visiting a website on a computer. Offering a cheap legal advice app could quickly pay for itself. So don’t think there’s no return on your investment.

It’s also where your clients are going to complete transactions. According to a study by Google, 28% of users who researched products from mobile devices made a purchase or took action on that product. In this, your legal service counts as a product.

4. It’s what your clients want

68% of adults in the United States use a smartphone. I can personally confirm that I prefer to access some sites via their mobile apps rather than their websites, and many Millennials agree with me.

Mobile is where your clients are. You need to be where your clients are.

5. Your competition already does it

Articles going as far back as 2012 suggest that law firms should be marketing on mobile. So if you’re just getting to this now, I hate to tell you, but you’re late to the party. You’re playing a game of catch up, but don’t stress out too much. Once you have the site, you’ll be running with the pack.

How can you build a mobile law practice?

Admittedly, going mobile feels like a challenge. There are three simple ways you can go about it.

1. Use a service

Feel like taking the plunge and doing it yourself? You don’t have to drop everything and start studying code yourself. There are lists of websites, tools, and apps that can help you get started.

If you have a basic working understanding of DIY website customization, you can handle this. And I mean basic. Do you have any Chrome plugins? Google analytics? If you installed those yourself, you can handle most beginner web development apps. Google even has a guide to get you started.

2. Use a mobile-optimized site design

If your site was getting old as it is, redesigning it may be your best option. A responsive web design—one that has it in the code to sense what kind of device is accessing it and appear accordingly—is the best option for a lasting, visually appealing mobile site. A responsive design will also make sure that your mobile site looks good on different kinds of mobile devices, avoiding the iOS vs. Android issue.

If you have no coding experience, you’re going to want to outsource your site redesign. Either have a bespoke site made by a web developer or have your site moved to a host with mobile options.

Depending on your host, your website might already be mobile without you realizing it. For instance, nearly all WordPress themes are already perfectly optimized for mobile. If yours isn’t, or you don’t like the look of it, you can always switch to a different theme.

3. Use a plugin

On the note of WordPress: you don’t have to redesign your whole site to accomplish mobile. If your host supports it, you can take advantage of a few simple plugins to get in on the mobile action. I’m a huge fan of plugins in the first place, so repeat readers might have seen this coming.

If you’re using WordPress, check out those themes above, but WordPress isn’t the only host that’s ready to help you go mobile. Joomla has Responsivizer and PowerAdmin, Drupal has ThemeKey and Mobile Theme, and those are only the most surface-level options. If you have a host, you have choices. All you need to do is look for them.

Are you going mobile?

Are you planning on taking your firm’s site mobile? How? Did you already go mobile? What method did you use? Share your tips in the comments.

Looking for Law Practice Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Law Practice Management software solutions.

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About the Author

Halden Ingwersen

Halden Ingwersen writes about HR and eLearning at Capterra. She’s a graduate of Agnes Scott College and a TEDx presenter. You can follow her on Twitter @CapterraHalden, just don’t get her started about her zombie survival plan.

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