When Everything's Mobile, Does Your Firm Need an App?

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By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on April 10, 2015 3:57 PM

Medical malpractice? Divorce? Mergers and acquisitions? There's an app for that! Or there could be -- and it could be yours.

As mobile technology continues to proliferate, many law firms have thrown their hat into the ring in the form of a mobile app. According to a report by Law Firm Mobile, 36 AmLaw 200 firms have produced 53 different mobile apps, and the numbers continue to rise. Is BigLaw smart to go after the mobile user? Should you join them?

If Nothing Else, Make Your Website Mobile

The least you can do these days is ensure that your website functions on mobile browsers. Whether someone is Googling "personal injury lawyers" from the back of an ambulance or looking for their attorney's email address between rounds of Candy Crush, people are going to approach your firm through their phones and tablets.

You need to make sure that the presence you've developed on the traditional Web works on the mobile one. There's plenty of ways to optimize your site for mobile, but start with the basics, making sure the public can access all relevant information on the site's mobile version. Having an action as the focal point of your landing page can help as well, such as a "tap to call" button.

Is It App-proriate for Your Needs?

Whether you'll want to go whole-hog and invest in an app depends on your resources and needs. Think about what kind of functionality an app could provide and how it would benefit your practice. Do you want a secure way to communicate documents or messages with clients? Or are you looking to up public engagement with quick "how to" guides?

If you think an app can help you accomplish your goals, there are plenty of consultants and programmers ready to help you out. There are also a range of app-building platforms, like The App Builder and Appypie, that make the process much easier for you.

If you're going to do it though, do it well. A good app can make your firm look like modern tech-wiz's; a dud can make you look inept. If the app simply doesn't work or isn't properly supported, don't bother. If it just parrots your website, providing no new functionality, then it probably isn't worth it, either.

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