Hltlaw is a website we created for the internationally-eminent law firm, Hofer Loesch Torricelli. The site was designed to enable potential clients to contact the firm directly and learn more about the legal specializations of individual lawyers.
An individual profile was created for each lawyer. Each profile details the trajectory of each lawyer's professional career and the specific fields in which he or she currently works. Each lawyer is presented in detail to help users easily choose the best lawyer for their needs.
Another tool that helps illustrate the skills of the individual lawyers and the legal sectors in which they are active is the news section. This section is an archive ofarticles about news regarding Italian and EU legislation. The news includes many interesting news items as well as informational posts to help provide guidance on specific issues.
The Hofer Loesch Torricelli law firm was founded in 1990, focused primarily on lawsuits related to commercial law, international law and construction and environmental issues. It currently consists of five partners, drawing on the support of several other lawyers. The firm has two offices, one in Florence and one in Bolzano, which often handles relationships with clients from abroad. Every lawyer speaks at least two languages. Furthermore, several lawyers that work in the firm are recognized as prominent figures in the international academic world.
WHAT WE MADE
The most sensitive aspects of the project had to do with the client's professional field. Lawyers are accredited by a professional body that requires respecting a specific code of ethics, which includes regulating some aspects of communication. The code of ethics does not prohibit lawyers from telling potential clients about themselves (through web sites and social profiles) but there are limitations in terms of advertising in the traditional sense of the term. This required us to carefully design a site that could convey the level of the lawyers' professional skills with seriousness and respect for the code of ethics.
One of our key objectives was to build a positive user experience. We therefore paid particular attention to navigation design. First of all, the menu is "fixed" in the upper part of the browser, so that when you scroll any page, it never disappears.
The home page was designed in horizontal sections, each defined by a color. This lets users access all areas of the site directly from the main page without having to go to the menu to navigate. This graphic layout lets users access the most important information in a single click.
For the graphic design, we took inspiration from English communication style, which seeks to forge direct, visceral connection to visitors starting with the home page. The majority of the sites we looked at put the professional's image in the forefront, "personalizing" the service and focusing on identifying the service with the person's image. Later, at our client's request, we chose for a graphic design that first focused on the content and then on relationship and trust aspects.
The color palette reflects the serious, linear style with which the site pages were designed. Our intent was to use colors that could evoke the profession and tools used in a law firm. The graphic design adopts cream colors — that suggest the feeling of paper and parchment — and blue, traditionally associated with professionalism. Red was used in different parts of the site, such as in the menu items, for the purpose of recalling and therefore reinforcing the logo.
The 3.0 version of django CMS was used to create hltlaw.it. We use django CMS for all projects in which content plays a primary role because it is a flexible platform well-suited to projects managed as a team. Version 3.0 is the most advanced version that lets contents be edited directly from the front end dashboard. This feature makes it a very intuitive platform, perfect for ongoing projects that are managed directly by clients after they are taught the basics. The client specifically asked us to be able to update the site content.
The firm has professional ties in Italy and abroad, so it was clearly necessary to implement a multilingual site from the start. The site was built in Italian, English and German. The intent was twofold. We wanted to create content that could be used by users of different backgrounds, while trying to attract a select clientele.
The news section is highly important. Most of the news items published have to do with updates to Italian and EU law. These posts are, of course, about the legal sectors that the firm handles. The news items are very useful for visitors and let them gain in-depth information about what the law firm does and understand the legal specializations of the individual lawyers. Each news post is signed by its author.
The new site features a clean style and high-level user friendliness, and, of course, had to be optimized for search engines as well. We consider SEO as the crown placed atop a project built with care from the ground up.
It was important to define the right strategy as the firm works in legal assistance and consulting for niche sectors. There was a considerable risk of being overly narrow.
This brought up the need to introduce the client to the world of SEO for two reasons. First, the client's support would help us choose the best method for approaching the matter. Secondly, by teaching the client the basic tools of the trade, we gave the client a certain degree of autonomy in the future. Our web specialist Elena was in charge of helping them learn these tools.
The client immediately made its objective clear: rather than engage a high number of users, attract those who are potentially interested in the legal sectors handled by the firm. For the SEO, we chose to select keywords following the "long tail" principle.
Optimizing is about more than just setting a strategy and choosing how to create the meta tags; long-term monitoring is even more important. This lets us understand whether the strategy adopted is effective, and if there is a change in trends, to redefine the method.
We also planned a series of training activities to make the client autonomous at the end of the project. During the planned sessions, we introduced the client to the platform's operation and the basic concepts of digital marketing.
We prefer to create projects that continue to develop and can evolve over time. This site is no exception. It is already a step ahead of traditional websites in the field, but we wanted to expand it and make it unique, equipped to put users in contact with lawyers and bring them into a relationship with their profession.