Though creating and maintaining a Web site may seem daunting, especially in lean economic times, the Internet is a marketing tool that some say attorneys simply cannot ignore.

In an interview with The Legal Intelligencer on solo and small firm marketing, Philadelphia-based Klehr, Harrison, Harvey, Branzburg & Ellers marketing director Pamela McCarthy said she could not be more emphatic when she advised practitioners to get a Web site.

“People are going to the Internet today to find out about attorneys,” McCarthy said. “Whether they want to hire them, whether they’re opposite them in a case, whether they’ve heard about them, whether they want to refer someone to them. If people can’t find you in today’s technological world, that’s a negative in terms of marketing. It’s not even a neutral.”

Similarly, HTMLawyers Inc. president Micah Buchdahl said he always tells firms that Web sites are a must-do for business development.

Significantly, an effective site will also level the playing field for a small firm facing competition from its larger neighbors, Buchdahl said.

As attorney Jason P. Lisi, president of Legal Internet Solutions Inc., pointed out, a firm can present any image it would like on the Internet.

“The big firm can look [homey] and the small firm can look top 100,” Lisi said. “[That’s] much harder to do with things like your offices. … A solo practitioner is not going to be able to match what a huge 400-lawyer firm can get. But on the Web, because it’s designed, and nobody knows, you can make your firm look any way you want.”

Kimmel & Silverman, with offices in Ambler, Pa., and Haddonfield, N.J., enjoys a niche practice in lemon law. The firm began in 1990 with partners Craig Thor Kimmel and Robert M. Silverman and now consists of 10 attorneys and more than 25 support staff.

Communications and client services director Michael Sacks said that since its launch in 2000, the firm’s Web site has helped grow the business 25 percent. In fact, Sacks said that according to Web site data, more than 2,000 new clients each year find the firm on the Internet. And since Kimmel & Silverman handles 5,000 to 6,000 cases a year, that’s about 40 percent specifically mentioning the Web site when they e-mail or call.

Resource: SagaPixel attorney SEO