Lynn Foley, CEO of fSquared Marketing, spoke at this year’s LMA Tech Midwest Conference in Chicago on the importance of accessibility in law firm web design. This annual conference is dedicated to “technologies that law firm professionals use to identify, attract and support clients.”
In a talk titled Web Accessibility— True Inclusion in Legal Marketing, Lynn outlined the importance of fostering an “inclusive environment, not just for the lawyers and staff who work at the firm but also for clients”. Law firm websites, she noted, are “often the first aspect of a firm that potential clients will see.” But what if a visitor has impaired vision or can’t quite hear what a lawyer is saying in an instructional video? “If a firm is truly committed to serving a community, it needs to make its online resources as accessible as possible for people of all abilities,” said Lynn.
This presentation also provided a brief overview of the legal concerns involving law firm web accessibility. Lynn described the uncertain legal climate that has emerged from the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed in 1990, to our current digital age. The question of whether ADA applies to the internet has resulted in a spree of lawsuits and inconsistent rulings from various courts. With a lack of binding federal regulations, the current legal situation is confusing and wrought with litigation. As Lynn notes, “having your law firm sued by a non-profit organization would be an absolute PR disaster.” She also drew the audience’s attention to the growing number of baby boomers who may have difficulty reading small text on a screen, or navigating confusing web design. “Who knows what the lobbying power of the American Association of Retired Persons [AARP] could yield?” Lynn wonders.
“Regardless of whether your firm does tax law or family law, you are committed to serving the needs of a diverse community. Ensuring that your law firm’s website is made accessible to as many people as possible proves that you honour that commitment.”—Lynn Foley
Lynn concluded the presentation by taking the audience through the basics of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). As a supplement to the presentation, she provided an easy to use web accessibility poster and an article, Law Firm Web Accessibility — True Inclusion in Legal Marketing.
If you would like to discuss your law firm’s website design, or if you’d like to receive a copy of our web accessibility poster, get in touch with fSquared Marketing.
Robert Foley is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Officer at fSquared Marketing. He has over 15 years experience defining, building and managing large-scale websites and digital solutions for top professional services companies and law firms in both Canada and the U.S.
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