The State of Digital Readiness of Law Firms – Interesting Insights from India's First Ever Report

Traditionally, the legal industry has adhered to established practices for a very long time. This report seeks to bridge the gap between these traditional approaches and the ever-expanding digital world.
Commwiser - Aman Abbas and Bhavya Bhatt
Commwiser - Aman Abbas and Bhavya Bhatt

The latest report on digital footprints for Indian Law Firms marks a groundbreaking initiative by Commwiser, offering interesting insights into the digital preparedness of the legal industry. With the recent opening of the industry to foreign law firms and lawyers, the significance of a law firm's digital preparedness has never been more apparent.  

Today, digitalization has permeated every aspect of our lives, businesses including law firms. In this rapidly evolving landscape, having a strong digital strategy is gradually gaining importance, be it for brand awareness, visibility, reputation management or overall firm growth. It is also becoming the core of Business Development Strategy for law firms.  

Traditionally, the legal industry has adhered to established practices for a very long time. This report seeks to bridge the gap between these traditional approaches and the ever-expanding digital world. Through an in-depth analysis of critical metrics and parameters, the report presents a comprehensive scorecard, enabling firms to understand industry standards and fine-tune their strategies for a more effective digital presence.  

Assessing how law firms have fared in the report

Upon evaluating many international reports and studying global trends and benchmarks, the report has crafted a robust scorecard to assess law firms' digital efforts. The research analyzed 20 law firms, evaluating their website metrics and LinkedIn engagement data to assess the strength of their digital presence. Remarkably, Khaitan & Co. and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas were tied to the decimal point (80.8), taking the top spot in our analyses.  

The top 5 best-performing firms demonstrating exceptional digital efforts are Khaitan & Co., Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, AZB & Partners, and Trilegal.

An intriguing highlight from the report is that while Khaitan & Co. has the highest following of 1,66,566 (as of 26th June 2023) on LinkedIn, it was Saraf & Partners' engagement rate of 46.3% that stole the spotlight, taking the lead in LinkedIn Engagement game! This critical juncture highlights a key distinction - while the follower count on LinkedIn may depend on the firm's size, the actual growth determinant lies in the engagement rate, which is directly influenced by content.  

Firm growth on LinkedIn, without any uncertainty, is contingent on delivering compelling and high-value content to and for the audience! Social media has more to do with giving its audience consumable content rather than just notifying them about the firm's activities, features, etc. After all, LinkedIn is more than just a noticeboard!

Delving upon website metrics, Khaitan & Co. stands out as the leader with the highest authority score. At the same time, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas secures the top position with the most substantial backlinks among the firms in our report. Furthermore, on the SEMrush Domain Rank Front, Khaitan & Co., Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, AZB & Partners, Trilegal, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & JSA have demonstrated commendable ranks, further highlighting their digital prowess.  

Our Recommendations  

The research revealed that several parameters are vital in achieving a successful digital presence. Each of these parameters proved crucial in determining how much a law firm could enhance its digital presence. To enhance their digital efforts and elevate their online visibility, law firms should focus on the following recommendations:

Optimize your Website Strategy! The cornerstone of a law firm's digital presence is a well-crafted digital strategy. Firms must align the website with website metric requirements to ensure optimal performance. If the firm has a higher bounce rate or lesser average visit duration, the strategy must have a content type and formats that encourage visitors to stay longer on the website. Suppose the firm has a lower authority score. In that case, the firm must look at acquiring a substantial number of backlinks from reputed sources and implementing a robust content plan that complements its growth.

Embrace Social Media with a Unique Selling Preposition (USP). Law firms must understand the USP of social media platforms and use them accordingly. Publishing identical content across platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram undermines the purpose of the algorithms used by these platforms. Firms must infuse their posts with the spirit of their unique stories to thrive on social media. Each platform has a different algorithm that can be leveraged to its advantage, allowing for more digital growth.  

Develop a comprehensive content marketing strategy. A well-rounded content marketing strategy can help law firms establish credibility and attract new clients. Expanding beyond traditional blog posts, firms should consider creating e-books, whitepapers and various content formats such as videos and podcasts. Diversifying content types appeals to a broader audience and positions the firm as authoritative within the legal industry.  

When assessing the legal industry's digital readiness, we can say that though some of the firms have made good strides, it's still a work in progress for the industry as a whole. To further understand important metrics that determine the success of a digital campaign, you may refer to the report.

[Read Report here]

The Law Firm Digital Footprint Report - 2023.pdf

Aman Abbas is the Founder & CEO of Commwiser and Bhavya Bhatt is the Digital Lead at Commwiser.

Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news