Locke Lord Splash Screen

Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell (Locke Lord) released their own iPhone app this week. Although there are only a handful of BigLaw firms that have created iPhone apps, I think that most of “wow” factor faded at this point. These apps are still very useful, but tend to be more of a mobile version of the firm’s website, along with a few bells and whistles that take advantage of things like one-touch phone calls or emails, or GPS tracking of the firm’s locations. Since the “wow” factor has worn off, it is important that firms that create iPhone apps set them up for the convenience of their clients. It looks like that is what Locke Lord is doing with this app.

I downloaded it on my iPad (since I don’t own an iPhone), and here’s what I thought about it.

The Locke Lord app covers the basics that you’d expect in an iPhone app:

  • Roster of Attorneys
    Alphabetical and searchable roster that allows you to see the attorney’s contact information, picture, education, practices, and everything else you expect to find on the roster and bio.
  • List of Practice Areas
    All of the practice groups are listed and you can get some additional information on each of the groups. When I tested out this feature, I found that it was very slow in loading, and the Professional as well as the News/Events tabs were not loading any information. I’m assuming that this is a “feature” and will be fixed at some point.
  • News/Events
    Exactly what you would expect to find. Client Alerts, News and Firm Events listed. You can sign up for one of the events directly from the phone (although, when I tried it, the page wouldn’t load correctly – possibly an AT&T 3G issue and not the app’s.)
  • Location
    Here’s where the convenience of a GPS enabled device comes in handy. Get directions and it will launch your GPS navigation app and show you that it is right across the street!
  • About
    More general information about the firm, including the Executive Team, Mission Statement, etc.
If you’re a client of Locke Lord, then perhaps this would be a very convenient app to have on your phone. Here are some more screenshots of the app. If you want to test it out yourself, then you can visit the Apple App Store. 
Attorney Roster
Practice Groups

About – Executive Team

  • I've said it before and I'll say it this time: Make a mobile version of the website.

    Apps have a "gee whiz" factor, but you'll get more bang for the buck from a mobile version of the website.

  • This app doesn't look super-useful (even to clients), and just reinforces the notion that there "cool," and then there's "lawyer cool."

    In any other arena this app would be laughed out of the park.

    I haven't heard a compelling argument for why law firms should build "apps." To have your lawyer's contact information handy shouldn't even be on the list of reasons, but it's the primary benefit touted by many law firm apps.

  • It's worth noting that Apple does not have a mobile version of its Web site and probably never will.

    Instead of creating two sites, law firms should consider creating a single Web site that works well in both desktop and mobile browsers. For example, columns of text that you can simply double tap or pinch to expand to comfortably read if you're on a smartphone.

    If you decide to create two different Web sites, make sure the mobile version has all the features of the desktop version. Otherwise, you will just annoy people (like me).