Legal Marketing News

Website Accessibility Lawsuits Hit Record Number

picWhy Every Law Firm Needs to Have an ADA Accessible Website

It is projected that by the end of 2018 there will be a record 10,000 ADA Title III lawsuits filed in federal courts.[1]  Many feel that a large amount of website accessibility lawsuits are fueling this exponential growth.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990, requiring businesses to provide equal opportunity and access for individuals with disabilities.  Lawsuits across the United States have made it abundantly clear that websites are an integral part of doing business and must also be accessible to all individuals.  While the Department of Justice has sidelined publishing guidelines for what makes a website ADA compliant, most have agreed on the recommendations put forth by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) known as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

 

Now is the Time to Act

On December 26, 2017, the Department of Justice announced the withdrawal of the previously announced Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemaking pertaining to title II and title III of the ADA.  Many had anticipated the publication of rules specific to website accessibility since lawsuits had begun to pop up across the country.  The decision to withdraw any rulemaking on website accessibility meant a huge increase in the number of lawsuits.  Without firm guidance by the DOJ, attorneys have been left to fight it out in court costing tens of thousands of dollars for each lawsuit.

 

Bottom line: If you have a firm website you need to comply with current accessibility guidelines (WCAG), or you could get sued.  The lack of government-issued compliance standards for private business websites will not exempt you from lawsuits.

 

Understanding and Meeting WCAG

Website accessibility boils down to making your website accessible to all users including those that have a physical or mental impairment.  WCAG 2 is broken down into four broad Principles: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust (POUR).  There are three levels of compliance: Level A, Level AA, and Level AAA.  All law firm websites should try to achieve Level AA compliance or better. Your website developer should be able to walk you through the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and how to bring your law firm website into compliance.  You do not have to sacrifice SEO friendly images and videos to make your website accessible.  You just have to follow the guidelines for non-text and time-based media such as providing captions and text alternatives.

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Benefits of an Accessible Website

Not only can an accessible website save you from a lawsuit, but it can also bring you more clients, increase your search engine rankings and improve the user interface component of your website for all of your firm’s clients.  One of the key components to come out of website accessibility lawsuits is the unavoidable nexus between the brick-and-mortar storefront and a business’s website.  In Gil v. Winn Dixie Stores, Inc. the court found that the grocery store’s website was inaccessible to the visually impaired and ruled that “where a website is heavily integrated with physical store locations and operates as a gateway to the physical store locations… the website is a service of public accommodation and is covered by the ADA.”

 

If you have a website, all users should be able to use it without interference.  Law firm websites should be able to interface with screen readers such as JAWS and be easily navigable.  Failure to comply with these regulations could cost you tens of thousands.  If your website can be found on Google, you need to make sure that it can be accessed by all potential clients.

 

Getting Started with Website Accessibility

Amicus Media Group prides itself on being at the forefront of ADA accessible websites.  We will work with you to produce a comprehensive ADA policy for your website.  We will help you bring your website into compliance with WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards by running a web accessibility evaluation tool that can determine problem areas.  Accessible design is the now and the future.  Amicus will help your firm stay on top of website accessibility standards to create an enhanced user experience for all potential clients no matter what hurdles they may have.

 

 

This blog post does not contain legal or financial advice. Author and publisher disclaim any and all warranties, liabilities, losses, costs, claims, demands, suits, or actions of any type or nature whatsoever, arising from or any way related to this blog, the use of this blog, and/or any claim that a particular technique or device described in this blog.

 

 

 

[1] https://www.adatitleiii.com/2018/07/website-access-and-other-ada-title-iii-lawsuits-hit-record-numbers/

Law Firm Marketing – The Truth Behind TV

picWith a large shift in the focus of legal marketing to digital, many attorneys wonder if television advertising is still relevant and more importantly if it is still effective.  Without question, the way we are watching tv is changing.  We can watch shows from a device in the palm of our hand; we can pick and choose the time and day that we watch an episode, and can even binge-watch entire series in a weekend.  How television is being consumed is changing, but its effectiveness is not.  Simply put, there is no better medium to convey your message than a tv advertisement.  Even better, the ability for advertisers to understand your market is exponentially higher than it was just a few years ago.  This means that television advertisements can be catered to your target audience to get you the most significant return on your investment.  You have more insight today on what your ideal client watches, their purchasing habits and when they are tuned in making advertising much easier and more profitable than ever before.

 

It’s the Size that Counts

So, what makes television advertising still so valuable?  Size.  Television commercials can reach a broader audience than any other type of advertising.  Television is compelling because it can reach millions of people.  Now merely reaching millions of people is not the ultimate goal of your investment.  You want to see a return.  Knowing the estimated reach and frequency of your advertising efforts before they run can be crucial to see your investment pay off.  The more exposure you have to the right audience, the better chances you have of getting a new client from the advertisement.  You want to make an impression that lasts so that consumers will remember your firm when they need legal help.

 

You May Not be Advertising on TV, But Your Competitors Are

According to the US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, law firms spent nearly $900 million on television advertising in 2015.  This was a 68% increase from what they spent just seven years before.  Legal advertising on TV grew at a rate six times faster than other industries.  Other attorneys are spending large amounts of money to secure commercial space, if you want to compete – you should be doing it too.  The key to advertising on television is creating a unique, impactful commercial that speaks to your target audience.  You do not want to be a mirror image of every other personal injury attorney on the market.  You want to create a robust, lasting image that stands out in a crowd.  You want a professional commercial that connects with your consumer.  Research your competitors and how they are advertising.  Find what makes your firm unique and most importantly, work with a media buying team that understands your firm, your goals, and your market.

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All about the Numbers

One of the best features of television advertising in 2018 and beyond, is that you can truly get a sense of what is working and what is not.  Analytics provide the answers to what brings clients in the door.  The data that can now be collected from television advertisements is unlike any other.  Data on your ideal market will help you determine how to advertise at the right time and the right place.  Once you find out when what and where your customers are watching, you can tailor a campaign specific to them.

 

Want more?  Contact Amicus Media Group today for a free consultation.  We offer media buying options for law firms large and small.  Our team is dedicated to finding clients that need your help through targeted advertising on television, digital and radio.  With decades of experience, we will help you understand the benefits of a comprehensive marketing campaign.  Call us today at (888) 700 – 1088 to take your firm to the next level.

 

 

 

This article does not contain legal or financial advice.  Author and publisher disclaim any and all warranties, liabilities, losses, costs, claims, demands, suits, or actions of any type or nature whatsoever, arising from or any way related to this blog, the use of this blog, and/or any claim that a particular technique or device described in this blog.

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Join Amicus Media Group at CAALA Vegas 2018

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Labor Day weekend is just around the corner.  Join Amicus Media Group in attending the nation’s largest convention of trial attorneys as CAALA takes over Las Vegas From August 30 to September 2, 2018, at the beautiful Wynn Resort.  We will be catching the wave of justice along with over 2800 attendees from around the country to discuss a variety of topics and developments in trial advocacy.  This CAALA annual convention is one-of-a-kind offering 20 hours of MCLE Credit including 4 hours of Ethics, 1 hour of Elimination of Bias and 1 hour of Competence Issues.  You will have many opportunities to network with industry leaders, experts and trial lawyers in the daily breakout sessions offered on a wide selection of focus areas.

 

The excitement begins Thursday afternoon with Perspectives from the Bench – A Roundtable Discussion from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm.  This opening session will feature 7 judges discussing everything from court demeanor to closing statements.  After the afternoon breakout session, meet your fellow attendees, speakers, and exhibitors at the Tropicana Nights Kickoff Party in the Latour Ballroom.  Wrap up the convention with a Luau-themed cocktail party on Saturday night.

 

We look forward to seeing you there.  If you haven’t registered yet, there is still time.  Register now and let us know you’ll be attending.