My client comes into my office after having been served by the Sheriff with a Complaint. Or, I file a Complaint for a client and then get an Answer back from the Defendant's attorney. The first thing I do in either situation is try to learn a little bit about the attorney representing the other side. I go to Google. I type in the attorney's name and the city and state in which they practice.
Many times (and all-too-often), I get a page of results from sites like yellowpages.com, manta.com, topix.com, merchantcircle.com, and switchboard.com. That is to say, I get a bunch of garbage.
I am consistently shocked at how little Kentucky attorneys seem to care about how they look online. I understand some established attorneys don't need a website to get clients. But, even if you're not looking to find clients online, people (other attorneys) are still searching for you online. And, we're judging you. We're sizing you up.
I use the care you put into your website as a rough analog for how much care you're going to put into your client's case. If you don't care enough to have at least a homepage to present to the world, how hard are you going to research that response to my Motion for Summary Judgment? How hard are you going to think about the discovery requests you send?
Is it a perfect test to use for sizing up my opposition? Nope. There are certainly some attorneys who have whipped me pretty hard who have abysmal or nonexistent websites. But, it works more often than not.
Look, if your litigation strategy is inspired by Muhammad Ali's Rope-a-Dope, well congratulations: it's working. When you don't have a website, I'm totally underestimating your devotion to your craft and the care you bring to it.
I'm guessing that judging attorneys by their websites didn't used to be as useful or accurate as it is today. But, that's because it used to be hard to have a website. Now, it couldn't be easier (or less expensive). The fact that it's 2013 and you still don't have a website is inexcusable. My site is hosted on Squarespace.com. I pay Squarespace $8 a month for this site.
If you want help getting set up on Squarespace, let me know. I have helped other attorneys and can help you individually. Or, if enough people express interest, would consider doing like a half-day workshop to help lawyers launch their websites in a single morning. Individual help costs $1,500. The workshop would, I expect, cost around $400 and would happen on a Saturday morning.