Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, an international law firm with a history stretching back 150 years, sought to portray itself in a modern light. Working with the highest profile clients, Milbank’s lawyers have long worked to solve unprecedented legal challenges. In recent years, the firm made plans to move its New York office from the financial district to a state-of-the-art new location in Hudson Yards. In the firm’s digital communications, however, these exciting developments found themselves obscured by the limitations of an aging website. The current experience revealed little of the firm’s innovative legal work, and impeded the firm’s efforts at recruiting young, top-tier talent. Recognizing this challenge, Milbank tapped Siegel+Gale to help them devise a new digital experience that would represent the firm’s modern innovation and personality without erasing their premium heritage.
We worked with Milbank to isolate what made them stand out amongst other elite law firms. Our research and interviews led us to the idea of “The Legal Pioneers,” a strategic orientation for the firm to rally around and to inform the new digital experience. The evidence of the legal pioneers is in the firm’s work, which is why we sought to bring that work to the fore.
We noted that news of the firm’s activities was self-evidently impressive, but unless site visitors actively sought news, they were unlikely to find it. With this in mind, we designed a new digital presence that emphasized the achievements of their attorneys, and the news items about the firm. Throughout the experience, our modern, minimal design effortlessly revealed connections between the firm’s offerings, its lawyers, and their activities.
Because most visitors to law firm websites seek specific information, we placed a redesigned search at the center of the experience. The new, flatter information architecture reduced the number of clicks to get to information, enabling users to find the information they sought faster.
The new communications platform presented an opportunity for Milbank to reconsider how they spoke about themselves. We helped the communications team develop a new brand voice that complemented the strategy. Emphasizing plain speech, this new voice guided the creation of content that lets the firm’s personality and excitement shine through.
The new Milbank.com launched in late July, 2017. The fully responsive design uses bold typography and color-blocking to achieve a modern look and feel befitting the legal pioneers.
Our design also accounts for the challenges of content production— judicious use of images and other assets makes it easy to keep the site’s content fresh while keeping the publishing process simple.
Finally, the new site makes it easier for users to find the content they need, whether by browsing or searching. As a result, Milbank.com saw a reduction in bounce rate by more than 15%.