Do I care if my law firm has an iPhone App? As client, I care about my law firms delivering useful information to me.

Kevin O’Keefe says your law firm should forget about building an iPhone App. Morrison & Foerster didn’t heed his advice and created MoFo2Go, an iPhone app.

iPhone App versus Mobile View

Kevin’s post was in response to a iPhone app built around a law firm’s blog. I looked at Arnold & Porter’s iPhone app for their Consumer Advertising Law Blog. It required a separate application and was very clunky. All it had was blog content. They would have been better off just having their site enabled for mobile viewing. Kevin was right.

(By the way, Compliance Building uses MobilePress to make a really nice looking mobile view of the site on the iPhone. It looks mediocre on the Blackberry.)

Rather than reading on the commute home, I decided to download MoFo2Go to my iPhone and see if Kevin was right.


MoFo2Go is the first app I’ve seen that has a disclaimer wrapper that I had to “accept” before installing. Clearly this app had some lawyer input on the design.

Splash Screen

The four functional buttons take up 20% of the screen space, with the new firm motto taking up the majority of the space. Is this an ad or a tool? I think they got that wrong.

Lawyer Directory

This is a nice feature. I can look up lawyers. With one step I can call the lawyer. It also allows me to add the lawyer to my contacts, send an email to the person and view their full bio. I wish the phone number and email were clickable to take these actions instead of menu items at the bottom.


So assuming I’m trying to get to a MoFo office, I could use this to get directions. It kicks you over to the Google Maps feature in the iPhone.


It’s nice enough of MoFo to publish all of these updates. But MoFo is an international law firm with dozens of practice area. Only a small fraction of their publications are of any use to me.

They have four filters: Alerts, Releases, Newsletters and MoFoTech. Please explain why dividing the publications into Alerts and Newsletters helps me to find information. It’s a useless distinction from a client’s perspective.

The Releases are MoFo press releases, so I can just ignore those.

MoFo Tech is a publication focused on tech-based companies. It has all all 7 articles from the single edition of the publication. MoFo Tech Fall/Winter 2009. That seems to be a lot of screen devoted to a small publication.


Yes, MoFo2Go has a game. It’s a classic marble maze. You tilt the iPhone to move a marble through a maze. When you succeed, in addition to a score, you get a MoFo Factoid (“In 2009, Chambers & Partners ranked MoFo Band 1 in Intellectual Property.” I guess I didn’t do very well if that is reward I got at the end of the maze).

So What?

The only useful feature in MoFo2Go is the lawyer directory. The rest is useless or a waste of time.

They should have just made mobile-friendly for the iPhone. is unusable on the iPhone.

Surprisingly, there is a mobile version of for the blackberry. It’s stripped to the lawyer directory and the office locations. Unfortunately, they stripped the email from the directory. But you can just click on the phone number to call the lawyer. Nice.

Should Law Firms Have iPhone Apps?

From my perspective as a client, No. Don’t bother with an iPhone app.

Make your law firm website mobile-friendly so that your clients can easily to get to the information they need. That means make it easy to get to the lawyer directory and office locations. Just like MoFo did with the blackberry version of their website.


, , , , ,

8 Responses to MoFo2Go

  1. Bill Winterberg March 13, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    Well, you have to admit that MoFo2Go is a pretty catchy name for an iPhone app. I bet unfamiliar downloaders will be somewhat disappointed when the app doesn’t spit out catch phrases by Jules Winnfield of Pulp Fiction.

    • Doug Cornelius March 17, 2010 at 10:25 am #

      You need to give them credit for embracing “MoFo.” Not just on the app, but their website as well.

  2. Jay Parkhill March 16, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    I thought the clickwrap terms were funny too. No doubt there is some lawyer advertising rule somewhere that needed to be followed and required that.

    The real shame in this app is that it follows the god-awful design of MoFo’s website.

    • Doug Cornelius March 17, 2010 at 10:24 am #

      I don’t hate the MoFo design. I like their black and white look over the typical scales of justice, stock photos of people reading and people standing in front of courthouses seen on many lawyer websites.

      I still don;t know why you need clickwrap terms on the app if you don’t have them on the website.

  3. Ryan March 24, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    A law firm mobile app should be held to the same standard as a law firm blog — either provide value or don’t launch. But it doesn’t mean law firm apps shouldn’t be made or can’t provide value, separate from your law firm website.

    • Doug Cornelius March 24, 2010 at 11:12 am #

      Ryan –

      But what are you going to put in your iPhone app that’s not on your website? MoFo put on a game and a map. (I’m not sure why the website doesn’t have the map.)

      The big problem is that MoFo chose to do an app instead of making the website mobile-friendly. (They made a mobile stylesheet for the blackberry, but not the iPhone.) If I click on a link on my iPhone it goes to not the app.

      I suppose a law firm could put together a real app that delivers value, and not just the firm’s website content. The problem is that you would really need the app to work on the blackberry, which still dominates the business world. (I have both.)

  4. Santiago A. Cueto March 24, 2010 at 7:21 pm #

    Our law firm was one of the first with an iPhone App. Although its simply a mobile version of our blog, the International Business Law Advisor, it was well received. Clients in particular have been extremely receptive and impressed.

    • Doug Cornelius March 25, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

      Santiago –

      The iPhone app is just fine. It looks like it serves up the blog content in a way that is mobile friendly.

      More people are going to access that content through the website than through the app. I think you would be better off making the blog friendly for mobile browsers than building an app.