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Web Site Programming Request for Proposal Responses due

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					              WEB SITE PROGRAMMING REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL
                             Responses due: 5:00 p.m., February 25, 2011




TABLE OF CONTENTS
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    1.    Summary
    2.    Objective/Project Goals*
    3.    Background
    4.    Proposal Guidelines and Requirements
    5.    Smith Moore Leatherwood Staff Resources
    6.    Project Description
    7.    Evaluation Criteria
    8.    Format for Proposals
    9.    Qualifications
    10.   Proposal
    11.   Budget and Fees
    12.   Hosting Information
    13.   Contract Terms
    14.   Disclaimer
    15.   Questions




* If you are interested in responding to this RFP, please contact Jess Robertson for a detailed diagram of our desired site
features, and the relationships between information sets.




           Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP        |   Website Development Request for Proposal        | Page 1 of 11
1.      SUMMARY
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Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP is a Southeast regional law firm with more than 170 attorneys in
five core areas: litigation, business, healthcare, commercial real estate, and labor and employment.
Our firm has six office locations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Our current web
presence consists of our firm site www.smithmoorelaw.com, along with several mini-sites and a
blog: www.legalhimformation.com; www.smlcompliance.com; www.healthcarelawnote.com;
www.theinsideperspective.com; and www.nclegallandscapes.wordpress.com.

We are accepting proposals to develop and potentially host a new family of websites: a main firm
website with multiple “practice portals” (subdomains). Design concepts (layered PSD files), written
and graphical content, and SEO strategy would be provided by our in-house web and design team.
We are completely open to all suggestions regarding where our sites would be hosted and the
programming platforms upon which they would be based.

Additionally, we believe there is a possibility that our current structure could be modified or added-
to by a programmer with knowledge of ASP.net.

2.      BACKGROUND
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Currently, our sites are hosted internally (with the exception of the Wordpress blog). The firm site
is based on an ASP.net/SQL database structure, with a CMS created by a leading law firm site CMS.
The mini-sites are not integrated with the firm site CMS. We are seeking a more flexible solution
that allows us to operate with greater control, more options, greater efficiency, and with cohesion
between the firm site and the mini sites and blogs. We are looking to create more of a “hub-and-
spoke” model, where the firm site serves as the “hub,” and individual Practice Portals, or “spokes”
are developed to (1) demonstrate the full capabilities of our many practice groups, and (2) improve
search engine rankings by practice group.

Our current firm site structure follows the traditional model for law firm websites. Information
about each of our practice groups is compiled under a “services” heading, and a directory of our
attorneys with pertinent biographical information is compiled under “attorneys” or “professionals.”
Most elements of these pages have related database driven items. We have found first SERP rank
for targeted, relevant searches to be challenging due to the fact that we offer a very broad range of
very specific services, all of which are contained in one site, and the site may not be organized in a
way that is search engine friendly(i.e., sub-domains or folders by topic).

We believe the majority of the traffic coming to our site is in search of specific attorney biographies.
At present, our biographies follow the traditional model for law firms, but we would like to tweak
the current structure to better utilize design psychology, and convey more relevant information
about our attorneys and the work they do. Ultimately, we would like our attorney bio pages to have
navigable tabs. Most importantly, attorneys would have both a default bio, and one or more bios
specific to different practice areas. The navigation used to arrive at an attorney’s bio would
determine which of several would display. Bios must be related to other attorneys’ bios, practices,
offices, news items and publications within the database.




         Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP   |   Website Development Request for Proposal   | Page 2 of 11
3.     OBJECTIVE/PROJECT GOALS
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If you are interested in responding to this RFP, please contact Jess Robertson for a detailed chart or
diagram of our desired site features, and the relationships between information sets. We have
outlined key site features and needs below.

Key Firm Site Features (Hub)
       Home Page
          Features a Flash panel or slider, allowing us to highlight firm news/events
          Several smaller news highlight boxes that pull news from Practice Portals (spokes)
          A “drill down” search feature for clients (i.e., I am a “commercial real estate
             developer” looking to “negotiate a lease contract” or “conduct a due-diligence
             investigations. These options would be pulled from the Practice Portals).

       Firm Directory/Bios
           A directory of our attorneys would need to be searchable:
                  o Alphabetically
                  o By Practice Area
                  o By Office
                  o By Language
                  o By State Admission
           The path to attorney bios would determine which of several practice specific bios
             would display. (i.e., if a visitor searched by “intellectual property” as a practice area
             to find attorney John Doe, John Doe’s intellectual property bio would display. (John
             Doe might also have “litigation” and “mergers and acquisitions” as practice areas
             within his bio).

              The bio information found through the firm site (hub) would also be shared with
               bio information found through the practice portals.

              Bio information will also feed other pages of the hub and spokes (See pages listed
               under About below.)

              We would like to integrate Linkedin’s API whenever attorneys names are noted
               throughout the hub and spokes. http://blog.linkedin.com/2009/02/13/display-
               your-professional-network-on-other-websites/

               We also have to have a pop-up disclaimer when you click on an attorney’s email
               that explains that there is no existing attorney-client privilege.]

       About
           In addition to several general content pages we will have the following pages that
             are related to attorney bios, and pages displayed in practice portals. (See chart for
             relationships).
                 o Practice Areas (This would list both services pages (as with our current
                     site), and the Practice Portals. )
                 o Industries


         Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP   |   Website Development Request for Proposal   | Page 3 of 11
                o   Honors & Rankings
                o   Civic & Community Service
                o   Professional Memberships

           The path to attorney bios would determine which of several practice specific bios
            would display. (i.e., if a visitor searched by “intellectual property” as a practice area
            to find attorney John Doe, John Doe’s intellectual property bio would display. (John
            Doe might also have “litigation” and “mergers and acquisitions” as practice areas
            within his bio).

     News & Media
         The following pages would be feed and/or be related to the home page new items,
           attorney bios, office pages on the hub site (see Contact section below), and the
           News & Media sections of the Practice Portals:
               o Events
               o Publications
               o White Papers
               o PR Contacts
               o Sponsorships

     Contact
         We would have a page for each of our six office locations.
         Each city page would include
             o An attorney directory alphabetically by city,
             o The partner-in-charge’s contact info (including Linkedin api button), and
                  the office administrator’s contact info
             o News/events specific to that city, pulled from the News & Media section of
                  the firm site and the Practice Portals).
         We would also like to use Google maps directions on each of the city pages.

Key Practice Portal Features (Spokes)

           The Practice Portals would have the same navigation, functions and features as the
            Firm Site, but the information would be more robust and specific. (Expanded News
            & Media sections, etc).

           Information from the Practice Portals would automatically feed the Firm Site

           Bios found through the Practice Portals would be specific to the Practice Portal

           Practice Portals should have RSS Feeds and their own subscribers to news and client
            advisories. We would also like to have “share” features (integrated social media
            mechanisms) in place.




      Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP   |   Website Development Request for Proposal   | Page 4 of 11
Consulting
We are also seeking a firm/agency to assist us with:

              Consulting regarding template design and design psychology as it relates to our
               desired site structure;

                   o   Evaluate consistency of our design between firm site and subdomains,
                       reading patterns, page focus, design elements, ease of navigation, etc.

              Consulting regarding our search engine optimization strategy as it relates to our
               desired structure;

                   o   Are subdomains as strong as standalone URLs?

                   o   Will canonical tags suffice to remedy duplicate content issues?

Programming
              Web-standards-compliant programming and construction of the database driven
               firm site upon a CMS that allows us to update content and add features as needed,
               and;

              Programming and construction of practice portals that integrate with the firm site
               on an ongoing basis (or creation of a solution that will allow us to continue to add
               practice portals without the need for additional programming).


Content Management System
Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP desires to manage content through a Content Management
System (CMS); a web-based, database-driven administration tool that allows key management
personnel to easily update content without directly accessing source code. Basic CMS
requirements include:

              Scalability; allowing us to use the CMS to manage content for our firm site, practice
               portals, and blogs;
              Management of multiple attorney bios (in this regard, the CMS needs to be
               completely relational - attorneys/practices/offices connected to news items, pubs,
               practices, etc.);
              A true, code-free what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) editor with a user
               interface that resembles the actual web pages is desirable;
              Access to an html editor;
              An edited-content approval system that requires the appropriate approval before
               content is published live and notifies approvers of pending items;
              A PDF generating component;



         Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP   |   Website Development Request for Proposal   | Page 5 of 11
               Ability to interface with Google analytics (or similar tracking software so long as
                there is not a fee associated with the software)


Additional desirable features:
               Audit-trial capabilities/version control/rollback would be a plus;
               Ability to add widgets (or equivalent) to increase functionality as technology
                advances.


4.       PROPOSAL GUIDELINES AND REQUIREMENTS
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        This is an open and competitive process.

        Proposals received after 5:00 p.m. EST, Friday, February 25, 2011, will not be considered.

        The proposal must contain the signature of a duly authorized officer or agent of the
         company submitting the proposal.

        While we have outlined our interest in a critique of our SEO strategy and design concepts,
         (see Consulting section), we are not interested in receiving proposals offering full design or
         SEO services.

        Your proposal must include a cost proposal. The price you quote should be inclusive as
         described in the Budget Section below. If your price excludes certain fees or charges, you
         must provide a detailed list of excluded fees with a complete explanation of the nature of
         those fees.

        If the execution of work to be performed by your company requires the hiring of sub-
         contractors you must clearly state this in your proposal. Sub-contractors must be identified
         and the work they will perform must be defined. In your proposal please provide the name,
         address, and EIN of the sub-contractor. Smith Moore Leatherwood will not refuse a
         proposal based upon the use of sub-contractors; however we retain the right to refuse the
         sub-contractors you have selected.

        Provisions of this RFP and the contents of the successful responses are considered available
         for inclusion in final contractual obligations.


5.       SMITH MOORE LEATHERWOOD STAFF RESOURCES
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        Project Lead: Responsible for sign-off on key decisions, providing project direction and
         maintenance of relationship with our selected vendor:

         George Nelson, Raleigh, NC
         george.nelson@smithmoorelaw.com
         919.755.8816


          Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP   |   Website Development Request for Proposal   | Page 6 of 11
        Project Manager: Responsible for keeping the project on schedule and within budget.
         Maintains communications between team members:

         Jess Robertson, Greenville, SC
         jessica.robertson@smithmoorelaw.com
         864.240.2471

Please feel free to contact Jess Robertson or George Nelson with questions regarding this RFP.


6.       PROJECT DESCRIPTION
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Phase One

        We would have an initial meeting to discuss the overall plan and concept, the recommended
         platform, CMS, hosting, and structure of the firm sites and practice portals, and establish
         any design guidelines that might be specific to the platform upon which we are building.
         We would also discuss domain mapping for practice portals and its impact on SEO.

        3 to 6 weeks later, we would meet again to review the design (completed by our in-house
         design team). We would seek your input regarding any design changes necessary to
         improve navigation/structure, etc.

        Shortly thereafter, you will receive an approved, layered PSD file for construction of the
         firm site, along with a copy of our existing 2005 Microsoft SQL database for
         conversion/migration. We ask that our firm site, complete with relational services pages,
         and default bios for all attorneys be constructed first, so that we have a functioning site
         while practice portals are being developed. (Once a practice portal is completed, the firm
         site navigation will simply be updated to connect to the new portal.)
Phase Two

        After the working firm site is completed, development of practice portals will begin. Each
         practice portal would share some of the content from the database of the main site, and
         would have unique content as well. We anticipate

        As our overall plan involves the firm site automatically pulling content from the practice
         portals (for the news sections, etc.), programming changes would need to be made to the
         firm site each time a new practice portal was ready to be implemented.

        Practice portals would be added on an ongoing basis, potentially over the course of a
         couple of years. We therefore ask in your response to this request for proposal that you
         include the following:

             o A fee arrangement on a per-practice-portal basis; by monthly retainer that would
               include development of unlimited portals throughout the year; and/or another
               recommended fee arrangement;



          Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP   |   Website Development Request for Proposal   | Page 7 of 11
             o Consideration of the platform upon which our sites would be built with regard to
               another programmer being able to pick up where you leave off in the event that
               your company dissolves or is no longer able to maintain/grow our sites. (In this
               regard, we will be more inclined towards a well-known or established CMS, rather
               than a completely custom solution); OR

             o Development of a solution that allows us to add practice portals ourselves, without
               further need for programming assistance.

7.       EVALUATION CRITERIA
…………………………………..…………………..…………………..…………………..…………………..…………………..…………………………………..…………………..…………..


We would prefer that you email proposals in Word format to the attention of:
jessica.robertson@smithmoorelaw.com; george.nelson@smithmoorelaw.com Proposals that meet
the mandatory requirements will be evaluated with the following criteria:

        Suitability of the proposal – the proposed solution meets the needs and criteria set forth
         below.

        Expertise in recommending and communicating appropriate technical solutions as
         evidenced by the proposal and references.

        Candidate experience – candidate has successfully completed similar projects and has the
         qualifications necessary to undertake this project.

        Value/pricing structure and price levels – the price is commensurate with the value offered
         by the proposer.

        Depth and breadth of staff – the candidate firm has appropriate staff to develop the site in
         the time frame needed.

        Proposal presentation – the information is presented in a clear, logical manner and is well
         organized.

        Demonstrated commitment to high service level agreements (SLA).

8.       FORMAT FOR PROPOSALS
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Please use the following as a guideline to format your proposal:

        Length: Maximum proposal length should not exceed 35 pages.

        Title Page: Smith Moore Leatherwood Web Site Programming Proposal, your company
         name, address, web site address, telephone number, fax number, e-mail address and
         primary contact person.

        Cover Letter: Signed by the person or persons authorized to sign on behalf of your
         company.


          Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP   |   Website Development Request for Proposal   | Page 8 of 11
        Qualifications: Provide the information requested in Section 9.

        Proposal: Please discuss your proposed solution as outlined in Section 10.

        Budget and Fees: List budgets and fees as outlined in Section 11.

        Hosting: Please discuss hosting as outlined in Section 12.



9.       QUALIFICATIONS
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        List three web sites your firm has produced that best reflect your work and relevancy to
         this project. Briefly list the role your firm played in each project. The URL should be
         submitted. (Only sites that are live will qualify during evaluation.) Please include any sites
         for which you achieved first SERP for specific search terms, and any experience you have
         working with third-party APIs.

        Provide current reference information for three former or current clients.

        Briefly describe your firm’s organizational capacity to produce our web site (e.g.
         staff,equipment, software, physical space, office location, etc.).

        How many full-time staff does your firm employ? Please include a copy of your firm’s
         organizational chart.

        Provide a company profile, length of time in business and core competencies.

        Briefly describe the percentage of your staff that would work on this project relative to your
         entire staff (using full time equivalents). For example, if you would use five staff on the
         project and you have ten web designers and developers, the percentage would be 50%.

        What type of team will be assigned to this project? What will each person’s role be? Please
         include a brief background summary for each key staff member assigned to this project.

        Percent of total revenue derived from site developments and other business ventures.

        Explain your business model.

        Please discuss any planned IPOs, mergers or acquisitions.

        Please discuss any hardware/software vendor partnerships.

        Please discuss your testing and support plan.

        Please explain your service level agreement (SLA) structure.




          Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP   |   Website Development Request for Proposal   | Page 9 of 11
10. PROPOSAL
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       Please discuss the programming language(s)/platform/structure you recommend for this
        project, along with the features and benefits of same.

       Please estimate a time frame for completion of PHASE ONE; and a separate estimation of the
        completion of one practice portal as explained in the attached chart and in PHASE TWO of
        Section 6.

       Please include an assessment of the ease with which another programmer could follow your
        work in the event that your company is no longer able to maintain/grow our sites.

11. BUDGET AND FEES
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Please list pricing for:

       Discovery, consulting, requirements planning

       Site programming, Migration of data, testing and deployment based upon the provided
        chart for PHASE ONE under Project Description.

       Development of practice portals either on a per-portal basis; by monthly retainer for
        programming; or by other proposed fee structure as outlined in PHASE TWO of the Project
        Description.

       Please list separately any costs for hosting of our family of sites.

       If your pricing above excludes certain fees or charges, please provide a detailed list of
        excluded fees with a complete explanation of the nature of those fees.

       Testing

       Training

12. HOSTING INFORMATION
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       Do you provide hosting? If so, please provide answers to the following questions.

            o     How often do you backup?

            o     How often do you have down time?

            o     How often do you upgrade software/hardware?

            o     Please describe your technical support.


         Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP   |   Website Development Request for Proposal   | Page 10 of 11
           o    Please describe your security.

           o    Do you have a high-speed, direct connection to the Internet?

           o    Please describe your methodology and service level agreements.

           o    Pricing, terms and conditions.

      If you do not provide hosting, please suggest a vendor/partner to provide this service and
       provide answers to the above questions.


13. CONTRACT TERMS
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Smith Moore Leatherwood will negotiate contract terms upon selection. All contracts are subject to
review by our legal counsel, and a project will be awarded upon signing of an agreement or
contract, which outlines terms, scope, budget and other necessary items.

14. DISCLAIMER
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You will receive no reimbursement for your expenses in preparing this proposal. Smith Moore
Leatherwood LLP is under no obligation to accept your proposal and specifically reserves the right
to reject it for any reason.

All materials and documents submitted hereunder shall become the sole property of Smith Moore
Leatherwood and we may use and disclose information contained within as deemed necessary or
reasonable.

A response to this RFP shall not be construed as a contract nor indicate a commitment of any kind
on the part of Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP. We reserve the right to reject any or all responses to
this RFP, or to accept any response deemed to be in Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP’s best interest.

15. QUESTIONS
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For additional information or questions concerning this RFP, please contact:

       George Nelson, Raleigh, NC
       george.nelson@smithmoorelaw.com
       919.755.8816

       and/or

       Jess Robertson, Greenville, SC
       jessica.robertson@smithmoorelaw.com
       864.240.2471



        Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP   |   Website Development Request for Proposal   | Page 11 of 11

				
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