Attention to detail matters to your legal clients.
If your law firm is using ineffective or inappropriate fonts, you could be dismissed by potential prospects before they even read a word. That first impression is instant.
Before you know it, they’re already clicking away to a competitor’s site.
The good news is that the opposite also applies.
The right choice of fonts helps law firms create a subtle but powerful message of trust.
So which are the best fonts for lawyers?
This article covers why good legal fonts are important and which elements matter most.
You’ll also learn how to choose the best font depending on what you need it for, be it web design, email, legal documents, and more.
Why Do Fonts Matter for Law Firms?
There are many reasons that you should carefully choose your law firm’s font.
Fonts affect clients whether they’re aware of it or not.
The fonts you use on your website affect your credibility based on the following factors:
- Professionalism: a clear, attractive font conveys the message that your law firm knows what it’s doing
- Readability: simple readability not only affects first impressions but also impacts how easily your website is understood
- Originality: a font that maintains consistency across your brand makes you stand out among your competitors
Font is one of the first things that determines your credibility. After all, would you trust this article if it was written in Comic Sans?
Let’s talk about what your font communicates about your law firm.
It takes less than half a second to make a first impression online, and your clients don’t even need to read the text on your website before they make a subliminal opinion about it.
People who don’t like the look of your site upfront will click away, searching for another option. A lot of your reputation, potential revenue, and long-term customer relationships are riding on that first viewing.
Your first impression has to radiate reliability and experience – and some class doesn’t hurt either. So just any font won’t do.
The best fonts for lawyers will be clear, readable, and professional.
Legibility and accessibility
This just means how easy something is to read and understand.
It sounds simple, but the legibility of your website could be the difference between attracting and securing clients and losing them to competitors.
Using accessible and clearly legible fonts isn’t just a matter of aesthetics; it’s a legal requirement and essential for your business to be successful.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Web Content Accessibilities Guidelines (WCAG) have specific rules regarding the readability and accessibility of your website.
Not adhering to these guidelines will exclude many potential clients who live with disabilities, as well as open your business up to legal problems.
Over one WCAG-related lawsuit is filed every hour. One example is the online coupon app Honey, which was sued for $50,000 total, or $200 for every person affected.
We don’t need to tell a law firm why it’s important to comply with legalities.
There are no exact specifications on what makes a font WCAG compliant, but there are some basic suggestions:
- A minimum font size of 12pt, although 14pt and 16pt are preferred
- A clear contrast in colors, but without being too bright. For example, using off-white and dark gray instead of black and white
- Sparing use of bold, italic, and underline, as they can be hard on the eyes
There are also some rules surrounding line and text spacing. There must be no loss of quality or readability if the reader manually sets:
- Line height to 1.5 times the font size
- Paragraph spacing to 2 times the font size
- Letter spacing to .12 the font size
- Word spacing to .16 times the font size
Here’s an example of less-than-stellar design:
The jarring change of fonts (we count at least five), nearly unreadable cursive, and bright yellow font make for an unpleasant, ineffective landing page.
This layout is difficult to look at, difficult to read, and affects the perception of experience.
Let’s move on to an example of a clear, legible website and why it’s effective:
Chand and Co. maintains consistency across its site, using readable color contrast and even, clear font.
Their website broadcasts reliability because it takes time and consideration to be clearly understandable and legible.
It might seem a little daunting, but a legal-focused digital marketing expert can help you sort out the little details and make sure your website ticks every box.
Your font is part of your company’s branding, not just an arbitrary design decision. Notice how you recognize Calvin Klein’s iconic use of the Bodoni font before you’ve even finished reading the words.
Brand consistency increases your brand awareness by making your company 3 to 4 times more visible to clients.
Consistency can include font, color palette, presentation, and overall style, and should spread across online and offline mediums.
Here are the most important mediums to consider:
- Web copy
- Business cards
- Signage and ads
It’s crucial to remember that font consistency doesn’t have to translate to “use just one font”. Multiple fonts for one law firm are absolutely fine as long as you don’t go overboard.
Designers usually agree that are the limit for web design. Additional fonts could cause site performance issues, as well as distract from your law firm’s message.
Then the marketing agency providing your design service should create a brand guidelines document. This document is intended to keep your brand consistent and can be shared with any future contractors who provide you brand services.
We talk more about this later in the article.
Supreme Court rules
The font of your documentation, such as legal briefs, must adhere to Supreme Court rules.
Times New Roman is one of the most common fonts for court documentation. It’s clear, readable, and traditional.
Here are a few font-related elements that court documents must have:
- Typographic letters
- Black letters on white paper
- Booklet format briefs must be typeset in the Century family (such as Century Expanded, New Century Schoolbook, or Century Schoolbook)
There are also specific rules on font size, spacing (also called leading), and formatting. You can reference these rules in the Rules of The Supreme Court of the United States.
Always double-check the rules of the courts you’re working with. Certain courts may restrict certain fonts and have their own specific regulations.
Font Typography Elements To Consider
Font typography has so many details to consider beyond “thin, black, and readable”.
Here’s a quick rundown of the top font elements to consider when choosing a strategic font for your law firm:
|1. Serif vs. Sans Serif||Whether or not a font contains small accents, called serifs|
|2. Size||Striking the right balance between being big enough to read but not overwhelming|
|3. Color and contrast||Color combinations must be easy on the eye and comply with WCAG guidelines|
|4. Font pairings||If you choose to use different fonts, they should complement each other|
|5. Font decoration||A font should remain consistently legible between normal text and bold, italics, etc.|
For those looking for more than a quick rundown, keep reading; if not, skip to the next section.
Serif vs. sans serif
A serif is a tiny line accenting certain parts of a letter. A sans-serif font simply means “without serif”, as it’s smooth and lacks ‘the little line’.
Here’s the difference:
Serifs are usually found in more traditionally professional fonts, like Times New Roman and Georgia. That extra bit of flair adds some subtle elegance.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use sans-serif fonts for your law firm’s branding, though.
Sans-serif fonts convey modern professionalism – they’re clear, concise, and look more like a modern person’s handwriting versus the fancier look of a serif font.
Both serif and sans-serif work depending on your business, and research has found that they are equally readable.
Let’s look at a great example of serif in action:
Chand & Co. uses serif effectively on their website. It complements the crest in their logo and their lion theme. Regal and classy.
How about sans-serif? Here’s a good one:
Boland Romaine uses sans-serif for a streamlined, modern edge. Their website copy is contemporary and smooth.
Even with a very similar color scheme of gold, black, and white, these websites convey a very different attitude using serifs alone.
Who would’ve thought that little line was so powerful?
Size is one of the biggest accessibility issues in modern web design.
Globally, 2.2 billion people are affected by vision impairment, and a tiny font will cause problems with visitor engagement and compliance.
Your website has the most compelling copy out there, so let’s ensure everyone can read it.
It sounds obvious, but many businesses get font size wrong.
Font sizes are generally measured in points (pt) and, in fewer cases, measured in pixels (px). One point is about 1/72nd of an inch, and one pixel is about 1/96th of an inch.
That means that a 12pt font equals a 16px font.
Fonts should be large enough to read but not so big as to look ridiculous and overwhelming.
Can you notice the difference that font size makes on this landing page:
The main body of the text is presented in a 9pt font, which is far too small to be read comfortably, and people with vision impairments may find it challenging or impossible to read.
Alright, let’s check out a better use of font size:
uses a 14pt font on their landing page. Immediately more understandable and easier on the eyes.
It’s also important to ensure your font size translates properly to mobile – after all, 68% of all website visits come from mobile devices.
A design that looks perfect on your desktop might look terrible on a smartphone.
Proper font size isn’t just for readability and accessibility, either. Studies show that larger fonts may influence how well people remember what they read.
Spacing and formatting
The space between letters, lines, and paragraphs dictate how quickly and easily your website can be understood.
Improper spacing makes it difficult for your visitors to differentiate one letter from another. Poor formatting makes it hard to determine which order the words are supposed to be read in.
Take this example for instance:
The formatting and spacing are all over the place. It causes confusion and makes navigating the website difficult.
The menu in the middle of the main copy is untidy and unprofessional, and the “Contact” link has been pushed below under the word “we’re”, so some people may even miss it.
Not to mention the poorly spaced “Consultation” button on the right, which is a lawyer’s main call to action.
Imagine if you missed out on business because a client couldn’t find the right button?
Here’s a strong example of appropriate spacing:
GLG LLP has evenly spaced letters with proper formatting, which makes navigation simple and concise. It’s clear, uses the correct use of line spacing, and the call to action is clean and bright.
Less is more.
Color and contrast
Color isn’t always just an aesthetic add-on. Color psychology influences thoughts and decisions subliminally.
Color perception can be subjective, but there are definitely less-than-ideal colors for law firms. For example, color psychology dictates cool colors as calming and warm colors as stimulating.
Lawyers will more often opt for calming.
A bright yellow font over a green backdrop will not only make you look inexperienced and sloppy, but it will also be extremely hard to read. Nearly impossible to read for people with vision issues.
Color is another area where your law firm must comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
People with vision impairments may see colors very differently, so you need the proper contrast for these visitors to see your website correctly.
WCAG color contrast issues won’t always be obvious at first glance.
Bright yellow on green is an egregious example – not meeting WCAG standards can be much more subtle.
Let’s look at an example:
The top menu on this landing page is done in dark red and gold, which could be difficult to read for some users, although the gold and red contrast conveys luxury and quality.
However, you have to be careful. Let’s see what it looks like to take these colors to a WCAG color contrast checker:
According to WCAG guidelines, this color combination fails in three out of four fields.
What does a good color contrast look like? Here’s an example:
Criminal Lawyers Calgary has a sharp contrast from the font to the background, which makes it clear and simple to read.
Here’s how it scored in the color contrast checker:
Fully approved by the WCAG guidelines.
Ensuring your color is easy on the eyes will not only keep your website accessibility compliant, but it will also make it enjoyable and understandable for every visitor.
While choosing fonts for law firms, you may choose to have multiple fonts across your brand.
You might go with similar fonts from the same family, like Helvetica Neue and Helvetica Light.
This example uses Roboto Slab for the headers and Roboto for the body:
If you’re going outside a main font family, it’s best to choose complementary fonts.
A few complementary font pairings include:
- Helvetica Neue and Garamond
- Montserrat and Courier New
- Raleway and Lato
- Source Sans Pro and Times New Roman
Of course, we have an example to help you:
The fonts used on Stacey R. Ball’s website are from different families but look great together. The headers use Raleway, and the body is Lato.
The fonts on this legal website have slight differences but not enough to provide a sharp contrast, which look great together. Like a gray tie and a blue suit.
Font decoration means using bold, italics, underline, and strikethrough. All the little options you see on the menu above as you type:
So why are we talking about it?
Well, if you intend to use font decoration in your material, it’s essential to choose a font that stays equally legible and clear even if it’s decorated.
Some fonts look better than others when in italics – and some get so small and slanted that they’re no longer readable.
The best fonts for lawyers should be consistently legible across all font decorations.
Here’s an example of a clearly readable Roboto in plain and bold text:
The bolded text enhances notable points without changing how understandable and legible it is.
Remember: Font decoration should be used to emphasize an important word or point in the text.
The Best Fonts for Lawyers and Law Firms
We’ve discussed the seemingly minute but crucial elements of font choices on law firm websites.
Now let’s discuss the best fonts for lawyers.
Keep in mind that not all fonts can be used across the board on every piece of brand material.
Even if a font has the same name, there could be two versions:
- Print font – specifically designed to be viewed on paper
- Web font – specifically designed to be viewed on a screen
This isn’t always something you have to think about, as some fonts can be used for both print and web
Your digital marketing service provider will help you iron out these details.
Okay, now let’s get into the details of these fonts for lawyers.
A solid internet presence is absolutely crucial for law firms.
A huge majority of your clients will look you up online before looking anywhere else. 96% of people look for legal advice online.
An ineffective, unreadable font will have potential clients clicking away from your site before they see your logo.
Here are a few solid font choices for your website:
- Open Sans
- Times New Roman
The fonts themselves are great for legal website content, but so are most of the fonts within these families. For example, Roboto and Roboto Slab, Helvetica and Helvetica Light.
You might be wondering: “Yes, but what font do most lawyers use?”
We’ve got you.
Here are the statistics for the most used fonts on legal websites:
|Font name||Total websites||Percentage|
|1. Open Sans||14,074||24.5%|
|4. Source Sans Pro||3,693||6.4%|
Your website font is one of the most important fonts your law firm will use, so seek guidance from an experienced law firm marketing company.
Correspondence between clients, courts, and other law firms is commonly done through email. You don’t want an email font that’s crude and illegible.
One of the top choices for email is the humble Arial. Clear, well-spaced, and easy to read. Arial is essentially the standard for all emails.
There are some fonts, like Helvetica, that look great on a website but appear cramped when used in an email.
It’s best to stick with the standard email font.
The same can be said about email signatures. Your signature will tell the recipient a lot about who you are as a professional.
Some fonts won’t be email-safe, either. This can cause the email client to replace the font with something else and ruin your design.
You don’t have to get fancy – Arial, Georgia, Times New Roman, and Verdana are solid choices.
Branding collateral and logos
The number 1 rule when it comes to branding material is consistency.
Consistent branding has been shown to increase revenue by 33%.
Everything that represents your law firm should complement each other. Your logo should be consistent with your ads, and your ads should be consistent with your brochures.
Here are a few examples of what branding material to consider:
- Social media
- Business cards
Here’s a look at Damien Frost & Associates font consistency:
The main hero image on the landing page is Oswald, in white, while their logo is Raleway, in white. Two fonts that complement each other in the exact same shade.
Consistency like this is an essential part of law firm marketing. Social media, business cards, and pamphlets will immediately remind the reader of your company simply due to font consistency.
Like a subconscious advertisement.
A skilled marketing agency will take all of this crucial information and create you a brand guidelines document. This helps your law firm retain consistent branding, even when you call on multiple contractors and freelancers for future projects.
Printed legal documents
You’re already considering readability, accessibility, and personal preference, but now the font choice must comply with court rules and standards.
Printed legal documents must adhere to Supreme Court rules, or they face the possibility of being rejected, which could exponentially lengthen the process.
So what’s the best font for legal documents?
Times New Roman is the standard across the board, although Arial and Helvetica are getting more common, as well.
Here are four other great choices:
Sizing is another important rule. A font that’s 12pt size is standard, although some courts are finding 14pt to be more accessible to those with vision difficulties.
Always check with your local courts for specific requirements on font choices and font sizes.
What About Custom Fonts for Lawyers?
If you have a specific and original brand persona to create, you can commission custom font styles for law firms.
Although we’d personally recommend only doing this for simple yet powerful pieces of copy – like your logo, tagline, or social media templates.
If you’re choosing a font for your website, a custom font might be a waste of money as you can get just as much of an impact with a traditional and proven font.
However, if you have the budget and a strong branding team, go for a custom font to really make your law firm stand out.
Stick with simple, free fonts – or go premium and buy high-quality premade fonts. These can be purchased from font marketplaces like .
We’ll Handpick the Best Fonts for Your Legal Practice
Choosing the right font could be the difference between a brand new client or a click-away to a competitor.
The best fonts for lawyers convey reliability, professionalism, and class. It should be clear, easy to read, and consistent across all your brand assets.
Take some time to consider which font complies with every legal requirement while simultaneously representing your firm’s brand.
For more on legal marketing, read our articles on and website conversion optimization.