When a law firm dies, what becomes of its website? In the case of Bingham McCutchen, its site still looms — the ghost of something that once was. But now, the central image touts Morgan Lewis, the new home of the majority of the former Bingham lawyers and staff, and a banner atop the home page carries this message:
Effective November 24, 2014 Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP and Bingham McCutchen LLP have concluded a transaction. Visitors seeking information on this page should visit the corresponding page on the Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP website.
Even so, parts of the site of the former firm remain strangely alive. Links to lawyers’ biographies still function, at least for the lawyers who went to Morgan Lewis. They carry the message, “As of November 24, 2014 practicing with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.”
However, the biographies of those who did not join Morgan Lewis have disappeared. Gone, for example, is the bio of Jay Zimmerman, whose decade-long stint as Bingham’s chairman ended earlier this year.
Links to practice areas still work, as of this morning. A career page invites prospects to “be part of our momentum.” There is even a listing of current job openings, such as for an IP associate in the Santa Monica office.
Visiting the site is like wandering through a town that was hastily abandoned because of some impending disaster. There are signs everywhere that there were once lives being led here. But soon the leftovers on the site will begin to mold and virtual vegetation will begin to over grow and obscure the dormant pages.
Maybe it is because I am from Boston and remember well the history of this venerable firm from back when it was Bingham, Dana & Gould. But visiting the site feels like attending a funeral, and its home page seems like a tombstone.