As you can see from the examples I provided, I'm going for an edited, clean look with little to no image files. I want a light weight design that will load quickly and complement my SEO efforts.
The home page should provide a brief paragraph describing of what the site is/does (provided in layout) and allow users easy access into the library of content as well as the attorney directory. At the top of the right sidebar, a "Find an Attorney" search box should allow users to search attorneys by city, state or zip. I'd also like links to the top 5 states included in the attorney find box beneath the search field under the heading "browse attorneys by state." Top 5 states are California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas. Beneath those links is a link to "View All Attorneys."
We also need to include a top categories and popular articles section as well as latest posts, forum founders and sign up box (see example layout provided but feel free to reconfigure).
I would be open to having the latest post display a featured image, but generally want a fast loading, cleaner, brighter site that utilizes white space.