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The Future of Lawyer Directories

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02:35 AM ET (US)
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05:13 PM ET (US)
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Deleted by topic administrator 07-21-2006 08:57 AM
R. Gulliani
02:47 PM ET (US)
That is aweful. How can a company like legalmatch.com stay in business if they have been caught trying to rip off consumers? Why are they above the law?
12:23 AM ET (US)
It looks like legal match (legalmatch.com) is still up to their old tricks. Check out these examples:



Al Loy
11:24 PM ET (US)
Another directory that I have found useful to find lawyers and useful articles about legal problems is http://lawyerintl.com.
07:40 PM ET (US)
I am willing to post a Free 30 day listing for your lawyers on our web site called www.lawyers-locator.com Just check it out and subscribe if you wish.
Betty Stein
12:37 AM ET (US)
I have encountered LegalMatch both as a lawyer and an individual who seek helping a friend in need find a reliable lawyer via a comfortable, confidential mean. After being a part of the LegalMatch attorneys network and seeing their high quality business and ethics(both with the attorneys and the clients) I immediately recommended it to my friend who was going through a divorce, LegalMatch indeed helped her and for free. I truly recommend LegalMatch both to other attorneys who are seeking a larger cliental base( a really easy and convenient way of receiving a daily list of clients straight to my desktop). Moreover, as an individual who observed the great help LegalMatch provided my close friend (for free), I though it worth informing others of my positive experience with LegalMatch company.
Wendy Leibowitz
10:31 PM ET (US)
Funny--I never regarded Martindale-Hubbell as advertising. I honestly don't think most clients do, either. The listing is regarded by old-world clients (i.e. those who pay bills) as a way to ensure that their lawyers are accredited and prestigious. Usually, I imagine, the listing is used either during the hiring process to verify the status of a firm--in effect, to confirm a choice.

It's kind of like hanging a degree from a prestigious law school on your wall. There are some people who won't care. Others won't bother to check. But many will, and will feel better that their lawyer went to a prestigious school. It's a shame that many of the prestigious law schools teach irrelevant stuff and are very expensive, just as Martindale's stilted language and hidebound content is a shame, but that's beside the point.
Martindale is not advertising, even if the dollars come out of the marketing account. For some lawyers, the Martindale listing (like the fancy degree) won't be worth the expense. It depends not so much on the lawyer, but on the clients the lawyer seeks.

Just FYI, I'm certainly not a Martindale fan--I was thrilled when Sidley dropped its listing, and wrote an article or two about it. But they didn't exactly start a trend.
Stuart Levine
12:25 AM ET (US)
I think that Jerry's comments, both his recent posting and the one immediately following my posting, hit the nail squarely on the head.

Look at a M-H bio--it says: this is what I did and that's why I'm a good attorney.

Compare that to advertising that can be created and "published" via web/weblog, etc.--It says: this is what I did and that's why I'm a good attorney (thus, on my weblog I have a link to my professional bio, which offers greater detail than my M-H bio) and (this is the important thing), by publishing substantive material, you say, in essence, watch me strut my stuff. In other words, here's a demonstration of my knowledge and acumen.
M. Sean Fosmire
05:50 PM ET (US)
Here is what I wrote to Jerry from his blog site:

I think that the dividing line is between old/large law firms vs. new upstarts. An established firm has probably been paying the MH fees for years, is used to it, and considers that the results justify the fees. A solo lawyer or a new firm may or may not choose to use MH, depending on the nature of the clientele targeted. For the old-line clientele - banks, corporations, insurers - it is still essential. Not so for the newer breed of client.

Based on the nature of my practice, MH and Best's are essential. They are the only ones we use.
Edited 06-01-2003 05:51 PM
Jerry LawsonPerson was signed in when posted
12:30 PM ET (US)
Thanks, John. Mr. DeBruyn founded the Network-Lawyers discussion group, one of my current favorites.

The postings by John and Kevin hit on what I think are two of the most important issues:

First, I have no difficulty believing that MH's online lawyer.com directory is the lawyer directory rated highest by search engines. Their problem, at least as I see it, is that they and the other lawyer directories, are all intermediaries. When someone is looking for a lawyer, will they look first for a lawyer directory, and then use the directory to find a lawyer? Doesn't the Internet make it easier to cut out the middleman? Most people are much more familiar with Google, et. al, than they are with lawyer.com.

My other concern is with return on investment. I am certain that there is at least some value for many, maybe most lawyers, in listings in lawyer directories, including MH. Further, with the advice of someone sophisticated like Kevin, dollars invested in MH may be made to go farther. However, every dollar invested in MH is a dollar that is not available for investment in other marketing avenues, including, but not limited to, newsletters, seminars, upgraded law firm web sites, etc.

I'm not interested in mindless bashing of MH or other directories. OF COURSE most of them provide some benefit. The more difficult question is the balance between investing in MH listings vs. investing in alternatives, and the extent to which that balance is changing over time, due to increased public sophistication about using the Internet.
Edited 06-01-2003 12:33 PM
John DeBruynPerson was signed in when posted
11:50 AM ET (US)
Hi Jerry, Stuart and Kevin:

Martindale is still the leader with its online database of the hardcopy of its multi-volume directory that used to take several feet library shelf. Here is a search via Google on the key words lawyer locator:


Martindale is at the top of the results of my search. Reflecting this possition perhaps, Martindale left all of the paid possitions, two on top and four or five running down the left, to its competitors in the lawyer locator business.

With internet users looking for interactive help perhaps Legal Match, which had one of the two paid ads at the top of the serach results, will gain an edge in assisting the prospective client find there way. Legal Match acts more as an intermediary where the prospective client enters registers with the site and submits the facts of their case:


and offers the help of a staff attorney in getting the prospective client into good hands.

Let me come at this from another interactive directory that we are all familiar with: directory assisance for telephone numbers. Very simple, you know the name, they give you the number. That service has suffered from deregulation--at least my recent experience has not be very good and I have taken to getting phone numbers with Google and other web services.

I just saw an advertisement while watching TV last night for a new live-person telephone directory assistance called Infone with a long list of additional "value-added" services in the package:


How long will it take before their locator services become, or are they to some degree already, selective and, I have not checked this out, moved into the selection of professionals for the users professional service needs.
But a professional service provider locator would, if they are not already there, seem like the logical next step to this list of service at Infone:

TeleConcierge® We'll Get You Booked

Need a restaurant reservation? A hotel room? A taxi? Flowers for your anniversary? Where is that concert? And when? Where is your favorite radio station? Event times and locations, etc., etc., etc. Even the weather, a stock quote…or maybe your horoscope. We've got what you need.

Movies What's Playing?

We provide nationwide listings for virtually all theatres. If you're not sure where a specific movie is playing or what time it starts, we can provide you with location, show times, reviews and ratings. Don't listen to that irritating recording any more…get right to your movie, right on time.

Directions and Roadside Assistance Where to From Here?

Get turn-by-turn directions and "find me the nearest" services. Don't be lost again…even if you're close to home. And if you have transportation problems, we're your answer. We can summon a tow truck, mechanic or other appropriate assistance. Enjoy more than a little peace of mind while you're on the road.

Directory Assistance Enhanced Service

Oh yeah, we do that too. Better than anyone. Need to find an old schoolmate? How about a reverse search - What name goes with that number? Don't quite know what you're looking for? We'll search the category and try to find it, if it exists…a good Witch Doctor in Wichita, maybe? If you need the right number, we've got it for you.
Jerry LawsonPerson was signed in when posted
11:03 AM ET (US)
Thanks, Kevin. Kevin is a true lawyer visionary, having founded Prairielaw.com (http://www.prairielaw.com) and working for Martindale-Hubbell for a time later. Dennis Kennedy, Brenda Howard and I invited to appear as guest expert with the Internet Roundtable, and that column that turned out to be one of our best efforts: http://www.llrx.com/extras/ir13.htm. We are very glad to have you participating & look forward to hearing more.
Kevin O'Keefe
09:38 PM ET (US)
Got to look at MH listing a couple different ways. Plus you need to make some effort to make the listing work for you if you go that route. Note I am addressing the issue for small and medium firms using lawyers.com.

One way to look at MH is that you are in a directory alone and that people will find you because of that. However perhaps the greater advantage of the listing is the coverage MH gets you by doing national advertising of their directory on or offline. They'll do a radio campaign for part of the year, they are listed as a directory at AOL, and are listed as a directory with bio listings in Verizon's super pages. That type of coverage is not something one firms cannot get on there own.

Having said that a firm's listing can get buried among as many as 150 firms retrieved when one does a search for an area of practice in a medium to large metro area. That means the firm must optimize the areas of practice and the metro or towns they are listed in. In addition there may be cheap banner ads available on the MH pages displaying the search results. So yes, MH is expensive but it may play a part in an effective Internet marketing campaign when used properly.

- Kevin
Jerry LawsonPerson was signed in when posted
09:25 PM ET (US)
Reviewing the Bidding
For the benefit of those who come to this discussion group directly, here are URLs for the prior postings at my blog on this topic:

1. http://www.netlawblog.com/2003/05/27.html#a267
This was inspired by, and links to, an article in Law.com.

2. http://www.netlawblog.com/2003/05/28.html#a272

3. http://www.netlawblog.com/2003/05/31.html#a282
Edited 06-01-2003 11:13 AM
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