Justia’s stated mission is “to make law and legal resources free for all.” To that end, the company provides free legal resources, marketing solutions for lawyers, and a community section for users to ask legal questions. However, among attorneys, Justia is perhaps best known for its lawyer rating system.
The Justia Lawyer Ratings and Reviews System is intended to “give consumers and attorneys a useful metric by which to evaluate and compare lawyers before deciding to hire or associate with them.”
Lawyers can receive a score from 1.0 to 10.0.
As you can see, Justia provides a primary lawyer rating and specific ratings for legal abilities and ethics. Unless an attorney chooses to opt out of the rating system, their Justia score will be publicly available to anyone who comes across their profile on Justia.
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How Do Justia Ratings Work?
There are many different rating platforms in the legal industry, each using unique algorithms and systems to rate an attorney’s legal abilities.
For example, Avvo bases its ratings on the information in a lawyer’s Avvo profile, including years licensed, education, peer endorsements, associations, awards, publications, and speaking engagements.
Justia’s rating system is entirely peer-to-peer or colleague-to-colleague, making it similar to Martindale-Hubbell. The reviewer must be personally familiar with the work of the lawyer receiving the review. Only verified lawyers with active profiles on the Justia Lawyer Directory can review other attorneys. Justia also allows clients to review attorneys, but these reviews are not factored into the attorney’s Justia rating.
Lawyers without active profiles can create a profile here.
How Does Justia Calculate its Lawyer Ratings?
The Justia Lawyer Rating is based on the average score given to a lawyer by their colleagues or peers. In addition, a lawyer reviewing another attorney can provide a numerical rating of 1.0 – 5.0 for the attorney’s:
- Legal knowledge
- Legal analysis
- Communication skills
- Ethics and professionalism
These four categories are separate from an attorney’s overall Justia rating. Reviewing lawyers are also required to provide written narratives to support the numerical ratings they provide; these narratives are publicly viewable.
Why Your Attorney Justia Rating Matters
Your Justia Lawyer Rating matters for a number of reasons, some more obvious than others. Justia receives over ten million visits a month. That means the odds are good that consumers in your area will visit Justia when looking for legal services.
Potential clients may see your rating when browsing through the lawyer directory on Justia. With so many attorneys to choose from, these clients will likely weigh your rating heavily when searching for a lawyer to help with their case.
Justia also allows users to filter search results in the directory based on average rating, with an option to only view lawyers with 7+ star ratings and another option to only view attorneys with 9+ stars. If your rating is lower than either of these thresholds – which it would be if you have yet to receive a rating – you may be at a disadvantage when potential clients are filtering their search results.
How Can Justia Boost Your Visibility Online?
Another reason that your rating matters is that it can improve your SEO and drive more traffic to your law firm’s website. How would a Justia profile do this? Let’s take a look at the Google search results for the key term, “best personal injury lawyer in New York City.”
As you can see, Justia appears as the sixth organic result for this personal injury lawyer search query — following the paid listings and local results above these listings. Justia almost always appears on the first page of Google for target keyword searches like the example above – especially when the word “best” is included.
When users click on the Justia link in a search for lawyers in your area, they may see your profile. A high Justia rating may be the only thing that sets you apart from competitors in your geographic area — and it may be the one thing that causes a potential client to call you instead of another firm.
Justia can also improve your “offsite SEO.” This refers to strategies to improve your SEO that do not involve making changes to your own website. One aspect of offsite SEO is called “link-building,” which is when other websites incorporate links (also referred to as “backlinks”) to your website on their webpages.
Many lawyers include backlinks to their website on their Justia profile. Why? Justia is a premier website for legal resources and lawyer directory information, enjoying over 10 million visits a month. As we have seen, Google views Justia as a high-authority website.
Google places significant emphasis on (quality) backlinks when determining how high to rank your website on its search results. When a prominent legal directory such as Justia links to your website, it increases your authority and credibility in the eyes of Google. The search engine comes to see you as a trusted source of legal information by virtue of the backlinks you’ve acquired from Justia.
How to Improve your Justia Lawyer Rating
There are many ways to improve your Justia Lawyer Rating. It’s important to improve your Justia rating because a higher rating will help your profile appear higher on Justia’s Lawyer Directory.
This is important for the same reason that ranking high in Google search results is important: Potential clients are unlikely to scan through pages of attorney profiles on Justia. Rather, they will likely stick to the first page.
Follow these tips to improve your Justia rating:
- Ask Peers and Colleagues to Review Your Profile
Since Justia only allows lawyers to provide reviews about other lawyers whose work they are personally familiar with, the most straightforward avenue to take to improve your rating is to simply ask your peers and colleagues to review your profile.
Because Justia limits who can provide ratings in this manner, sometimes the highest-ranking attorneys within Justia’s Lawyer Directory for a given location have relatively few reviews. You do not necessarily need hundreds of peer reviews in order to appear high on Justia’s search results.
Direct peers to the “Review This Lawyer” section of your profile.
Your peer must scroll down and click the “Lawyer Review Your Peer” button.
They will then be directed to log in to their Justia account to begin the review process.
- Fill Out Your Justia Profile
Justia’s lawyer profiles contain much more information than just the attorney’s rating. They can include the attorney’s biography, practice areas, professional accolades, jurisdictions, and legal questions and answers. It is important to fill out as much information as you can on your attorney profile.
Scrolling down further on the attorney’s profile page will reveal further info about the lawyer. Not only will this information help potential clients choose you as their lawyer, but it can also help peers and colleagues feel more comfortable with providing you with a favorable rating.
Justia Lawyer Ratings and Reviews System FAQs
You might have a few questions about how the Justia Lawyer Ratings and Review System works. Here are some common questions and answers on the topic:
Is Justia free?
There is no cost to claim your profile on Justia. However, you can pay to have your listing appear higher on the Lawyer Directory if you so choose.
You can purchase a Gold or Platinum subscription that offers greater features than the free profiles, including exclusive top placements on Justia searches in your area and the removal of competitor ads on your Justia profile.
You can request a quote for Justia’s premium services by submitting your contact info on this page.
If I pay to have my listing appear higher on Justia’s search results, will that increase my rating?
No. Your rating will remain the same, but your profile will appear higher when potential clients perform a relevant search.
Can someone else create a profile for me?
It is Justia’s policy that each attorney profile must correspond with the attorney’s email address. Beyond that, it is permissible for a third party to claim and manage the attorney’s profile.
Can I remove the Justia rating from my attorney profile?
Yes, Justia allows users to opt out of the rating system.
Can I ask lawyers I’ve never met to provide me with a rating?
No. Justia only allows peers and colleagues who are familiar with your work to provide you with a review. Ignoring this policy would also likely be a violation of the rules of professional conduct for attorneys.
How LawRank Can Help Improve your Attorney Justia Rating and Help Your Business Grow With Law Firm SEO
If you’re interested in improving your Justia rating, your end goal is probably to drive more business to your firm. Improving your Justia rating can certainly help with this goal, but it is only one part of the picture.
The bigger picture is all about search engine optimization. SEO for lawyers is one of the most competitive niches. You need an agency who specializes and legal marketing and has a proven track record of success.
Lawrank is a leading SEO agency for law firms; we manage all aspects of your legal marketing needs – including your attorneys’ profiles on lawyer directories such as Justia. We tailor our services to each client’s needs and help ensure your website is listed prominently on Google.
Contact us today to get started. We can provide you with a free quote and discuss how we can help you reach your legal marketing goals as a firm.