With the number of online legal directories constantly growing and evolving, it can be difficult to stand out as an attorney, particularly if you’re trying to grow your online presence or generate client leads virtually.
FindLaw is a comprehensive legal database that provides resources to attorneys and consumers, including statutes, news, and blogs covering numerous legal topics.
In addition to informative legal content, Findlaw offers a Lawyer Directory featuring attorneys nationwide and over 110 practice areas. Part of Thomson Reuters, FindLaw is also affiliated with Super Lawyers, LawInfo, and Abogado.
More than 11 million people visit the site every month – making FindLaw an invaluable marketing tool for attorneys looking to enhance their online visibility.
What Is FindLaw’s Rating System and How Are the Ratings Determined?
Attorneys may choose to enable ratings and reviews on their FindLaw profiles. A client can rate an attorney or firm using one to five stars, making it similar to Google’s review system. The star rating is determined by the average of all ratings submitted for the lawyer or organization.
Clients who leave reviews must:
- Rate their overall experience with the attorney
- Share an opinion using at least 50 characters
- Submit their name, email, customer type (whether they hired or consulted with the attorney)
- State the year(s) they worked with the attorney
Clients may also submit optional star ratings for value, quality of service, and professional competence. These optional ratings don’t affect the overall rating, and individual attorney ratings don’t affect an affiliated law firm’s rating (or vice versa).
Fortunately, all reviews on FindLaw are subject to attorney review prior to publishing to ensure that the ratings and reviews are valid. Lawyers have 14 days to verify that they represented or consulted with the reviewer. Verified reviews will be published — so long as they don’t include vulgar content, spam, or information pertaining to another business.
Does a High FindLaw Rating Matter?
It can be daunting trying to set yourself apart from other attorneys online, especially since there are so many different ratings platforms available. However, like it or not, it’s essential to maintain your FindLaw profile and ensure that it contains updated information.
Studies have shown that 98% of potential clients look at online reviews when researching attorneys to hire. Not surprisingly, many consumers use Google to search for legal services. FindLaw profiles frequently appear high in Google’s organic search results for target keywords. That makes your FindLaw profile an indispensable legal marketing tool.
For example, suppose you search Google for the “best personal injury lawyer in Harrisburg, PA.” FindLaw lawyer profiles are the number one organic search result.
Because FindLaw profiles consistently rank high in Google’s search results, it’s important to have a profile and reviews/ratings on the platform. People are likely to click on one of the first search results they see in a search engine. If FindLaw is one of those results, chances are good that they will click through to the platform to continue their search for an attorney. If you don’t have a profile on FindLaw, these consumers will not find you. Plain and simple.
Likewise, if your profile has no reviews or several negative ratings, that may deter many of them from contacting you. Since most people rely on online reviews to assess the quality of a lawyer, many users refine their FindLaw search to include only profiles that have reviews:
If your profile doesn’t have reviews or ratings, many clients will likely never see it. With the volume of online attorney profiles, you only have seconds to convince a potential client that you’re the right attorney for them before they keep scrolling. Therefore, it’s important to encourage your clients to leave reviews to increase your law practice’s visibility on Google and within FindLaw’s lawyer directory.
What Do I Do If I Get Negative Reviews on My FindLaw Profile?
To be sure, negative reviews are inevitable sometimes. And although negative feedback isn’t ideal, research has shown that many consumers don’t want to see 5-star ratings exclusively; many are simply looking for honest feedback.
If you’ve received a bad review, you should respectfully and politely respond to the reviewer by thanking them for their time, addressing their concerns, apologizing (if necessary), and ensuring that the problem is resolved. Many people respect lawyers who are willing to take responsibility and apologize for less-than-perfect service. They also value lawyers who respond to client reviews, viewing them as responsive and courteous.
What Are Some Other Benefits of a FindLaw Profile?
An updated FindLaw profile with favorable reviews and ratings is also beneficial for legal search engine optimization (SEO). Particularly, it’s vital for off-site SEO, which refers to efforts and tactics to improve your presence online that don’t involve your law firm’s website.
Off-site SEO is an invaluable tool that boosts your authority on Google and promotes your business by generating positive ranking signals to Google. Link-building is one of the most important types of off-site SEO strategies. When you obtain backlinks through legal directories like FindLaw, Google will deem your website more valuable and authoritative.
Google sees that an authoritative source for legal information with over 10 million monthly visitors has linked back to your website. It, in turn, finds you more credible and trustworthy as a source of legal information. Generally, the more backlinks your website has, the more organic web traffic it tends to generate. The more people you have visiting your website, the more business you are likely to bring in.
Increased Branding Opportunities to Show Off Your Accolades
As mentioned previously, FindLaw is owned by Thomson Reuters, which also owns the rating service, SuperLawyers. Therefore, FindLaw search results will include a Super Lawyer designation for your profile, if applicable.
Lawyers who have acquired this special designation are recognized and respected within the legal profession. If you’ve been designated as a Super Lawyer, you should take advantage of FindLaw’s promotion of the award by creating a profile.
Most people are familiar with Super Lawyers or can at least infer its significance. If a user sees your profile on FindLaw and discovers that you are a “Super Lawyer,” it will likely increase your credibility in their eyes. Therefore, having this accolade along with attorney ratings is extremely useful for legal marketing.
How Do I Create a FindLaw Attorney Profile?
You generally have to create your own FindLaw profile. If you don’t have a profile, you may create a free profile, which includes basic information such as your name, address, phone number, and practice area(s).
Follow these steps to register for your profile:
- Use this link to create an account. Click “Register Here.”
- Input your email address and check your inbox for an email from FindLaw to confirm your registration request.
- Input the directory information required for your profile and click “Submit.”
- Follow remaining instructions and complete your attorney profile. FindLaw’s Lawyer Directory personnel will review the information provided and publish your profile within two business days.
You may choose to purchase a premium profile page, which allows you to add additional information regarding you and your practice, including:
- An overview of your practice, including up to 4,000 words of narrative text
- Additional practice areas, including the percentage of your practice dedicated to each
- The percentage of litigation your firm takes on
- Representative clients and cases
- Education and bar admissions
- Past employment information
- Accolades you have received
- Professional memberships and associations
- Third-party recommendations and references
- A record of your firm’s previous organization names
- Mergers and acquisitions your firm has been involved in
- Classes or seminars you have taught or presentations you have given
- Your pro-bono legal activities
- Published works
As you can see, a premium profile allows you to include much more information in your individual and organization profiles than a basic profile. To create a premium profile, you can request a quote by completing the online form. A FindLaw representative will contact you to go over pricing and other information based on your firm’s size, goals, and practice areas.
How Do I Acquire Client Ratings on My FindLaw Profile?
First, you need to ensure that you have enabled ratings and reviews on your profile. As mentioned earlier, attorneys may opt out of these services.
Once you have confirmed that reviews are enabled, direct your clients to the “Write a Review” button at the top of your FindLaw profile to leave a rating.
Clients will then be prompted to leave a rating between one and five stars, an opinion using at least 50 characters, and their contact information.
Once a client submits their review, they will receive an email to verify their review. The attorney or organization will also receive the client’s email address to verify that they are a former client. A client’s information is shared with the attorney or law firm they are reviewing. However, the client may choose for their review to remain anonymous.
Clients may also mark other FindLaw reviews as “helpful,” so that others can see which reviews are the most useful.
Attorneys may select “featured reviews” to appear at the top of their profile’s review list, followed by verified clients (newest to oldest), neither verified nor unverified clients (newest to oldest), and unverified clients (newest to oldest). In the example above, the law firm verified the former client, as indicated by the green “Verified Client” tag.
FindLaw Frequently Asked Questions
We answer some FAQs regarding FindLaw profiles and reviews below.
Can I Remove Negative Reviews?
FindLaw will only remove a review if it has offensive language, promotes another attorney/business, or contains personally identifying information, advertising, or spam. Otherwise, the content will remain active on the attorney or firm’s profile.
Attorneys can choose to disable ratings and reviews on their FindLaw profile. However, it’s recommended to include them to increase potential client engagement, even if you’ve received negative feedback. You have the option of responding to negative reviews to provide context for the user’s complaint and show other potential clients you are responsive and courteous.
How Do I Report a Review?
There is a “Report” button directly below each review on your profile.
If a review is reported, FindLaw’s support team will examine the content and the reason it was flagged. They will remove the review if it violates FindLaw’s policies.
How Do I Submit a Question Regarding My FindLaw Ratings and Reviews?
You may submit a query as a consumer or attorney using FindLaw’s Ratings & Reviews questionnaire.
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Building your online presence as an attorney can be intimidating, particularly if you’re just starting your firm or trying to rebrand. There are many online legal directories, and you’re likely busy handling the daily law firm management operations, in addition to your client and case duties. However, it’s crucial to develop and maintain your online visibility to remain competitive and continue bringing in clients.
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