People turn to lawyers during stressful life events. Whether it’s for a divorce, injury, or work conflict, they want an attorney they can trust. In today’s digital culture, positive attorney reviews are essential to attract these potential clients. In this post, we will discuss some of the top lawyer review sites, along with tips (and attorney advertising rules) surrounding asking for and managing client reviews.
What are the most popular lawyer review sites?
The internet is a powerful tool for consumers. Research shows 91% of people aged 18-34 trust online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation or referral. What will they find when they type your name into the search bar? This may have an impact on whether they consider doing business with you.
If you’re ready to get started, these are the best attorney review sites. Keep in mind, this often depends on your specific niche, but the following websites are a great place to begin. You can learn more about managing and responding to attorney reviews in a previous post. Later in this post, we’ll discuss specific strategies for requesting reviews as an attorney, and responding when they do come in.
1. Google lawyer reviews
Google has quickly become a giant contributor in the world of online reviews. Why? Google is the most popular search engine in the world.
Finding reviews is effortless for people because your business profile will appear on the right side of the window when they search for you. They don’t even need to click.
How to optimize Google lawyer reviews
By using Google My Business, you can connect with more potential clients through Google Search and Maps. You have control over the information in your business profile, such as hours and contact information.
Plus, you’ll be able to respond to reviews and determine how many people are engaging with your Google business page.
Yelp isn’t just for finding the best pizza joint in town. People love the approachable and user-friendly format, which makes it a go-to for many consumers.
Due to this popularity, Yelp and your reviews on it will usually be one of the first websites to appear when someone searches for you.
How to optimize Yelp
The benefit of Yelp is the ability to share details about your practice. Include information about the services you offer and how you can be reached. You can even include relevant photos.
Thank the people who leave positive reviews, and be courteous and helpful with any negative ones.
Avvo was specifically designed for people in search of a lawyer, which makes it an obvious choice. The website lists 97% of all lawyers in the U.S.
Users may search by location or area of practice, making it easy to use.
Note that in 2018, Avvo joined the Martindale-Hubbell family. While these two lawyer review sites are still distinct and separate, that may change with time.
How to optimize Avvo
By claiming your Avvo profile, you can post important information about your practice, including your rates. Plus, you can monitor your attorney reviews and overall rating.
This is also a great place to join the conversation and increase your local visibility by answering questions in the legal Q&A forum.
Martindale-Hubbell began in 1868 as a simple list of one reliable law firm in every city in the U.S.
Today, a unique combination of peer review ratings and client review ratings give potential clients a comprehensive view of your abilities.
How to optimize Martindale-Hubbell
Subscribers may choose up to two reviews with written feedback to display at the top of their client or peer review section. This gives you the power to highlight what you want people to see first.
Interested in learning more? The website has an extensive guide for attorneys looking to build a solid profile.
This is a free service for individuals and small businesses who need legal guidance, but aren’t sure where to start.
There are profiles for one million attorneys worldwide, as well as articles on a range of legal topics.
How to optimize Lawyers.com
Lawyers.com is considered a top ranking website in the legal community. With that in mind, it’s important to maintain a profile that has complete information about your practice.
Lawyers.com allows potential clients to contact you directly from the website with a form, which is another incentive to make your profile compelling.
6. Better Business Bureau
In general, the Better Business Bureau has a solid reputation for accuracy in reviews and ratings.
Unlike other lawyer review sites, the BBB investigates complaints in order to find resolutions.
How to optimize Better Business Bureau
Your BBB rating has little to do with client reviews. Businesses may earn BBB accreditation after completing a thorough evaluation.
If the Better Business Bureau reaches out to you regarding a poor review, you should always respond. Ignoring complaints can hurt your rating.
Facebook needs no introduction. There are roughly 2.4 billion Facebook users around the world. Simply put, your current clients and potential clients are probably using it.
How to optimize Facebook
Facebook business profiles are easy to create and maintain. Users are likely to visit your Facebook page because they’re already on the platform anyway.
Ask your clients to head over to your page and leave a review if they’re happy with their experience.
The NOLO lawyer directory can connect potential clients with a list of attorneys who will compete for their business. Alternatively, they also have the option of viewing individual lawyers and connecting with whomever they choose.
With more than one million consultation requests to date, this is a lawyer review site you don’t want to miss out on.
How to optimize NOLO
NOLO gives you multiple options for marketing. You can maintain a basic profile that gives you the ability to publish articles and gain exposure through various directories.
The website also offers a premium membership that comes with targeted marketing ads.
Other legal community resources
Many state bar associations include a roster of lawyers divided by location or area of practice. These profiles typically include a biography, contact information, and details about services offered. Contact your state bar association to make sure your practice is listed with accurate information.
Lastly, don’t forget about hyper-local resources like Nextdoor and Ring’s Neighbors app. These are great places to join the conversation. People are frequently looking for advice and referrals. Plus, it’s a good way to stay in-the-know about the issues that concern people in your community.
How to get online reviews for your law firm
Attorney reviews are a crucial part of practicing law in 2020, but it’s important to know the ins and outs of attorney advertising rules. From how you ask for reviews to the ethics of posting client testimonials online, there are regulations and guidelines that all attorneys must follow.
The American Bar Association took legal advertising on in 2018, updating outdated language that previously focused only on media like billboards and the Yellow Pages. The new rules reflect advertising across platforms and deserve some new attention. Here’s what you should know.
How to ask for attorney reviews, ethically
Businesses that ask for rules are all held to general advertising laws. Attorney advertising rules as they relate to lawyer review sites are even more specific.
While some businesses offer gift cards or other incentives in exchange for reviews, attorney reviews are different. The American Bar Association (ABA) updates from 2018 includes specific language in rule 7.2 that restricts what a lawyer can offer in exchange for a review.
(b) A lawyer shall not compensate, give or promise anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer’s services except that a lawyer may:
(5) give nominal gifts as an expression of appreciation that are neither intended nor reasonably expected to be a form of compensation for recommending a lawyer’s services.
Sure, you could offer a gift card for a latté, but much beyond that toes the line of what’s ethical and what will get you censured by the ABA. And, avoiding even that small gift may be a best practice to stay aboveboard.
Timing matters, too. Asking for reviews at the end of every email and in most communications is regular (best) practice for some businesses, but in terms of attorney reviews it’s a no-no. Ask at the end of the case, regardless of the outcome, and get ready to manage your reviews (more on that below!).
And what can you ask for in a review? Turns out, not much specific. Soliciting attorney reviews needs to be wide open and non-specific, asking only for the client to share how their experience was. And what you do with that information is also regulated. Keep reading.
Ensure client confidentiality
A good basic guideline: the client comes first. Do not ask your clients to share personal information that they would not want widely known.
Keep in mind that ABA ethics rules also mandate that you are not allowed to edit lawyer reviews. What your client writes must be posted in full. In light of this, consider if even asking them to share would make them uncomfortable. Re-think your approach to make the request as safe (and ethical) as possible for both your clients and your firm.
Make it easy and consistent
Clients will be more inclined to review your work if you make it easy for them. Build review requests into the final paperwork for clients. Include a link on any close-out communications with clients, and ask specifically for a review in any follow-up communications.
You can ask for reviews periodically in social media and in any other email marketing that goes to a list of clients who have opted in, but you cannot actively solicit reviews from people who are not yet clients.
Put a policy in place for attorney reviews
We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating here: you must set up a practice for managing your reviews. Treat your reviews like a part of your culture, for better and for worse.
Think of it this way: if someone gives you a compliment in real-life, you wouldn’t spin on your heel and walk away. It’s polite and gracious to thank them. On the other hand, if you are walking down the street and accidentally run into someone, it’s also important to apologize and say “excuse me.”
Thanking clients for positive reviews and regularly responding to less-than-satisfied clients shows potential clients that you are engaged after the case closes. Their satisfaction matters. Offer gratitude for the positive reviews and propose a follow-up for clients who express dissatisfaction.
Some firms designate a specific time every week to respond to attorney reviews, and others might also designate a specific member of the firm. You might consider using a legal app to keep track of these responses.
Set up a system that works for you, and stick with it.
How to advertise your attorney reviews
Ethics Model Rules set by the ABA make it clear that publicizing your attorney reviews walks a tightrope between what’s legal and what is considered unwanted solicitation. You cannot use language like, “Our clients say we’re the best!” or “Reviews clearly show we’re experts!”
Some states ban clients reviews and testimonials altogether, noting that these are only personal experiences and can be misleading. If you aren’t sure, check with your state Bar’s rules on attorney reviews and ask before you post any.
If they are allowed, post a link on your website to featured lawyer review sites. You can also add a link to your social media profiles.
Get help with law firm reputation management
Attorney reviews can help potential clients get to know your firm and what you have to offer, but they have to be done right. Knowing attorney advertising rules can help keep clients safe, expand your reach, and grow your firm.
A solid online reputation is essential for long-term success. For more help with attorney reviews for your law firm, contact NIVAN Content. From everything from law firm marketing to technology updates, we can help your firm meet the needs of today’s clients.
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