Thanks to the Internet, the good-old word-of-mouth marketing broadened from a small circle of family, friends, and acquaintances to, pretty much, the entire world.
Whether it’s visiting a restaurant, buying a laptop, or staying at an Airbnb, thoroughly examining online customer reviews of the products/services we seek to purchase has become a custom before swiping our credit card.
And the trust we put in online reviews extends to more serious matters too, such as hiring an attorney to help in your legal battle. Online client reviews have become a determining factor for many when narrowing down their choice of a lawyer or law firm.
According to a recent study by ilawyermarketing, a staggering 98% of respondents reported they would research the online reviews of the attorney before hiring them. Moreover, half of the respondents noted they would spend several days, and even weeks, doing online research before contacting their chosen lawyer.
The study also found that prospective legal clients trust Google and Yelp! reviews the most and that a whopping 89% of respondents wouldn’t hire a firm with less than a 4-star rating.
Feedback from prior clients is vital in understanding whether a lawyer (firm) would be reliable, skilled, and valuable in providing adequate assistance in your particular case.
To help your chances of winning the legal action you’ve got coming up, we’ve made a detailed guide to finding and hiring a lawyer based on reviews on online platforms.
Read on to discover some of the best lawyer review sites frequented by legal consumers and learn tips to find a good-match attorney.
Top 5 Lawyer Review Platforms
We’ve already mentioned Google and Yelp as commonly trusted resources for lawyer reviews.
While both platforms are great in terms of their trustworthiness and easy accessibility — and should definitely be on your radar, there are other websites dedicated specifically to in-depth legal reviews.
In this section, we will outline some of the best lawyer review sites (in no particular order).
Founded by lawyer Mark Britton, Avvo is a legal counseling and attorney review website with over 15 years of existence.
Avvo owes its trustworthiness among clients to being entirely neutral, as lawyers cannot pay for a higher profile ranking, improving their ratings, or concealing negative client reviews. The site has an extensive lawyer directory whose ranking is entirely based on a data-driven algorithm.
Besides helping you find an attorney in your area and the expertise you need, Avvo boasts an extensive free FAQ section for a variety of legal questions — asked by other people or you.
In addition, there are tons of free articles, resources, and guides for anyone who has a legal question but isn’t keen on paying expensive lawyer consultation fees.
Lawyers listed on Avvo can help with various fields of law, such as business, divorce, child custody, criminal defense, immigration, personal injury, and more.
FindLaw is a free online directory listing hundreds of US-based attorneys in 119 areas of law.
The platform makes it super easy to find a great-match attorney, by filtering your search based on legal issues, geographic location, the option of free consultations, language, etc.
Besides the directory, FindLaw offers numerous legal resources, such as a layperson-friendly handbook of legal terms, guides on forming an LLC, and much more.
As an attorney directory, FindLaw features star ratings submitted by clients, in addition to optional ratings that include value, quality of service, and professional competence (though these do not influence the overall rating).
LegalShield is a platform intended for individuals and small businesses in the US and Canada. The site offers live chat and emergency consultations provided to you by legal experts — however, all these conveniences come at a price.
Namely, LegalShield uses a monthly subscription model, meaning it’s not designed for one-time use. Still, there’s no long-term commitment, and monthly plans are affordable compared to an average single-hour fee for counseling with an attorney.
The platform’s membership fees cover plenty of legal services at just a fraction of the cost, such as unlimited consultations, legal document reviews, estate planning services, mortgage document preparation, and more.
On top of that, LegalShield provides a 25% discount on standard hourly rates for its subscribers, with spouses and dependent children included.
The Tinder for those who struggle with law, rather than love, LegalMatch is a client-attorney matching platform.
LegalMatch focuses on connecting clients with the most suitable lawyer, based on the client’s legal issue, the lawyer’s location, and area of practice.
Prospective clients can refine their search by responding to the platform’s questions, like describing their issues in more detail. Once client info is submitted, LegalMatch lawyers respond by sharing their background, fees, and qualifications.
For greater convenience, while seeking legal help, LegalMatch also offers a mobile app available for both iOS and Android.
A free lawyer directory for everyone who needs legal representation but is unsure how to begin their search, Lawyers.com boasts over one million attorney profiles worldwide.
Besides lawyer listings, Lawyers.com includes numerous expert articles on countless legal topics. The platform is a valuable online resource for individuals and small businesses interested in finding solutions to their legal issues or simply learning more about the law.
Tips On Finding A Good Lawyer
Positive client reviews, years of experience, and a formidable background of winning cases sound like foolproof signs of a great lawyer. However, what looks good on paper isn’t necessarily what will work for you.
Thus, before hiring a lawyer for your assistance in your legal matter, go over the following questions to determine whether you have made the perfect attorney choice:
- Check the lawyer’s reviews across several different platforms. Besides Google and Yelp! and the websites we listed above, research other possible resources like Facebook groups, online forums, etc.
- Find a lawyer with a matching specialization. You have the best chances of winning your case with a lawyer who specializes in the type of legal issue you have.
- Make sure the lawyer’s location suits you. Chances are you will have to make lots of trips to your lawyer’s office — or they to you. So, research where your preferred attorney is located and how much the travel would cost you.
- Is there more to your chosen attorney? Prior to hiring a lawyer, examine their track record, awards/certifications, education, and authority. For the best outcome of your case, you’ll want to find a lawyer who keeps up with legal novelties through continued training, a renowned expert often consulted by the media, or an attorney with special distinctions or executive positions with relevant law organizations.
- Understand your specific immigration needs: If you’re dealing with an immigration matter, such as obtaining an R-1 visa for religious work in the U.S., and you don’t even know what is an R-1 visa. Thoroughly research the attorney’s capability in handling specialized visas like the R-1, and consider online reviews as part of your evaluation.
- An individual lawyer or a team? Legal cases are time-consuming, and you’d want your attorney to provide your case with the attention it deserves. Therefore, it might be a good idea to ask whether your legal representative has support staff, such as assistants, paralegals, other attorneys, etc.
To Sum Up
Regardless of the seriousness and possible implications and consequences of your legal case, always remember that your future deserves appropriate research and evaluation.
With a good lawyer on your side, you can win even the most unlikely legal battles — and, as such, the quest for finding a quality attorney is never too lengthy or too elaborate.
Take your time to scrutinize the online presence of all lawyers you find interesting, examine the pros and cons of working with each, and finally, sign with the one who seems like the perfect fit — on and off the paper.
Last but not least, keep in mind that your chosen lawyer must work in your favor; therefore, do not hesitate to let them go if you feel your case isn’t being handled the way it should.