Defining “Lawyer Directories“
The definition for these directories will vary, the newly adopted Florida Bar Rules for attorney advertising define the term “lawyer directory” as follows:
“A person, group of persons, association, organization, or entity that receives any consideration, monetary or otherwise, given in exchange for publishing a listing of lawyers together in one place, such as a common Internet address, a book or pamphlet, a section of a book or pamphlet, in which all the participating lawyers and their advertisements are provided and the viewer is not directed to a particular lawyer or lawyers.”
The Florida Bar rules define the term “lawyer directory” in a way that does not apply to either local or voluntary bar associations that list its members on its website or in its publications or to telephone directories such as the white pages or the yellow pages.
Lawyer Directories Types
Finding the right attorney is a difficult task. Online attorney directories have helped make this task easier. The most popular legal directories are maintained by corporations. There are also state bar associations, local and specialty bar associations, and non-profit legal organizations.
Most online directories sort attorneys into categories by their practice area in law such as immigration, family law, personal injury, or criminal defense. The directories let legal consumers search for lawyers by name, practice area, or by geographic location to make it easier to find lawyers near them and based on their legal needs.
These directories also help the public find an attorney and they vary in their approach in showing results. Some attorney directories allow higher placement through paid listings or show results based on criteria such as expertise, trustworthiness, and expertise. Many non-profit directories help the public find pro bono attorneys who are willing to offer their services for free.
Lawyer Directories Benefits:
Attorneys claim their listing in online directories to increase their presence, manage their reputation, and connect with potential clients who need legal services.
Attorneys also claim their listing in online directories to create backlinks (links from one website to another) to their main website improve their local search engine optimization (SEO) which helps them get found in local results. They can also use this to drive traffic to their website and connect legal consumers to their social platforms. Lawyer listings are known as “local citations” in the SEO community which plays an important role in local SEO.
In some cases, the digital marketing agency that manages the lawyer’s or lawyer firm’s online presence will create and optimize the profiles for them.
Search engines like Google and Bing reference these attorney directories and lawyer citation sites to determine more about a business. Lawyer listings on industry-relevant niche directories help to improve their authority and local search rankings.
In many legal directories, the attorney can add a biography, a description of their practice areas, when they were licensed, phone and address, and information on their education, awards, speaking engagements, and publications. The more accurate, consistent, and complete the information is the better informed search engines will be to make decisions.
Best Free Lawyer Listings
Justia provides profiles for lawyers and legal aid organizations by area of practice and location. These profiles are free.
Attorneys can also pay to be a “featured attorney” which appears at the top of the directory and on the right-hand side. Justia’s online lawyer directory also lists thousands of non-profit legal aid and service organizations that provide free or low-cost legal services.
Cornell Law School – Legal Information Institute (LII):
Free attorney directory that includes listings of every attorney who has claimed and completed a profile with Justia. Like Justia, the Cornell LII directory also has featured attorneys.
Lawyer Legion provides basic listings for free and attorneys can upgrade for a paid listing.
LegalPeak provides lawyer profiles that can be claimed or created for free to manage and update.
Best Paid Lawyer Directories
In addition to providing self-representation legal forms for consumers, LegalZoom also operates an online attorney network that includes an attorney directory.
This is an online attorney directory with attorney profile pages. Avvo ranks attorneys with scores between 1 to 10. Attorneys can endorse other attorneys. Members of the public can provide a testimonial or review of any attorney.
Avvo provides information on an attorney’s disciplinary history. Listings are free. Search results come with sponsored listings at the top and advertisements from lawyers on the right side. Attorneys can pay per month for an upgrade to a “pro” listing to eliminate ads on the profile page.
Attorneys can also pay to place ads throughout the site. Part of the largest legal network online, Avvo is now part of the Martindale-AVVO Legal Network which includes Martindale-Hubbell®, Avvo®, Nolo, Lawyers.com, and Ngage Live Chat.
Owned by LexisNexis, Martindale.com is an online version of Martindale-Hubbell’s directory. Skeletal profiles on Martindale are free, though the profile does not include the attorney’s phone number or a link to the attorney’s website.
Attorneys can pay for a “professional biography.”
Lawyers.com is an online attorney directory owned by LexisNexis. All listings are “paid” or “sponsored” listings, they do not offer free listings.
Nolo’s mission is to help consumers and small businesses find answers to their everyday legal questions.
It began publishing do-it-yourself legal guides in 1971. Today, Nolo has evolved into the web’s largest collection of free consumer-friendly legal information. Nolo’s “Find a Lawyer” Directory contains paid listings.
The directory also acknowledges attorneys who are “Nolo Contributors.” Advertising opportunities on the directory are offered at a pay-per-lead or flat rate. The Nolo Legal Directory allows the attorney to add information about the firm including an overview, an explanation of the fee structure, office information, firm philosophy, and attorney’s biography.
FindLaw’s Lawyer Directory is a free Internet database that includes profiles of lawyers and law firms in the United States and Canada, including international offices.
Findlaw was acquired in 2001 by Thomson West, a division of Thomson Reuters. All online attorney listings are paid or sponsored listings.
Thomson Reuters acquired Super Lawyers in February 2019. This online attorney directory selects attorneys for inclusion based on peer nominations and evaluations combined with third-party research for attorneys who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.
Skeletal listings are free, although if the attorney wants a picture or link to their website, the attorney must upgrade to an “expanded online profile.”
Acquired as a Thomson Reuters business in August of 2013, LawInfo is an online legal resource center helping potential clients connect with qualified attorneys.
LawInfo provides consumers with a convenient way to access Lead Counsel Rated attorney listings, profiles, and legal resources.
This website offers lots of information about legal issues, legal forms, a library, and videos.
HG.org allows a firm listing with free basic information or a premium listing. When registered with HG.org, the attorney can publish articles at no cost. They also rank attorneys.
Best Lawyers is the oldest peer-review publication in the global legal community, operating through the Best Lawyers,
“Best Law Firms” and Lawyer Directory brands. Best Lawyers is headquartered in Aiken, South Carolina, and has additional offices in Brooklyn, New York, and Jacksonville, Florida.
Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Lawyers are not permitted to pay any fee to participate or be included on the Best Lawyers list.
What are other good directories you would recommend? Leave a comment below.