On March 22, 2013, Jason E. Miller and Leslie M. Sammis co-founded Lawyer Legion as a division of the parent company, Internet LAVA, LLC. Without using any outside investors, the project was funded entirely with the profits of the parent company.
Lawyer Legion was created out of necessity in order to help a non-profit organization, the NORML National Legal Committee (NLC), launch a better membership directory. During that pro-bono marketing project, we realized that all non-profit legal organizations need better membership directories.
By flipping a switch, Lawyer Legion feeds a designated set of attorney profiles to a separate membership directory on the organization's own website. The organization can easily add or delete members from its directory and handle other administrative tasks. When powered by Lawyer Legion, the organization's directory dominates online searches for its niche specialty area of the law.
During the project, we realized that by working with non-profit legal organizations and automating the process of ranking attorneys based on objective criteria, our directory could compete with the industry giants.
Our goal is to provide consumers with the best possible choices. At the same time, we reward attorneys for their dedication, accomplishments, and contributions related to a specialty practice area.
For generations, lawyers have developed tried and true methods of organizing themselves into bar sanctioned programs including board certification programs, specialty bar associations, bar sections, and lawyer referral services. Legal associations play a pivotal role in activism, reform, education, and community support for the legal profession.
Traditionally, these organizations have also played an important role in helping the public find a qualified attorney.
As consumers began to turn to the internet to find an attorney, the bar sanctioned programs fell behind in their online marketing efforts. Although these organizations have stood the test of time, they struggled with maintaining an effective online presence.
The void was filled with online commercial directories that began to dominate the search engines. These commercial directories had no incentive to promote bar sanctioned programs.
Instead, the commercial directories went the opposite direction by creating their own gimmicks. Directories came up with artificial ways to rank attorneys, often focusing on self-reported information, peer endorsements, and a willingness to pay for advertising. Gimmicks like Avvo's numerical scoring system for attorneys quickly became popular online, while the bar sanctioned programs continued to fall further behind.
Understanding this problem led us to a simple solution: The process of ranking attorneys across specialty practice areas should be automated using data from the bar sanctioned programs.
To rank attorneys across specialty practice areas, our directory utilizes the following types of information for our algorithm:
Using this objective data also helps automate the ranking process. Even if an attorney never claims their listing on Lawyer Legion, we can still pull enough data to rank the attorney within our system.
More than 24,700 lawyers have earned board certification as a specialist in at least one state or national ABA-accredited specialty certification program. Although consumers can search for board-certified lawyers on each individual certifying organization's website, these directories are difficult to use.
To address this problem, we created the only commercial lawyer directory that properly acknowledges all state and national ABA-accredited board certification programs across every individual specialty area.
As a result, every board-certified lawyer in the United States across every specialty area has a live Lawyer Legion profile page. More than 10% of those attorneys designed as a board certified specialist have claimed their profile on Lawyer Legion.
Earlier this year, Lawyer Legion rolled out robust profiles for over 200 law schools across the United States. Each profile includes statistics and national comparison rankings for each statistic.
The profile page for each law school also features an alumni directory. The alumni directory features attorneys active on Lawyer Legion. Attorneys can use the alumni directory to find an old classmate or make a referral.
Lawyer Legion has 1.2 million lines of backend code which represents only server-side PHP code. All functionality has been developed since 2013 and continuously improved. The platform was re-launched in May of 2019 after most of the code was completely revitalized and updated.
Our ranking system calculates hundreds of numerical scores for each lawyer. Depending on the user's query, the lawyer will have a different score for different practice areas and geographic locations.
Although we do not display the numerical scores to the public, we do use the numerical scores to determine the ranking order in our search results for the user's query. We place more weight on objective criteria and less weight on subjective criteria generated by the user.
Our algorithm strikes a balance between ranking the most highly qualified attorneys (based on objective criteria) and the most robust profiles (to enhance the user experience). Lawyers who have both verified credentials and a robust lawyer profile rank the best for applicable queries.
We created Lawyer Legion to promote the old-fashioned ways of finding an attorney. We organize our directory the way attorneys organize themselves. Our directory recognizes leadership in specialty certification programs at the state and national level, specialty bar associations, specialty bar sections, and other types of non-profit legal organizations.
Acknowledging participation in highly respected legal organizations remains one of the best ways to determine a lawyer's focus and competency in a specialty area of the law.
At Lawyer Legion, we have several goals:
We help the public use the newest technologies to find an attorney in an old-fashioned way.
This article was last updated on Tuesday, February 2, 2021.