Finding the right attorney is a difficult task. Online attorney directories should make that task easier. State bar associations, local and specialty bar associations, non-profit legal organizations, or even large corporations maintain the most popular legal directories.
Each directory has a different way of rating or ranking lawyers in different categories.
Unlike print directories or the yellow pages that were popular in the past, an online attorney directory can provide a convenient way for the public to access a wealth of information quickly.
Most online directories sort attorneys into different specialty practice areas of the law such as immigration, family law, personal injury or criminal defense. The directories typically allow searches by the attorney's last name or geographical location.
Directories that help the public find an attorney vary in their approach. Many non-profit directories help the public find a free or pro bono attorney. Some of the directories help a person find the most affordable or cheapest attorney.
Others directory, like Lawyer Legion, help the public find the top attorney for a particular practice area in a particular geographical location.
Attorneys claim their listing in online directories to connecting with potential clients who need their services. Attorneys also claim their listing in online directories to create backlinks to their main website for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.
In some cases, the internet marketing company that manages the law firm's online presence will create and optimize the profiles.
Google and the other search engines reference these attorney directories and lawyer citation sites to determine more about a business. Business listings on industry-relevant niche directories help to improve SEO authority and rankings.
Other benefits of claiming their profile on the top directories include improving their main website's local SEO rankings, improving off-page SEO, and raising their Domain Authority
In many legal directories, the attorney can add a biography, an RSS blog feed, a description of their practice areas, and information on their education, awards, speaking engagements, and publications.
The attorneys can also add links to their main website, blogs, and profiles about the firm on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Yelp, or Facebook.
By adding this information to the top attorney directories, the attorney can create authoritative links for the main website and blog. The sheer number of additional backlinks, along with the quality of each one, is an important SEO factor.
Lawyer Legion - Lawyer Legion has more than 100,000 attorney profiles listing in our database. A basic listing is free and attorneys can upgrade to an enhanced profile. Attorneys are ranked according to objective criteria such as their membership and leadership in respected specialty bar associations, board certification programs, and non-profit legal organizations. Lawyer Legion recognizes attorneys who have earned a designation as a board-certified specialist. Search for an attorney by name, location, practice area, or specialty.
Justia's Lawyer Directory - Justia provides profiles for lawyers and legal aid organizations by practice area and location. The profiles are free. Attorneys can also pay to be a "featured attorney" which appear at the top of the directory and along 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.
LegalZoom Attorney Network and Directory- In addition to providing self-representation legal forms for consumers, LegalZoom also operates an online attorney network that includes an attorney directory. The company grew twenty-five-fold from 2004 to 2019.
Avvo - Online attorney directory with nearly 1.5 million attorney profile pages. Avvo ranks attorneys with a score between 1 to 10. Attorneys can endorse other attorneys. Members of the public can provide a testimonial or review of the 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 $49.95 per month for an upgraded "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 Martindale-Avvo which includes Martindale-Hubbell®, Avvo®, Nolo, and Lawyers.com.
FindLaw’s Lawyer Directory - FindLaw’s Lawyer Directory is a free Internet database that includes over 900,000 profiles of lawyers and law firms in the United States and Canada, including international offices. According to its website, the site has more than six million consumers visiting each month. Findlaw was acquired in 2001 by Thomson West, a division of publishing powerhouse Thomson Reuters. All online attorney listings are paid or sponsored listings.
HG.org Legal Directory - With 850,000 unique visitors per month looking for legal help, HG.org allows a firm listing with free basic information or Premium listing. When registered with HG.org, the attorney can publish articles at no cost.
Methodology at BestLawyers.com -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 in or be included on the Best Lawyers list. The listings are published in almost 70 countries around the world. The last edition included 55,041 attorneys in 140 practice areas, covering all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Levine Leichtman Capital Partners recently partnered with management to acquire Best Lawyers.
Legal500.com - Based in the UK, Legal500 is a guide to the legal market in over 70 countries. The website “ranks” law firms in different countries, regions, and areas of practice. It is endorsed by the Commerce & Industry Group and recognized by The Law Society of England & Wales. Legal 500 lists around 50 editors and researchers on its website. Legal 500 covers firms in the United States.
Although 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 traditional telephone directories such as the white pages or the yellow pages.
Many of the attorney directories maintained by the state bar or the state bar association allow you to find a lawyer in that jurisdiction. The information listed on the attorney's bar profile page is usually the most accurate and frequently updated place to find the attorney's contact information.
For the bar associations that maintain their own “find a lawyer” directory, you can find a list of every attorney licensed in that state. You can usually search for the attorney by their name, practice area, geographical location or bar number.
Members can log in to the portal of their bar association’s attorney directory to update their contact information, address, or phone number. Many of these bar directories also have “find a lawyer” features that functions much like an online referral service.
Attorney Directories by State Bar Associations - Visit this list of online attorney directories maintained by the different bar associations or disciplinary boards in each state. The attorney's profile in the directory indicates whether the attorney is eligible to practice law in that state. Many of these directories indicate whether the attorney has any disciplinary history and a link to additional information. The directories maintained by the state bar tends to have the most updated contact information for the attorney. Instead of using a rating system to rank attorneys, these directories by bar associations typically list the attorneys according to search criteria and then in alphabetical order or by using a random ranking system.
More information on Directories of Attorney and Legal Directories
Directories of Lawyers - Duke University School of Law in Durham, NC, maintains this list of Directories for Lawyers. Find information on the attorney ranking systems used by both online directories and print directories. The guide also includes information on state-specific attorney directories, and specialized directories, listings for women and minority attorneys, and international listings.
Supreme Court Counsel Directory - The website for the Supreme Court of the United States maintains a directory of counsel listings which identifies all Supreme Court bar members who participated in a particular case argued before the Court. Information is listed for the cases argued during the indicated Term, the U. S. Reports volume and part number for the particular preliminary print in which the cases will appear. The list includes the docket number, name, and date of the argument of each such case. The directory identifies the attorney argued each case and specifying each attorney whose name appears on a brief on the merits if he or she was a member of the Court's Bar at the time the case was argued.
Top Directories for Finding Lawyers - Learn more about finding the top 100 law firm directories. Find information on the ranking system provided by Alexa.com. Find information on the rankings for directories determined by estimating their average pageviews and daily visitors. Find the Alexa rankings for these lawyer ranking websites in the United States and throughout the world. Other lawyer directories not otherwise mentioned in this article include lawyer.com, hg.com, jurist.com and lawguru.com.
This article was last updated on Friday, January 10, 2020.