If it’s lonely at the top …then maybe you’re not there!
When it comes to finding the right attorney to go to battle for you or your family, you need to remember that anyone can buy billboard advertising, make a slick website or create a slogan. Did you know that there are law firms in Arkansas that employee full-time public relations directors whose only job is to make sure the law firm is getting attention from any source available? They are literally paid to draw attention to the law firm and to make it appear strong, important, involved in the community and successful.
This is the sad reality of the practice of law these days. Law firms are promoting themselves on billboards, radio and television, touting themselves and begging for business with silly slogans or really dumb questions like “INJURED?” (As if someone driving down the interstate is going to see that question and think, “Wait …I am injured …I better call that lawyer!”)
So how do you find the best lawyer for the job and ensure that you or your family is not being sucked in by some public relations promotion or being influenced by lawyer advertising? One of the best ways is to carefully research the lawyer or firm by looking to trusted online resources where you can learn what an attorney’s peers think of his or her work or, more importantly, learn of what a lawyer’s former clients have to say about their experience.
Martindale-Hubbel’s Lawyer Ratings is one excellent resource. It is a peer review rating system, so what you are seeing is what other attorneys, who practice in the same geographic area as an attorney, think of his or her work and ethical standards.
If a lawyer has an “AV Preeminent” rating with Martindale-Hubbel, then that lawyer’s peers have given him or her the highest rating available. This not a law firm touting itself as “good” but other lawyers in your community rating that lawyer as one of the best.
Another excellent resource is Avvo’s online rating service. Avvo hosts the most comprehensive rating service of attorneys on the internet. What sets it apart, is the fact that you can see not only what other lawyers say in endorsements but, more importantly, what former clients have to say about their own experience with the lawyer or law firm.
Fortunately, with such resources available online, you really do not have to rely on billboards and slogans to find the best lawyer to help you. The bottom line is that you should do some research and ultimately trust yourself and your instincts …and look beyond advertisements.
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