For-Profit Lawyer Referral Services

When I go on the Internet there seems to be lots of websites that will give me a list of lawyers. Are they  good places to go to find a lawyer to help me in a personal injury or wrongful death case?

Well, there is nothing particularly wrong with them.  However, you need to know that lawyers are constantly solicited by these websites and often pay money to be listed on them.   Thus, on many of these sites, the fact that an attorney is listed says very little about the lawyer’s knowledge, experience, reputation or ethics.

There are several notable exceptions.  First, the American College of Trial Lawyers is a fine place to start if you are looking for a civil or criminal trial lawyer.   This is an invitation-only, highly selective organization that is regarded as the most elite organization of trial lawyers in this country.  

Second, you can look at the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification.  This organization certifies trial lawyers and requires that they have a certain level of expertise before they can become certified.

Third, you can look to a group like  Lawyers pay for listings on this website, but you have access to ratings given by other lawyers that reflect the lawyer’s experience and reputation.  

Fourth, a relatively new lawyer-rating organization is  The listing on Avvo is generally free (you can pay for higher visibility) but the site uses a program to rate lawyers.

As you can see, there are several different ways to get better information about lawyers on the internet rather than going to one of the pay-to-play sites.   For more detailed information about how to hire a lawyer I suggest you read our Legal Guide "Understanding How to Hire a Lawyer in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases."   The Guide gives you a detailed list of the factors you should consider in making this important decision.

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