Find a Lawyer – How to Guide

How do I find an attorney/lawyer to represent my best interests and with whom I am able to speak freely? This question was posed to me recently by one of my best friends from college. If you don’t want to read this entire post, my executive summary was simple: Leverage the Internet as a decision-making tool.

  1. Use a broad-based, horizontal search engine (Google, Yahoo, MSN) to generate search results for sites that can be considered as subject matter experts. In this case, we are searching for local attorneys and lawyers.
  2. Search engines nowadays are intelligent enough to provide local results for broad queries such as “lawyers” or “attorney” in their search results pages. The same can be said for other verticals such as real estate and health/medical.
  3. On these search results pages, subject matter experts (aka vertical search engines) generally receive top placement.
  4. Intrinsically, broad-based horizontal search engines like Google are not designed to provide comprehensive, trustworthy content that they own… Being navigational in nature, search engines strive to provide search results listings to sites their algorithms consider most relevant to the search query entered.
  5. Personally, I like to use online search tools to evaluate and research both vertical directories as well as the end level service providers (individual real estate agents, doctors, or attorneys).
  6. Search for any reviews on the vertical search sites returned by your search on a broad engine – select one vertical search site with favorable reviews and use it to conduct a search on local attorneys who specialize in areas of law relating to your needs.
  7. Pick a couple attorney listings and save them in a spreadsheet.
  8. Conduct name searches for these lawyers/law firms on broad search engines like Google to see if they have any negative references.
  9. Rank attorneys on your spreadsheet using +/- scores for positive/negative references.
  10. Contact lawyer or law firm to set up a discovery call.
  11. Repeat #10 several times
  12. Select a lawyer/firm with whom you are most comfortable.

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