Lawyer Directories: Best Legal Directories in 2022

legal directoriesLawyer directories have always been a prominent feature of the online legal landscape — one that law firms can’t afford to ignore.

Did you know that:

  • 31 percent of people who use online sources to find a lawyer turn to legal directories?
  • By comparison, only 14 percent look at digital versions of phone books like Yellow Pages online?

Attorney directories are a part of any good law firm’s marketing strategy.

With very little effort, you can become more visible and credible online. A presence in legal directories can improve your search rankings, get you more positive reviews, and increase your local traffic and leads.

The profiles are easy to set up and maintain, free or low cost, and can help you find new clients. For that reason, they demand your attention.

But which legal directories are the most important? This post takes a brief look at why it’s important to maintain a presence in a few legal directories, the best ones to consider, and where to start with your strategy.



What are lawyer directories?

When you think of lawyer directories, do you picture phone book listings of lawyers?

That’s what they used to be: a catalogue of listings. Great if you wanted to find the number of a lawyer to call in your area, but not much use besides.

Lawyer directories have evolved considerably over the years. The best ones now include detailed attorney profiles, backgrounds, reviews, case studies, and much more.

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They make it easy for potential clients to search and find local lawyers in a place that they consider reliable and trustworthy.

Many of the main legal directories even have Q&A forums, where people looking for answers to legal questions can get a quick answer online from a qualified lawyer.

Here’s an example from someone seeking an answer to an employment law question on Avvo.

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The most active lawyers on the Q&A forums who provide the best answers may even receive awards from the platform.


Why maintain a presence in the law firm directories?

Law firm directories are essential for improving a firm’s visibility, credibility, and profitability.

Some more traditional firms have a rather dim view of online legal directories. Some lawyers believe that directories are purely paid marketing vehicles nobody actually uses.

But we know that one-third of people looking for legal representation online use a legal directory, and that number is growing.

Generally speaking, people appreciate the context provided by legal directories and consider them trustworthy and reliable when searching for local lawyers and legal information. If potential clients are using directories, you should be too.

Let’s be more specific about the benefits of legal directories for lawyers.


SEO and rankings

The main lawyer directories are funded by large corporations that invest considerable amounts into search engine optimization (SEO).

In this Google search for “criminal lawyer in Houston,” three of the top six results are for lawyer directories rather than individual firms.

Lawyer-Directories-Google-Search

The best legal directories have high traffic and rank well. So, creating attorney profiles on these platforms is an easy way to get your share of this traffic and generate leads.


Local search

Many smaller law firms and solo attorneys rely largely on local leads. The main legal directories are especially good at matching local search queries with qualified attorneys.

Here’s what the Avvo page for the search “car accident lawyer Cincinnati” looks like.

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Optimized attorney profiles can also attract traffic from legal directories that appear high in Google’s organic search results due to the powerful SEO efforts of the main directories.


Generating backlinks and citations

Backlinks are hyperlinks from another website to yours, while citations are online mentions of your law firm. Both are important off-page SEO factors that can dramatically improve rankings.

The more reputable sites that link to and mention your law firm, the better your rankings will be.

On Justia, for instance, the invitation to “View Website” on an attorney’s profile like this one for family lawyer Jonathan G. Anderson is a high-quality backlink from a trusted industry site:

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Many of the legal directories have high PageRank authority, which means they are considered “high-authority” websites. Backlinks and citations from such sites can help boost traffic and bring more potential clients to your law firm’s website.


Generating and displaying reviews

Most of the attorney directories have reviews and ratings, like these peer and client reviews featured on Lawyer.com profiles.

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Reviews and testimonials from past clients or peers are essential for developing credibility and trust online and should be featured on your website too.


Badges/awards

Badges or awards are provided by some of the directories for attorneys who pass a particular selection process. Other directories award credit for assisting with answering questions on the forum.

Here are the types of badges that Super Lawyers provides for display on your website.

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These badges can help to boost credibility and raise profiles in search, which helps generate more traffic and leads.


Lead generation: Client evaluation

A comprehensive lead generation strategy that sends a steady flow of qualified leads your way goes well beyond legal directories — but maintaining a strong presence is an important “prong” in the plan of attack.

Leads generally go through three stages before signing paperwork with a law firm.

For potential clients, lawyer directories are useful resources during the evaluation phase of hiring a lawyer. The directories help them find more about you and your firm and compare what you offer against competing firms.


Lead generation: Paid listing and advertising

Lawyer directories can also help generate leads at later stages of the funnel.

When people are searching for answers to specific legal questions, many legal directories can match queries to qualified attorneys (for a fee).

For instance, Nolo places lawyer profiles alongside each article with a strong call to action at the end to “talk with an attorney,” helping to attract leads. These leads are then sold to local attorneys who can help with the legal issue at hand.

Here’s an example from a Nolo article on marijuana and DUI laws.

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Attorneys can pay for exclusive leads or non-exclusive leads (where several attorneys will compete for the same prospective client).


Which are the best lawyer listings in 2022?

You’ve seen how lawyer directories are important marketing channels. Honing your presence in these can help you enhance your reputation, generate qualified leads, and improve your ranking in search results.

The following are the main legal directories available to U.S. and Canadian law firms and are listed in no particular order.


Avvo

Avvo scores well on traffic and engagement within the legal industry and is one of the most popular directories for lawyers.

Here’s what a well-optimized profile looks like from Wiliam Bly at The Maine Criminal Defense Group.

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The platform offers the following benefits for firms:

  • Free profiles in the legal directory
  • Highly regarded reviews and rankings
  • Paid advertising and lead generation services
  • Q&A forum to demonstrate expertise and increase engagement

FindLaw

FindLaw was one of the original law firm directories. It’s grown to become a full network of legal resource websites.

Here’s a sample profile from The Law Office of Bryan R. Kazarian, a criminal defense firm in California.

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FindLaw offers the following for firms:

  • Free lawyer directory listings
  • Paid listings and legal advertising
  • Online legal Q&A forums
  • Free legal guides/articles
  • Legal blogging

Justia

The Justia site provides a large range of legal resources and information for people needing legal advice. As part of its offering for law firms, it provides free, professional lawyer profiles.

Here’s the Justia profile of a founding partner of Hoyt & Bryan, an estate planning law firm based in Florida.

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Lawyers who create profiles on Justia benefit from its high traffic volumes (over 10 million visits a month) and its inclusion on Cornell’s Legal Information Institute website, increasing visibility and reach.


Martindale.com

The extensive Martindale group of websites includes Lawyers.com, Nolo.com, and Martindale.com.

Martindale-Hubbell is a very well-established online legal resource. Its profiles rank well, so a presence in their high-traffic lawyer directories can raise your firm’s visibility.

The Martindale profile of Oykhman Criminal Defence in Calgary looks like this.

Oykhman-Criminal-Defence-Law-Martindale-com
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Super Lawyers

Super Lawyers is best known for its ratings and awards system, with many law firms promoting their “Super Lawyers rating.”

You must be nominated and selected from a patented multiphase process to be part of the Super Lawyers list. That then entitles you to a Super Lawyers directory listing.

Here’s an example of a Super Lawyers profile from Trey Porter, a DUI/criminal defense lawyer based in Texas.

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Clients looking to hire a lawyer can use the directory to search on the basis that each listed lawyer has already been screened and has the seal of approval of the Super Lawyers site.

As you’ve already seen, firms included in the listings can display a customized Super Lawyers badge on their websites.


HG.org

HG.org gets over one million monthly visitors and is another well-established and respected name in legal information and directory services. People looking to hire a lawyer in any practice area can search by area, law firm, or practice type.

The HG.org profile of personal injury law firm Park Chenaur & Associates looks like this.

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Note how Park Chenaur & Associates are not simply categorized under “personal injury law,” but under “bus accidents,” “truck accidents,” “slip and fall,” etc.

One of the standout features of HG.org is its “granular” approach to practice areas. This encourages firms to be extremely specific with the legal services they offer and target specific clients for better-qualified leads.


Nolo

Nolo is part of the Martindale Legal Marketing Network. It started as a publisher of do-it-yourself legal books and software and has become a leading free online legal resource with a network of legal content websites for people researching legal issues.

As well as providing law firm profiles in its directory, attorneys can contribute legal content to the resources, helping to build credibility and authority.

Here’s a sample profile from The Law Office of J. Williams in Georgia.

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Nolo receives millions of visitors each month, with over 100,000 requesting to speak with a lawyer.


Lawyers.com

Lawyers.com is a high-traffic site that features over one million lawyer profiles. Potential clients can search by practice area or location and may specify Canadian-based or Spanish-speaking lawyers as well as English-speaking/U.S. attorneys.

Here’s a Lawyers.com profile from employment law firm Rakower Law in New York.

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Like most other legal directories mentioned here, Lawyers.com includes free legal articles and resources for finding answers to legal issues as well as matching legal queries with suitable attorneys.


Lawyer.com

Lawyer.com is not to be confused with Lawyers.com — they are not connected. The main difference is that Lawyer.com is less focused on North America and includes firms from the U.K. and 20 other countries.

Its search feature is location-based and potential clients are taken to lawyer profiles that look like this one from North Dakota accident lawyer, Gregory C. Larson.

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Note the “points” feature of its ranking system for lawyers. Additional features for connecting lawyers with potential clients are the free Q&A section, free legal content, and legal plan available on Lawyer.com.


LegalZoom

LegalZoom is a legal resource that specializes in do-it-yourself legal resources (filings and documents).

Potential clients can pay to be part of the Legal Plan Attorney Network, a subscription service for customers who need direct access to qualified lawyers. This acts as a lead generation service for law firms.

The Local Attorney Directory also allows lawyers to refer potential clients who need legal help.

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To be considered for a LegalZoom profile, lawyers must have at least five years’ experience practicing law and a spotless state bar record.


Where should you start with lawyer directories?

The above legal directories are all trusted and high-traffic sites. Most offer far more than just a directory listing, so there’s nothing to stop you from setting up an optimized profile and getting started.

Following are a few simple tips for doing that:

  • Claim your spot in the main free legal directories before considering paid listings — get a feel for the platforms and what they can provide first.
  • Claim your Google My Business (GMB) listing, which is also free and essential for local search visibility.
  • Keep the format of how you write your name, address, and phone number (NAP) the same across all the legal directories — the exact spelling, abbreviations, word order, etc., as inconsistencies can negatively impact search performance.
  • Ensure you keep the NAP details up-to-date and in the same format on your website, GMB listing, and social media profiles.
  • Use high-quality professional photographs/videos of you and your practice.
  • Gather plenty of reviews — positive reviews are “votes of confidence” that build instant credibility and trust.

Don’t be surprised if you search for your firm’s name on Google and see a link to a profile in a legal directory that you never knew you were registered in.

If you click through to it, you may see a page with minimal information (address, phone number, practice area etc.) displayed, like this:

Legal-Directory-Blank-Unclaimed-Page

Avvo, FindLaw, and a few of the other directories use publicly available information from the State Bar to automatically create an “unclaimed” lawyer profile for every licensed attorney. It’s a good marketing ploy for the directories.

If you have a free blank profile on a lawyer directory, you may as well claim and optimize it from the start.

Most of our clients start with Avvo first. Our Avvo marketing guide provides tips on successful marketing on the platform, but many of the same tips apply to all of the directories featured in this article.


Boost your online presence in less than one hour

People are looking for your legal services online, and grabbing their attention should be a priority.

Your law firm marketing strategy should use multiple tactics to generate leads, increase the number of paying customers, and grow your firm. Lawyer directories should be one of these tactics, regardless of your practice area.

Setting up optimized profiles in the leading legal directories is neither difficult nor costly. It takes less than an hour to complete a profile, and even paid listings may set you back as little as $50/month.

So, start creating those profiles today.