How Reliable Are Those Online Attorney Rating Review Services Anyway?

Hang around your local courthouse long enough and you’re bound to see a wide variety of lawyers entering and exiting. Some dressed like they just stepped out of a glossy magazine ad with a suit and attache case that cost more than your mortgage payment. Others pass by with little flair. Weathered, resoled shoes and a ripped binder of files and papers.

By mere appearance thou shalt not judge.

Just as you read this, you are likely pigeonholing some lawyers you know with those very attributes. And just as likely, you are reminded of the obligatory disheveled attorney whose unkempt
appearance portrays nothing of the remarkable legal abilities that lie beneath. Clearly a panache for fashion, or lack thereof, is just one attribute we erroneously rely on to evaluate the quality of lawyering.

So where does one properly begin? For those who are not lawyers or do not know attorneys, and need to find one, word of mouth is a common tool for referrals. Friends and neighbors may offer suggestions for attorney recommendations from their own interactions and personal opinions. Then comes technology.

Today, multifaceted algorithms give Web-based lawyer rating systems—legal marketing websites—a stage to serve a consumer demand for finding lawyers. And finding qualified lawyers at that, or so consumers hope. But just as such online resources like Avvo are “changing the way people find legal help” as they put it, they continue to receive criticisms for lacking merit, accuracy and legitimacy.

READ MORE Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Volume 162, No.38  February 26, 2016

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