I always ask my clients how they found my firm. Most clients are referred by other clients. Increasingly, clients find me with an Internet search. I would say that Google remains the number one way clients find me. There are more specialized websites, such as Findlaw.com and Avvo.com.
Google will search for exactly your search term. Searches can be geographic, such as Howard County divorce attorney, Ellicott City child custody attorney, etc. They can also be purely topical, and Google will add in the geographic restriction on its own. Suppose you are looking for a domestic violence attorney. A men’s right’s attorney. You can always go back and add in a geographic element if you wish.
Findlaw.com will typically search for attorneys who subscribe to Findlaw, such as hosting websites or more. Avvo.com tends to also search its members. Like a blog, many Avvo subscribing attorneys answer questions from the public. If you want, look up my name on Avvo.com, and you will see what I mean.
The real question is why would someone seek a divorce attorney using the Internet? The answer is that when you do not have a family member, friend, co-worker or acquaintance who can provide you with a referral, you will usually turn to the Internet.
What are the best searches for a divorce attorney on the Internet? I would suggest a combination of general, topical and geography. Start with Howard County. Add in divorce, custody, domestic violence, visitation, appeal or child support.
What about ratings from various websites? Should I care about them? I would say absolutely not. Attorneys sometimes ask their clients to rate them. They are only asking the satisfied clients, so the results are not exactly meaningful, although complimentary. The negative ratings are often, although not always, from clients disgruntled with their case, the legal system or a judge. Sometimes they are also upset with their attorney, but more often than not, it has little or nothing to do with their attorney.
If I can give you one great piece of advice on finding a divorce attorney using the Internet, I would look for experience in the specific area you are seeking an attorney. A well-respected family law attorney with at least 25 years experience, combined with a firm that includes associates, paralegals and non-billable support personnel, is likely to be your best fit.
One last thought. Once you hire your divorce attorney, if that relationship is truly not working for you, have a candid conversation with your attorney. You need to have the divorce attorney who is the best fit for you, but judges tend to judge you if you “attorney shop.”