DIVORCE LAWYER REVIEWS: NYC DIVORCE ATTORNEYS COMPETE FOR STARS, RATINGS & ENDORSEMENTS

DIVORCE LAWYER REVIEWS: DO THEY REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO A LAW FIRM’S BOTTOM LINE?

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Are you reading this post because you googled “divorce lawyer reviews”? If so, are you a prospective client or are you a divorce lawyer?

Which ever group you fit into, it is widely accepted that divorce lawyer reviews can make or break a divorce attorney, whether solo practitioner of part of a law firm. So if you are about to give a review to a lawyer, carefully consider what you say before you put it out there.

In New York as well as around the country, divorce practitioners compete and pay big dollars to get good divorce lawyer reviews from past clients. An attorney basically cannot have too many reviews.

How many divorce lawyer reviews makes a successful divorce attorney? It is hard to say. On average, attorneys strive to have at least 20 good reviews. But that is relative. If the same attorney has 20 bad reviews, obviously,  it cancels out and the attorney will lose prospective clients who are reading those reviews in order to make a decision about hiring legal counsel to represent them in their divorce. At the same time, if you are a disgruntled client who is looking to leave a bad review for an attorney, it does help to know if there are others who felt the same way that you do, or whether your experience was an isolated one.

What factors to clients consider in ranking and rating a divorce lawyer? The first thing obviously would be the relationship the client had with the attorney, whether he or she was happy with the work the attorney did or not.

It appears that clients who dole out divorce lawyer reviews also at the number of stars the lawyer has next to his or her name. People tend to follow others and if other people gave the attorney a good review, they are also more likely to give a good review. And vice versa.

The star system is usually based on 5 stars. So one star means you are pretty much a waste of money and 5 stars means you are the crème de la crème. So this is the primary concern for practitioners is to get the maximum number of stars they can possible obtain.

Is this an effective and reliable way to pick a lawyer, though? The number of stars they have? It is a question. For one thing, there are thousands of divorce lawyers who appear to have 4 or 5 stars on divorce lawyer review platforms like Avvo and Yelp. So how is a client to choose?

Another thing the clients are likely to look at is the attorney bio that goes with the review. This is one area that divorce lawyers can stand out because the clients gets to see the attorney’s photo (looks matter, unfortunately for those of us who lack pulchritude) and gets to read about the attorney (who he or she is. Some attorneys use this space to talk about their hobbies and family size and others use it to highlight their career achievements. Which approach is best? It really depends on the client and what he or she values in an attorney. If the client is looking for a touchy feely attorney, their choice might lean towards the attorney bio that talks about personal achievements rather than career highlights. It really depends on the client.

Whether or not an attorney offers a free consultation is another factor that clients might use to rate an attorney. Many clients (not all) value the divorce lawyer who offers them freebies like a free consultation. So if you offer these it could help you increase your stars (assuming you are not already at a 5)

Having a “misconduct” marking on your review would obviously make you a less than ideal hire and could affect your rating on an “divorce attorney reviews” website like Avvo. But this can be offset by having your peers vouch for you and say how competent you are. Still, clients will view as a huge red flag, any indication that the attorney has an incident or incidences of misconduct.

If you are an attorney reading this, be assured that your years of experience would obviously be a plus in this business and if enough clients were happy with the service they received from you (by virtue of your superior experience) you will also make out better on these divorce attorney reviews platforms and this will translate into more stars.

A lot of the divorce attorney reviews I read came from clients who rated a lawyer based on whether the lawyer charged a reasonable fee, got back to them in  a reasonable time, did not have any misconduct, offered a free consultation and had peer endorsements.

There are a surprising number of divorce attorneys who have been practicing for a number of years who have very few client reviews on their profiles. This is a missed opportunity. Divorce lawyers need to understand that client reviews are one of the most important marketing tools at their disposal and they should be opening their rolodexes to contact every past client and ask them to post a review on these attorney client reviews websites right away.

Can they or should divorce attorneys pay for  good”divorce lawyer reviews” or even make up false reviews in order to promote their practice? That is a good question. It would depend on what the Disciplinary rules allow. There is puffery and there is fraud. Where is the line drawn? What about killing bad reviews and getting them taken down from a website? Well, those are a killer of a career, business and reputation, no question. Websites like Avvo would never agree to kill those but there could be other platforms that would agree to a take down for a fee.

Divorce lawyer reviews do matter and they matter more and more in the click me marketplace which is the predominant source of clients for a firm.

 


Marion TD Lewis is a licensed attorney, writer and blogger.

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