Very few attorneys realize the massive power of the Internet to drive clients (and employers) to them. The Internet can radically alter your career if you use it properly. Very few people will read, absorb and carry out the suggestions contained in this article. I can tell you with near 100% confidence, however, that if you read this closely, understand this and take my advice to heart you will be richly rewarded.
Simply by being visible on the Internet, I have seen associates, partners and others:
Get great jobs and countless offers to interview (I’ve seen this more times than I can remember)
Bring in clients (as associates, partners and solo practitioners)
Get speaking engagements, offers to consult, opportunities to teach and other honors.
In fact, the power of the Internet can create so much business and wealth for attorneys it is phenomenal:
One Attorney I Know Made Over $10,000,000 in One Case. I know an attorney who had some information in his biography about how he had represented unions (he had only done so tangentially, but had a “beefed up” biography). The head of a small worker’s union in Los Angeles found the information and called him out of the blue (because the attorney’s office was close to his home). The attorney took the case on contingency and filed an overtime case on behalf of the union that was settled for over $30,000,000. He made over $10,000,000 and retired from the practice of law in his 40s.
I’ve Hired Attorneys and Paid Them a Ton of Money Based on Finding Their Profiles Online. A few years ago, I was searching for an attorney to help me with an unusual legal matter. I went online to learn more about the legal issue. The only information I was able to find was a well-written profile on an attorney’s personal blog (who was a senior associate in a law firm). He claimed to be interested in and know something about this specific legal matter. I met with him, and his firm asked me for a $75,000 retainer to begin working on the matter with a litigation budget of over $1,000,000.
I thought to myself how much difference a well-written profile made for these attorneys. A well-written and visible online profile can change your life. Unfortunately, most attorneys do not understand this.
Do you want to know a secret about the practice of law? In most small towns around the United States, the wealthiest and most successful attorneys for the past several decades were the personal injury attorneys who advertised on the backs of phone books. The reason they were so successful was because everyone was able to find them easily. Today, the most successful attorneys are those who understand how to get business online.
No one uses phone books to look for attorneys anymore. They use search engines. All you need to do now is get your profile to come up near the top of search engine results when someone is searching for you. This costs very little money. Attorneys used to pay $20,000+ per month to be in the phone book, and they traditionally did this because it worked. With a properly optimized and promoted online profile, you can compete with any attorney and get found.
A well-written and promoted profile can also attract potential employers.
Law firms call me all the time looking for talent. However, many law firms I know have begun using the Internet to find these people themselves. A few years ago, a huge international law firm called me looking for an associate to do sophisticated project finance work in the energy industry. While I was on the phone with him, he was searching the Internet.
“I just found a few profiles I like on my own,” he said. “Let me reach out to a few of these people, and I will call you back.”
He called me back a week later.
“I hired someone based on a profile I found. I found a guy’s bio in a legal directory, Law-dot-something.”
Watching attorneys get business and jobs through effectively standing out online showed me that this was probably the single most important thing for their careers. In fact, this is a game changer.
Clients, employers and others are constantly searching online to find you. You need to understand that the Internet is the way that employers and clients find attorneys. It is just how it works. While this may not be the case if a giant company is doing an initial public offering, it is the case for most legal matters.
The average person or company is extremely likely to check the Internet to find an attorney for almost all types of legal matters. Here are some examples:
Intellectual Property. If I have a patent matter, I am going to search the Internet to find the exact type of attorney I need to help me. For example, say I have developed a specialized sort of dialysis machine. I am going to want someone who understands (1) blood, (2) medical devices, (3) mechanical devices and (4) kidneys. I am going to type in the word “patent” and various combinations of the other words to find someone to do the work. A search engine will take all of this information into account (and my geographic location and other factors—more on that later) to find attorneys who might be able to help me. I will generally click on one of the first five results.
Real Estate. If someone is purchasing a small building for their medical practice and will have some space to rent to doctors, they too are going to search the Internet for the right type of attorney to arrange the transaction. They are going to use words like (1) real estate attorney, (2) medical building, (3) leasing to doctors and other keywords. Again, the search results will show the attorneys that are likely to have this sort of experience.
Litigation. If I lose my thumb in an accident with a lawnmower, the odds are I am going to search for an attorney with experience suing lawnmower manufacturers. I’m going to use words like (1) lawnmower attorney, (2) thumb accident, (3) lawsuit against Toro lawnmowers, (4) Los Angeles lawnmower attorney to find an attorney to help me. If I had a case against a real estate developer for fraud, I would do the same thing. I would use words like (1) real estate fraud plaintiff attorney, (2) real estate litigation attorney Los Angeles, (3) best real estate fraud attorneys, etc.
Corporate. I was once involved in a big corporate deal where I was advised to hire a corporate attorney. I needed someone with experience working with private equity companies and doing structured buyouts. I used words like (1) private equity attorney Los Angeles, (2) private equity attorney employment industry, (3) best private equity attorneys Los Angeles in my search. I did something similar when I was negotiating another deal with a student loan company I owned. I’m a savvy consumer and know many attorneys. Nevertheless, I still want to read information and reach conclusions after doing research.
Tax. I’ve hired attorneys to do tax work for me before. One year my accountant made a huge mistake on my taxes, and I needed a tax attorney to correct it. I found him on the Internet! He was close to my house, and I wanted someone whose office I could go to at any time. I ended up paying the attorney over $100,000 – and I found him on a legal directory!
Staying employed in a law firm and making money is a product of getting found and seen by clients. The more business you have, the more money you will make and the less likely you will be to lose your job. Similarly, if you have expertise at something, you can get found by employers (law firms, in-house employers and others) when they are looking for someone with the same specialized knowledge.
I’ve seen tons of people get in-house jobs because a company found their profile online.
Given the importance of being found on the Internet to your career, I want to tell you how to get found and how to make your biography come up very highly in the search engines.
I am going to tell you:
Why other directories are not the best way to get found and can actually prevent you from being found
How to get your biography to come up near the top of search engine results (it’s not what you think)
How to make your own biography come up higher than other attorneys (in your area, in your firm and other locations) if people are searching for an attorney like you
This is advice that could literally change your career and your future. I really hope you take the time to read and understand what I am going to tell you because it could change your life. I want to tell you how Law.net can assist you in getting found by potential clients, employers and others.
How a Law.net Profile Helps You Get Found By Potential Clients, Employers and Others
1. Law.net Caters to the Important Parameters Search Engines Use
My intent is not to give you a long write up on how search engines work.
However, for the most part, these are the important points to understand when you are putting your profile(s) online and how Law.net addresses these:
The longer your profile remains on the same URL the better. An important part of the Google algorithm deals with how long information has been online. Sites, people, and businesses come and go. If you have a profile that has been active on the same site for a long period of time, this shows Google that you are likely to be “established” and trustworthy. Google wants to send traffic to established and trustworthy profiles due to the fact that Google wants its search engine users to have a good experience.
Law.net Solution:Law.net gives you a permanent profile that never goes away. Once you are on Law.net (you likely already are), you get a permanent profile that is with you throughout your career.
The longer the site has been online where your profile is located the better. In addition to your profile being important, the age of the site where it is located matters. The longer a given site has been online, the more likely it is to be trustworthy and successful. In Google’s eyes, if a site is successful, it is likely because it is providing a good service (scams never stay around long) and is worthy of receiving traffic.
Law.net Solution:Law.net has been around since 1995—longer than over 99.9% of the websites online. Law.net is a site with history that helps drive authority to you.
The more links (from important sites) that come into your profile the better. When sites that are important link to you, search engines believe they are doing so because you are valuable and have authority. If you have authority, then you must be doing something right. Google believes that people who are popular are likely giving users a good experience, and Google will send more traffic their way.
Law.net Solution: Law.net is the only service that actually builds links (on outside sites) to your profile to make your profile rise higher in the search engines. We do this with an introductory service that runs as little as $29.95 a month. This is a massive bargain and huge investment in your career.
The more consistently links come into your profile(s) the better. In order to consistently rank highly in the search engines, links should be coming into your profile gradually over time. One quick burst of links may get you short-term rankings; however, it is likely to look to search engines like you are trying to manipulate them, and they will end up penalizing you. The better strategy is to slowly build links (which looks more natural). The longer this occurs, the more likely your profile will be on top of the search engines.
Law.net Solution: With our introductory service, we will build consistent links into your profile on a monthly basis. The more time goes by, the stronger and stronger your profile will get. This is a huge advantage for you that will make your name appear higher than other attorneys in your market in competitive searches—regardless of whether you are an associate, a partner in a law firm, have your own practice, or just want to look good to employers.
The words used to describe you in your profile make a difference. The words you use to describe your experience and work are incredibly important. Having an in-depth description of your experience will generate a flood of search engine traffic to your profile—compared to just a short blurb about the things you have done. You want to make sure you have a lot of information in your profile and are constantly adding to it (this also looks impressive to clients). In addition, choosing the correct mix of words (the ones our research shows people are using when searching for an attorney) is very important.
Law.net Solution: We are experts in optimizing the profiles of attorneys. In fact, we have been doing this since 1995. Using appropriate keywords and other proven techniques, we will work hard to get your profiles to the very top of the search engines for the location and practice areas you choose.
The words used to describe you in the links coming into your profile are critical. The content that is around the links coming into your profile is important as well. Links coming into your profile should be somewhat random; however, the overall theme of these links is that they should be referring to things like (1) the type of attorney you are, (2) where you are located, and (3) work you have been associated with.
Law.net Solution: Using safe techniques, we selectively build links into your profile using best-in-class techniques and methods to get you ranking as highly as possible with search engines. We carefully choose the words most likely to drive business and employment leads to you in your profile.
The links coming into the links coming into your profile (and words these links use) are important. As strange as this may sound, you are also judged by the quality of the links that are linking to the links that link to you. Thus, it is important that high-quality links are also linking to the links that link to you. In addition to the quality of links, the number of links also has an effect on search results.
Law.net Solution: It is not enough just to have links coming into your profile. The links coming into your profile must also have links coming into them. Using incredible internal tracking methods, we not only monitor your Law.net profile and build links to it, but build links to the links that are coming into your profile from related sites.
The more your content is updated the better. Content needs to be constantly updated. If you are not updating the content on your profile on an ongoing and consistent basis, Google will think you do not care and will not care about you either. Content that consistently updates on a profile is a sign that you are active and someone Google should display to its users.
Law.net Solution: It is important that you understand that you cannot just have a static Law.net profile. That profile needs to be updated on an ongoing and consistent basis. When you sign up with Law.net, we continually keep your profile updated with information relevant to your practice area and location.
The more social activity your profile shows the better. Things like “likes” on Facebook, ”shares” and other things are very important for your profile. Social activity shows search engines that you have something worth sharing and talking about. This makes the search engines more likely to make your profile come up consistently.
Law.net Solution:Law.net makes sure that your profile garners “likes” “shares” and other sorts of social activity to show search engines you are worth talking about. Over time, this increases the amount of traffic coming into your profile.
2. Law.net Gives You a Public Profile Where Your Profile (and not Membership in a Site) is Emphasized
Most legal directories and other companies are more interested in charging employers and others to view your profile. Promoting you is not their first concern.
On another directory, your profile may come up if someone searches for your name; however,
First, before people can learn much about you, they often require the user to complete a complicated sign-up process; and,
Second, most of these sites will not display your name when people search for a particular type of attorney on a search engine.
The most important thing for you is to have a profile that is consistently ranking you on the search engines for the type of work that you do in your location.
Many profiles online (like LinkedIn and others) are not entirely visible to search engines. This is insanity. If your profile, experience and other information is not entirely public, how on earth are people supposed to find you if they are looking for an attorney?
Incredibly, sites like LinkedIn may charge $100 or more to recruiters to search just a limited number of profiles each month.
Other sites want people to pay to search. In contrast, Law.net’s objective is to make sure your profile is the one employers and legal clients see (i.e., we want your profile to be shown—not a signup page for Law.net)
It is important that every piece of important information about you (types of matters you have worked on, your specialty, location and other information) is visible to search engines and can be seen by everyone out there.
Law.net Solution: Anyone can view your Law.net profile, and your profile is our only concern. We want people to see you first. Our only allegiance and business purpose is getting our attorney clients found.
3. Law.net Gives You a Profile You Can Carry With You Throughout Your Career
It is important that your profile be “portable”. For example, if you are working for a law firm and lose your job, they will take down your law firm profile. You need to make sure your profile remains in the same place.
If you stop paying other directories your profile disappears.
LinkedIn is trying to make money off of your identity. You never know what is going to occur with your profile with them and cannot be guaranteed you will be on the same place on the site for good.
Law.net Solution: Your profile will always stay on Law.net–regardless of whether you are investing in your profile with us or not.
Your career is no different than a small business. You need to treat your legal career like a small business and realize that your online identity is your calling card. See this article: Treating Your Career Like a Small Business.
4. Your Law.net Profile Only Gets Stronger Over Time
Having a dedicated identity on an online site that gains authority over time is very important. Having an online identity that is always present and gets stronger over time—and never goes away—gives you a huge advantage in the legal field. Essentially, the longer you maintain and promote your identity, the better off you will be. The more links that are coming into that profile over time the better off you will be.
Other legal directories do not build links to your profile. They may link to you on your own site, but that is about it.
Law.net Solution:Law.net has services starting at less than $1.00 a day and will consistently build links into your profile and make it stronger over time.
Law.net is an extremely powerful tool for growing and promoting your professional identity online. Using the power of a well-established directory, the power of search engine optimization, the power of social media, the power of link building – and so much more—Law.net provides you a massive opportunity to stand out to employers and clients.
LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.
Hi, I’m Harrison Barnes. I’m serious about improving Lawyers’ legal careers. My only question is, will it be yours?
About Harrison Barnes
Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.