Not all Publicity is Good
The rise of online rating systems make finding a good attorney better in some ways, and worse in others. In some cases, it is easy to tell which attorneys are well liked by their clients due to a long list of positive reviews. On the other hand, who knows whether some of the reviews are fake or even non-clients attempting to hurt a competing law firm.
For the consumer, these answers aren’t always clear. It is the job of the attorneys in the industry itself to ensure that only the most accurate information get to our potential clients. It takes years to build a reputation and sometimes only a small number of fake reviews to destroy it. Knowing some of the basics of online reviews can save you time and stress.
Some of the top sites, such as Avvo work on the honor system. While many of these types of sites do their best to weed out fakers, it’s not always possible. In fact, it’s even fairly common. Only a handful of rotten responses can poison a good attorney’s rating.
Many attorneys have a chance to respond to these negative accusations, but this isn’t always the best case. In some instances, this is a great chance to clarify something or set the record state. However, on the other hand it can look petty and just escalate the sitation. For clients that were perennial pains in the butt, you probably know which direction it could go. Make sure that what you write, if you have to, is clear and not bogged down in legalese. Write only concerning the topics at hand and don’t go overboard on small issues.
Furthermore, there are opportunities for other attorneys or past or present clients to defend you. Don’t play into a game that you can’t win. Allowing others to see your good record and standing on its own is the best way to erase those blemishes and fight another day.
Michael Ehline is a leading Los Angeles area personal injury attorney who writes this column to help up and coming attorneys learn the ropes of running their own firm. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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