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As if the controversial Web site didn't make suing folks easy enough, now there's yet another site that's come to the rescue -- Already featured in Time Magazine, is a new Web site that will assist consumers in determining whether they actually have a case and, if they do, help them find a lawyer. Lawyers pay an annual fee of $1,000 to appear on the site, plus an additional amount to appear prominently. 

So how does differ from sites like According to Curtis Wolfe, the company's founder, his site's unique selling proposition is that it will provide consumers with real-time access to attorneys.

The Time article includes the generic criticisms of sites of this ilk, ranging from comments that invites the public to create lawsuits or that the bar associations already have referral services in place that help consumers find lawyers. But from my perspective, sites like this don't make sense from the lawyer's perspective. Today, lawyers have the ability to create Web sites and blogs to attract clients  or to take advantage of free services like LinkedIn or Avvo that allow lawyers to create a robust online profile at no cost. I doubt that these newer listing sites offer the same search engine visibility that lawyers can attain on their own through blogs or social networking tools.

Moreover, why should a lawyer pay $1,000 to be included in a site that's likely to attract those clients who, quite frankly, have already been rejected as undesirable by other lawyers or who are intent on bringing a suit whether it's meritorious or not? Remember, most of the traffic that's going to come to this site will result from a prospective client who's thinking, "Hey, who can I sue?" -- and typing that phrase into a search engine. 

At the end of the day, for-fee lawyer listing sites aren't aimed at serving clients. Instead, they prey on lawyers, figuring that there are enough attorneys so desperate for business that they'll shell out $1,000 for an online listing on the hope that it will generate a client. If these are the types of lawyers that sites like will attract, then I fear for the clients who use them.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on August 6, 2008 at 05:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (9)


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