Quick Answer: If you’re an attorney then we recommend you embrace Justia's Directory.
Okay, so what is it?
According to the Justia website, "Justia Lawyer Directory is a free online resource that provides detailed profiles on lawyers, law firms, and non-profit legal services and legal aid organizations in the United States." Justia takes attorney-submitted profiles and displays them for the world (including your potential clients) to see in the search results.
Should Attorneys Sign-Up With Justia?
Yes. Just as with Avvo, I always tell our clients to claim their listings at Justia, especially after the latest Google update, nicknamed “Pigeon.” One side effect of this recent algorithm change is that many local listing sites received ranking boosts, and Justia was no exception. The site is steadily coming up in search results, which means more people are becoming aware of the site and, therefore, using it. So if your law firm hasn't claimed its listing, the time is right to go ahead and do so. (Hang tight: I'll show you how in this article.)
It's not just Justia's increasing popularity that has me on Team Justia.
I have noticed that many of our clients who take advantage of Justia received multiple, legitimate contacts from the attorney listing site.
Now, be aware that the success of Justia for your law firm can depend on your location and how many attorneys are competing in your area. If you are one of one hundred personal injury attorneys, a free account may not yield as many contacts as an attorney who's one of ten. If that’s the case, you can pay for a premium account; however, you should sign up, regardless. It's free and will give you a high-quality backlink to your website, so just do it!
Avvo or Justia?
Clients often ask me if they should claim their listings at Avvo or Justia and I always tell them the same thing: sign up for both! There is no reason to pick one attorney listing site over the other. Both are free (unless you decide to pay for a premium account) and both offer quality links back to your website, which is great for your site’s backlink profile. And while, nationally, Avvo gets more traffic, Justia offers a fantastic free opportunity, so why not take advantage?
Before you sign on the virtual dotted line I want to arm you with as much information as possible to help you come to your own conclusions. To this end, I have compiled a list of the similarities and differences between the two sites:
Justia Lawyers Listing Features
Ratings – Unlike Avvo, Justia doesn't rate the attorneys listed on its site and it doesn’t take peer reviews. So, attorneys who don't like the rating feature on Avvo may enjoy the lack of ratings over at Justia. There, any contacts you get will be based on your profile information— information that you have entered.
Q & A Forum – Both Avvo and Justia have places where users can write in questions and have them answered by listed attorneys. On Justia, this is called Legal Answers. If you are active and answer questions often, you can rack up points and move up levels. So, if you're the competitive type or want to increase your exposure, be sure to participate!
Paid profiles – Just like Avvo, Justia offers a paid membership option. This buys you the privilege of being a "featured attorney" and appearing at the top of the directory. But is this worth your money? If you are in a highly competitive market, then being a featured attorney may be worth it. If instead, you are one of only a handful of attorneys in your field in your city, then you can likely save your money; the free profile will work just fine.
Getting Your Justia Attorney Profile Just Right
The only real issue I’ve had with Justia is its account claim process. It can be complicated, and I have found that the most effective way to properly claim your Justia listing is to fax it. That's right, I said fax. While faxing is so 1990s, from my experience, it really is the best way to ensure that your listing goes through in a timely manner.
And just like claiming any listing, it's crucial that everything you type is mistake-free, optimized, and connected. So, as you go through the claim process (both online and via fax), I want to make sure that you keep the following things in mind:
- Perfect your N.A.P. As with every place your law firm is listed online, be sure that your name, address, and phone number (N.A.P.) are listed correctly. This means double and then triple check to ensure that it's the same as the big-name directories such as Google and Yelp. Want to ensure that your listings are correct, Internet-wide? Then we recommend a service such as Yext. This tool will scan every local listing with your business name, and let you know where you're listed and if the information attached to your name is correct. (Note: We are Yext partners, and can set you up with an account. Contact us to find out how).
- Add images and videos. Your profile picture should be of you, not your logo or your building. This image, like any image you upload to Justia, should be a professional-grade, high-resolution image. Read: no iPhone selfies. Then take the time to load any pertinent videos, again making sure they are high quality. Don't have any videos? Then it's time to make some. Video is a powerful converter that can give you a leg up on your competition and help advance your image as an expert in your field.
- Write an engaging description. On Justia, your description will appear directly under your image, so make it good! This means not only writing in a way that will appeal to your ideal clients but also optimizing the content and editing it to make sure it's mistake-free. As usual, writing error-free copy isn’t enough. Make sure you inject some personal details so potential clients can connect with you. People do business with people they like—so be likable!
- Get social. Internet users are savvy and will visit your Facebook page and Twitter feed to check you out before they call. Make it easy for them by connecting your account to every social media site you maintain, as well as to your website. Not active on social media? Then don't link to your Twitter feed that hasn't seen action since 2012. Instead, I encourage you to get going, get social, and then link to your newly revived accounts.
- Don't forget sub-practice areas. To help get your law firm found on Justia, be sure to not only select "personal injury attorney" but also "car accident lawyer" and any other categories that describe the specific types of cases you handle. That’s what the “Additional Practice Areas” section is about.
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