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Findlaw

Posted by Rick · July 20th, 2007 · 1 Comment

A few minutes ago, my office phone rang.

It’s funny how just hearing a name can shape your entire mood. Moments before, I had been laughing over some funny videos someone had shown me. Then came the words, “Hi. I’m calling from Findlaw….” Suddenly, the laughter was gone and I instantly felt angry.

As a new attorney, I have no choice but to advertise. Established attorneys obtain a lot of work via referrals, but when you’re brand-new, the only people who know you exist are friends and family. Friends and family are not your best means to making a living wage. For one thing, it doesn’t really feel right to charge them; after all, they’re friends and family! For another, I’m a criminal defense attorney…with a pretty decent, law-abiding set of friends. And, uh, most of my family is pretty decent, too. 😉

So, as I said, no choice but to advertise. Even more disturbing, there is almost no choice as to how I advertise. Sure, I have my websites — RHDefense and GangDefense.com — but what’s needed is for people to be able to find me when they don’t know it’s me they’re looking for.

Enter Findlaw…


Findlaw is one of those websites, like Lawyers.com or TheCityOfFresno.com, where people like me can advertise. The problem is that these websites are somewhat more concerned about their own success than they are about mine.

Now I understand that. They need to survive and make money. And, after all, if they didn’t survive and make money, eventually they’d be no use to me. No one would use their services and therefore no one would find me through them.

But it’s supposed to be a win-win situation, isn’t it?

Instead, Findlaw is structured in such a way as to force me to meet their needs and satisfy their bottom line, with a minimal amount meeting my needs. What I need is to have eyeballs on my website so I can obtain clients, earn money and be able to pay my bills. What they need is to have eyeballs on their website, keep them there as long as they can and take my money to pay their bills.

And so it is that Findlaw refuses to allow people to be directed straight from my listing in their database to my website. Instead, I have to sign up for their cheesy website. Potential clients who may be interested in me will not learn much about me from clicking the link that says “website” next to my name, because they will be directed to Findlaw’s idea of what my website should be.

Sure, I could pay beaucoup bucks for something decent at Findlaw. But why? I already have two decent websites!

If only there were some better way to advertise. Seems like everyone and his dog wants to take your advertising dollar, but, in the end it’s hard to see how they’re really helping. Yellow pages, radio, television, newspaper — I’ve even tried pizza box tops! (and, boy, if I were selling pizza, I’d be doing great; seven phone calls this week alone, from people wanting another pizza). I’m getting more referrals from the aforementioned friends and family!

Anyway, that’s my rant for the month. One of these days, I’m going to convince myself to start bloging again like I used to “in the old days.”

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