LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell today unveiled an enhanced version of its Martindale.com lawyer directory site that includes a tool allowing side-by-side comparisons of lawyers’ credentials. The tool allows users to compare up to four law firms or lawyers based upon criteria such as areas of practice, size of firm, office locations, educational background and attorney bar admissions.

Here is how it works. Conduct a search for, say, intellectual property lawyer in Massachusetts, and the results page includes a button at the top labeled “compare selections.” Check the box next to up to four of the names listed on the results page, click the button, and the results appear in column format on a new page. For law firms, the comparison lists location, practice areas, other offices, year established and firm size. For individual lawyers, the comparison lists title, firm, location, peer review rating, practice areas, law school, college, bar admissions, languages spoken and professional associations.

The redesign also adds a simplified search form and a browse capability for lawyer and law firm searches.

  • Don’t you still see real shortcomings with the Martindale-Hubbell directory with its lacking a full text search? This would allow one to retrieve detailed info included in lawyer bio’s & profiles and have it displayed based on relevance.

    I also see shortcomings for law firms in not having their MH content indexed for the search engines. When I do presentations, law firms are shocked that the info they pay to give Martindale is not available on a search on Google and the other search engines. Large law firms pay in the six figures per year to give this data to MH so it can be found by their target audience.

    Side by side display and browse are nice but pretty small improvements when you realize the last Martindale.com upgrade was in 2001 – 5 years ago. Imagine if Amazon, Google, Yahoo and the myriad of Internet services we use made only a few very minor improvments over 5 years. Only law firms are willing to pay big dollars to companies lacking innovation.

    It’s shocking there is not more discussion on this among bloggers. Martindale follows and comments on blogs. Get some discussion going on this and we can get some real improvment from companies like them. But when no one is calling them on shortcomings and law firms continue to pay it only feeds such complacency.

  • Kevin O’Keefe is a friend of mine and a former colleague at Martindale-Hubbell. He enjoys bashing his former employer but he’s off base with his comments here.

    First, Martindale-Hubbell has in fact optimized its attorney and law firm listings across the entire web. You will find attorney and law firm profiles from Martindale-Hubbell accessible from Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, Superpages.com, Switchboard.com, Citysearch.com and more. These profiles are linked to Martindale-Hubbell’s lawyers.com site, which is the mosted visited consumer-oriented lawyer directory on the internet, according to Nilesen NetRatings and comScore Media Metrix. Every Martindale-Hubbell customer (more than 400,000 attorneys) benefits from this expanded (and free) exposure.

    Martindale.com attracts more attorney searches than any single site on the web, including the major search engines. Millions of searches are performed on the site each month by more than 1 million monthly visitors. The vast majority of these site visitors are attorneys who are searching for other attorneys. The legal community has relied on Martindale-Hubbell since 1867. The Martindale-Hubbell brand is well known and respected and the martindale.com site continues to provide a valuable service, free of charge.

    The fact is, most attorneys don’t need to go to a general search engine when they are seeking an attorney listed in the Martindale-Hubbell directory. They know to go directly to the source–martindale.com. And they do this tens of millions of times each year.

    Joe Douress
    VP & General Manager

  • I may be viewed as bashing Martindale-Hubbell (MH) as I am one very few who openly question their service.

    Fact remains, MH refuses to allow their lawyer directory to be indexed by Google and the other search engine. If MH was truly trying to serve their lawyer customers and the audience looking for MH customer lawyers, that directory would be accessible by the search engines. Fact also remains that one cannot do a search across the lawyer and firm bio’s when one comes to the MH sites.

    Models that are not focused on the best user experience, which this is not, are going to fail in the long run.