Caryn Tamber at The Daily Record in Baltimore picked up on my post yesterday, Beware New ‘Best Attorneys’ Site, and did some digging of her own. Like me, she found lawyers ranked as best in practice areas that they have nothing to do with. As one of those lawyers remarked, it would all be funny, but for the fact that there may be consumers out there who take the site seriously.
Tamber reached one of the people responsible for the site, Jeev Trika, for comment. His explanation, she writes, was confusing.
At first, he said the site takes its data from lawyers who set up profiles with the site. When I said it didn’t sound like the folks I spoke to had even heard of the site, he said his people also take data on practice areas from combing the Internet, such as lawyers’ own Web sites and other lawyer-evaluation hubs like Avvo and Martindale. So if bestattorneysonline.com gets it wrong, “it would certainly be an indication that that information is incorrect on other sites as well; I can tell you that,” Trika said.
Remember, this is a site that bills itself as conducting independent evaluations of rated attorneys, using an “experienced research team.” From what Tamber learned, it would appear that research includes random scraping of content off other sites. Additionally, she found, lawyers can pay to be considered for these prestigious rankings — “just” $500 per practice area. Of course, even those who pay are still subject to the site’s “rigorous evaluation process.”
This is a site to be avoided by consumers and lawyers alike.