My email brought a note from a website called Best Attorneys Online congratulating me on my new rankings as a “Best Attorney” and inviting me to download a “winners seal” to add to my website and email signature. I was honored, particularly because I was ranked as among the best in three different states — not one of which I am admitted to practice in or have ever set foot in.

My rankings on Best Attorneys Online

According to Best Attorneys Online, I am the:

  • 9th best Internet lawyer in Arkansas.
  • 12th best Internet lawyer in Alabama.
  • 13th best Internet lawyer in Alaska.

As far as I know, all I have in common with these states is that our names all start with the letter “A.” For that reason, I am somewhat offended not to also have been rated a best lawyer in the only remaining A state, Arizona. At least I’ve been to Arizona, although it’s been a few years.

I wondered how this site arrives at its rankings. The only explanation I could find was this:

[W]e rank law firms based on what we have found in our research to be some of the most respectable and dedicated law teams in the United States.

OK, that explains it. Their research led them to conclude that I am a top attorney in Arkansas, Alabama and Alaska. Apparently, their research skipped right over the part where I say that I am a “Massachusetts lawyer.”

At any rate, I am honored by this ranking. Now that I am among the best lawyers in Arkansas, I will have to look into getting admitted and starting a practice there. At least my winners seal will give me a head start in my marketing.

  • Isn’t this kind of like LinkedIn prompting your community to endorse you for skills you have never suggested you possess? I’ve got folks who’ve been prompted to endorse me for class actions, privacy law, securities litigation: you name it. And many, assuming I’ve suggested these skills, have hit the button to send on the endorsement.

    Want me to be your partner in your firm in Alabama? According to LinkedIn, I’m an expert in trade secrets – doesn’t that mean we don’t have to tell anyone that we have no skills or authorization to provide our services? 🙂

    • Susan, I agree. See my prior post on whether LinkedIn endorsements violate legal ethics:

      • Thanks for that link, Bob: Wonderful post with lots of great resources and perspectives.

        But beyond the legal/professional issues here, I’m still bewildered – from the tech standpoint – by why LinkedIn pushes and SUGGESTS these random and irrelevant endorsement categories to those who are connected to me when I have lots of categories I have offered for endorsement that do reflect my expertise and that many folks have validated with their vote. It doesn’t make sense to me.

        I’m not a genius on this stuff (so don’t try to endorse me for “tech skills”), but if pushing irrelevant endorsements doesn’t increase the value of the site to users, why does LinkedIn push them out? Does this somehow radically increase their hit counts or some other metric that defines their value in the market?

  • Justin

    You’ve never been to Alaska? You should go. We did a cruise a few years back and it was gorgeous. If you have the time, do a land tour as well, to see more of the state.

    • I certainly did not mean to suggest that I do not want to go Alaska. It’s high on my bucket list. Just haven’t made it yet.

  • So funny! Thanks for sharing it. This is consistently the problem with “ranking” sites, even Martindale-Hubble. I know many wonderful attorneys who are not even on Martindale’s radar.

    Especially if you have an office practice, as I did for many years, you don’t interface with many other attorneys, so they can’t effectively rank you.

    Additionally, there is a disproportionate number of unhappy people who are eager to criticize online. Well, at least I know who to refer in most of the “A” states!

  • Congratulations. I know being top raked online is important for business, but you only actually benefit when it is for the state you are in, and for the services you provide, otherwise there still remains a disconnect between client and attorney. Thanks for the advise.

  • Gene

    It’s just a link bait email. They stroke an ego and get a link to their website. It’s a win for them.