Beware of attorney websites

This may seem like a strange to write about on a lawyer website. A lawyer website that I admit I hope brings me clients. I always try to be honest and trutfhful, and not exagerate. That's not too hard, because I've never been one to try and call attention to myself. I'm actually the opposite - I try to avoid it, and get very uncomfortable with praise and attention.

Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority on this. Lawyers - especially younger lawyers - are convinced the internet is the way to riches, I've mostly ignored it, assuming they would be hampered by their lack of experience. Apparently that's not the case; and it appears that lawyers fresh out of law school have no qualms about claiming they are the most experienced lawyer in their town.

What pushed me over the edge on this topic was several recent posts by Mark Bennett, at Defending People. Mark has an incredibly popular blog, and is no stranger to the internet. I'm sure he gets a fair amount of business from his internet presence. And the clients who hire him are definitely making a wise choice. He has been writing about a young lawyer in Houston - Maverick Ray -  who is apparently raking in the cases through the internet. Although was only licensed to practice law in May, he doesn't think he has a lack of expereience. He's even signed on to represent a capital defendant - something most ethical lawyers wouldn't even consider until they had been out in the real world at least 10 years.

So how is he getting this business? I assume it's partly because he has a very slick internet page. It sounds good, and sounds like he knows what he's talking about. No doubt the site is the product of a  professional writer, since Mr. Ray hasn't been licensed long enough to handle a serious case all the way through to a final resolution - unless he pled it out at the first setting.

This is why you have to be careful when trying to evaluate lawyers from their websites. Don't simply accept what is written on the site - it might not have even been written by the lawyer. Find out how long the lawyer has been in  practice, and what kind of experience they have. For more information on what to ask - and what to look for - get a copy of my free  guide to hiring a criminal defense lawyer.

The decision you make now is one that will effect the rest of your lawyer. Make it on facts, and not marketing hype.

Walter Reaves
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Criminal Defense Attorney Walter Reaves has been practicing law for over 30 years.
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