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Is Justia Worth It? Review and Guide

updated
January 24, 2023
11 min
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Yes, Justia is worth it. When it comes to legal research, Justia is one of the most popular and widely used services. With a comprehensive database of state and federal case law, statutes, regulations, and more, you can access it quickly and easily.

The website has a wealth of legal resources for free users, including access to Supreme Court opinions, state-specific statutes and case law, and legal blogs from top legal professionals. Paid users get even more access to legal documents, including docket sheets, briefs, and additional search tools.

Overall, Justia legal resources are great for those looking for reliable legal research. Its user-friendly interface and comprehensive database make it an excellent choice for anyone who needs quick and easy access to legal resources. 

This Justia directory guide and review will discuss:

  • What Justia lawyer directory is
  • Justia marketing services for lawyers
  • How to nail your Justia lawyer rating
  • The differences between Justia lawyer directory vs. Avvo vs. Super Lawyers

What Is Justia Lawyer Directory?

Justia is best known for being an online lawyer directory. However, the platform does much more than house listings of lawyers. Justia offers law firms a broad range of digital marketing services and tools. Additionally, Justia provides website hosting services for lawyers as well.

While you can create a free Justia listing, accessing their digital marketing services requires upgrading to a premium account. After upgrading your account, you can purchase services like social media marketing, search engine optimization, and website design.

The broad range of legal services that Justia offers makes it such an appealing option for lawyers. If you are a new attorney somewhat unfamiliar with digital marketing for lawyers, stumbling across a platform like Justia might seem like hitting the jackpot.

However, it is essential to understand how these services stack up against digital marketing support provided by a dedicated marketing agency. With that in mind, let's transition to the Justia review.

Review of Justia Marketing Services for Lawyers

We divided our Justia review into three segments so that we could thoroughly cover each of the digital marketing services that the platform offers. These services and our thoughts on them are as follows:

Directory Placement

With Justia’s directory placement services, you can help increase your online visibility since it provides access to the Justia network of resources. Justia is an invaluable resource for legal professionals looking to improve their visibility, reach more clients, and get the most out of their directory-placement efforts. 

Claiming a Justia lawyer profile is free. You can subscribe for premium or gold placements if you want to get more out of your professional profile. In addition to being in the Justia lawyer directory, your profile will also be included in the Legal Information Institute (LII) lawyer directory, allowing you to increase the internet exposure of your practice further. 

Justia SEO Services

Justia leverages industry best practices for technical SEO, such as optimization for page speed, user experience, and conversions, using the WordPress-based Elevate platform. 

Furthermore, Justia Elevate provides legal resources and tools to aid in the creation of excellent, unique material optimized for readability and SEO. These contents enhance user experience and help search engines understand your content better, improving your ranking for the queries important to your law firm.

For instance, when your clients search 'divorce attorneys in Chicago,' a link to Justia appears in the 4th place. Your clients get a list of lawyers that offer the service when they click on the link. If your profile is at the. top, you get seen fast by potential clients.

Offsite SEO

Justia SEO Services offers a comprehensive off-site SEO solution that helps to improve your website's presence on search engine results pages (SERPs). An important part of off-site SEO is link building. 

Google places great value on quality backlinks when evaluating how high to rank your website in its search results. Quality link-building campaigns are designed to help your website climb the rankings and reach more potential customers. When a renowned legal directory like Justia links to your website, Google considers you more authoritative.

Justia Content Development

Great legal content is critical for both SEO and paid marketing purposes. It is also essential for effective social media marketing for lawyers. Since Justia offers SEO and social media management services, it is only natural that it also provides content development assistance as well. Good luck connecting with more clients if your content is bland, boring, or generic.

We discovered more vagueness and a website service page littered with some of the same buzzwords mentioned above. A few examples include uniqueness and keyword density. Again, these are not great signs.

Ideally, a platform advertising online marketing and content creation services should have a compelling copy on its website. Unfortunately, Justia's description of its content creation services does not exactly inspire confidence.

While we could not review any marketing materials that the Justia team created for its clients, the website had plenty of content to skim through.

Virtually every page exhibited a similar level of "good, not great" content quality. Depending on the competitiveness of your practice area, good lawyer website content may not be enough to differentiate your law office from other attorneys in your market.

Justia Website Services

According to Justia, web design services for attorneys are one of its core services, and it shows. Their quality and functionality are surprising. However, the platform's content management services and blogs somewhat offset the initial appeal of the designs themselves. As part of our Justia review, our team analyzed several Justia websites.

Justia Website Design

At first glance, Justia's websites have a good layout, a user-friendly design, and an appealing, professional vibe. Upon closer examination, however, the websites are slightly generic.

This lack of uniqueness is less of a concern for law firms that operate in smaller markets. However, lawyers who operate in especially crowded regions might find their website looks eerily similar to their competitors.

Suppose your law firm wants to ensure that it has a truly unique website. In that case, you may find greater success working with a web design partner specializing in creating sites for law firms. Such a partner can provide tailored web design services that align with your brand voice and help you leave a lasting impression on new clients.

Justia Website CMS

Justia offers customers access to a content management system or CMS. Well, technically, they have a separate CMS for blogs and websites. What does this mean exactly? Put simply, if you partner with Justia for website hosting, they will use one CMS to provide these services and a separate CMS if you use their blog-related services.

Even if you do not know much about web design, you have likely heard of WordPress. WordPress is the most popular platform for hosting websites, bar none. For this section of our Justia review, we will focus only on the CMS used for building websites.

It only stands to reason that Justia would build websites on this platform, right? Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Instead of using WordPress, Justia offers web design services via a proprietary CMS. The problem with this approach is that your law firm can only access the site if you maintain an account with Justia.

Essentially, you will get locked into a partnership with Justia or be forced to have your entire website rebuilt. Doesn't sound like a very fair proposition to us.

Justia Blogs

Now let's talk about other CMS platforms and law firm blogs. The simple fact that Justia differentiates between the two seemed odd to our team. Any great website is not only going to have service pages but legal blog content as well. However, this is not the case with Justia's sites.

Since Justia uses two different hosting services for blogs and websites, you will have two distinct web domains. This setup can make it difficult to consolidate your traffic as you will need to incorporate links to separate sites on all of your pages.

To make matters worse, having separate platforms for blogs and service pages will make it incredibly challenging to track the performance of your digital marketing campaign.

Any traffic you earn will increase overall website visibility when all of your content is found on one site. Conversely, if you have two distinct domains, traffic routed to one site will not benefit the SEO ranking of the other.

The only potential benefit of running two sites is that links between them will count as backlinks. But even this meager 'advantage' will be offset by the inevitable headaches when managing two separate domains.

Nailing Your Justia Lawyer Profile Rating

Your Justia lawyer rating is essential to your success as an attorney. Many potential clients and colleagues consider your rating when considering working with you. It is important to understand how your rating is calculated and what you can do to ensure a high rating.

The Justia lawyer rating is based on various factors, including the number of years you’ve been practicing law, the number of cases you’ve handled, and the outcome. Additionally, the rating is based on feedback from clients and other attorneys. The more positive feedback you receive, the higher your rating will be.

To begin, set yourself up for success. Build a professional profile on Justia, and make sure all the details are accurate and up-to-date. Your profile should also be comprehensive and highlight your legal experience and specializations. It requires dedication, hard work, and a commitment to handle the profile you create. However, if you are willing to do the work, you can achieve a high rating from Justia. 

Get Down to Your NAP

Your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are the foundation of any great listing. Adding a professional quality profile picture, writing a great description, and advertising your listing is useless if your contact information is incorrect.

Download Good Quality Pictures and Videos

When cropping your profile picture, make sure that it is just you. Omit any images of your office, desk, building, or logo. We recommend springing for professional photographs.

You should also make a few videos and upload them to your listing.

Write a Proper Description

While writing a description sounds easy enough, many lawyers get too wordy here. Keep your full description to about 100-200 words, max. List where you attended law school, what areas you practice in, and what regions you serve. Also, give some encouragement demonstrating your professionalism and commitment to your clients.

Ask Your Colleagues to Review You

Reach out to peers and colleagues, asking for reviews. This is an excellent way to build your network. Lawyers who are familiar with your legal work and have an active Justia profile can express their opinions on your legal knowledge, analysis, communication, ethics, and professionalism on Justia.

Go to Social Media

Once your listing is finished, make sure to let people know. You can share your new listing on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

That said, don't spam your followers with alerts about your listing. Make a few posts about it over a multi-week period. You can periodically post about it again in the future but use a measured approach.

Mention Your Sub Practice Area

Are you a criminal law attorney who specializes in DUI cases? Do you practice personal injury law and prefer to take on slip and fall claims? Whatever your sub-practice areas are, make sure to list them on your Justia profile.

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Justia Lawyer Directory vs. Avvo vs. Super Lawyers

Justia lawyer directory provides the broadest range of services of the three major lawyer directories. However, Avvo is probably the most similar. Like Justia, Avvo allows lawyers to create free accounts and enable them to upgrade to a premium profile. Avvo offers several other marketing services, but its lineup is not as comprehensive as Justia's.

Super Lawyers are another animal entirely. While Super Lawyers is more exclusive than Justia and Avvo, making it on the list is so tedious that some attorneys prefer to leverage mainstream marketing tactics. The listing platform adds lawyers to the directory after they navigate a somewhat complicated nomination and vetting process.

For a more in-depth look at lawyer directories, visit our comprehensive guide on Avvo attorney ratings.

FAQs About Justia

Below, we have included answers to several frequently asked questions about the Justia platform.

  • How Does the Justia Lawyer Rating System Work?

    Justia, like many other law firm platforms, has a rating system. However, each system is unique, weighing various factors to score profiles.

    The Justia rating system is only accessible by verified attorneys who have active profiles on the directory. These users can review other lawyers, regardless of whether that attorney works in the same state or practice area as they do. Clients can leave reviews too, but this feedback has no impact on a profile's Justia rating.

  • How Are Justia Ratings Calculated?

    Justia's rating system is probably one of the most straightforward. The platform will average all of the peer ratings that an attorney receives to generate their cumulative score. Scores can range from 1.0 to 5.0.

    When peers review attorneys, they are asked to provide feedback on the individual's communication skills, ethics, professionalism, and overall legal knowledge. The factors mentioned above are scored as well, but they are distinct from the Justia rating. Peers must provide written responses to justify each score they provide for another attorney.

  • Do I Need a Paid Justia Membership?

    Will a free Justia account actually help you attract more clients? Perhaps, but free listings will not allow you to access the full suite of tools and services that Justia provides. To be clear, we are not saying that you need to upgrade your free profile to a premium account.

    We simply state that the free listing won't cut it if your goal is to access all Justia has to offer.

    You cannot use paid advertising on the platform or access the company's various marketing services. Additionally, free accounts are not provided access to traffic analysis tools. They are not prioritized in searches that clients may conduct on the platform.

    So we recommend signing up for a free profile to get a feel for the Justia platform. This tactic will help you better understand what the platform offers and whether it contributes to your company's growth.

  • Is It Possible to Switch to Another Vendor From Justia?

    No, it is not! Suppose you cancel your subscription with Justia and switch to another vendor. In that case, you won't get your website or digital marketing plan. Justia still owns all material, and once you cease using their service, they will take down the current website. In such a situation, you must build a new website from scratch, which means you lose your legal resources and exposure.

    Think of it as a copyright. Unless the owner allows its transfer through an agreement, you have no right to the content.

To Sum Up: Is Justia Reliable?

Justia offers a wealth of information for lawyers, students, and anyone interested in legal matters. It is more than just an online legal resource that provides access to hundreds of thousands of documents and court opinions. It also offers a variety of legal tools and services, as well as the opportunity to get a lawyer rating on your professional profile to put yourself out there. 

Our team strongly encourages law firms to take advantage of free legal resources, including Justia's lawyer directory. Adding your law firm to the directory will take only a few minutes. It can provide one more avenue for generating meaningful web traffic. However, that is about where our endorsement of Justia ends.

Grow Law Firm offers a full array of services, including web design, SEO, and pay-per-click campaign management for lawyers. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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    Sasha serves as Managing Partner for Grow Law Firm, a Chicago-based digital marketing agency focused solely on specialized growth strategies for attorneys and their practices.

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