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Justia Lawyer Directory: Review and Guide

updated
September 1, 2022
14 min
read
Marketing

If you have been searching for a comprehensive review of Justia lawyers' platform, you are in the right place. In this combination guide and Justia website review, we answer questions like "Is Justia reliable?" and explain the core features of the platform, like the lawyer marketing score.

However, we do not just review Justia — we also reveal how you can get the most out of your Justia marketing efforts, should you choose to leverage the platform.

As we round out our Justia website review, we answer the question that you and thousands of other law firms have been asking about this online marketing platform, "Is using Justia a worthwhile move?" If you are eager to find out, read on to see our final verdict.

What Is Justia?

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

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

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

However, it is important to understand just 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 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:

Justia SEO Services

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the backbone of any growth strategy. Without effective SEO services for lawyers, it will be nearly impossible for your law firm to attract a steady stream of new clients.

However, managing your own SEO strategy can be complicated, time-consuming, and, to be honest, infuriating. There are many interrelated factors that can impact the efficacy of your SEO efforts.

Before shifting our attention to the Justia review, let's recap what SEO is. When potential clients conduct a search on their favorite search engine, the platform's algorithm will analyze thousands of websites in order to present the user with the most relevant results.

If you would like an in-depth look at how platforms compile search results, this breakdown from Google is a great resource.

When you want to get noticed in the crowded digital marketplace, you need your website to be ranked highly in the search results. Otherwise, potential clients may never even lay eyes on your website. The practice of making your website more visible on search engines by adhering to the algorithm's rules is SEO.

A good SEO strategy will make your website easier to find on the search results pages of organic searches. The searches are referred to as "organic" because you are not paying search engines to display your content — you are adhering to their ranking criteria.

So how does Justia claim to help you achieve a top ranking? While we would like to give you a detailed description of its services and what it offers clients, we cannot.

The platform's SEO services page is pretty vague, to say the least. When describing its SEO legal services, Justia uses generalized terms like "quality content," "uniqueness," and "keyword density."

To be clear, this does not necessarily mean that the Justia site offers poor-quality SEO services. However, it is difficult for us to adequately review them due to their vagueness. With that in mind, our team did have one major SEO-related concern when conducting the Justia review. The company neglected to mention link building on its website.

Link building is the process of acquiring links on other websites that route traffic back to your website. These links are referred to as "backlinks" and are a critical component of SEO. To be fair, the platform does mention that adding your website to a lawyer directory can boost visibility. The concern is that it still fails to use the phrase "link building."

The most effective link-building strategies involve doing far more than simply adding your website to a few directories. Ideally, you want backlinks from other types of websites as well, such as legal publications, local organizations, and associations of legal professionals. As long as backlinks are located on reputable websites, the more you can acquire, the better.

Can Justia's SEO services improve your marketing strategy? Perhaps, but it would be nice if the company were a little more transparent about its services and the results they produce. That way, you could better gauge what sort of return on investment you may be able to achieve.

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. If your content is bland, boring, or generic, good luck connecting with more clients. Since Justia offers SEO and social media management services, it is only natural that it also provides content development assistance as well.

As our team transitioned to this phase of the Justia review, we hoped to find better value propositions and details about the scope of the company's content creation services.

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

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

While we were not able to review any marketing materials that the Justia team created for its clients, the website itself 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. As part of our Justia review, our team analyzed several Justia websites and was pleasantly surprised by their quality and functionality. However, the platform's content management services and blogs somewhat offset the initial appeal of the designs themselves.

Justia Website Design

At first glance, Justia websites have a good layout, user-friendly design, and 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 that their website looks eerily similar to those of their competitors.

If your law firm wants to ensure that it has a truly unique website, you may find greater success working with a web design partner who specializes 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.

For the purposes of this section of our Justia review, we will focus only on the CMS used for building websites. 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.

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 as long as 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 that other CMS platform and law firm blogs. The simple fact that Justia differentiates between the two seemed quite 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.

When all of your content is found on one site, any traffic that you earn will increase overall website visibility. Conversely, if you have two distinct domains, traffic that is 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 myriad of headaches that are inevitable when managing two separate domains.

Nailing Your Justia Lawyer Profile

As you can see, there are some concerning drawbacks to using Justia. However, you can still draw some positive attention to your law firm by leveraging the platform, provided you have a great game plan.

Step one is claiming your law firm on Justia's lawyer directory. While there are several ways to claim your law firm, the easiest option is to send a fax. This fax allows their team to verify the legitimacy of your request and add you to Justia's lawyer directory in short order. If you don't mind jumping through a few extra verification hoops, you can also send an email.

To make the most of your Justia lawyer profile, we suggest that you also do the following:

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 completely useless if your contact information is not correct.

With that in mind, make sure that Justia has the correct contact information for your law firm. While you are at it, verify your contact information on Yelp, Google, and any other online listings as well. Make sure that everything matches, right on down to the letter.

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. If you want to plan ahead, book a group session for your entire firm so that everyone can update their portfolios.

You should also make a few videos and upload them to your listing. Your lawyer videos should be concise, professional, and informative. This approach will help you make the biggest impact and attract more clients.

Write a Proper Description

When writing your description, make sure to keep things brief and on topic. Now is not the time to list your hobbies or rattle off every single club you are a member of.

Instead, list where you attended law school, what areas you practice in, and what regions you serve. Also, throw in some words of encouragement that demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to your clients.

While writing a description sounds easy enough, many lawyers get too long-winded here. Keep your entire description to about 100-200 words, max.

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 of course, LinkedIn.

With that being 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 Subpractice 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 vs. Avvo vs. Super Lawyers

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

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

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

FAQs About Justia

Below, we have included some 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 of these systems is unique, as they weigh a variety of factors in order 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 aforementioned factors are scored as well, but they are distinct from the Justia rating. Peers must provide written responses to justify each score that 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 are simply stating that if your goal is to access all Justia has to offer, then the free listing won't cut it. When you create a free listing, that is precisely what you are getting. Your law firm will be included in the Justia directory.

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

    So our recommendation is to sign up for a free profile so that you can get a feel for the Justia platform. This tactic will help you better understand what the platform has to offer and whether it is actually contributing to your company's growth.

    You may decide that upgrading from a free account to a paid one is a smart move for your business. Alternatively, you might decide that your time and resources would be better allocated toward mainstream marketing solutions.

    One important consideration: Law firms that have blogs must update them regularly. A modern looking website with a blog that hasn’t been updated in 3 years will fail to build credibility with your website visitors. Your competition is updating their legal blogs, and you need to as well.

To Sum Up: Is Justia a Worthwhile Investment?

So what is our final verdict on Justia? Our team strongly encourages law firms to take advantage of free resources, including Justia's lawyer directory.

Adding your law firm to the directory will only take a few minutes of your time and can provide one more avenue for generating meaningful web traffic. However, that is about where our endorsement of Justia ends.

Although the platform offers several digital advertising services, none of them impressed. If you need professional support to accelerate your firm's growth and help you acquire new clients, then you should partner with a high-performance law firm marketing company like Grow Law Firm.

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 Berson is a legal marketing expert

    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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