Thanks to the internet, finding a lawyer is arguably easier than ever. Unfortunately, searching for a criminal lawyer via the internet can also result in an overwhelming amount of information. In addition, the results are ranked in ways that you may not expect. Choosing the “right” lawyer is a deeply personal choice, so it’s important to devote some careful consideration to the process.
If you or someone you love needs a Philadelphia criminal lawyer, we would welcome the opportunity to meet and discuss how our firm can help. Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer Lauren Wimmer is committed to helping people find the right lawyer, even when that lawyer may be someone else. If you would like to schedule a free consultation, contact Wimmer Criminal Defense Law at 215-712-1212 to discuss your case and how we can help.
Google is the most popular search engine for a reason - its platform allows you to find practically anything in an instant. As helpful as this is for people searching for lawyers, it’s important to understand how Google works.
Once you hit “enter” after typing in your search terms, you get a list of results. These results are not random. The first handful of results are paid advertisements. After that, you may get results that are businesses located near you. After those results, you get what is often referred to as the “organic” search results. These are the results that the Google algorithm has determined are most relevant to your search.
If you do a google search for “Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer,” you will notice that the first few results have a small, inconspicuous “ad” notation next to the result. These are law firms that paid to be ranked at the top of your search results. This is often referred to as “pay per click” advertising, where the firm only pays each time someone clicks on the advertisement. While they didn’t pay up-front to run the ad, it is a paid advertisement nonetheless. To be clear, the firm may provide excellent legal representation, just be aware that the fact that they are at the top of your results doesn’t mean they are the best firm for you.
There is an entire industry devoted to helping businesses land on the first page of search results, referred to as “Search Engine Optimization” or “SEO.” It focuses on helping businesses anticipate the search engine algorithms and then tailors their websites and internet content to match common search terms in order to arrive at the top of the organic search results. There are a number of other factors at work - search engine algorithms are incredibly sophisticated and always changing. The bottom line is that the results found on the first page are not ranked according to the quality of their legal services.
The location-based results also will not necessarily give you the best results. Interestingly, these results can include a mix of both pay-to-play advertising and those firms that are simply closest to you. Again, these results are not ranked according to the quality of their legal services.
Found a Philadelphia criminal lawyer with many reviews? Make sure you read through them to see if they're real or fake.
Once you’ve found a handful of law firms via Google that you are interested in, be sure to thoroughly review their websites. Firms will typically have an “about us” page that describes the history of their firm, the kind of cases they handle, and their approach to representing their clients. If they have multiple lawyers, you can then review the biographical pages of whichever lawyer you may be interested in.
That said, the sheer volume of information on a law firm’s website can be overwhelming. Many law firms have pages devoted to particular types of cases they handle, usually listed under “practice areas.” Go to the page that describes your legal issue, and read through it carefully. The law firm may also have a blog, with posts relevant to your case. You may be able to find answers to many of your initial questions. Ultimately, you want to determine whether the law firm has sufficient experience in handling cases similar to yours.
When all is said and done, it’s nearly impossible to choose the right lawyer based purely on an internet search. We understand that time is of the essence in criminal matters, but it’s important to devote some time to finding the right lawyer. Setting aside time to interview multiple lawyers to find the right one is a critical investment in the outcome of your case and your future.
You should take full advantage of the free consultation lawyers offer. This is an opportunity not only for the lawyer to win your business, but also an opportunity for you to decide which lawyer is right for you. Hiring a lawyer is a deeply personal choice. You could hire the best lawyer money can buy, but there will be problems if you don’t trust each other, can’t effectively communicate, have conflicting personalities, or don’t share the same objectives. When interviewing lawyers, you should ask yourself the following questions:
Ultimately, you need to be comfortable with your lawyer and confident in their ability to provide you with excellent legal representation. You are forming what may be one of the most important professional relationships in your life.
If you’ve been accused of a crime, it’s highly advisable to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Philadelphia as soon as you can. Call Wimmer Criminal Defense Law at 215-712-1212 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case today.