By Kevin O'Keefe

Need a Robert lawyer?

I wonder how many people go about selecting a lawyer by first name. Probably not too many but it was a darn good thing that West’s FindLaw paid to take care of such folks doing a search at google.

Do a search for Robert lawyer. FindLaw has bought a sponsored link for a Robert lawyer and of course they are first in the search results for a page titled: “Find a Robert Lawyer.” I’ve been thinking about getting me one of them. I did a search for Barbie lawyer and darn, FindLaw did not have any of those in stock.

Kenneth lawyer? Yep, FindLaw made sure they bought a sponsored link to Kenneth lawyer and again they are on the top of the search results for a page titled, yes again, “Find a Kenneth Lawyer.”

But best of all, you can get a Kenneth lawyer for – “only a dollar a day” – from not one, but two companies. My, that would make me feel mighty proud to be able to bump into the other side outside the courtroom and say “lookey here, I got me a Ken lawyer & he only cost me a dollar a day.”

I know FindLaw and other folks paid a bunch of money for writing code to dump every city in the country into and then to buy google adwords for all of them at a dirt cheap price. Heck, they may have paid to find out Kenneth, Minnesota has a population of 61 (29 men, 32 woman) including kids. But it sure makes lawyers, the legal profession as a whole and those companies like West’s FindLaw that sell to lawyers look both greedy and stupid. Google is already writing new algorithms for its searches to get around the things lawyers do to try and cheat their search engine.

Why as a profession do we keep doing things to make our reputation worse? Why do we continue to pay West and some search engine optimization companies to make us look foolish? I don’t have the answers.

I still think the Internet is the best tool ever for lawyers to communicate with ordinary people and by doing so to both improve our image and help ourselves financially at the same time. I hope we do not blow it.

PS – I checked, there’s no sex discrimination at West’s FindLaw – you can get a Nancy Lawyer.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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