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Super Lawyers: Real lawyer ratings or play to lawyers’ ego?

Sure looks like the Super Lawyers directory is a ploy to get law firm advertising dollars as opposed to a directory of qualified lawyers.

Law firm marketing consultant, Larry Bodine, shares that a group of marketing directors at a luncheon yesterday were snickering at the preposterousness of the Super Lawyers Directory.

‘They sent us a letter that three of our lawyers had been chosen,’ said the director of a prominent Ohio law firm.  ‘One was retired and another was dead.’  So much for their rigorous selection criteria.  ‘So I called up and said I wanted three different lawyers in the directory.  They said ‘OK.”  Again, so much for their rigorous selection criteria.

‘That’s nothing,’ said another marketer at the table.  ‘Three of our partners were upset that they weren’t selected.  So I phoned up and they added them.  Of course we had to buy some advertising.’

The marketers laughed, and then sighed about how easily the lawyers were fooled.  All it took was one shot at their egos and the were ready to pay money to be in a meaningless directory.  I remarked that research shows that only blue collar workers are impressed by the Super Lawyers designation — not corporate execs, GCs or referring lawyers. I’ve never seen a Super Lawyers listing in the office of any corporate leader who hired lawyers.

Should be apparent to anyone looking at all the law firm ads in the directory, which comes in the form of a magazine for various states, that directory is more about selling ads to lawyers with an ego, than a directory of leading lawyers. But as Larry says, “A new sucker is christened with a J.D. every day.”

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