And it’s not Martindale-Hubbell.
Commenting on last week’s court ruling that there was no basis for cracking down on Avvo’s lawyer-rating Web site because some lawyers didn’t like how they were rating, the Wall Street Journal endorsed the concept of lawyer ratings.
At a time when the judicial system is under increasing scrutiny, the courtroom performances and verdicts of its practitioners would seem a reasonable object of public interest. For those shopping for legal counsel, an online rating service might at least provide some measure of transparency in an otherwise opaque profession.
The site, called Avvo, does for lawyers what any number of magazines and Web sites have been doing for other professions for years. Magazines regularly publish stories that rank an area’s doctors and dentists. There are rating sites and blogs for the ‘best’ hairstylists, manicurists, restaurants and movie theaters. Almost any consumer product or service these days is sorted and ranked.
Professional ego aside, it’s hard to see why lawyers or judges should be any different.
Though not mentioning Super Lawyers by name, the WSJ certainly seems to endorse Super Lawyers practice of selecting the best lawyers and publishing the lawyers profiles in magazines and now the Internet.
Like it or not, the Internet may bring transparency to our profession yet.