A long-awaited foray into the growing online directory market, the new website has been rolled out in recent months following 18 months of development and research.
Taking its cue from the success of US-based online legal directories such as Avvo, the site incorporates a mixture of traditional legal directory search and rating features, plus client reviews like those found in the online consumer world.
Good Lawyer Guide uses a proprietary algorithm-led star rating system to grade the lawyers, supplemented by client reviews.
As well as the ability to search for a lawyer or firm by practice area and location, users can post a question about a legal matter on an online Q+A discussion forum. Lawyers are then able to respond with answers to readers’ questions.
Most of Good Lawyer Guide’s featured lawyers practice in smaller “High St” practices and commercial firms in areas such as family, immigration and small business advice.
It’s a clever move for Legalease, which has not traditionally been regarded as an innovator, into the fast-developing online directory space.
Following the success of Avvo – which, since its launch in 2007, is now among the most heavily trafficked legal websites in the world, it was inevitable that the leading UK-based directory publishers would follow suit with a rich mix of consumer-focused features.
Unlike some of the successful US online directories, Good Lawyer Guide has no immediate plans to target the larger commercial law firms.
Given Legal 500’s solid foothold in this market, and a growing interest in online marketing from bigger law firms, it will be interesting to see whether Good Lawyer Guide moves in this direction or whether the two Legalease directory brands remain at arms length.
Stephen Jones, Associate Director, is the key contact for the Good Lawyer Guide.