In a bold move, the new U.S. News Lawyer Directory, which will be powered by Best Lawyers, will enable every US lawyer to list themselves free of charge.
This new directory will operate separately from the traditional Best Lawyers rankings, which are based on peer review, and have been around for more than 30 years, and from the Best Lawyers/U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firms survey, which has been running since 2010.
From a commercial standpoint, although every lawyer can list themselves free of charge, lawyers will be able to purchase an expanded profile, while firms that have already purchased profiles packages with Best Lawyers will automatically receive, at no additional cost, expanded lawyer profiles on the new site for all of the lawyers in their firms.
The site is set to go live in Spring 2018.
This is an ambitious play by Best Lawyers, which I see as a return to the longstanding US tradition of the universal listing directory, originally pioneered by Martindale Hubbell.
The comprehensive listing style of directory has faded in recent years in favor of directories with more limited scope, or those that seek to assess and rank lawyers, but this latest venture is set to revitalize the concept of a single listing platform for every lawyer.
For more on this venture, and how law firms can prepare, a Q+A with Best Lawyers chief executive Phil Greer will follow soon.