MTVA Spotlight

How to Elevate Your Ratings on the Top Legal Directories

November 28, 2022

In this piece, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the top legal directories in 2022. We’ll highlight the best legal directories and how to obtain and strengthen your profiles. We’ll also explain what legal directories do and how they can help with SEO.

What Do Legal Directories Do?

Online legal directories offer a searchable database of lawyers and law firms in a particular geographic region or practice area. These directories provide prospective clients (and referring attorneys) with a way to locate a lawyer to handle their legal matters.

Legal directories aren’t just yellow pages with a tedious list of contact information for law firms. They are dynamiconline platforms that can enhance your digital marketing. To be sure, you can list your name, address, and contact information on your profile.

But, you can make your profile much more personal and compelling by:

  • Adding photos and videos
  • Creating short firm/attorney biographies
  • Soliciting client and peer reviews
  • Listing relevant awards or distinctions you’ve won throughout the course of your career
  • Describing what percentage of your practice you devote to different cases
  • Explaining the length and cost (if any) of a consultation with your firm

Legal directories provide another place for prospective clients to locate you. Studies have shown that almost 50% of prospective clients use online review sites and directories to find an attorney. Around 20% look for a 1-10 rating on a third-party website before contacting an attorney. Claiming and maintaining your legal directories can be a critical way to increase your online presence and generate new client leads.

How Do Legal Directories Help With SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) strategies boost your online presence by helping you or your law firm appear higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). Since most people search for lawyers online, ranking highly on SERPs is essential: the higher you appear on the SERPs, the more likely a prospective client will visit your website and reach out to you for legal services.

Legal directories offer an easy and affordable way to build your reputation and credibility by providing link-building opportunities – a critical off-site SEO strategy. Creating profiles on reputable legal directories allows you to expand your online reach and improve your rankings by increasing the number of links to your website.

Increasing the number of trustworthy backlinks to your website shows Google that your legal content is reliable and useful. In turn, Google will deem your website authoritative and give it a top spot on SERPs – thus bringing in more business for your legal practice.

How Do I Get BackLinks from Legal Directories?

A backlink is a link to your website from another website. Google takes backlinks to mean that other people recognize your website and content as authoritative. Google factors in this authority when deciding which websites to list for users’ search terms or queries.

Legal directories offer one way to obtain quality backlinks to your website. You can strategically incorporate links to your website in your profile, thereby increasing the authoritativeness of your website and content. These backlinks may just help you rank on top search engine results pages for legal keywords.

You won’t be able to create the same sorts of backlinks on every legal directory. Directories that allow you to publish legal articles offer the best opportunities for link-building; FindLaw is one example. Below, we’ll go into more detail on a few of the best legal directories.

What Are the Top Legal Directories in 2022?

A list of top legal directories will differ depending on the criteria. Based on Domain Authority rankings, the best legal directories are:

Admittedly, this is a lot of directories to maintain profiles on. Suppose you are more interested in obtaining ratings on only the most prominent and oft-used platforms. The legal directories that tend to carry the most weight with clients and attorney peers are Avvo, Martindale-Hubbell, Justia, and FindLaw.

How to Acquire and Elevate Your Ratings on Major Legal Directories

Below, we’ll discuss how to create and elevate your profiles on the major legal directory sites.


Avvo is among the most dominant online rating services in the legal industry. The platform actually creates a profile for every licensed attorney it can locate. Chances are you already have an Avvo profile, you just may not have claimed it.

If you haven’t claimed your Avvo profile, the site will not provide a numerical rating for you. Once you claim and complete your profile, Avvo will give you a score of 1.0 (Extreme Caution) - 10.0 (Superb) based on the information in your profile and information from state bars and other licensing agencies.

Here are some tips for obtaining the highest Avvo rating possible:

  1. Claim your attorney profile
  2. Complete your profile to 95%. You cannot get to 100% unless you pay for the Avvo Rating Badge, which won’t increase your rating.
  3. List your practice areas. This determines which Avvo users will see you when searching for an attorney in your geographic area.
  4. Highlight your professional awards and associations. Avvo values recent awards more highly than older ones.
  5. Request peer endorsements. Avvo rates these highly.

You can read more about acquiring a higher Avvo rating here.


Martindale-Hubbell is the oldest – and possibly most revered – rating service, having evaluated attorneys since 1868. It is solely a peer-review rating, providing lawyer ratings based on an attorney's “legal ability and ethical standards as judged by their peers.”

It offers three peer-review rating awards to attorneys: AV-Preeminent; Distinguished; Notable. To obtain or elevate a peer review rating, you must submit a request to Martindale-Hubbell. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Contact customer support to request a rating. Provide your name, firm name, email address, and Martindale subscription status to You can also call 800-526-4902 to request your rating.
  2. Solicit and submit peer references. You will nominate peer references using Martindale’s nomination tool (provided by customer support). The tool requires at least 18 references but 20-25+ peer references are preferred since not all references will respond.
  3. Contact your peer references before listing them as Martindale references. This is a professional courtesy but will also make your reference more likely to respond to Martindale’s request for feedback.

For more information on how to obtain a Martindale-Hubbell rating, click here.


Justia is another prominent legal directory, with more than ten million visits per month. It provides attorneys with a score of 1.0 - 10.0 based on peer reviews of the attorney’s skills and experience.

Here’s how you can elevate your profile and ratings in Justia:

  1. Create your account.
  2. Ask your peers to review your profile. Only lawyers with an active profile can submit reviews for other attorneys. Your peers can provide reviews by clicking the “Review this Lawyer” button at the top of your profile.
  3. Fill out your profile. Complete the sections for your biography, practice areas, professional experience, etc.

You can also answer questions on Justia’s Q&A section to help enhance your presence on the site. Click here to begin setting up your profile on Justia.


FindLaw has one of the largest and most comprehensive online attorney directories available, boasting over 11 million monthly visitors. Unlike Avvo, Martindale, and Justia, Findlaw does not provide attorney ratings. However, attorneys can create an account on the platform and include key information about their skills and services on their profile. Moreover, clients can leave a rating and review of your services on your profile.

To take advantage of this resource, you should:

  1. Create an account.
  2. Complete your attorney profile. FindLaw personnel will review the information you provide and publish your profile within two business days.
  3. Enable ratings and reviews on your profile. This will ensure that you can receive ratings from former clients.

Clients can rate you or your legal practice based on their overall experience using a five-star rating system. They must also share an opinion and provide their contact information so they can be verified as past or present clients.

You can learn more about creating a Findlaw account here.

LawRank Can Help You Claim and Optimize Your Legal Directory Profiles

As you can see, having a robust presence on reputable legal directories can yield many benefits in your digital marketing efforts. However, creating, maintaining, and optimizing these profiles can be time-consuming. You’re likely already dealing with a heavy caseload and working long hours.

That’s where LawRank can help.

When you choose us as your law firm SEO agency, you’ll get a whole team of SEO professionals and attorneys working to build your online presence. We’ll help you claim your profiles on the top legal directories, write optimized content to boost your reputation, and keep your profiles relevant and current.

We offer many services, including website design, SEO, and PPC, and we’ll create a plan tailored to your goals and market. Contact us today to discuss the best legal marketing strategy for your law firm.

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