If you are looking for an attorney to defend you, you’ve probably noticed that many lawyers have awards and badges of recognition on their website. The awards range from “Distinguished” lawyers to “Top 10” lawyers. There seems to be new awards popping up everyday. There is no generally accepted organization that ranks or gives awards to DUI lawyers in Pennsylvania. The awards come from advertising companies that have websites. These companies charge a fee for lawyers to be listed on their website.
Take a look at the letters I’ve received. For $350, I can be designated a “Superior DUI Attorney.” For only $275, I can be designated one of the “10 Best Attorneys” in Pennsylvania DUI practice. For a whopping $1,000, I can be included in the “Best Law Firms of America.” For another $1,000, I can be part of the “Best Attorneys of America.” For a mere $200, I can be listed by the American Society of Legal Advocates as one of the Top 100 criminal defense lawyers in Pennsylvania. For $399, I can be a member of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys. (Click Here To View Letters)
The offers from these advertising companies even tell you: sign up and you will have a better marketing campaign. The problem is none of these organizations know anything about me. They may have visited my website but they don’t know what I do on a daily basis. It’s simply an advertising ploy.
Now, we know you might be saying “Mike Sherman, you’re qualifications are deserving of such awards.” The problem is that the organizations list people who pay but are not deserving of the awards. Lawyers who have never tried a case or rarely try cases are advertising themselves as the “top trial lawyers” because they paid fees to these advertising companies.
Keep in mind that many of the advertising companies have no peer review process. The lawyer doesn’t have to pass a test to get into the organization. These marketing firms simply make money by having lawyers advertise on their websites. While they also build systems to help people judge who is and who is not a good lawyer, you have to remember some lawyers may be paying that organization a lot of money in exchange for showing up on their website. The point is: these companies are not all completely disinterested, unbiased organizations. A lawyer can pay to be recognized as a “Superior,” “Premier,” or “Distinguished” attorney.
Please understand that some of these websites have very fine and highly skilled attorneys. The problem is many don’t fit the bill. Most importantly, Pennsylvania does not designate lawyers as being “experts” or being the “Top 10,” “Distinguished,” or “Superior” in their respective fields. That’s why we believe that these awards create a false sense of “expertise” and we won’t be apart of them.
Make sure you are finding all the information you can about the lawyer you want to hire from multiple sources and not just relying on one website. Check into the awards and see what is necessary for a lawyer to receive such a distinction. There are some awards earned based on merit and skill – just check into what is involved in obtaining the particular award.
As you can see, Mike Sherman has been offered an opportunity to “buy” many awards. At Mike Sherman Law, we believe it is the experience that counts so we won’t be part of the award buying process. Call us today for details about our experience.
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