What you should know about Ontario criminal lawyer advertising – part one

What you should know about Ontario criminal lawyer advertising – part one

Most lawyers advertise their legal services in one way or another.  Most use internet websites as a way of advertising and while this can be a great resource for individuals looking for a criminal lawyer, you have to be careful.  If you are looking for an Ontario criminal lawyer, you have likely been browsing various websites in search of the right lawyer for you.  You should be extra careful when you come across a lawyer directory website that claims it will help you find the right lawyer for your case.  Many of these sites look convincing and professional, but there are a few things you should be aware of.

Most, if not all, of the lawyer directory websites are privately run and are created in order to make a profit.  The lawyers whose names are included in the directory have paid to have their name there.  This does not indicate anything about their experience or expertise as a criminal lawyer.  Directory sites operate much like an online phone book directory.  The lawyers who pay more will have larger, more noticeable advertisements.  Many of these sites have a search engine where you can narrow your search based on certain keywords.  Keep in mind that the names that come up are the lawyers who have paid for their listing to appear based on those search terms.  While this is not all necessarily a bad thing, you should be aware of how the system works if you are going to use it.  Be aware that just because a lawyer’s listing is first in the list or is larger than others, it does not mean that they are the best lawyer for you.

Another kind of website you may come across is a referral site.  These sites ask you for detailed information about yourself and your case in order to put you in touch with a lawyer who matches the information you gave.  This system may sound like it would be accurate and find you the right lawyer but like directory sites, these sites aim to make money.  Lawyers pay to have their names referred to potential clients.  Again, this does not mean that you will get a lousy lawyer, but it also does not guarantee that you will find the best lawyer to represent you.

A third kind of website is a referral firm.  Of all of the kinds of websites that claim to help you find a lawyer, you should be most wary of this one.  On these sites, lawyers advertise legal services without intending to or being capable of providing those services to clients.  When an individual shows interest in the services being offered, the lawyer or referral firm sends the information to another lawyer or firm who can handle your case.  This way, you end up being in contact with a different lawyer than you thought.  Sometimes these referral sites charge people for their referral service, even though individuals don’t know that they are going to be referred in the first place.  Clearly these kinds of sites should be avoided because you just don’t know who will end up speaking with or who will represent you.

As you can see, not all lawyer advertising is good or tells you very much about the lawyers and their expertise and the services they provide.  Although these sites may be appealing and may seem to make the search for a criminal lawyer easier, it is best to avoid them.  You are the only person who can decide which lawyer is right for you.  Don’t leave that decision up to someone else.

 

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