Looking for the Best Houston Criminal Lawyers?
How Criminal Lawyers Market to Texas Criminal Defendants
If you get in trouble with the law, you might also have trouble sifting through tons of lawyer marketing and figuring out who is the best Houston criminal lawyer for you.
Any kind of advertising has the potential to be misleading to consumers. If you understand how attorneys are marketing at you, it makes it easier to sift through what are the real credentials to help you and what is just advertising fluff.
Many Ways You Can Find Out About Houston Criminal Lawyers.
Attorneys used various methods to get potential clients’ attention to their services. Some aggressive lawyer marketers may be excellent advocates, some may not. It can be hard to tell from what you see in the advertising:
Direct to Client Mail. It used to be that the Texas State Bar prohibited under ethics rules direct to client mail after arrest. The State Bar was concerned about these letters because there is no easy way to monitor what is said in them. Eventually, lawyers could send letter directly to people who were arrested because some lawyers challenged these rules for First Amendment reasons.
It is not uncommon for someone who has been arrested in the Houston area to get double-digit numbers of letters from lawyers.
Websites. Any attorney can put up a website and say that they do criminal defense law whether they have much experience at it or not. It can be a challenge to figure out who is the best lawyer to handle your case.
Lawyers, like many people who run businesses, want their website to be on the front page of web searches. The ways this is done is through purchasing Google Ad words and other advertising to get first page placement. In addition, you can see many sites trying to do what is called “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO) to get as many search terms on a page so that search engines believe their pages are relevant.
What this means is that a lot of law firm sites are repetitive and don’t read like standard English. A number of companies specialize in putting together lawyer websites and repeat a lot of the same stuff from website to website, so it is hard to figure out why one firm is different than another.
Some of the “legal” information on these websites IS NOT ACCURATE. From appearances, they don’t even look like they were written by lawyers or people familiar with normal sentence structure.
The Stradley Law Firm site does use search terms relevant to Houston criminal defense law cases with the hope that people are able to find our site. Though it may help with SEO, our site is meant to be designed for RPO—Real People Optimization.
Lawyer Directories, Yellow Pages. For a long time, lawyers advertised in the Yellow Pages because if you didn’t know any lawyers, that was the first place you looked.
With the advent of the internet, few people let their fingers do the walking when looking for a lawyer. Now various lawyer directories accumulate lawyer names, and then many ask lawyers to pay for advertisements at those directories.
Billboards, Radio, Traditional Advertising. A few lawyers use these techniques to get people to know about them. Name recognition in lawyers really doesn’t tell you much about them other than they spent money on advertising.
The positives and negatives of lawyer advertising.
The good news is that it is easier than ever to find excellent lawyers to handle your legal matters. Attorney advertising isn’t just seeing a name and a phone number any more. You can look at attorney websites to learn about attorneys’ experience, credentials and background as described by them.
But note, many lawyer “best of” directories request payments from lawyers for advertising for their magazines or their web services.
A few Texas legal directories that take no advertising money are:
The Texas Bar Association website. which shows basic information about Texas lawyers, and whether a Texas attorney has any outstanding disciplinary measures against them. (William M. "Bill" Stradley's page and Stephanie Stradley's page.)
The Texas Board of Legal Specialization website. (Bill Stradley's page).