Official Lawyer Directories of State Bar Associations & Licensing OrganizationsJustia Team September 17, 2021 Spanish
September 17, 2021
Approximate Read Time: 8 Minutes
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While many organizations maintain lawyer directories, each attorney licensing organization also offers an official directory that serves as a roster of attorneys eligible to practice in that jurisdiction. Check out this post for a list of directories maintained by these agencies, and to learn more about whether these profiles help you with legal marketing.
In each of the U.S. states, lawyers are licensed by some sort of agency charged with regulating the practice of law. As every lawyer should know, attorneys can only practice within states and jurisdictions that have granted them a license. Traditionally, this involves complying with admissions requirements such as passing the appropriate bar examination and successfully completing character and fitness investigations, though some states have reciprocity agreements with each other that ease the burden of practicing across jurisdictions.
Each of these licensing organizations (or a related association) maintains an official directory of lawyers that includes all attorneys who are eligible to practice law in that jurisdiction. In some cases, this directory also includes lawyers who have been suspended from practice or disbarred (with an appropriate notation about that attorney’s eligibility).
List of Lawyer Directories by State Bar Associations
Do These Directories Offer Marketing Benefits?
Here at Justia Onward, we share a lot of information designed to help lawyers with their legal marketing efforts, and some readers may naturally be wondering whether these official directories offer some sort of hidden marketing benefits.
It is true that some of these official directories offer links to a lawyer’s law firm website that can aid in developing a well-rounded search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. However, many of these directories are not indexed by Google or do not offer links altogether, so they do not benefit the attorney’s SEO efforts. Nonetheless, regardless of whether links are available or the directory is indexed, these profiles do matter for your overall marketing efforts.
First and foremost, even when there is no discernable SEO value or other traditional digital marketing opportunity through these directories, they serve as informational resources for the general public. Some of these directories allow users to filter their searches based on practice areas or locations. Others allow searches by name or license number. Some function simply as a list of lawyers.
Regardless of how robust an official directory may or may not be, it is almost certain to receive significant traffic from potential clients. Current clients and other lawyers looking to verify an attorney’s credentials likely visit the official directory maintained by the licensing organization. Therefore, lawyers must ensure they are always putting their best foot forward by offering complete, accurate information through these profiles.
In addition, keeping this official information up-to-date is often a requirement to keep a lawyer’s license in good standing for that jurisdiction. Lawyers should periodically check their listing in the official directory for any jurisdiction in which they are licensed to ensure that they are in compliance with any applicable rules (and are in turn receiving the available marketing benefits).
Final Thoughts: Why Do You Care?
Clients want to be sure they are working with a properly licensed attorney, and these directories offer them the opportunity to verify that is the case. Lawyers want to ensure they are always maintaining compliance with any requirements imposed by their state licensing organization, while also putting their best foot forward and maximizing any available marketing benefits. Accordingly, knowing which directories are maintained by the various attorney licensing associations, as well as understanding the potential benefits associated with these directories, is very important.
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