Legal Directories: Best Lawyer Directories in 2023

legal directoriesLawyer directories have always been a prominent feature of the online legal landscape for lawyers — one that law firms can’t afford to ignore.

Did you know that:

  • 31 percent of people who use online sources to find a lawyer turn to legal directories?
  • By comparison, only 14 percent look at digital versions of phone books like Yellow Pages online?

So, people are looking for concise, easy-to-use information online when deciding on legal representation — and offline sources like paper phone books are becoming increasingly irrelevant.

Law directories should be a part of every good law firm’s marketing strategy, but only 25 percent of law firms have claimed their Avvo profile, indicating there’s a long way to go.

A presence in legal directories can:

  • Improve your search rankings
  • Get you more positive reviews
  • Increase your local traffic and leads

With very little effort, you can become more visible and credible online. Profiles in attorney directories are easy to set up and maintain, free or low cost, and can help you find new clients.

They demand your attention — but which legal directories are the most important?

Let’s take a brief look at why it’s important to maintain a presence in a few legal directories, the best ones to consider, and where to start with your strategy.

What are legal directories?

When you think of legal directories, do you picture phone book listings of lawyers?

That’s what they used to be: a catalog of listings. Great if you wanted to find the number of a local lawyer to call but not much use besides.

Lawyer directories have evolved considerably over the years. The best ones now do a lot more to help potential clients find the lawyers they need. They make it easy for people to search and find local lawyers with reliable and trustworthy information.

Legal Directories Avvo JLK
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The best attorney directories include:

  • Detailed attorney profiles
  • Legal backgrounds/resumes
  • Contact info
  • Client reviews
  • Attorney endorsements
  • Info on the rates charged
  • Awards and recognition
  • Case studies

Many of the main legal directories even have Q&A forums, where people looking for answers to legal questions can get a quick answer online from a qualified lawyer.

Here’s an example from someone seeking an answer to an employment law question on Avvo.

Legal Directories Q&A Avvo
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The most active lawyers on the Q&A forums who provide the best answers may even receive awards and other recognition from the platform, enhancing their online profiles.

Why maintain a presence in the law directories?

In the past, legal directories rightly attracted some suspicion from law firms. Some unscrupulous marketers and SEO specialists abused the directories, seeing them simply as link-building strategies for lawyers.

This turned many law directories into little more than spam sites,

Thankfully, those days are long gone. Google stayed de-indexing those directories and de-valuing the backlinks in 2012 after one of its updates. Law firms can now confidently encourage their lawyers to list in the main legal directories as they have robust reputations and offer high-quality listings, like this one from

Legal Directories MG
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Listing in the main attorney directories is now an essential strategy for improving a firm’s visibility, credibility, and profitability.

Over one-third of people looking for legal representation online use a legal directory, and that number is growing.

Legal directories provide context for people searching for a local lawyer. People consider the information trustworthy and reliable. The best directories protect their reputations by vetting the member lawyers who create profiles, ensuring that each attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the relevant state agency.

If potential clients are using legal directories, you should be too. That’s the main reason for listing in the directories, but there are other benefits too.

Improve SEO and rankings

The main law directories are funded by large corporations that invest considerable amounts into search engine optimization (SEO).

In this Google search for “criminal lawyer in Houston,” look at the prominent top organic result.

Legal Directories SEO

It’s from the legal directory, Justia, rather than an individual criminal law firm.

The best legal directories have high traffic and rank well. So, creating attorney profiles on these platforms is an easy way to get your share of this traffic to generate leads.

Improve local search

Many smaller law firms and solo attorneys rely primarily on local leads. When someone searches for a lawyer online, they usually look for one in the local area. The main legal directories are especially good at matching local search queries with qualified attorneys.

Here’s what the FindLaw page for the search “car accident lawyer Cincinnati” looks like.

Legal Directories FindLaw Search
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Optimized attorney profiles can also attract traffic from legal directories that appear high in Google’s organic search results due to the above-mentioned SEO efforts of the main directories.

Generate backlinks and citations

Backlinks are hyperlinks from another website to yours. Citations are online mentions of your law firm. Both are important off-page SEO factors that can dramatically improve rankings.

The more reputable sites that link to and mention your law firm, the better your rankings will be.

On Justia, for instance, the invitation to “View Website” on an attorney’s profile like this one for family lawyer Jonathan G. Anderson is a high-quality backlink from a trusted industry site.

Legal Directories Justia JGA
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Many of the legal directories have high “PageRank” (PR) authority. This is an algorithm used by Google Search to rank web pages in their search engine results.

A high PR means that the website is considered high-authority. Backlinks and citations from such sites are almost guaranteed to boost traffic and bring more potential clients to your law firm’s website.

Generate and display reviews (credibility)

Most of the leading attorney directories feature reviews and ratings. includes both peer and client reviews (as well as listing the number of Avvo reviews) on its attorney profiles.

Legal Directories Reviews AS
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Reviews and testimonials from past clients or peers are essential for developing credibility and trust online and should be featured on your website too.

Earn badges/awards (credibility)

Badges and/or lawyer awards are provided by some of the directories for attorneys who pass a particular selection process. Other directories award credit for assisting with answering questions on the forum.

Super Lawyers, for instance, provides these types of badges for display on your website.

Legal Directories Super Lawyers
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Here’s how the awards/badges from Martindale-Hubbell appear on profiles.

Legal Directories Martindale Awards
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These badges can boost credibility, bolster reputations and raise profiles in search, which can help to generate more traffic and leads.

Connect with your niche

A listing in the right legal directories can also help you connect with your niche. Besides the main law directories that feature a wide range of lawyers, some niche directories are aimed at particular groups of people.

For instance, if you’re a family law attorney who mainly handles legal matters for the LGBTQ community, you might consider a listing on the LGTBQ bar directory.

Legal Directories LGBTQ
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Generate leads: Client evaluation

A comprehensive lead generation strategy that sends a steady flow of qualified leads goes well beyond listings in legal directories — but maintaining a strong presence is an important element of it.

Leads generally go through three stages of search before signing paperwork with a law firm. This is highlighted from their “keyword intent” as below.

Legal Directories Customer Journey

For potential clients, legal directories are useful resources during the evaluation phase of hiring a lawyer. The directories help leads discover more about you and your firm and compare what you offer against competing firms.

Get new paying clients through paid listings

Legal directories can also help generate leads at later stages of the funnel.

When people are searching for answers to specific legal questions, many legal directories can match queries to qualified attorneys (for a fee).

For instance, Nolo places strong calls to action to “talk to an attorney” alongside legal questions. This helps to attract high-quality leads. These leads are then sold to local attorneys who can help with the legal issue at hand.

Here’s an example from a NOLO article on marijuana and DUI laws.

Legal Directories Nolo Q&A
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Attorneys can pay for exclusive leads or non-exclusive leads (where several attorneys will compete for the same prospective client).

Which are the best lawyer listings in 2023?

You’ve seen how lawyer directories are important marketing channels. Honing your presence in these can help you enhance your reputation, generate qualified leads, and improve your ranking in search results.

The following are the main legal directories available to U.S. and Canadian law firms and are listed in no particular order.


Avvo scores well on traffic and engagement within the legal industry and is one of the most popular directories for lawyers.

Here’s what a well-optimized profile looks like from Wiliam Bly at The Maine Criminal Defense Group.

Legal Directories Avvo TMCDG
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The platform offers the following benefits for firms:

  • Free profiles in the legal directory
  • Highly regarded reviews and rankings
  • Paid advertising and lead generation services
  • Q&A forum to demonstrate expertise and increase engagement

If you haven’t checked your Avvo profile in a while, take a visit. Avvo changed the appearance of its profiles in the second half of 2022.


FindLaw was one of the original law firm directories, and it’s now arguably the largest. It’s grown to become a full network of legal resource websites and attracts more traffic and referral domains than any other lawyer directory.

FindLaw’s legal content is its main advantage over Avvo and the others: written by its large team of legal writers and editors; it draws plenty of sets of eyeballs (potential leads).

Here’s a sample of the type of content featured from its free legal guides and articles — about construction injuries.

Legal Directories FindLaw Content
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FindLaw offers the following for firms:

  • A comprehensive state law directory
  • Free lawyer directory listings
  • Paid listings and legal advertising
  • Online legal Q&A forums
  • Free legal guides/articles
  • Legal blogging


A little like FindLaw, Justia is one of the largest legal directories, providing a large range of free legal guides, resources, and information for people needing legal advice. As part of its offering for law firms, it provides free, professional lawyer profiles.

Here’s the Justia profile of a founding partner of Florida estate planning law firm Hoyt & Bryan.

Legal Directories Justia Hoyt
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Lawyers who create profiles on Justia benefit from its high traffic volumes (over 10 million visits a month) and its inclusion on Cornell’s Legal Information Institute website, increasing visibility and reach.

Justia also offers a pro bono section for firms that want to give something back.

The extensive Martindale group of websites includes,, and

Martindale-Hubbell is a very well-established online legal resource. Its profiles rank well, so a presence in its high-traffic lawyer directories can raise your firm’s visibility.

Here’s a well-optimized Martindale profile from Cohen Stine Kapoor LLP, a New York law firm specializing in matrimonial law.

Legal Directories Martindale
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In addition to free and paid lawyer profiles, Martindale offers lead generation services and other ways to grow your practice.

Super Lawyers

Super Lawyers is best known for its ratings and awards system, with many law firms promoting their “Super Lawyers rating.”

You must be nominated and selected from a patented multiphase process to be part of the Super Lawyers list. That then entitles you to a Super Lawyers directory listing.

Here’s an example of a Super Lawyers profile from Trey Porter, a DUI/criminal defense lawyer based in Texas.

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Clients looking to hire a lawyer can use the Super Lawyers directory to search with the confidence that each listed lawyer has already been screened and has the seal of approval of the Super Lawyers site.

Firms included in the listings can display a customized Super Lawyers badge on their websites. attracts high monthly traffic and is another well-established and respected name in legal information and directory services. People looking to hire a lawyer in any practice area can search by area, law firm, or practice type.

This legal directory is more internationally focused, with firms from around the world featured as well as from the U.S. and Canada.

The profile of personal injury law firm Park Chenaur & Associates in Washington state looks like this.

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Note how this firm is not simply categorized under “personal injury law” but under “bus accidents,” “truck accidents,” “slip and fall,” etc.

One of the standout features of is its “granular” approach to practice areas. This encourages firms to be specific with the legal services they offer and target specific clients, generally resulting in better-qualified leads.


NOLO is part of the Martindale Legal Marketing Network and is, therefore, another major player in the legal directory sphere.

The site started as a publisher of do-it-yourself legal books and software and has become a leading free online legal resource with a network of legal content websites for people researching legal issues.

As well as providing law firm profiles in its directory, attorneys can contribute legal content to the resources, helping to build credibility and authority through content marketing.

Here’s a sample profile from an immigration attorney in California.

Legal Directories Nolo
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NOLO receives millions of visitors each month, with over 100,000 requesting to speak with a lawyer. is a high-traffic legal directory that features over one million lawyer profiles.

Potential clients can search by practice area or location and may specify Canadian-based or Spanish-speaking lawyers as well as English-speaking/U.S. attorneys.

Here’s a profile from a commercial law firm in New York.

Legal Directories Rakower
(Image Source) includes free legal articles and resources for finding answers to legal issues as well as matching legal queries with suitable attorneys. is not to be confused with — they are not connected.

The main difference is that is less focused on North America and includes firms from the U.K. and 20 other countries. It is also less popular than its larger (almost-) namesake.

The search feature on is location-based. Potential clients are taken to lawyer profiles that look like this one from North Dakota accident lawyer, Gregory C. Larson.

Legal Directories
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Note the “Profile LawPoints” feature in the example above. has a point ranking system for lawyers.

Additional features for connecting lawyers with potential clients are the free Q&A section, free legal content, and a legal plan to support those looking for legal assistance.


LegalZoom is a legal resource that specializes in do-it-yourself legal resources (filings and documents).

Potential clients can pay to be part of the Legal Plan Attorney Network, a subscription service for customers who need direct access to qualified lawyers. This acts as a lead generation service for law firms.

The Local Attorney Directory also allows lawyers to refer potential clients who need legal help. Here’s the LegalZoom profile of an Arizona family and business lawyer.

Legal Directories LegalZoom
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While LegalZoom is not yet pushing the biggest legal directories, it has a growing reputation for connecting genuine prospects with reliable and established law firms.

To be considered for a LegalZoom profile, lawyers must have at least five years’ experience practicing law and a spotless state bar record.

Where to start with legal directories?

Lawyer directories are important marketing channels for law firms. Optimizing your presence in the major ones can boost your reputation, improve your ranking in search results, and generate qualified leads.

The above legal directories are all trusted and high-traffic sites. Most offer far more than just a directory listing and are free, so nothing is preventing you from setting up an optimized profile almost immediately.

Most of our clients start with Avvo. Our Avvo marketing guide provides tips on successful marketing on the platform, but most of the same tips apply to all of the directories featured in this article.

Following are a few simple tips to get started:

  • Claim your spot in each of the main free legal directories — you may be listed by a directory without your knowledge and if you don’t optimize your profile, you may appear to be inactive, which isn’t good for business.
  • Get a feel for each platform before considering paid listings.
  • Claim your Google Business Profile, which is also free and essential for local search visibility.
  • Keep the format of how you write your name, address, and phone number (NAP) the same across all the legal directories — the exact spelling, abbreviations, word order, etc., as inconsistencies can negatively impact search performance.
  • Also ensure you keep the NAP details up-to-date and in the same format on your website, Google Business Profile and social media profiles.
  • Use high-quality professional photographs/videos of you and your practice.
  • Gather plenty of reviews — positive reviews are “votes of confidence” that build instant credibility and trust.

As mentioned, don’t be surprised if you search for your firm’s name on Google and see a link to a profile in a legal directory that you never knew you were registered in.

Legal Directories Unoptimized Profile
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A page with minimal information like this is a little better than nothing but is not doing much good for your firm.

Avvo, FindLaw, and a few other directories use publicly available information from the State Bar to automatically create an “unclaimed” lawyer profile for every licensed attorney. It’s a good marketing ploy for the directories.

If you have a free blank profile on a lawyer directory, you may as well claim and optimize it from the start.


What is the best-known law directory?

It depends on who you ask and how you measure it, but the most popular law directory by monthly traffic and the number of referring domains it attracts is FindLaw.

Justia and NOLO are also very popular, and another well-known and well-regarded directory is Avvo, which has an equally high domain rating as FindLaw. Avvo is where most legal clients start their journeys with law directories.

How do I hire a trustworthy lawyer?

Besides word-of-mouth recommendations, the main legal directories are a good place to start for hiring a trustworthy lawyer. Lawyers listed in these directories are often vetted before their profile is fully activated. You can ensure that a lawyer has no state bar violations before hiring, for instance,

The main legal directories also feature reviews from clients and peers. Some even have an internal lawyer rating system. This combination of data can relay important at-a-glance information about an attorney’s track record, trustworthiness, and general reputation.

Why are legal directories important?

Profiles in the main legal directories are essential to a comprehensive law firm marketing strategy.

An optimized profile on FindLaw, Justia, Avvo, or another reputable legal directory can improve your search rankings (more traffic), get you more positive reviews (better reputation), and generate more local leads (more revenue).

What is the best website to find a lawyer?

The main legal directories like Avvo, FindLaw, Justia, NOLO, and so on are great places to start if you want to find a lawyer for your particular legal issue.

These easy-to-use websites provide a quick overview of a lawyer’s credentials, reputation, background, success stories, and reliability. This can help you tick a few of the most important boxes before connecting with the best candidates and arranging consultations to find out more.

Boost your online presence in less than one hour

People are looking for legal services online. Grabbing their attention should be a priority.

Lead generation for lawyers requires a marketing plan with many “prongs” of attack. Listings in the leading legal directories should be one of these, regardless of your practice area.

Setting up optimized profiles, gathering reviews, and, if possible, answering a few legal questions on Q&A forums is neither difficult nor costly. It takes less than an hour to complete a profile, and even paid listings may set you back as little as $50/month.

So, start creating those profiles today.