Being a opportunistic lawyer has never been easier, than to the web, as Kevin O’Keefe points out on his law blog. One used to have to actually hang out at the emergency room to find injured clients. Now you can fish for them using Google by advertising or optimizing for keywords prospective clients may type into the search box.
Here’s an example of how quickly lawyers jumped onto the results following the train crash in Los Angeles last week:
O’Keefe is not impressed with this side of his industry:
Do we have too many lawyers?
It’s behavior by plaintiff’s trial lawyers chasing clients like this that results in laws taking away the rights of the people these advertising lawyers say they are trying to help. Laws passed in the name of tort reform. It’s conduct like this that gives lawyers a bad name.
Maybe these lawyers do not care about more tort reform. Maybe these lawyers don’t care how they look to the average Joe on the street. Maybe in the chase for the money, they’ve become blind to how they appear. I don’t know.
While this has some downsides, it’s probably better than lawyers pitching their services in person where vulnerable prospective clients have less choice. And it’s certainly better than relying on the size of lawyer’s ads in the Yellow Pages as a measure of competence.