Introducing Profile Visibility [UPDATED]

by Jon Lin on July 15, 2008 · 56 comments

in Corporate counsel issues,martindale.com

You’ve probably read about or noticed the LinkedIn integration we’ve launched on martindale.com.  At the same time, we also released a new feature on the lawyer, office and law firm profile pages – Profile Visibility.

Users of martindale.com might already be familiar with the Top 10 lists we have been publishing for more than a year.  Every month, we list the most visible firms according to the total number of profile views that firm has had in the past month on martindale.com.  (A profile view is when a user clicks to see a firm’s profile page – see Davis Polk’s profile page as an example.)  The concept with Profile Visibility is similar, except we have taken it a lot further to give you a quick and easy way to see what other users are looking at on the site.

How does the Profile Visibility work?
Instead of just the top 10 firms with the most profile views, we’ve ranked lawyers, offices and law firms against the entire universe of lawyers, offices and law firms on martindale.com.  In the case of lawyers and offices, we also rank them against all other lawyers and offices in that city or region.  Rankings are calculated based on the number of profile views in the previous week.

What does the ranking mean?
When you view a law firm profile, the total profile views from the prior week are compared to the total profile views received by all other firms on martindale.com, then rank-ordered.  If the firm received the highest number of profile views in the previous week, the firm would be ranked #1.  The firm receiving the 2nd highest number of profile views would be ranked #2 and so forth.

Many of you will notice that there are lawyers or law firms with the same exact profile visibility rank.  This is not a mistake.  This just means that there are other lawyers or firms that had the same number of profile views in the preceding week.  In some cases, there may be a few ties, but in other cases, there may be thousands of lawyers or firms that are tied with the same ranking.  This is especially true in the long tail where a profile may have had only 1 or 2 profile views that week.  What is the best way to interpret the ranking in these cases then?  Let’s say that lawyer profile you are viewing is ranked #11,371 out of 892,052 total lawyers overall.  There may be many other lawyers who are tied for the #11,371 ranking, but one thing we can be sure of is that there are 11,370 other lawyers that had  more profile views last week.

We hope you find this a fun and useful addition to martindale.com.  As always, we are always interested in hearing what you think.

{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Yvonne Sainsbury wrote onJanuary 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Do you have any information concerning the qualities of particular lawyers as public speakers?

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JWD wrote onJuly 19, 2011 at 11:55 am

One of your replies concerned state vs. city rankings. Is there a way to do metro areas? Here in Kansas city we have 2 states, between 9 and 11 counties in the metro area and several dozen cities. Being ranked in Overland Park or Shawnee is nice, but what about Kansas City Missouri, Kansas city Kansas, Kansas City North, Raytown, Lenexa, Prairie Village, etc. Yet, when you think rankings the best information would be tied to the Metro area as that is the relevant pool. I am sure other cities have this problem as well.

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Kathy Reed wrote onJune 30, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Was directed to your site to check the AV rating of an attorney in my area, however, I thought the rating would be based more on the attorney’s rating’s from clients, complaints to the State Board, etc.
Correct me if I am wrong, but what goodis a ranking if someone or their peer’s are just clicking on their site. To me, this does not rank whether an attorney is good for their abilities, but rathe for the amount of hits they get from someone going to their site.

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R Herling wrote onJune 27, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Does anyone have information on the law firm Frank DiFranco and Associates. I’ve heard very good things about Frank and Larry Lykowski.

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kim wrote onJune 20, 2011 at 3:35 am

How is my dad being ranked on here when he has been deceased for 11 years?

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Nancy wrote onApril 18, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Do you have info on Rand Csehy? What can you tell me about his ability as a criminal attorney?

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TRACEY wrote onApril 5, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Do you have any information on W.Douglas Stokes in hopewell, Virginia

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Paula wrote onMarch 14, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Can I see the lawyers who are ranked above me? In other words, can I search/sort lawyers by most viewed in a particular area?

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Jon Lin Jon Lin wrote onApril 4, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Paula – if you perform a search, on the results page you can change the sort order and one of the options is Visibility.

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Mark J Anthony wrote onFebruary 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Do you have any information on Steven E. Causey, Attorney, 111 Lamon St, Fayetteville, NC 28301

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Jon Lin Jon Lin wrote onFebruary 16, 2011 at 11:47 am

Mark – unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we have Steven in our database

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Diane wrote onFebruary 12, 2011 at 3:47 pm

I am trying to get more information regarding John D. Rogers who is located in Carmichael, CA. He indicates he has experience in estate litigation. I can’t find any information or reviews. Can anyone help? My statute of limitations is running so I need a quick response and would be so appreciated.

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christy wrote onNovember 17, 2010 at 5:05 pm

I would like to fill out a form for the attorney representing me however I cannot seem to find where that is on your site. Please email me with the exact directions so that I can give credit where credit is due!

Thank you
GOD BLESS

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Jon Lin Jon Lin wrote onNovember 29, 2010 at 12:14 am

Christy – are you talking about filling out a review of your attorney? If so, on each lawyer’s profile page, there should be a button or link to Complete a Client Review.

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Ted Bergeron wrote onNovember 16, 2010 at 11:40 am

I am currently tied with Wayne T King at #3 for most views in Kingston, Ontario. Disconcerting since Wayne passed away at least 5 years ago.

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Jon Lin Jon Lin wrote onNovember 17, 2010 at 9:15 am

Ted – thanks for bringing this to our attention. We try to keep our database as up to date as possible, but we can’t always catch everything. Do you have any info that you can forward to us that will let us confirm that he has passed away?

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Aaron wrote onNovember 10, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Your profile visibility ranking appears to be … on the fritz. Every name is ranked #1 right now.

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Manish Bhargava Manish Bhargava wrote onNovember 11, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Thanks Aaron. We noticed this issue recently as well and are diligently working to resolve it.

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lori wrote onOctober 18, 2010 at 10:08 pm

DOES ANYONE KNOW A LAWYER NAMED KEVIN MOYNIHAN? HE IS FROM THE LAW FIRM STRIKE GOODWIN & O’BRIAN IN PORTLAND MAINE. I CANNOT SEEM TO FIND ANY REVIEWS OR INFO. AND WOULD LIKE TO MAKE SURE I GET THE BEST POSSIBLE LAWYER.

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Morris burns wrote onMay 1, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Can anyone tell me anything regarding Douglas Willis? He has been recommended to me regarding a personal/divorce case. I would like to know plus or minus before contacting him.

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Joseph McDaniel wrote onFebruary 1, 2010 at 11:59 pm

I love the visibility rankings. But my personal v.r. has now become invisible; I can find a v.r. for my law firm, but not for me.

Hope whatever technical glitch we’re dealing with goes away, so I can check my personal v.i. again; it was useful in determining what was and wasn’t working in my marketing efforts.

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Jon Lin Jon Lin wrote onFebruary 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Hi Joseph,
We’ve been testing different variations of the lawyer profile page and the current version doesn’t have the profile visibility info. Given the feedback we’re getting, we’re looking to bring it back soon.

Jon

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Kerry L. Morgan wrote onJanuary 11, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Jon, Can you also publish visibility rankings by STATE?

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Jon Lin Jon Lin wrote onJanuary 21, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Kerry – we certainly have the data by state. Would you find that level of info more insightful than by city?

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David Allsebrook wrote onNovember 4, 2009 at 3:22 pm

It would be useful to know the number of hits on IP lawyers in Toronto and the slope of that curve at my hit count. The median number of hits for other IP specialists in Toronto would be useful as well.
Ranking against overall hits without specialties is not really useful.
The trouble is, lots of people put specialties like IP down as sub specialties. I am only interested in the ones whose principal practice is IP.
Cheers
David

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Jon Lin Jon Lin wrote onNovember 4, 2009 at 9:08 pm

David – I agree that would be useful, but as you note, lots of people don’t and don’t want to indicate their primary area of practice. Even if they did, it would be still be difficult to come up with a median benchmark by practice area because it is impossible to know whether the user landing on a lawyer’s profile page is actually looking for that practice area, rather than geography or some other reason.

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Ami de Chapeaurouge wrote onNovember 4, 2009 at 2:51 am

Jon,

Individual visibility rankings no longer work at all for any of us at Brödermann & Jahn, not just me. Cookie, browser etc have nothing to do with it or so it seems. Just appears as though you discontinue the service selectively, or will you reinstate the feature for us as a firm?

Thanx

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Jon Lin Jon Lin wrote onNovember 4, 2009 at 9:00 am

Ami – we did not selectively or systematically disable it for you or your firm. Can you let me know if you don’t see it on any lawyers or firms on the site, or just yours? I am going to email you screenshots of what I see.

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Ami de Chapeaurouge wrote onNovember 3, 2009 at 7:37 am

You seem to have discontinued since Friday/Saturday October 30/31 this feature. Wasn’t it a lot of fun while it lasted. Or are you just overhauling your website – ? As institutional affiliation becomes less important and courageous speaking up in a whole host of different environments and contexts a sign of true democracy and accomplishment by doing rather than by affiliation, it seems that some of the Big Cats objected to this feature.

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Jon Lin Jon Lin wrote onNovember 3, 2009 at 9:14 am

As I mentioned earlier, you are probably seeing a version that we are testing. It still shows for me. Try refreshing your browser cache or clearing the cookie to see if it works.

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Ami de Chapeaurouge wrote onNovember 2, 2009 at 5:12 am

Has this individualized visibility ranking being changed or stopped completely/altogether since Friday October 30, 2009; and if so, why? No-one ever overestimated it but it was fun while it lasted.

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Jon Lin Jon Lin wrote onNovember 2, 2009 at 10:10 am

Ami – we are testing different variations of the page, one of which does not have the profile visibility info, but no we haven’t stopped it as of yet.

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Luis SILVA DE BALBOA wrote onOctober 18, 2009 at 4:31 am

Very possitive step..

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Alex Watt wrote onSeptember 30, 2009 at 11:29 am

Jon,

I am trying to spot the linkedin integration on your site but cannot find it anywhere. Martindale does not appear to show up as a group on linkedin and I cannot find the words linked in on you main .com page. I don’t doubt that they are there – but could you point me towards them please?

Kind regards,

Alex

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Jon Lin Jon Lin wrote onSeptember 30, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Alex – we surface LinkedIn on lawyer and law firm profile pages on martindale.com. As a user of the site and a member of LinkedIn, you can see how you are connected the person’s profile you are viewing through your LinkedIn network, assuming that person is also on LinkedIn. When I look at your profile at http://www.martindale.com/Alexander-Watt/27059981-lawyer.htm, I can see the LinkedIn icon there and clicking on it tells me that I am a 3rd degree connection of yours. Our LinkedIn integration extends the legal-focused relationships that you can form as a member of Martindale-Hubbell Connected. There are several lawyers at your firm that are already members but I see you are not one yet.

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Calvin wrote onSeptember 19, 2009 at 11:26 am

I am not a lawyer but am looking for one and am doing a search to find a good financial lawyer.

This site is not helping me “pick” a lawyer but is very helpful. I am sure that anyone here, as a lawyer, will make themselves a bit more successful than they really are. This is true of almost every business.

It is difficult accurately asses allegations some lawyers make, they are all convincing as they are all well educated. The problem comes in upon a lawyers ethics. Will they give me truth or are they just trying to sell me?

Lets face it, lawyers do not have the best “honesty” ratings! This obviously is not true for every lawyer. I have friends that are lawyers and they are as honest as honest can get. They unfortunately do not work in the field of expertise I require.

With all that said, I have found this site useful as a “piece” of a pie in my searching. Not a full expose by any means.

One of the lawyers I am speaking with made an allegation that they have several requests a week to be their lawyer (among other things). My natural response was skeptical. Upon my due diligence, this site helped me confirm “in part” that what a lawyer is speaking is the truth.

The lawyer I am looking to hire for my firm is rated pretty high. If he was rated really low and stated he has a lot of requests then I would know that he is lying thus I would discard the lawyer.

I am not making my decision based on this site as it does not determine the ethics or how well he/she can perform, but it has been very help in aiding my decision.

Thank you
~C

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Jon Lin Jon Lin wrote onSeptember 21, 2009 at 8:57 am

Calvin – Central to our strategy is to provide a 360 degree view of a lawyer or law firm to allow you to make as informed decision as possible when hiring a lawyer, including information supplied through objective 3rd party sources, our Client Review and our Peer Review Ratings, and relationship information through Martindale-Hubbell Connected and LinkedIn. We provide this additional information to help the user confirm or contradict what the lawyer says about themselves. This is information that you would never find on a firm’s own website.

By the way, although everyone is prone to stretch the truth, our Peer Review Ratings do contain an ethics component. If your legal peers do not rate you as being ethical, you do not qualify for any Peer Review Rating.

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Jake wrote onSeptember 16, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Jon,

Does the visibility ranking only track individual clicks to open an attorney’s profile? I think it is a very interesting metric. My main reason for asking is because one of our lawyers (from a relatively small firm) received an interestingly high national visibility ranking. Could the tracking somehow be corrupted, or does it simply count hits to the profile URL in a pretty black-and-white manner? The tracking is for a week at a time, and resets the count every week, correct?

Thanks,
Jake

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Jon Lin Jon Lin wrote onSeptember 16, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Jake – yes, the metric does simply count clicks to the profile URL and the count resets every week. I would say the likelihood that the tracking is corrupted is low. Every time we’ve gone in to check the underlying stats data when someone has questioned the accuracy, it has turned out to be correct.

As for one of your lawyers, getting lots of traffic, it’s certainly possible. I’ve seen several cases of lawyers leveraging Twitter and other social media tools to promote their martindale.com profiles to improve their visibility.

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Wendall Mitchell wrote onAugust 5, 2009 at 7:18 pm

I am having a hard time understanding the utility of this because a person can impact his/her number (rating?) by stopping in to check his/her own profile, perhaps several times a day. It’s like gaining an unfair advantage by dropping several business cards in the raffle bowl when the instruction was to drop in only one. Do you have a way of screening out such hits? If not, don’t you have a garbage in garbage out problem?

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Jon Lin Jon Lin wrote onAugust 10, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Wendall – yes, one can technically increase their profile views if one wishes. However, since we completely refresh the counts every week, one would need to repeat this exercise week after week. We can and do screen out automated or suspicious hits through our regular course of tracking our stats, but we have not had to do anything specifically related to “business card stuffing” as we have not noticed any systematic abuses as of yet.

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Jon Lin Jon Lin wrote onJuly 10, 2009 at 10:10 am

Hi Nancy – you are not missing anything. The profile visibility is not meant to tell you about the quality of work. That’s what our Peer Review and Client Review Ratings are for. Think of movies as an example. Just because Transformers had huge box office receipts does not mean it is a high quality movie, nor that it will win the Oscar for best picture.

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nancy montgomery wrote onJuly 8, 2009 at 4:08 am

I don’t understand what value this has. The fact that a profile has been viewed frequently doesn’t tell me anything about the quality of the work. It only tells me that people are looking for a certain kind of lawyer in a particular area with a particular expertise. Am I missing something?

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linda lujan wrote onMay 2, 2009 at 12:22 am

Interestingly enough, all of my previous attorneys are highly ranked. I believe this happens, when and only when the attorneys ranked in this manner deserve it. Truly deserve it.

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Gregory Gibbs wrote onApril 22, 2009 at 7:25 am

I don’t think the visibility rankings are accurate. I just checked mine against two others in the same City with different practice levels and all 3 were identical,

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Gregory Casale Attorney At Law wrote onMarch 8, 2009 at 12:04 pm

I think the Visibility Ranking is excellent. I am sure that those who are complaining feel they should be rated higher. Of course, I love it since I am rated high fairly consistently. We work very hard to make ourselves visible. We have a web site, we update it regularly. We establish & maintain backlinks. We add in ratings and rankings and do all the things that are available to every single perosn out there. We happen to do them and it has paid off. Thank you.

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Jon Lin Jon Lin wrote onDecember 23, 2008 at 12:07 am

Yes – as explained in the blog post and previous comments, people with the same number of profile views will be tied as we have no way of ranking among those people.

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Anonymous wrote onDecember 11, 2008 at 4:08 am

The visibility rankings show me as “238 out of 611 lawyers in” my city. The “funny” thing is that another colleague is also #238 in the same city! Are the rankings supposed to have ties??

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Jon Lin Jon Lin wrote onNovember 3, 2008 at 4:08 am

James – the metric only tracks how many visits a lawyer’s martindale.com profile page has received in the prior week. This may or may not correlate with a lawyer’s actual (i.e. real-life) visibility. Therefore, you and your friend may not be as well-known as this nationally famous lawyer in your town, but in the prior week, your profile page received the same number of hits as his. Most likely, it was a very low number, probably between 0 and 2, which is why you are seeing many other lawyers with the identical profile visibility on martindale.com.

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James wrote onNovember 1, 2008 at 5:51 pm

This “visibility ranking” seems to be completely useless, and have no relation to an attorney’s actual visibility. I looked up three attorneys in my town, one who is nationally famous and considered the premier criminal defense attorney in this state; a friend of mine who has been practicing for about four years; and myself, who has been practicing for five years. Neither my friend nor I are even remotely close to the eminent attorney in our visibility. And yet all three of us had IDENTICAL visibility rankings. That makes no sense. Whatever you are using to track profile visits, or calculate the rankings, is not working correctly.

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Jon Lin Jon Lin wrote onAugust 8, 2008 at 10:55 am

Sorry to hear your assessment. We created the visibility rankings based on feedback we heard from lawyers that they found it useful to see how many people are looking at their profiles and how that compares with other lawyers. We’re always open to new ideas; please feel free to make suggestions.

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Jon Lin Jon Lin wrote onAugust 8, 2008 at 10:54 am

Yes Phil you are correct. There are fewer discrete ranks than the number of firms/lawyers, unless each firm/lawyer receives a unique number of profile views (no ties – highly unlikely). In your example, we have no way of ranking the 1000 lawyers who all had 10 profile views. This just like how the PGA Tour calculates what place a golfer finishes at an event.

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John wrote onAugust 7, 2008 at 3:08 pm

Your visibility ranking is neither “fun” nor “useful.”

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philip holtsberg wrote onAugust 1, 2008 at 3:30 pm

Thanks for the clarification. That means the rankings are not assigned individually and in sequential order. For example, if 1000 lawyers shared 10 profile views, all would share rank 11,371. Next for all of the lawyers sharing 9 profile views, their jointly assigned rank would have to be 12,371 because 1000 ‘slots’ would have been used up by the attorneys sharing the 10 profile views. So one might wonder, who was 11,372, 11,373 … on up to 12,370 and the answer is ??? One might otherwise assume that it would be possible to identify individual rank orders for each position lower than the assigned number, but the numbering system described actually winds up assigning far fewer discrete ranks due to the number of firms sharing a rank order each of whom is assigned the shared rank.

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Jon Lin Jon Lin wrote onJuly 18, 2008 at 4:08 am

Actually, the way we assign the ranking, if a lawyer is ranked #11,371, there are exactly 11,370 lawyers who received more profile views. Say this #11,371-ranked person got 10 profile views the prior week. The 11,370 lawyers that received 11 or more profile views would be ranked higher than #11,371. Other lawyers who also got 10 profile views would be tied at #11,371. The remaining lawyers ranked below #11,371 would have received 9 or fewer profile views.

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philip holtsberg wrote onJuly 17, 2008 at 5:00 pm

WRONG… One thing we can be sure of is that there are AT LEAST 11,370 other lawyers that had more profile views…because there would be many others tied and also at each of the numbers lower than 11,370…

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