What do you think about lawyer reviews? Now, generally speaking, your answer is they are relevant. They are important, but it really depends on the kind of review we’re talking about. We are dividing the reviews into two types:
- Public Reviews
- Peer Reviews
Public reviews are the reviews that we see every day, online for example, like Google reviews. If you are an appliance store, a restaurant, if you are a law firm, you can always click on to Google and you will see, in some cases, a number of reviews about that business. Some are good, some are not good. Yelp is also another review site, where you can look at various reviews about a business. These reviews are public because they are posted by the actual users of the service.
So for example, in the immigration context, people who have used an immigration law firm’s service will be able to post a review on Google or on Yelp or even some other specific review sites about their experience. These reviews, public reviews, are super important because they tell others who are interested in the service what it was like.
Now, of course, not every business is going to get a great review. Some businesses get pretty poor reviews. But overall, if you could take an average and you can get a sense by people’s comments. It will give you an idea of whether or not the service is good and whether or not the service is for you. So I think public reviews are a great thing. It forces businesses to do a really good job because they are in the spotlight and if they don’t, expect a bad review. So I think it is a win-win for the consumer and for businesses that do a good job.
These are a little different. These are reviews that are solicited by different organizations. Essentially, it is a situation where it’s kind of like the Academy Awards, where you have a movie and you have members of the Academy who vote based on their opinion and they take certain polls and they speak to various organizations and they come up with an opinion as to who’s the best, what’s the best movie, who’s the best Director, etc.
Similar concept with peer reviews. In the law business context, they will send polls out to our colleagues and things like that and get an opinion as to the rating of a various lawyer. Those are important but if I was a consumer of legal services, I would be more interested in public reviews than peer rated reviews.
For the simple reason, is because I think there’s an inherent bias. If you are a member of the New York State Bar for example, and you are a well-known lawyer and you have a lot of connections and you’re well liked, chances are, you’re going to have a better review than someone who’s relatively unknown.
So businesses, in particular, law firms that focus on the public, on the public’s opinion, do a better job at informing the public as to whether or not they’re the right service provider. That is not to say that if you’re highly rated in a peer review it’s a bad thing, of course, it’s a good thing.
But I think from a public’s perspective, to properly objectively evaluate the services of a law firm, it’s best to go to what I would consider an unbiased source that really solicits the public’s opinion because it is the public that is going to be using your services.
So those are my thoughts on reviews. All businesses, whether or not you are a law firm or an appliance store, to do a good job, they should really be aware that reviews are very important for future customers and clients that give you some idea as to the importance of immigration lawyer reviews.