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Law is known to be a conservative field, in the traditional sense of the word, meaning slow to change. Lawyers do adopt new technologies when they feel confident they will improve their practices, but have adapted to new marketing technologies somewhat more slowly. Thus, many law firms have published Web pages, but many others have not yet harnessed the power of the Internet to pursue new marketing opportunities, and still continue to rely on legal directories like Martindale Hubbell.

Potential clients rely on referrals from friends and family or yellow pages ads to find attorneys, and most individual or small business clients lack access to resources to go about finding a suitable lawyer. Although in recent years it has become fashionable for certain lifestyle magazines to include a feature on top lawyers, only some lawyers can be included and the geographic scope is limited. Martindale Hubbell’s peer review rating system may be meaningful to other attorneys or corporate counsel, but the average consumer of legal services is unlikely to be persuaded by the arcane system of letter grades even if they know it exists.

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