How to Spot Lawyer Award Scams

You’ve just received word that your law firm won an award. But is it an award that will impress clients? Or is it a joke, like the leg lamp in the movie A Christmas Story?*

It could come from something like “Esteemed Lawyers of America” or “Super Excellent Awesome Lawyers.” Regardless of the name, all the awards were dreamed up by some marketing guy who just wants to take your money. Your clients realize it, too. A few publications are known within the legal field, but most clients have never heard of any of them and have no idea whether they’re legitimate.

Before you invest money in an award badge or copies of the leather-bound coffee table book, take a minute to consider a few questions.

  • First, does the publication carry any prestige? How long have they been around? How many top-tier attorneys list the badge on their website?
  • Second, how do you get nominated for that award? If peers or clients nominate winners, the award carries a lot more weight. If lawyers can nominate themselves, then it just looks like a pay-for-play scheme.
  • Third, how many awards do you already list on your website? One or two respectable award badges can add a modicum of credibility to your website or email signature. If you’re paying a fee so you can list 27 badges on your site instead of just 26, it’s not worth it.

If you’ve received an award notification and are wondering whether that particular award is worthwhile, contact me. I’d be happy to discuss it with you.

Posted in