Can Bad Reviews Online Destroy Your Legal Business?

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Putting your best forward online often involves a comprehensive copy and blog writing strategy for your law firm, but is this enough to combat negative reviews? Unfortunately, as is the case with many different businesses, the consumers who are most likely to take action and post a review online are the people who are upset.

Legal Review Sites & Their Influence on Attorneys

Whether it was a result of a misunderstanding or a genuine mistake on your part, negative reviews online can have a detrimental effect on your ability to grow your law firm. This is because more than ever, people are looking to reviews of other users whether it’s choosing a new restaurant or watching the newest movie, to find out whether or not it’s worth their time investing in an opportunity.

The same goes for them choosing to work with a professional and as online review sites like AVVO have popped up in recent years, this makes it easier than ever for people to leave comments about their experience in doing business with you.

As a client of an attorney myself, I recently made the decision not to leave a bad review for an attorney I had an experience interacting with. Even though he was borderline incompetent in managing our legal issue and we had to resort to a different attorney in order to settle a case with an overzealous landlord, I recognized the impact that that one negative review could have on his firm.

I weighed very carefully whether or not to leave the review, knowing that people did deserve to know the negative experience we had, while also trying not to make it seem like I was taking a low blow at someone for what could have been a one off mistake or lack of experience in that particular area of the law.

Although I ultimately decided not to post my legal review of that particular attorney and his firm, you can’t count on all of your clients to think twice before publishing negative words online.

All of the work you put into your search engine optimization strategy could be compromised, particularly if multiple negative reviews indicate that there are issues in your management of your law firm or in your particular practice areas. Engaging someone who has reputation management experience can help you to minimize the potential impact of these bad reviews, but it will be very difficult for you to come back from a situation in which numerous clients have left similar comments and bad reviews on various websites.

Make sure that you do as much as possible to solicit positive reviews from those clients who had a great experience with you. This can help to balance out the negative commentary from others.

I helped one attorney recover his online reputation after two bad reviews from clients posted closely to one another made it seem as though the firm was on a downhill trajectory. It took three months for us to re-establish him and his site as a leader in the field. We relied on a comprehensive content marketing and relationship-building strategy with new and existing clients. While this situation is always easier to avoid than to address after the fact, you cannot always guard against negative reviews.


Offering your clients your personal thanks and inviting them to leave a review after a positive experience can help to bolster your content marketing strategy and lessen the impact of those few disgruntled clients.