Sunday, February 27, 2005

FindLaw Finds Competition: LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell Launches Attorney Match

LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell has announced the launch of Attorney Match(SM), a service that allows consumers and professionals to locate lawyers via their site that meet their needs for very specific matters. Users can query for free and locate experts in a wide variety of fields in a local area, or further refines searches by languages spoken, business-only matters category drill-downs. Results for a firm include a summary of their focus, bios on key partners, Web site links and, in some listings, links to submit email inguiries to the firm and representative clients. Attorneys pay a $450 annual listing fee be be included in the service. This is of course a direct challenge to Thomson West's FindLaw service and on a quick test drive Martindale-Hubbell seems to have come up with a very effective challenger. The taxonomies for locating service specialites are more robust and easier to navigate than FindLaw's, search result listings provide more information and much better formatting and features, as do the individual firm and lawyer listings, which also have an edge with their partner bio information. Understanding not only usability needs but the use of content to addresss specific personal needs can set a directory database service above its competition by leveraging content, technology and a deep understanding of user needs to create higher value services that command more effective marketing for their clients. Kudos for the LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell team for creating a vContent implementation that promises to raise the bar for barristers seeking effective marketing support.
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