If you are looking for a lawyer to help you recover from an injury; you’ve probably noticed badges of recognition, rankings and ratings on most lawyers websites (and our website is no exception). We thought we’d take a minute to both talk about why these awards matter to us here at the Cerasa Law Firm, and try to explain a little about the badges we display and what they mean.
There are several criteria that people review when choosing a law firm, and ratings and awards are certainly a valid piece to consider. At Cerasa Law Firm, we are very proud to have received awards and ratings that reflect the work that we’ve done for our clients. However, there is no higher recognition that we aim to achieve than the satisfaction of our clients. So while we certainly hope you’re impressed by the honors we’ve received, we know you’ll be impressed by our dedication to excellent service and quality legal representation.
Whether you’re looking at a law firm’s Avvo score, user reviews from Google, or designations received from other legal sites it’s important to remember that these are all advertising companies. They make money by having law firms advertise on their websites. So while they also build systems to try to help people judge who is and who is not a good lawyer, you have to remember some of those firms may be paying that organization a lot of money in exchange to show up on their websites. The point being, these are not all completely objective organizations; make sure you are finding all the information you can from multiple sources and not just relying on one website.
This designation is provided on an invitation only basis from the organization. The “Top 100” designation can be a little bit misleading; there are indeed far more than 100 lawyers who receive this designation across the country. The “100” refers to being one of the top Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers in Florida. From their website:
Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly- applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research. Membership is extended only to a select few of the most qualified attorneys from each state or region who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile measured by objective and uniformly applied standards in compliance with state bar and national Rule 4-7.
Avvo is sort of like Yelp (a popular review site) for lawyers. Each lawyer / law firm has a profile and you can see what other professionals and clients have to say about them. What’s really unique about Avvo is that they assign each attorney a score from 0 to 10. While I am proud to be rated as high as I am on Avvo, grading lawyers in such a simple manner is potentially misleading. Choosing a lawyer is a lot more complex than 0 to 10. There isn’t a lawyer who is best at everything, and you only need to be concerned with who can do the best job on YOUR case. The best lawyer for your case is a combination of past experience, education, resources available, location, availability, network of support professionals, and probably 100 other factors. So hiring someone just because they’re a “10” isn’t probably the best idea.
This company was purchased by legal marketing juggernaut FindLaw in 2010 (owned by the Reuters Company, formerly known as West Group). They are pretty proud of their selection process because they apparently went so far as to patent it. They have pretty in-depth process described on their website that includes nominations, independent research, peer evaluation and final selection. This company makes their money selling websites and directory listings to law firms, so that should be taken into consideration, since it could possibly influence the process.
This organization claims to include the nation’s “Top One Percent”. Their website also describes a multi-stage selection process. Again, we are proud of the work that we have done that resulted in the Cerasa Law Firm being acknowledged by this organization. That said, in reviewing their website it is unclear exactly how they are arriving at the “Top 1 Percent” designation.
It’s hard to definitively say if awards and recognition would be a good way to select a lawyer. What we do know is that it’s probably not as important as how your lawyer treats you, and how comfortable your lawyer makes you feel with the entire recovery process. We want anyone who is considering hiring a lawyer to represent them for an accident or injury to come in and take advantage of a free initial consultation where they will be able to meet Michael Cerasa, our lead attorney. We are confident that you will feel comfortable knowing that Michael will guide you through the recovery process to the best possible outcome for you. We hope you are impressed by our awards, but we hope you’ll be far more impressed by our service and results we obtain for you.
450 S. Orange Avenue, Suite 300
Orlando, FL, 32801