Every attorney or agency knows someone who has had a nightmarish experience using FindLaw. If you're wondering how to get out of an abusive FindLaw contract, you're certainly not alone. About once a month, we get a call from a former Findlaw client who is having trouble accessing the digital assets that he paid Findlaw to create or that he owned prior to his relationship with Findlaw. Many of these law firms are shocked to discover that they essentially leased their website from Findlaw.
When it's time to go, Findlaw may try to deactivate your site and domain. If you're not proactive, you could end up without a web presence after your contract ends. If you know you want to leave Findlaw, it's best to talk to aagency specializing in law firmsapproximately 2 to 3 months before you notify Findlaw of your termination plan. We have already helped many companies with this process.
Common reasons to leave FindLaw
We've spoken to countless law firms about their experiences with FindLaw, and these are some of the most common sticking points:
- They receive confusing monthly invoices that vaguely state what has actually been delivered - and they don't have time to seek clarity with their account manager through long chains of emails and phone calls.
- Your site saw no improvement in Google searches, or worse, its rankings plummeted completely.
- The paid website is basic, amateurish and does not reflect the professional skills of the law firm.
- Clicks on the FindLaw directory cost a fortune and rarely turn into leads
- The Google Ads campaigns they're paying FindLaw for didn't generate any results, and apparently no one is paying attention to account performance.
The problem (as you may have figured out already) is that it's not that easy to escape. In your contract, the fine print will likely leave you between 1) paying expensive buyout fees to exit 2) terminating your contract and losing your website and web presence 3) sticking with Findlaw and hating yourself for it.
Here are some of the most common issues related to Findlaw's exit and how to fight back:
FindLaw owns your domain name
Many FindLaw customers don't realize that unless you buy your own domain name and host it on your own hosting account (GoDaddy, Dreampress, etc.), FindLaw probably bought your domain for you and is hosting it yourself. own. Server. Worse still, your email address might be hosted there too - and of course you can't do without that for long.
It's a borderline immoral practice (in our opinion) and often keeps companies bound by contracts because if you leave, you could lose your domain name.
What can you do
If Findlaw owns your domain name, ask them to add your business and IT consulting or marketing registrants to the account. This allows you to transfer the domain to a hosting account that you own. Your contract may require you to pay a fee for this, but you may not have a choice.
However, if your site is relatively new and you don't have a lot of backlinks pointing to your domain name, we recommend just starting from scratch. Buy a similar domain name yourself and have your new agency or consultant link your new website to that domain.
FindLaw owns your website's creative assets and files
You want to cancel your contract - what about your image files, headshots, infographics and website design? Do these just disappear? Unfortunately, you're often set up to lose everything if you don't pay FindLaw a fee (see your contract for details).
There are several horror stories available online about people trying to get out of their contracts with Findlaw and taking their websites with them. Many Findlaw contracts are structured so that Findlaw owns your company's website for the term of the contract. Content is ephemeral. This means that once you stop paying for the service, your content and links to properties with high domain authority will be removed. This has resulted in many lawyers experiencing significant post-contract transfer issues with website content. Conversely, owning your own website these days is essentially permanent and relatively inexpensive without requiring you to commit to a payment plan for the foreseeable future of your business, and any gains in rankings and web visits don't go away once you stop paying high service fees.
What can you do
Give us a call. We can design a new and better version of your website that is yours, or we can get back a new version of your old website in a form that is yours. We do this by redesigning your website to be new or very similar to your old website. Findlaw can claim to own the files on your site, but they don't own the look, feel, and (certainly not) the assets associated with your image or company name. Often it doesn't matter how long it's been since Findlaw took your website offline so we could do it for you.
The other option is to just start from scratch with new creative features, and that's not a bad option either - depending on how old your old Findlaw site is, your new site will likely look a lot better than the site you're missing out on have continued with the FindLaw.
We should add that it only takes a few days to recreate your creative assets - this can be done as a rush project in a very short amount of time. We relaunched websites for former Findlaw customers whose websites were taken down over the course of a weekend.
FindLaw claims ownership of the content on its website
More recently, if you have purchased content written specifically for you (e.g. blog posts), FindLaw contracts state that you own that content. The same does not necessarily apply to home page content, general practice area content, and the text accompanying your website.
What can you do:
The good news is that we can recreate your FindLaw website content very quickly and the new content will be exponentially better than the old content. We have several proprietary methods for keyword research, and we've tested these methods on dozens of websites - you're generally better off without content created by FindLaw, as they sometimes use spun, low-quality, or duplicate content.
Findlaw holds your Google Analytics, Adwords or Tag Manager accounts hostage
How do you monitor web performance without accessing your Google Analytics account? What about Google Ads, Google Search Console and other platforms?
What can you do
The first step is to ask them to add your email address as an admin or owner for each of these accounts (permissions vary by platform). Once you have the highest level of access, you can add and remove users from these accounts, including FindLaw. We recommend that you work with someone knowledgeable about these platforms during this process. FindLaw can say that they have made you an administrator when in reality they have only given you permission to view data or something similar.
Don't worry if they make it difficult to transfer ownership of your Google Analytics and Google Ads accounts - setting them up from scratch isn't a huge task. At Majux we can set up your new Google Tag Manager and Analytics accounts (which you own) in a matter of hours, and we can even set up a new Google Ads account (again the one you own) complete with campaigns on the same day , possibly.
As a general rule, don't fight FindLaw over your Google Analytics, Google Ads or Search Console account - your new agency would be happy to set this up for you quickly and you don't have to deal with FindLaw's obstruction.
Findlaw is holding your Google My Business (GMB or "Google Maps") account hostage
You'll need to read your contract in detail to find the answer to this question, and it's a little trickier than your Google Analytics or Google Ads account. You may have gained decent ratings and/or visibility with your Google My Business account.
What can you do
First, ask your representative to add you as a GMB account holder. Once you become an owner, you can remove their access and add your new marketing partners.
The good news is that we can help you claim ownership of the entry and then remove them if they fight you. Google My Business listings are tied to the business address and actual business owner, so FindLaw has no way of permanently blocking them.
Findlaw holds your email address or tracking phone numbers hostage
Has FindLaw used tracking numbers on its website to measure incoming calls? In this case, as soon as you cancel your contract with them, you are without them.
What can you do
Once your new website is live, we can quickly (in about an hour) install new phone tracking numbers on your website that link directly to your real phone number. These new phone numbers and associated call data will be yours.
Also, you obviously can't be without your email hosting for long, and this is the best way to get around it:
before you do anything, telling us that you intend to terminate your agreement with FindLaw. We can take your current DNS records and then prepare them to set up on the new hosting you will own.
We'll also help you know what to ask FindLaw for: access to your web hosting account so we can launch your new website at your new address, access to your mx records so we can transfer your email hosting and access your Google My business listing.
By following the steps above, you can escape FindLaw without any downtime.
On the other hand, life is better - take it as an opportunity
From a marketing perspective, leaving FindLaw is a great opportunity for a fresh start.Majux, like many other reputable agencies, does not want to own your website, Google accounts, hosting or content. We build them for you and make sure you have proof of ownership.
Aside from that,We do not bind customers to 12, 24 or 36 month contracts. This is an irresponsible business practice that most of the industry has given up and we believe you have the right to opt out if you wish.
If you have concerns about leaving FindLaw and finding a new marketing partner, give us a callSEO law firmMajux experts - we are happy to help.
Is FindLaw credible? ›
Not only is FindLaw an industry leader for legal directories, it also offers innovative marketing solutions for law firms of all sizes — meaning the experts at FindLaw can help you with virtually every aspect of your online marketing, from website creation to social media, and everything in between.Does a lawyer need a website? ›
Your website is your first contact with most potential clients. What kind of impression are you creating? Keep in mind that if you don't have a legal website, your competitors will. An ABA survey found that almost three-quarters of law firms have websites, including 89% of firms as small as 2-9 attorneys.What kind of website is FindLaw? ›
FindLaw, a service of Thomson Reuters and sister company to Westlaw, is both an online legal resources portal and a provider of law firm websites and SEO services.Can lawyers know the truth? ›
Truthfully, a defense lawyer almost never really knows whether the defendant is guilty or not of the charged crime. Even if he says he is guilty, he actually may not be and may be lying to take the fall for someone he wants to protect.What is required by law on a website? ›
In addition to data privacy policies, your website might need to meet the accessibility requirements of the ADA, as well as requirements regarding ecommerce, copyright, plagiarism, and anti-spam laws. Specific industries also have requirements for websites if they pertain to health, legal, and financial matters.What are lawyers not allowed to do? ›
An advocate has a duty to his colleagues under Rule 36 not to solicit work or advertise, either directly or indirectly, whether by circulars, advertisements, touts, personal communications, interviews not warranted by personal relations, furnishing or inspiring newspaper comments or producing his photographs to be ...What makes a good lawyer website? ›
Good law firm websites give your clients a place to connect with you online. Great lawyer websites are easy to navigate with services clearly laid out. But the best law firm websites provide an effortless, client-centered experience while projecting a strong, clear brand for your practice.What makes a law website reliable? ›
The website should have links to relevant case law and legislation and should include information about the source of the law (the “citation”). The People's Law Library has numerous legal citations throughout the site. Attorney and Legal Help Referrals are Listed.What database do lawyers use? ›
Fastcase and Casemaker
It gives law firms access to case law, statutes, and regulations. Some lawyers' state bar dues provide access to the paid version of Fastcase, effectively making it free.
A client should always feel comfortable telling their attorney the whole truth of the matter for which they are being represented. Any communications that take place with the purpose of securing assistance in a legal proceeding, legal services, or securing a legal opinion are protected.
Has a lawyer ever turned on their client? ›
Again, a lawyer cannot turn you in if you go to speak to them about the case. This is another client privilege that you have. Keep in mind, a lawyer may recommend that you turn yourself in with their representation. However, the lawyer cannot turn you in without your consent.Can you be honest with your lawyer? ›
Being truthful means actively making known all the full truth of a matter. Lawyers must be honest, but they do not have to be truthful. A criminal defense lawyer, for example, in zealously defending a client, has no obligation to actively present the truth.What are five legal issues that should be considered when developing a website? ›
- Copyright concerns.
- Domain name concerns.
- Trademark concerns.
- Linking and framing.
A domain registrar owns your domain name and a web host owns the server your website is on. The person who created your website owns the design and code, but can give you ownership rights. You own your content.What are 3 things every website should have? ›
- Clear description of who you are.
- Contact page.
- Small chunks of information.
- Easy mobile navigation.
- Customer testimonials.
California has laws in place that protect you from having individuals or companies use your name or likeness for commercial or exploitative purposes without your consent.What should you not put on a website? ›
- Automatic Sound / Music. I've had many clients who want to add music to their website as it loads. ...
- Splash Pages. ...
- Pop-ups. ...
- Background Images. ...
- No Navigation. ...
- Click and Scroll. ...
- Huge Images. ...
- Animated Banner Ads.
- My case will be easy money for you. ...
- I have already done the work for you. ...
- I forgot I had an appointment. ...
- I've already talked to a lot of other lawyers. ...
- I don't have all my documents.
If your attorney is not experienced or efficient, they may have missed a deadline or made another mistake and aren't willing to confess their error. There could also be some bad news that is entirely outside of the attorney's control.Why shouldnt you say anything without a lawyer? ›
Anything You Say Can Be Used Against You.
The Miranda warning also famously advises suspects that anything they say can be used against them in a court of law. The key word here is “anything.” Even before you are placed under arrest, any statement you make is potential evidence.
Is FindLaw owned by Thomson Reuters? ›
FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters, is a leading provider of business development solutions for small law firms.What are reliable sources for legal research? ›
The four primary sources are constitutions, statutes, cases, and regulations. These laws and rules are issued by official bodies from the three branches of government.What is a credible source for law? ›
Law sources that are written by authoritative experts in law, such as legal scholars, and published by respected independent publishing houses are normally reliable sources.How do you know if a law firm is legit? ›
You can search using the regulated name of a law firm—not its trading name(s). You can also search for a firm by entering its SRA ID number. If you would like to check that a solicitor is genuine, or if you think you are dealing with a bogus solicitor, contact us immediately.
In addition to federal primary materials, Findlaw also provides access to individual state websites that contain state constitutions, statutes, and case law. In addition to links to primary sources at the federal and state level, Findlaw also provides links to foreign and international materials.Who writes FindLaw? ›
FindLaw is a business of Thomson Reuters that provides online legal information and online marketing services for law firms.How many legal consumers visit FindLaw com annually? ›
FindLaw.com receives more than 100 million visits per year from individuals seeking information about the law or a better understanding of their legal rights. FindLaw launched Legal Forms & Services to meet consumers' growing demand for do-it-yourself solutions in certain areas of the law.What are 4 credible sources? ›
- Websites with . edu or . org domains.
- News sources with first-hand reporting.
- Research-oriented magazines like ScienceMag or Nature Weekly.
- Scholarly, peer-reviewed articles and books.
- Trade or professional articles or books.
- Magazine articles, books and newspaper articles from well-established companies.
Primary legal sources are the actual law in the form of constitutions, court cases, statutes, and administrative rules and regulations. Secondary legal sources may restate the law, but they also discuss, analyze, describe, explain, or critique it as well.
What can make evidence not credible? ›
An attorney can show jurors a witness is not credible by showing: 1) inconsistent statements, 2) reputation for untruthfulness, 3) defects in perception, 4) prior convictions that show dishonesty or untruthfulness, and 5) bias.What are the 5 factors that make a source credible? ›
It is important to be able to identify which sources are credible. This ability requires an understanding of depth, objectivity, currency, authority, and purpose. Whether or not your source is peer-reviewed, it is still a good idea to evaluate it based on these five factors.What are the 5 main sources of law? ›
The primary sources of law in the United States are the United States Constitution, state constitutions, federal and state statutes, common law, case law, and administrative law.How long does it take to hear back from a law firm? ›
Some candidates begin hearing back from firms within a day or two. For others, it may take many months. How long it will take to hear back from firms is determined by numerous factors, including: Your Credentials: Generally, the stronger your academic and firm credentials, the sooner you'll hear back.What does it mean when a law firm is under review? ›
Under review means that your application has been received and is in the screening or background check process.Can a law firm sue? ›
A firm carrying on a business can sue and be sued under the registered business name.