I couldn’t sleep recently and turned on the TV late night/early morning. I was stunned by the number of creepy lawyer ads out there. Years ago I did a legal tip of the day on WGN radio and felt a little weird about it because I think any lawyer advertising has a negative connotation. I think it was done in a classy way, but I still felt weird about it. Maybe it was too classy because the bang for the buck didn’t work at all.
What’s worse than the creepy ads are the ones from out of state law firms trying to get your case. Almost everyone I saw would not be the best choice to hire. Some were for asbestos cases. We have arguably the most successful asbestos law firm in the country right here in Chicago. Why would you want to work with a law firm in Houston that you could literally never see in a convenient way if you needed to when a better choice is nearby? I really wonder how these firms justify themselves when they get to the part of the conversation that their office is more than 1,000 miles away. How can you say with a straight face that you are the best choice in those situations? Maybe for a really, really niche case, but otherwise it’s ridiculous.
The worst ones are the firms that try to sign you up for a bad result that you’ve had from taking a certain drug. What they really want, in many cases, is for you to be the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit. They don’t always make that clear up front and they’ll sign you up to add to their numbers for the case without actually representing you. One day they’ll tell you the case has been settled, but it won’t be your case, it will be every case in the class. You can opt out of the settlement if you want, but that would require you to hire your own firm.
A close runner up to worst firm are the groups that are a referral agency and nothing else, but make you think that they have this special experience that should cause you to hire them for your car accident or medical malpractice case. They will sign you up, but guess what happens next? They choose a local firm to actually handle the court work for you. So you are hiring an out of state firm, but won’t have regular communication with the person that will actually be doing the work. Wouldn’t it just make more sense to hire the local firm of your choosing? Interview three and pick the best one.
There are lawyers all over the country that run these ads, but for whatever reason most of them do appear to be from Texas. They do put in tiny writing at the bottom of the page that they are based out of state, but you’d wish that it would be more obvious or not allowed at all if they didn’t have a lawyer on staff with an Illinois license and an office in our lovely state.
I suspect that most people know to avoid these leeches, but it must work because these ads still run.
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