The Importance of Online Reputation Management (ORM) for Legal Professionals

Check out our archived webinars in the Knowledge Center!

TASA ID: 11604

Reputation, by its very definition is a nebulous, intangible and complex concept. Trust, along with an excellent reputation as a legal resource, cannot be directly measured like income and expenses.  An attorney’s reputation and credibility matter more today than ever before. Clients prefer to retain attorneys and firms with strong and positive reputations. The internet democratizes information and increased competition from both the attorney next door and cost-effective digital legal platforms, such as LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer and Nolo. 

Partners at large law firms and solo practicing attorneys alike may overlook the importance of maintaining a digital presence, especially given their day-to-day priorities. The most astute attorneys recognize that a quality brand and strong reputation are their greatest assets.  A quality presence online is a competitive advantage. Attorneys with stellar reputations gain trust from prospects, clients, partners, regulators, and colleagues relative to those with lackluster or tarnished brand. Law firms grow and achieve results through their reputational assets. Conversely, they decline and go out of business as a result of a defamatory or negative one.

A lawyer cannot be competent absence a working knowledge of the benefits and risks associated with the use of social media.” - New York Bar Association social media guidelines for lawyers [June 9th, 2015]

This article will reinforce existing online reputation management guidelines and promote legal industry best practices. 

Explore All Options 

With an expansive new group of online communication platforms, effectively managing a reputation requires more effort, coordination and resources. Relative to just a decade ago, reliance on PR or internal teams likely yields less results today than bloggers, web-based media and non-governmental organizations.  Law firms must now develop new relationships and forge digital partnerships. A network of supporters and partners, which includes journalists, bloggers, and industry associations can have significant impact on the reputation of a company because of their objectivity and ability to share positive experiences.

A lawyer’s reputation is now not only defined by the value and results provided to clients, but also by the client opinions and reviews posted online. Furthermore, an attorney’s response to a negative review is critical. Ignoring the post can be a liability because prospects often believe the accuracy of the review. Online legal communities provide a medium for both reading reviews, sharing opinions, and providing commentary. To build an exceptional digital presence, coordination of people and resources is required. Even smaller boutique firms must learn how to communicate intelligently and mobilize in advance of a crisis or emerging reputational threat.

“Community platforms that facilitate reviews and ratings on services, products, and experiences allow a small assortment of individual voices to become a collective opinion that can shape consumer perceptions and confidence.”- Laura Powers, Director of Marketing, Philadelphia Bar Foundation 


A Proactive Approach is Required

To stay ahead of the curve, engaging content that follows proven reputation management techniques should be shared online with prospective clients. 

The advice we give to clients is that the best offense is a strong defense. With a strong presence, you build digital resilience and develop a strategy or path for repairing a damaged digital footprint. The high quality content should be published on owned and managed, as well as curated website domains to protect from any future reputation damages.

Some digital assets that can be considered for proactive reputation management include:

  • Active social media presence and coordinated approach for sharing content on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram        
  • Profile listings on reputable business directories and portals as Avvo, Google Reviews, Hoovers Glass Door, Wikipedia, etc.
  • Organic earned assets such as feature stories, interviews, quotes, news and blogs about you, a specific case, or your practice. 
  • Paid digital advertising or PR media. 

The presence of digital assets on high-authority domain websites will both enhance your digital reputation, as well as neutralize any confusing or defamatory webpages that appear in search results. 

With clarity on issues that matter most to clients and prospects, lawyers can direct resources and improve communication accordingly. The success of a proactive digital reputation strategy is difficult to measure because it centers on your one first impression made on prospects, clients, colleagues, and partners when they search online.

“It’s important evolve your online and offline reputation so they align with your firm’s long-term vision for growth. A forward-thinking firm must ask what kind of firm they plan to be in two to five years from now, and what resources they need to achieve that vision. Managing your brand and your reputation are two essential components to success.” – Valerie Chan, Principal, Plat4orm PR

Reputation Management for Clients: Internet Defamation & Reputation Repair

Internet defamation is a growing area of concern for clients, but also an opportunity for attorneys. Quantifying the monetary impact of reputation lost or gained is subjective. Following the landmark case of Sue Scheff, the legal community has taken notice of internet defamation case. Sue and her company, Parents Universal Resource Experts (PURE), provided referral consulting for families of teenagers with behavioral problems. After a disgruntled client posted online that she was a “fraud” and “con artist,” she sued for defamation in Broward Country Florida court. In November of 2006, Sue Sheff won her internet defamation case and was awarded $11.3 million dollars. 

Online, you are guilty until proven innocent. Consequently, it is challenging to overcome negative press. If there are only two pages of search engine results when a name is searched and multiple negative links appear on the first page, you lack the opportunity to overcome the negative perception. 

When a lawyer or client is found innocent and purported violations are dismissed, news and information relating to the case remain online. The demand for digital reputation repair and suppression is expansive. In the court of law, you may be innocent, but in the minds of your prospects, clients and potential partners you remain guilty on the internet. There are many situations that require immediate attention and sustainable solutions

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” -Theodore Roosevelt [1858-1919]

One bad review is a challenge, but not responding to negative commentary may invite others, which will have a multiplicative impact  when trying to correct or refute the bad press.   

There is risk when suppressing content because low ranking and outdated content can be revived on primary search engine results pages by news or events with key word parallels. There is risk in not responding to a negative news article or review, but also greater risk in how one responds, especially when considering this American Bar Association tenet: “A lawyer may not disclose client confidential information solely to respond to a former client’s criticism of the lawyer posted on a website that includes client reviews of lawyers.” 

View client complaints and feedback as opportunities to improve the client experience. With a more empathetic and collaborative mindset, online reputation will create better emotional bonds with clients and future prospects. We recommend a proactive action plan to mitigate the risk of future defamatory content. 


Our dependence on the internet for information underpins the paradigm shift in how attorneys and their clients approach creating, repairing and monitoring their reputations. A law firm’s success is now more dependent on what is said (and not said) on the internet.  

The most agile firms are listening closer, making better resource allocations and investing in stronger relationships with strategic partners and clients. 

TASA Article Disclaimer

This article discusses issues of general interest and does not give any specific legal or business advice pertaining to any specific circumstances.  Before acting upon any of its information, you should obtain appropriate advice from a lawyer or other qualified professional.

This article may not be duplicated, altered, distributed, saved, incorporated into another document or website, or otherwise modified without the permission of TASA and the author (TASA ID: 11604). Contact for any questions.

Previous Plastic Surgery Expert Witness
Next Defamation Cases: Why an Expert Witness is Vital
Tasa ID11604


Let Us Find Your Expert 

Note: This form is to be completed by legal and insurance professionals ONLY. If you are a party in a case that requires an expert witness, please have your attorney contact TASA at 800-523-2319.


Search Experts

TASA provides a variety of quality, independent experts who meet your case criteria. Search our extensive list of experts now.

Search Experts


  • I think it's always good to have access to experts when [TASA] make[s] the process so easy."

    Scott McIntosh, Lewis McIntosh & Teare, Royersford, PA

  • As a busy practitioner, managing a sizeable caseload, I can use all of the help available to me. If I can outsource a task, particularly one as important as securing a qualified expert, I will jump at the opportunity. I use TASA in nearly every case where I need to find an expert witness, be it an engineer, an architect, an economist, etc. They have thousands of qualified experts to refer in virtually any field. Best of all the process is extremely simple. When I need an expert I simply contact TASA, whose knowledgeable representatives ask you targeted questions about your case, your legal theories, and your goals, in order to find the right expert for your case. I usually receive CVs and calls from the potential expert within hours. If you find the originally selected person is not a good fit – for whatever reason – TASA will work with you to find the right person. I would happily recommend this service to any attorney."

    Patrick K. Gibson, Gibson & Perkins PC, Media, PA

  • Ms. Darlie I. McDonald RN was awesome on the witness stand, and we prevailed in our case to the tune of  [a] (highly unusual [amount] for a medical malpractice [case] in our area).  I'd highly recommend her."

    Shane Reed, Shane A. Reed Law Office, Jacksonville, OR

  • I appreciate your inquiries and offers of assistance as well as the consistently high-quality, well-organized, and erudite TASA webinars, which invariably have excellent presenters."

    Maurice S. Kane, Cummings McClorey Davis Acho and Associates PC, Riverside, CA

  • Steven Kursh was an outstanding technical expert on our ecommerce IP lawsuit. He completed a massive amount of work on extremely complicated material, in a very short period of time. His work product was first rate and I think he would have done a terrific job if the case proceeded to trial. He is very articulate and helped us. I only wish we had gotten him involved sooner in the litigation."

    Daniel J. Brown, Reiss Sheppe LLP, New York, NY

  • I thank you all for the response to my request for an expert witness...Both Mr. Scott and Mr. Bianchi appear to be well-qualified for this case, but we have hired another expert. As always, I was impressed by TASA's ability to produce exceptionally well-qualified candidates with great speed."

    John Thomas Dzialo, The Law Offices of John Thomas Dzialo, Santa Ana, CA

  • Thank you for your quick response and the names of the two proposed experts. The situation that gave rise to our search for these experts has resolved and we will not need to retain them. However, we will continue to keep TASA in mind as these needs arise from time to time as your breadth of coverage for experts of all types is unparalleled, in my experience."

    Bart W. Brizzee, County of San Bernadino, San Bernadino, CA

  • I have used TASA for the last five years for locating an expert for many personal injury cases. On each and every occasion, TASA was able to find me more than one qualified expert. With such a variety of experts, I was able to select one who met my client's needs in prosecuting these claims. I found the experts TASA referred not only qualified, but available on a moment's notice. Your fees are reasonable and fair, and I will continue to use TASA for the remainder of my career."

    Robert Oushalem, Esq., The Law Office of Robert Oushalem, San Jose, CA

  • I recently used TASA for the first time to locate an expert to testify in a case requiring rather unusual expertise and where there were no applicable regulations or standards for guidance. TASA referred an expert in California who was everything a lawyer looks for in a forensic expert. He was promptly available for consultation, efficiently prepared for deposition and trial and very persuasive and credible with the jury. TASA's administrative services and assistance in locating this expert were excellent, and we would certainly use both the expert and TASA in the future."

    Theodore Phillips, Miller Hauser Law Group, LLP, Placerville, CA

  • TASA has always given me first-class service, but in a recent matter, TASA found the 'needle-in-the-haystack' expert witness we feared didn't exist. We needed an expert for a very narrow and limited issue in a very narrow and limited industry. Because TASA has an extensive expert witness database, it was able to give us a referral almost on the spot. It's why I always turn to TASA first."

    Kathleen A. Herdell, Law Offices of Kathleen A. Herdell, St. Helena, CA

  • There are numerous companies that provide litigation experts. However, I always choose the TASA Group because of their quick response in finding a qualified expert for my particular case. I have extreme confidence in the TASA Group and will continue to use their services in the future."

    Katie A. Killion, Esq., Chiurazzi & Mengine, LLC, Pittsburgh, PA

  • I spent hours trying to locate an expert in a very technical case involving a defect in a medical device. I could have saved a lot of time by calling TASA first. Within hours, I was supplied with the name of an engineer who had more than 30 years of job training, education and expertise in the precise area involving the device. Bravo TASA!"

    Timothy W. Peach, Partner, Peach & Weathers, San Bernardino, CA

  • We were involved in a case pending for more than five years with seven parties from three states. Three mediations failed before we looked to TASA for an expert. TASA referred an expert who clearly understood the complexity of the project and could effectively support his opinion. If it weren't for his expert advice and deposition testimony, the case would not have settled. Interestingly, the case settled within 90 days from the date this expert began."

    Renee Colbert, Esq., Corporate Counsel, W.G. Tomko, Inc., Finleyville, PA

  • Using TASA to find experts for defending our client in a negligent homicide case ended up being one of the most important decisions we made in trial preparation. The experts they suggested were exactly what we needed for the case. I truly did not expect to find experts that would be such a perfect fit for the nature of case. TASA provided us with highly qualified experts in somewhat narrow fields of expertise. A large percentage of our victory is due to the experts recommended by TASA."

    Marta Farmer, Esq., Carl S. White Law Office, Haver, MT

  • I have used TASA's services since the 1980's and have never been disappointed. TASA is indispensable for locating that hard-to-find expert. TASA representatives have always been courteous and pleasant, with the attitude that they cannot do enough to help. I expect to continue using TASA throughout my career."

    Brad W. Greenberg, Esq., Smyth Law Offices, P.C., Brockton, MA

  • I needed to retain a multitude of scientists from a variety of disciplines for a complex litigation. Initially, I went through a series of interviews with an extremely knowledgeable and professional team of TASA advisors. They were able to find highly qualified experts in the specific fields, all of whom turned out to be superior in qualification and area of expertise to my adversary’s experts. I am a TASA believer!"

    Nooshin Namazi, Partner, Nicoletti Hornig & Sweeney, New York, NY

  • TASA always comes through in the difficult IP cases. Their representatives work with you to refine the search criteria and quickly send you a list of very qualified experts."

    Timothy L. Boller, Principal, Seed Intellectual Property Law Group, PLLC, Seattle, WA

  • Special thanks to our TASA referral advisor for her quick response to our initial request—we were extremely happy with how fast TASA was able to assist us! Your group does excellent work, and it is always my first stop when looking for an expert."

    Susanne K. Sullivan, Senior Attorney, Southwest Airlines Corporation, Dallas, TX

  • When we needed an expert in a patent infringement lawsuit, we turned to TASA. We were looking for a witness qualified in two unrelated technical areas, and TASA worked with us to identify and refine our requirements. TASA performed well, promptly providing us with several excellent candidates to consider, one of whom we retained."

    Joseph T. Miotke, Partner, IP Practice Group, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, Milwaukee, WI

  • Our team had a very positive experience with TASA. The Expert was professional, efficient, and certainly an expert in his field. His work and testimony contributed to a winning decision for our client! We will recommend the Expert and TASA whenever appropriate."

    Stephanie Sprague, Esq., CT

  • (The Expert) WAS A PERFECT FIT for my case: qualified, competent, easy to work with, attentive to detail, knowledgeable, smart, communicative, enthusiastic, resourceful—have I left anything out? I highly recommend TASA and would be happy to share my experience with anyone else. Thank you!"

    Michael Porrazzo, Esq., The Porrazzo Law Firm, Mission Viejo, CA

  • The expert was very thorough. TASA was quick to respond with an answer to my request. I have used TASA in the past under various other law firms and have been pleased. TASA continues to live up to expectations and then some."

    Anne Desormier-Cartwright, Esq., Jupiter, FL

  • Your organization found us an appropriate expert witness in less than one day. This was excellent service. The expert you found was excellent and a pleasure to work with."

    William A. Ehrlich, Esq., Allentown, PA

  • (The Expert)…accomplished exactly what we wanted. TASA was very prompt and efficient in locating him. All fees were reasonable."

    J. Michael Lehman, Esq., Bruce, Bruce, & Lehman, Wichita, KS

  • We needed an Internet expert right away to meet a deadline. One phone call to TASA, and in less than a day, TASA called back with a list of 8-10 experts who were exactly what I needed. The TASA expert I chose knew the business and mechanics of the Internet so well—he was a PhD and professor who had written a book on the subject—that he put the fear of truth in the defendant that caused him to settle. When I get the kind of service that I did from TASA, I stick with it and use it again and again."

    Philip Green, Attorney at Law, Green and Green, San Rafael and San Francisco, CA

  • Excellent—in a word. I just do not have the time to hunt for experts. (The Expert) was fantastic. Thank you for providing such a quality service."

    Francesca Carinci, Esq., Steubenville, OH

  • TASA stands for Tops At Serving Attorneys. It’s always rewarding working with TASA."

    Marshall A. Bernstein, Esq., Philadelphia, PA.

  • That was, however, one of the best and most interesting webinars I've seen in the last few years.  Thank you for hosting it and introducing me to such a knowledgeable and caring person." - Referencing the Medicolegal Consequences of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Civilian and Military Populations webinar. 

    Lori Bauer Apodaca, The Law Office of Lori Bauer Apodaca, Los Lunas, NM