Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin : November 2005

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MSBA's Online Directory: Valuable Lawyer Referral Service
~Attracts 240+ hits a day~
By Janet Stidman Eveleth

Every day, consumers call MSBA headquarters looking for a lawyer. The Association’s staff directs these callers to MSBA’s Online Directory. This electronic lawyer referral service gives potential clients immediate access to lawyers who are members of the Association. MSBA’s Online Directory is a valuable resource that offers free advertising, marketing and rainmaking opportunities exclusively to MSBA members while helping consumers conveniently search for an attorney.

Today, MSBA’s electronic directory attracts 7,200+ hits a month on the Association’s website; that’s 240+ hits per day. In our popular e-market, people increasingly go online to search for consumer products and services, including legal services. MSBA’s online directory caters to this demand by giving the public instant access to lawyers who are MSBA members.

This electronic service helps consumers with their legal needs and helps MSBA members with potential business opportunities. The user-friendly directory facilitates the consumer’s search and helps the individual narrow down the field through clear instructions and search tips. It carries all of the appropriate directions and disclaimers.

Through MSBA’s online directory, a consumer may quickly and conveniently electronically search for a lawyer by name, geographic location, area of practice and even MSBA Section membership. It conveniently lists the name, address, law firm, city/county, phone and fax numbers, law practice area (s), state (s) of bar admission and e-mail address of MSBA members.

Only MSBA members are listed, giving them the competitive edge. Non-members are not eligible for inclusion in MSBA’s electronic directory. “Our online directory provides an excellent member and community resource,” states MSBA Executive Director Paul V. Carlin. “Although studies consistently show that the public has a difficult time choosing a lawyer, the information about our lawyers is certainly helpful to these consumers of legal services.”

MSBA members derive many benefits with their electronic directory. They enjoy widespread marketing exposure, free advertising, publicity and visibility with the public. Members can conveniently update their MSBA membership information online as often as they wish so that their data remains accurate and timely. All information is protected and secure.

For even greater marketing opportunities, attorneys may link their e-mail addresses and law firm websites to their MSBA electronic listing. Lawyers seeking other MSBA attorneys for case referrals benefit from the online directory, too. The online directory is also an excellent reference tool, allowing members to keep in constant contact with other MSBA members, facilitating ongoing communication between Sections and members.

The online directory complements MSBA’s print version, the Maryland Lawyers’ Manual. The Manual has been rated MSBA’s number one membership benefit for years. The 2006 edition will be available in early January 2006. This comprehensive legal resource, still a “hot commodity” in Maryland’s legal community, serves as the “yellow pages” for the legal profession.

“Despite the growing popularity and ease of the online directory, the members still like the comprehensiveness of the Maryland Lawyers’ Manual – so much data in one handy source,” adds Carlin.

The Maryland Lawyers’ Manual offers a comprehensive list of all MSBA members and a complete Client Protection Fund register of all lawyers in the state. The Manual offers the names, addresses and phone numbers of all Maryland judges, legislators, elected officials, government agencies, many law firms, legal service vendors, MSBA’s leadership and other legal resources.

For additional information on MSBA’s Online Member Directory, visit MSBA’s website at www.msba.org. MSBA members interested in inclusion in MSBA’s Online Directory may contact MSBA’s Membership Department at membership@msba.org, or call (410) 685-7878 or (800) 492-1964. 

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Publications : Bar Bulletin: November 2005

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