Don't believe everything you hear. Don't believe everything you read.
One of the major advantages that Advantage Denton lawyer finders bring to folks looking for a lawyer is that we don't take everything we come across at face value. In finding a lawyer as well as in other important decisions, much of the data you come across can not be considered reliable by itself. I am not saying that lawyers lie. It is just the nature of advertising for lawyers to only say what the audience wants to hear. If you are trying to sell something, it is foolish not to pick and choose which morsels of information to put before the person who stumbles over your advertisement. Most lawyers are not foolish and their ads do say things to get you to buy.
What information will/should you look at?
When looking for information, the easiest thing to find is the advertisements that someone is paying for you to find. You can learn a lot from a lawyer's ad if you know how to evaluate the information they serve up and compare it to other lawyer advertisements. What someone chooses to say about herself or not to say about himself is very telling when you compare. How desperate for business is the lawyer who has the biggest ad? This is influenced greatly by which area of law the ad is for. Even better to evaluate is extensive writing from the lawyer, say in a blog, It is quite difficult to hide your personality and motivation if you write extensively on a variety of topics.
Other sources of information can tell you:
Has the lawyer been sanctioned by a bar association? What kind of reviews are out there about them? Extremely important - how did they react to negative reviews? Who are they associated with? What outside of work activities do they engage in? If you know how to evaluate the quality of their writing, review of briefs submitted to court or other legal work can be very helpful.
Consider the source!
I have talked about this issue of gullibility and not believing what you read/hear within the context of finding the right lawyer for you, a topic near and dear to my heart. These concepts do apply more broadly. It is wise to always consider the source of information and the motivation of the source in providing that information. Making decisions about important things when you are emotional about the subject and you have limited information at hand and limited tools to evaluate that information is not the best way to go. Comparing information from different sources is a really good idea if you want reliable information.
Influence what others read about you.
If you want to influence what others think about you, you need to see what is out there about you and do what you can to make different sources say what you want them to say. Be aware that a malicious person can do a lot of harm by reverse engineering this advice. A negative review doesn't necessarily tell you anything about the attorney but how the attorney responds tells you volumes.
No, lawyer ads are not just lies. They are, however, very misleading (like all ads) unless you know how to evaluate them.