Some lawyer credentials are simple math – “140 combined years of experience!” If you see this on a so-called “best lawyers” profile page, what it really means is they have a few attorneys in their firm that when added together have been practicing law for a combined total of 140 years. That could very well be a law firm with 14 lawyers with 10 years experience each, or even a firm with 130 brand new law school graduates and one attorney with 10 years experience.

The math here is deceiving and that’s exactly the issue that many clients run into when searching for the best lawyer for their case. Remember: the best lawyers’ profile page listings won’t need to use trickery to show you they’re the real deal!

The Two Kinds of Lawyer Experience: Years and Actions

A lawyer’s experience can be considered in two ways: years he or she has been in practice and how much he or she has accomplished in that time. Just because a lawyer has been in business for over 40 years doesn’t mean he or she has ever won a single case!

All a lawyer really needs to do to remain in practice is to comply with state bar rules. Basically, it’s writing a check for dues and meeting the continuing education requirements without giving any reason to be disbarred. This can allow even the least successful attorneys remain in practice so they can add another year to their bus bench ad.

Trial Results Are Great Lawyer Credentials

Did you know that there are lawyers who have been practicing for years and have never taken a case to trial? It’s true – there’s no requirement that a lawyer ever sets foot in a courtroom during all those years of practice they advertise.

While your case may not go to trial, it may help to know that your lawyer has experience in court in the event that it does. Remember that you can’t believe everything a so-called “best lawyers” profile page says until they can show you proof of claims of experience!

Know How to Read the Lawyer Credentials

If you’re searching for the best Virginia lawyer, do some research. Ben Glass has witnessed firsthand how deceptive lawyer advertising can be over his 30 years practicing law in Virginia. That’s why Ben wrote the book, The Truth About Lawyer Advertising. Be sure to request a FREE copy. Reading the book may help you better recognize deceptive lawyer credentials! Call 703-584-7277.

Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized car accident and ERISA disability attorney in Fairfax, VA.
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