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MCLE Self-Assessment Test

State Bar profiles offer opportunity to reach public online

By Amy Yarbrough
Staff Writer

When it comes to their State Bar profiles, many attorneys think of them as simply a place to display their contact information online and for prospective clients to see if lawyers’ discipline records are clean.

But they also boast a number of other useful features that you might not be aware of. One of the most useful and underrated benefits of having an expanded profile is the ability to showcase the languages you speak, according to Dina DiLoreto, managing director of member records and compliance.

People looking to hire an attorney who speaks Spanish, for example, can search for one using the “advanced search” function on the State Bar’s website.

“I think it’s helpful if they really need the attorney to speak other languages,” DiLoreto said. “They can find it that way.”

Other lesser-known features include the ability to upload a photo and include a link to your firm’s website. You can also display what other languages are spoken in your law office through your expanded profile, tout whether you are a certified legal specialist or list any self-designated areas of practice. Visitors to the bar’s website can search for attorneys by certified legal specialty, but they cannot search by area of practice.

When consumers use the advanced search, it returns a randomized list of attorneys who meet the criteria selected.

Although many profile features are designed to help potential clients connect with a lawyer, attorneys can also customize their profile to be excluded from randomized search results. A corporate lawyer who isn’t looking for clients, for example, may opt out of appearing in search results, although their profile will still be public and searchable by name.

DiLoreto also points out that members have the option of allowing visitors to their profile pages to look up their location by clicking on a link that takes them to Google maps. Like the randomized search feature, attorneys who do not want this feature can opt out of it.

Attorneys who have questions about or experience difficulties updating their profiles may call the Member Services Center at 888-800-3400.