TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Southwestern Law School

Monday, October 15, 2007

"Paying By the Click" - Lawyers Ads on Google Searches

Our own Bill Childs was quoted in a column by Adam Liptak on "Competing for Clients - Paying By The Click" in today's New York Times.  The article explores lawyer ads that run as "sponsored links" next to the results on a Google search:

Ted Frank, the director of the Legal Center for the Public Interest at the American Enterprise Institute, said the fact that some personal injury lawyers were willing to pay $60 a click was telling, particularly given that relatively few of those clicks would bring in actual business.   “These lawyers don’t really litigate cases — they settle cases,” Mr. Frank said. “And they need a big inventory of cases. The only job of the attorney is to come up with the clients.”   “There is nothing wrong with what Google is doing,” he added. “There is nothing wrong with advertising for clients. It’s just fascinating that clients are worth so much.”

And there is no client more lucrative than one with mesothelioma. That word has hovered near the top of the CyberWyre list since 2003, Mr. Elhag [a writer for CyberWyre] said.

William G. Childs, an assistant professor at Western New England College School of Law, explained why, as he put it, “mesothelioma is clearly the highest-dollar value.”   “It doesn’t happen except through asbestos, with vanishingly small exceptions,” Professor Childs said. “The vast majority of cases settle and settle rather easily. And they’re not hard to work up.”


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