Is your law firm on Wikipedia?

I was working our firm’s Wikipedia entry last night and I began to wonder if a) all firms have an entry and b) what are the benefits of having one. I’ve done some research and I’d like to share the following statistics, benefits, examples and my tips for creating an entry.

Statistics

  • January 2009 – 97% of all US users looked to Wikipedia when looking for an online encyclopedia according to The Gazette.
  • Wikipedia receives 684 million visitors annually according to The Gazette.

Benefits

  • Creating a Wikipedia enhances your firm’s visibility online. It is interesting to note that when doing an online search for most US law firms the Wikipedia entry is listed first before their official site.
  • Wikipedia entries must be well written and factually accurate. It is unacceptable for an entry to be written like a marketing brochure and all entries must remain neutral. One of the top 100 law firms in the UK had its entry completely removed for being written too much like an advertisement. The entry was reinstated later for correcting its tone.
  • All entries can be edited by anyone but it’s important to note there are restrictions and policies in place to keep the information correct and factual. Editor IP addresses can be traced and potentially tracked down if necessary. RSS feeds of edit history are available as well.

My Tips

  • Create one user account to create and edit your firm’s entry.
  • Clearly indicate that this account is associated with your firm.
  • Ensure your entry is always neutral, never promotional.
  • Topics to include are history, offices, employees, awards, reference list and external links. (more or less if necessary)

Great Examples of law firm Wikipedia entries

Is your law firm on Wikipedia? Please let me know in the comments and provide a link if available. Thanks!
Sources:

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  • Lisa

    Samantha, that was a really helpful guide. I just wanted to add that the maintenance of the profile can be outsourced, too. Freelancer.com is a site I recommend for subcontracting things like that

  • LawyerBlog

    Hi Samantha, as you mention, there are many restrictions and policies in place, but they often apply even to completely factual entries for which WP editors just don't have the knowledge to determine whether they are factual or biased. Many people do not know that although Wikipedia appears to be a open process (i.e., anyone can edit, revise, etc.), it's not really as "democratic" as it seems. Often, getting information to stay up on a WP page involves a complicated process of dealing with a community of WP editors, Rewards and Bounties, which involve payment of money. A lot to explain, but the takeaway is that it's not always as easy as one may think to get info on there and what's on there is also not as neutral as one may think.

  • LawyerBlog

    Btw, not sure how I got to this page, but just noticed that this article was from back in July! I thought it was new!

  • Samantha Collier

    Thank you very much for your insightful comments. I've been having troubles posting our firm on Wikipedia as well due to notable features, etc. The funny thing is that other Canadian law firms are on there but for some reason I can't have our profile approved. I gave up some time ago (after spending days tweaking it to be perfect). I will look into posting it again soon.

  • Luke Williams

    You're not actually supposed to write about an organistion you represent on Wikipedia. It's against the T.O.S. the idea is that someone else impartial should always add entries.

  • Samantha Collier

    Thank you for your insight Luke. I've learned a lot about Wikipedia since writing the above article.