How are referrals matched?
Brandon Austin avatar
Written by Brandon Austin
Updated over a week ago

Once a referral request has been manually reviewed by our team, the request goes into our matching engine that uses the following primary filters to complete the matching:

  1. Directory

  2. License

  3. Specialty

  4. Language

  5. Distance

  6. Years of experience

Directory

First, our engine filters the listings in the specific directory where the potential client has submitted a referral request. For example, if the potential client submits a referral request on Polishlawyers.com, our engine will first search through listings in that specific directory for matching professionals.

For each profession in our network (e.g. lawyers, doctors, accountants), we publish a global directory that is not community-specific (e.g. Legalglobal.com, Doctorsglobacl.com, Accountantsglobal.com). Unless the referee specifically requests a professional or organization with a specific background or with specific language skills, our matching engine will also search through and match referrals with listings in the corresponding global directory.

We recommend that professionals and organizations add their listings to all relevant directories, including the global directory for their profession or industry. This would increase online visibility and maximize the chances of being discovered by potential clients.

License

If the referral request is for a specific profession or specialty that requires a government-issued license (e.g. attorney, real estate agent), our matching engine will filter for listings that have the required license and which are in good standing.

Some licenses are valid country-wide and some are restricted to states. For example, in the US, family law attorneys require state-specific licenses to practice family law in those states, whereas licensed attorneys are permitted to practice immigration law in any US state. Our engine recognizes the different licenses required for different specialties across professions.

Specialty

Next, our engine searches for listings that match the requested specialty practice area. In their listings, professionals and organizations can choose to add specialty areas, sub-specialty areas or both. For example, an attorney can specify “Family Law”, “Child Custody” or both in a listing.

The number and type of matched referrals received by professionals and organizations will depend greatly on the specialty practice areas added to their listings. The range of referrals received can be expanded or narrowed, by amending the listed practice areas.

For example, if an attorney lists “Family Law” as a practice area, the attorney will receive all referral requests for family law attorneys (assuming that the other criteria are met). If the attorney wishes to receive referrals only concerning “Child Custody” matters, the attorney can remove the “Family Law” practice from their listings and keep the “Child Custody” practice listed.

Language

If a referral request is seeking a professional or organization with specific language skills, our matching engine searches through the language fields in each listing to identify the best matches.

Professionals and organizations can add languages spoken, languages that their office staff speaks, or state that they regularly provide translators. All added languages are considered when matching a referral with a professional or organization. Languages, who speaks each language, and corresponding skills are clearly marked in the public page of each listing.

Distance

In their listings, professionals and organizations can customize the value of a field titled “Mile Radius” for each practice area in their listing. This refers to the physical area within the set number of miles from their listed addresses.

After the listings have been filtered through the above filters, our matching engine calculates the physical distance between the indicated zip code of the potential client, and the zip codes of all addresses in the filtered listings. If at least one of the calculated distances is less than the set “Mile Radius” value, our engine will consider that a match.

If a “Mile Radius” value is set to zero, this filter will not be applied. All other filters will still apply. For example, if an attorney has “0” for “Mile Radius'' under a “Personal Injury” practice area, the attorney will be matched with all referral requests in their state (since a state-specific license is still required), assuming that the listing passes through other necessary filters.

Example

For example, an African American attorney is licensed in California and has two California office addresses published in her listing, with a “Mile Radius'' value of 10 for all practice areas. A potential client submits a referral request looking for a personal injury attorney in California on Blacklawyers.com.

Our matching engine will first look for all attorneys from California who practice personal injury law, have valid licenses, and are listed on Blacklawyers.com. The engine then calculates the distances between the zip code of the potential client and the zip codes of the two listed office addresses. If any of the two distances is less than 10 miles, the listing would be considered a match.

Years of Experience

If a professional doesn’t indicate interest and there are multiple matches, our system matches the request with the professional with the highest years of experience.

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