There was a time not that long ago where lawyers could do pretty much whatever they wanted to a certain extent. There was no real way to know whether or not a lawyer was good until you saw them in action, and a big part of the reason why that is the case has to do with the fact that there was no central resource from which you could learn about different lawyers, how they work and how they might choose to approach the case that you are now handing over to them.
Avvo.com is a great resource if you are trying to find attorneys for criminal defense in Boston. The reason behind this is that this site has a list of ratings for attorneys, and these ratings are based on what people thought of them when they worked with them. While there are ways for some lawyers to try and manipulate the system to an extent, this really isn’t all that common and it is so difficult to do that most lawyers end up going the legitimate route and choose to work hard on winning cases so that eventually they can convince people that they truly know what they are doing.
Any lawyer worth hiring is most likely going to have a good rating on this site. A bad rating can come from a variety of factors so you shouldn’t rule lawyers that have bad ratings out entirely, but it’s certainly a bad sign and a red flag that indicates that you might want to look elsewhere for legal help and expertise. With so many lawyers out there trying to make their mark, resources like this are important.