Many experienced and talented lawyers get frustrated when their site doesn't receive rankings they feel it deserves, especially when some upstart attorney is beating them out. But attorneys need to flip the script and think of this whole website ranking challenge from the search engine's perspective. Search engines do not make money from organic listings, which are free. They make tons of money from advertising. Search engines have no incentive to rank a website high in the organic area UNLESS sending the searcher to that website builds more confidence in the search engine.
Let that sink in: A search engine's only incentive to rank a website higher on a free organic search is if that ranking makes the searcher (a firm's potential client) feel better about using that search engine in the future. The organic ranking algorithms are all about building confidence in the search engine's brand, not the law firm's.
In order to rank highly in the organic area, firms have to jump through the secret, ever-changing hoops of each search engine. These hoops, ideally, are designed to get searchers to the most relevant sites for their needs and give them confidence that the search engine will do a good job for them in the future -- giving the user reason to return to that search engine for their next search.