The time where every person or family had their own personal lawyer who handled all their legal issues is long behind us. The increasing complexity of both society and the law has lead to specialization amongst lawyers. Clients who need legal advice or representation don’t go to the local lawyer on the corner, they look for an expert who can best solve their specific issue. How do people search for a lawyer in our modern times? Does it all happen online or do people still rely on the trustworthiness of recommendations?
In this piece we review how people find their lawyer in 2020, which channels they use and how they make their decision.
How do people search for the perfect lawyer?
Traditionally, people have found a legal representative through referrals; family, friends or colleagues would often recommend a lawyer they knew or had consulted themselves. Next to face-to-face referrals people would also consult the yellow pages or the local bar association.
A recent survey of 500 people has shown that today, the internet reigns supreme:
- 64% of the respondents stated that their first step would be a google search;
- 30% of the respondents would first ask a friend.
It’s safe to say that the internet has become the main way people look for a lawyer. Even those that get a recommendation from a friend will surely research the suggested law firm or lawyer online. Almost every new client looking for a lawyer will consult the internet in some point of his or her search.
This comes as no surprise if you consider that about 5 billion searches are made in the google search engine every day. The internet seems to be the first place people go with their questions and problems, legal issues being no exception.
How do people decide which lawyer to hire online?
Imagine you’re looking for a lawyer because you recently broke your leg and you think your neighbour is responsible.
As shown, you’re likely to go online to find the perfect lawyer for your case. You turn to google and search for “personal injury lawyer”.
You’re now presented with a bunch of options, which one do you choose?
A recent survey asked this question to about 400 respondents in the U.S. They found that:
- 81% of participants looked for the years of experience a lawyer or law firm had;
- 76% of the surveyed people said that the price or price structure was important;
- 66% stated that past case result history would guide their decision.
The survey also found that awards and social media seemed of lesser importance in the decision. Also, it was shown that new clients would faster turn to their smartphone than their desktop or laptop to search for a new lawyer.
Based on this survey, the cost and quality of the legal service are the most important factors to new clients. It seems that lawyers and law firms looking to gain clients online could benefit by giving away this information to prospective new clients.
How can you gain more clients through the internet?
So, the internet is a massive opportunity for legal experts. The amount of people who trust their case to a lawyer found online is huge and keeps growing.
If you’re curious about the best ways to capitalize on these huge opportunities, keep an eye on our blog as we further explore the intersection between legal practice and the internet.