Posted by: johnocunningham | January 11, 2013

How Clients Search for Lawyers

I noticed an interesting article recently by AttorneySync (a group that does SEO, Web design and legal marketing) about how clients search for and decide upon lawyers to represent them.

The article was based on a commissioned survey project performed for a large criminal defense firm – Moses & Rooth – that does everything from OUI cases to corporate white-collar defense work.

It caught my eye, in part, because it affirmed for me, empirically, much of what I have heard from clients and marketers, anecdotally. But is also presented a few surprises.

Basically, the survey concluded that the greatest percentage of people START the process of looking for a lawyer by “asking a friend.” This proves the marketing adage that sales start with trust and no trust means no sale.

But the second greatest percentage of people start with an Internet search, slightly more than those who start by asking their lawyer in an unrelated field for a referral. That is surely a change from the end of the last century!

Surprisingly, more than 10 percent of people still start their search in the Yellow Pages, but one wonders if those are all clients and prospects beyond a certain age (speaking as one who has some grey hairs myself).

When it comes to ranking the information that is most important about a prospective lawyer, the survey participants apparently were most impressed by information they could find about the lawyer elsewhere on the Internet (not the lawyer’s own site).

The quality of lawyer reviews on the Internet, presumably at sites such as Avvo, was the second most important factor, but I suspect this might have been different if the clientele were overwhelmingly corporate.

But the third, and perhaps most surprising factor to me was the proximity of the lawyer to the client on the map, suggesting that local offices and convenience really do matter.

For more information, check out the complete article, entitled, “Where Do Clients Find a Specialty Lawyer?”


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