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How Consumers Choose an Attorney: Information Gathering

The new LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® Attorney Selection Research Study was just released yesterday and is something every attorney needs to review.  It is chock full of interesting findings from an in-depth look at how people look for and hire an attorney.

Over the next several days, I am going to post about those study results and provide specific action steps on what attorneys can do to capitalize on this new learning.

First, some numbers:

  • 110 million U.S. consumers have sought legal counsel at least once;
  • 58 million have looked for an attorney in the past year;
  • Of those who looked for an attorney, 57% hired one, 15% decided to use a DIY approach and 13% continued to search

The study found that 76 percent of consumers used the Internet to search for an attorney in the past year.  Most consumers used a four-stage process in their search for an attorney: gather information about a legal issue/case, find a lawyer, validate a lawyer and select a lawyer.

So what sources do consumers use on the Internet to gather information?  The study found:

  • 39% used online search engines, primarily Google
  • 34% visited online legal forums
  • 31% used online directories
  • 31% visited law firm websites
  • 29% visited legal blogs
  • 26% used social media sites
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About this Author

Stephen Fairley legal marketing expert, law office management

Two-time international best-selling author, Stephen Fairley is the Founder and CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, the nation’s largest law firm marketing company specializing in marketing and lead conversion for small to medium law firms. Since 1999, he has built a national reputation as a legal marketing expert and been named, “America’s Top Marketing Coach.” He has spoken numerous times for over 35 of the nation’s largest state and local bar associations.