How Consumers Choose an Attorney: Information Gathering
Thursday, September 27, 2012

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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