A new ABA study was released last month that looked at how people find legal services. Of particular interest to me was the chart that should what resources people used online resources to find a lawyer.
Referrals Still Tops
82% rely on someone they know or attorneys they know when they need legal services and while the yellow pages are down from previous surveys, they are use slightly more than online services for finding lawyers.
Avvo, Yelp or Lawyer’s Website?
An interesting finding was that people were slightly more likely to use an online directory or attorney rating service to find an attorney as they were to checkout the attorney’s website. However, I think these findings are deceptive. First, the question is asked as a hypothetical not from experience. The question is ‘if you needed a lawyer for a personal matter, how likely would you be to use the following resources to find one?’ The survey doesn’t name attorney rating services and from my informal survey, not that many lawyers have heard of Avvo, let alone consumers so I feel like the answers to this question are also hypothetical and not based on people’s experience of using online resources.
Referral model support with a Website
I have always encouraged attorneys to see their website as complimentary to referral marketing. If someone refers a person to an attorney, its much better to have a website than not and it helps if the website makes the referral more comfortable with the attorney before engaging with them.