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Infographic: How Clients Find Law Firms

How Clients Find Law Firms

A young girl asked her father about that plastic-wrapped rectangular package.  It had been sitting in the corner of the family’s driveway for several days.

As they walked out together to finally pick it up, the father explains the concept of those yellow colored pages in a phone book. Its information, presented alphabetically by topic, so people can find services they need – a lawyer for example.

Indeed, to the daughter, the book was clearly of seemingly important information.  Then her father did something unexpected: As the pair walked back into the house through the garage, the father promptly dumped the book into trash bin.

In response to her dismay, he explained, today, when we need to find something, we use a search engine to find information online.

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How People Find Law Firms

That anecdote is a true story – and it’s also true of how modern consumers path to finding an attorney.  Just 2.2% of consumers look for lawyers in the phone book, according to a newly published infographic by Moses and Rooth Attorneys at Law, an Orlando-based criminal defense firm.

The data presented is based on a survey of more than “1,500 people nationwide who recently hired a lawyer.”  “A friend” topped the list with 13.6% – however “internet search” and related web activity popped in slots #2 and #5 among the top ten.

“Referrals” and “word of mouth” also ranked among the top ten.  Yet, what the data doesn’t show is much of that activity today, arguably occurs online through social media and review sites for example.

Just part of the infographic is published nearby.  The full infographic, available on the law firm’s blog, breaks the data down – in a much larger graphic – by gender, age, geography, urban density, income level and parental status.  It’s this week’s Friday Share.

(click here or image to view the FULL infographic on firm’s site)

Infographic  How Clients Find Law Firms

Infographic credit: Moses and Rooth Attorneys at Law, Orlando, FL

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Photo credit:  Flickr, Raj Taneja, Someone doesn’t like Phonebooks (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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About Frank Strong

Frank Strong
Frank Strong is the communications director for the LexisNexis software division located on NC State’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh. In this capacity, he leads communications efforts in support of software products for law practice and law department management and also litigation tools – across large law, small law and corporate counsel segments. With more than 15 years of experience in the high-tech sector, Strong previously served as director of public relations for Vocus, which developed marketing, PR and media monitoring software. He has held multiple roles both in-house with corporations, ranging from startups to global organizations, and has also endured the rigors of billable hours, having completed gigs at PR firms including the top 10 global firm Hill & Knowlton. A veteran of two year-long deployments, Strong has concurrently served in uniform in reserve components of the military for more than 20 years, initially as an enlisted Marine and later as an infantry officer in the Army National Guard. Strong holds a BA in Film and TV production from Worcester State University, an M.A. in Public Communication from American University, and an M.B.A. from Marymount University. He is a PADI-certified Master Scuba Diver and holds a USPA "B" skydiving license.

So internet search really matters it is 9.4%.Lawyers should do digital marketing to capture potential clients.

Peter Cabrera1
Peter Cabrera1

Its strange a  ratio of google is minimum.People trusts on friends more.

Tim Haveron Jones
Tim Haveron Jones

It should be noted that the survey results are flawed, in that they split out "Google" and "internet search" as separate categories.  What's more, it isn't clear what distinction there might truly be between "family", "friend", "word of mouth" and "referral" categories which essentially amount to the same thing.

Grouping the above categories more logically, one finds that the "referrals" category comes in at 29.4% with "web search" at 14.6%.  A combined "traditional advertising" category (including Yellow Pages, newspaper and TV but presuming that internet advertising is accounted for elsewhere) has 4.9% and the phone book (presuming this is a free listing rather than an ad) just 1.5%.

BLSS moderator

@Tim Haveron Jones  Thanks for commenting Tim. We'd venture to say those questions are not unlike what small law firms ask during client intake. The new client that distinguishes from Google and internet searches for example is useful data for reaching more.  Google itself can be broken down -- was the search on Maps or News for example.  Did it involve multimedia or blended search? What terms did they use? It's likely there is indeed overlap among friends, WoM and referrals through online sources including social media and review sites. It's worth diving into. That said, it's rather forward looking for a small law firm to conduct a survey like this -- good for them!