7 Legal Consumer Stats (data + actionable advice to grow your firm!)

Your time is valuable and  you need to make the most you can out of every hour. Bills to pay, kids to send to college, retirement accounts to grow…the 5,600-square-foot villa in the Bahamas…there’s a lot to manage in your position. Here’s some info to help mitigate the fear of too-little business, not enough phone calls, and the like.

Quick Overview: Most people choose the first attorney they talk to, but they’re not likely to call you if you don’t have a strong digital footprint. And if you miss the call, you better be darn sure to call them back immediately.

  • 72% of attorney-seekers hired the first attorney they contacted. Source: Failing at the Finish Line: How Law Firms Lose Prospective Clients at the Front Door, FindLaw, 2015
    • Action: The key, simply, is to be the first person a legal consumer  contacts. It is your case to lose at that point. Make sure you’re seen where your consumers look: high-end legal directories (Super Lawyers, FindLaw, Law Info, Avvo), and that you have an online presence that replicates your physical experience (if you have a nice office, don’t settle for a cheap site. Brand consistency is critical).
  • One-third of legal consumers went on to contact an attorney after doing general research online. Source: US Consumer Legal Needs Survey, FindLaw, September 2015
    • Action: Make sure your website has strong, relevant CTAs (calls to action). This could be contact form buttons, section call-outs highlighting relevant experience and encouraging a visitor to call…if you’d like to learn more, I can send you some unbiased 3rd party information on how to improve.
  • 49% of US law firms surveyed reported blogging and social networking helped them generate more leads. (Source: ALM Legal Intelligence Survey)
    • Action: A simple website today isn’t enough. Even if you’re in a referral-heavy business, you’re losing potential leads because your website doesn’t do enough to persuade them. When Jane Doe gets your name as a referral, she also gets 3-5 others. Jane will look you all up online, because Jane is smart. Help Jane understand why you’re the best.
  • 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
    • Action. This is still hard for me to believe, and I’m in the field. But I admit a heavy personal bias. Frankly, as a consumer I rarely use Yelp to find recommendations. But consider Google+, FindLaw.com, Avvo, Facebook…you should really consider managing your firm’s reputation. Seriously, take 20 minutes to read this: https://www.lawyermarketing.com/white-papers/you-cant-control-your-firms-reputation/ (free download)
  • 45% of consumers who found an attorney online used an attorney/legal directory. Source: US Consumer Legal Needs Survey, FindLaw, September 2015
    • Action: FindLaw.com receives 11 Million visits every. Single. Month. And that number has been growing for the past number of years. Across the Thomson Reuters network, your firm can be seen across FindLaw.com (largest in the nation), Super Lawyers (most respected), LawInfo.com (does really well in the mobile search markets), and Abogado.com (the only Spanish-only attorney directory in the country). Guess what – you’re gonna get calls, and they’re gonna be good. Learn what lever
  • 62% of law firm website search traffic is non-branded; consumers do not have a particular law firm in mind. Long-tail searches with lawyer intent are relatively high in volume and deliver the most contacts to the firm. Source: Legal Market Trends, Google Legal Services Studies, August 1, 2014
    • Action: Here’s a reality that will hurt most of your egos: Most people don’t know you exist. Even with your marketing, and radio ads, and TV commercials…So your web presence should be appealing to people who look for answers to questions (this is called semantic relevancy, and it’s important). In most cases, showing up on Page 1 for Los Angeles [your practice area] Attorney sounds cool, but it’s actually not valuable. Here’s the data behind why. This reiterates the need to have a well-rounded marketing strategy.
  • Legal consumers move fast. 58% take action within 1 week, and more than 1/3 of them within 1 day. 60% of legal consumers perform their searches on mobile devices. 45% of legal consumers start their search on legal directories. Source: Your Next Client Wants to Hire You Now! An Analysis of Legal Consumer Behavior, FindLaw, 2016
    • Action: Integrated marketing. Make sure you have a consistent brand-based presence across all digital channels (Website, FindLaw, Yelp, Facebook, Google+, Avvo, etc.). Make sure you continuously put yourself in front of your ideal client, no matter where they are. Be active on social media, post regularly to your blog, advertise your business on Google and Facebook. Use videos to engage. Brand consistency leads to name recognition, which leads to higher likelihood of your ideal client calling you first.
  • BONUS: 49% of legal consumers expect a rapid response – within 24 hours. Source: Failing at The Finish Line, FindLaw, 2017.
    • Action: The 4-hour call back. As a policy, your staff should be trained to call back all missed calls or email leads within a 4-hour window. Again, this may not be feasible if you’re running a lean office. If that’s the case, a successful modification is to set aside the last 30 minutes of the day, and the first 30 minutes in the morning to return all missed calls and connect with email leads.

I know hundreds of these stats, but I’d rather get to know your business. Would it make sense to connect for 30 minutes so I may better understand your firm’s goals? I can bring you a couple industry whitepapers if you’re interested.

Marketing and Business Development Consultant Joshua Corbelli