Friday, March 25, 2011

How People Find Lawyers

According to an article in the online ABA Journal Law News Now, more people now turn to the Internet rather than the Yellow Pages when searching for an attorney. The article describes a report issued in February of this year by the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services.

The report is based on the committee-sponsored Harris poll of 1000 individuals reached by land line telephones. Here are a few of the findings from the report:

* People with personal legal matters are far more likely to turn to trusted sources instead of impersonal sources to find a lawyer, yet impersonal sources have a substantial and stable place in providing access to legal services.

* Innovative online models, such as those that enable an exchange of questions and answers with lawyers and those that provide consumer feedback about lawyers are most likely to be used to assist in finding a lawyer for personal legal matters.

* People would not use social media avenues to a substantial degree to assist in finding a lawyer for a personal legal matter, but relatively few lawyers market their services through these avenues at this time.

* When people would proceed on a personal legal matter without a lawyer, they report they are likely to turn to free online services and self-help books, but are not likely to turn to online services that charge costs.

Be sure to take a look at the comments to this article. Several posts strongly agree with the committee's "caution" that the results would be quite different had the poll used cellphone numbers rather than land line telephones. A few posts discuss other methods used to find clients.

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