The legal realm is one that is notoriously specialized and difficult for lay people to navigate. Whether it’s to defend them in court, to offer expert advice, for objective counsel, or to fight for their rights, many people find themselves in need of an attorney at one point in their lives or another. Finding the right one can be the tricky part. Here are a few of the most common ways that Americans find attorneys.
Print has long been one of the most relied upon forms of finding products and services, and print materials are still relevant, even in today’s digital world. According to a report by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, between 13% and 34% of adults relied on print directories to find an attorney.
Word of Mouth
When Americans aren’t turning to tried and true print directories, they were turning to the people they know. Word of mouth is also a pretty powerful tool that Americans use to find an attorney — 46% of people who responded to an American Bar Association (ABA) survey said that they would ask a colleague, friend, or family member for a referral. Additionally, 34% reported that they would contact a lawyer that they already know.
Though direct social interactions do favor well among Americans looking for an attorney, according to ABA research, social media is not as popular. Less than 20% of respondents said that they would consult Facebook, only 15% said they would consult blogs, and 9% said they would consult Twitter.
That same survey did uncover one of the most popular methods of finding an attorney that Americans use — consulting a website. Almost half (49%) of respondents said that they were either very or somewhat likely to consult websites that have a question-and-answer feature with a lawyer. Additionally, 44% of Americans check an attorney’s website during their search.
The majority of adult Internet users in the United States made use of online resources in their search, and about 65% say that online ratings and reviews were either extremely or moderately important in influencing their decision.