EAGAN, Minn. – Consumers are mostly likely to turn to the Internet to find and research a lawyer before hiring them, compared with other methods, according to a new survey by FindLaw.com, the most popular legal information website.
Thirty-eight percent of people surveyed said they would use the Internet to help them find a lawyer. Twenty-nine percent said they would ask a friend or relative. Smaller percentages said they would contact the local bar association or use the Yellow Pages.
Fifteen percent of people surveyed said that they already have a relationship with a lawyer, and would not research other lawyers if they had a legal issue for which they needed representation.
The results are a significant change from a similar FindLaw survey conducted in 2005, reflecting the growth of the Internet and people’s willingness to search online for professional services. In 2005, only seven percent of people said they would use the Internet to find a lawyer, finishing a distant fourth among the research options at the time.
|Ask a friend or relative||29%||65%|
|Consult local bar association||10%||13%|
“The Internet provides a faster, easier, and more thorough method to find an attorney, compared with the alternatives,” said Stephen Noel, vice president, strategic development and audience, Thomson Reuters. “Friends or relatives may only know a limited number of attorneys, and those attorneys may not specialize in the areas of law where help is needed. Free online resources, such as the FindLaw Lawyer Directory, can quickly identify lawyers in your area. Users can compare attorneys’ credentials and experience, as well as find attorneys that provide free consultations or special services, such as other languages spoken.”
Other helpful resources include FindLaw’s Guide to Hiring a Lawyer, which provides information on how a lawyer can help, questions to ask when hiring a lawyer, legal aid resources, and attorney fees, FindLaw’s Guide to the U.S. Legal System explains what to expect when you are involved in a lawsuit or criminal proceeding, how the court systems work, a glossary of legal terms, and more.
The FindLaw survey was conducted using a demographically balanced survey of 1000 American adults and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percent.
FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters, is a leading provider of business development solutions for small law firms. Through its team of legal marketing experts, FindLaw drives the industry by delivering a comprehensive portfolio of proven online and offline marketing solutions designed to connect law firms with targeted prospective clients. FindLaw is also home to the largest online directory of lawyers and FindLaw.com (www.FindLaw.com), the most popular legal website with more than six million people visiting each month for free information about a legal topic, to solve a legal problem or to find a lawyer.
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