ABA Survey: People Rely On Their Social Networks To Find “Trusted” Lawyers

“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.” — American Bar Association/Harris Interactive survey

A  recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Bar Association found that 46 percent of respondents who need a lawyer for a personal legal matter would ask a friend, family member or colleague. Now that’s a social network. (Note: It didn’t say HOW they asked so I’m thinking that it’s possible that some are asking their “social network” on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn). Only 34 percent said they would contact a lawyer they knew or had used before, indicating that attorneys may need to try even harder when it comes to client service.

The survey revealed that few people are using social media and Web 2.0  to find a lawyer — but correctly noted that this could be because few lawyers use social media to market their services. That is true but thankfully that is starting to change, albeit slowly. So if  prospects are already asking their “social network” to refer them to a “trusted” lawyer, doesn’t it make sense for more lawyers to use social media? The answer is a resounding yes, particularly since the survey also said that lawyers should seek “a higher public profile” to become a trusted source of referrals.

What do you think of lawyers using social media and the ABA survey?

And for those who want to learn more about social media for lawyers, please see my blog post from December 2010,  “How Law Firms Can Use Social Media in 2011.”

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