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Finding and Working with Lawyers on the Web

By Greenfield/Belser
August 5, 2016
Finding and Working with Lawyers on the Web

About the survey:

We completed three months of in-depth telephone surveys with legal services buyers selected at random. Our respondents have worked with outside counsel for an average of 12.5 years. Three out of five are in-house counsel (with two-thirds of those being general counsel), while the balance are CEOs, CFOs and vice presidents. Conclusions expressed as percentages have a maximum error of ± 7 .5.

To law firm marketers:

What’s driving new business today? New technology and law firms are no exception. When we surveyed America's corporate counsel for Finding and Choosing Lawyers, law firms were just beginning to consider the Internet as a marketing tool for reaching legal services buyers. Few were willing to make a large investment in an untried technology. Static, “first generation” sites predominated.

Corporate America speaks again

Websites are as integral to law firm marketing plans as brochures and business cards. Seventy-seven percent of law firms are online, although more than half (58%) of those just got there in the past two years! Increasingly, sites feature sophisticated Flash™ animation and navigation, databases and interactive features that add flexibility and increase costs. But until now, the value of a law firm site has been largely unknown. To find out how buyers of legal services view websites, we went back to the source—corporate counsel and business executives from across America. We sought answers to some key questions: 

  • Do buyers of legal services search online? How often? What for?
  • Where do they start? What are they thinking?
  • Do websites replace familiar methods of law firm marketing—ads, newsletters, brochures?
  • Once buyers find your site, which features are preferred? Which are disdained?
  • Once they choose you, how do they want to use the site to work together?

 What we learned has changed the way we approach website design and convinced us the most exciting days of the medium are still to come.