Does Anyone Really Pay Attention to Online Legal Advice Forums?
Most of us have seen one of those "legal advice" forums on the Internet, but you've probably wondered whether any of your prospective clients take them seriously. Well, the results of the Attorney Selection Research Study by The Research Intelligence Group (TRiG) indicate that online legal advice forums are the second-most popular information source for consumers who sought an attorney in the past year, specifically at the beginning of their search process when they have a legal need.
Legal advice forums are interactive websites that consumers can visit to share legal insights on a range of legal topics, as well as to ask legal questions that are answered online by lawyers or other consumers. According to the TRiG study, 34 percent of consumers who sought an attorney in the past year visited online legal advice forums when gathering basic information about how to address a legal issue, second only to search engines (39 percent) as the most common information source.
When the time came for these consumers to find a lawyer, 22 percent turned to legal advice forums, 18 percent said they used these sites when validating a lawyer's credentials and 13 percent participated in online legal advice forums when selecting a lawyer to represent them.
It's understandable why many lawyers do a double-take when they come across an online legal advice forum and read some of the content that is posted. But the plain fact is that your prospective clients are often turning to these forums at the very earliest stages when they're trying to find some legal help for a specific need they have. That makes these sorts of sites a valuable place to connect with them.
To participate in the Lawyers.comSM legal advice forum, Ask A Lawyer, email us at email@example.com or call 1-888-871-8813. To improve your overall social media presence, you can get a free Social Media Evaluation from a LexisNexis® Law Firm Marketing Specialist.
Next week, we'll take a closer look at third-party attorney ratings and client reviews to examine how much influence this information has on consumers when selecting a lawyer.
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