Move over, Yellow Pages and word-of-mouth referrals. The most popular way to find a lawyer nowadays is to do what you're doing right now: Go online.
It may be no surprise that in the digital age, the Internet is now the No. 1 option that comes to mind when consumers need to find an attorney, according to a new FindLaw survey.
That's actually quite different from how Americans looked for a lawyer in 2005, when FindLaw asked respondents the same question.
From No. 4 to No. 1
In FindLaw's 2005 survey, just 7 percent of respondents said they'd turn to the Internet to look for a lawyer.
Going online was the fourth most-popular response in 2005, beaten out by the Yellow Pages (10 percent), consulting the local bar association (13 percent), and asking a friend or relative for a referral (65 percent).
Less than 10 years later, it seems Americans' preferences have changed. FindLaw's latest survey found:
- Nearly four in 10 (38 percent) said they'd turn to the Internet to find a lawyer.
- About three in 10 (29 percent) said they'd ask a friend or relative for a referral.
- One in 10 (10 percent) said they'd consult a local bar association.
- Just 4 percent said they'd use the Yellow Pages.
There are many advantages of going online to find legal help. Effective searches can give you a wide range of potential lawyers to choose from, and law firm websites are open for business 24 hours a day.
But with so much information out there on the Web, how do you make sense of it all? That's where FindLaw can help. For example:
- The most direct way to get legal help is to search FindLaw's Lawyer Directory. You can enter your current legal issue and/or your location to find a lawyer that matches your needs.
- For those hiring a lawyer for the first time, our Guide to Hiring a Lawyer section helps you figure out how to choose the right one.
- For people who may qualify for free legal aid services, FindLaw's State Laws section has links to free legal aid resources for 100 U.S. metro areas (find them listed under their state).
Not only can FindLaw connect you with professional legal help, but we also offer free informational legal articles on a wide variety of subjects in our Learn About the Law section.
With an abundance of online resources available for finding an attorney, it shouldn't be a huge surprise that the Internet is the most popular way to find a lawyer.
-- FindLaw Consumer Blogs Editor Andrew Chow, Esq., contributed to this post.
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