As noted in Part I of this two part series on the FindLaw Consumer Needs survey, FindLaw asked consumers about the legal issues they most often face in their everyday lives and how they deal with them. The respondents to our survey identified for us some of the most common legal issues they faced and what steps they took to address them.
When faced with a legal problem or question, most respondents to the survey, 59%, said they took just one action and that action was most often to contact a legal organization or a legal professional. Usually, that meant contacting a lawyer or a law firm.
When we learned the path our consumers want to take leads them to a legal professional, the question became, how do they get there? In finding an attorney to help them, respondents to the survey often thought about trust and about convenience. Most respondents contacted an attorney recommended them by family, friends or co-workers (41%) because they trusted their opinion. Those who sought an attorney online were satisfied with the ease of doing so, (78%), although consumers using offline sources thought they were convenient as well (85%). The majority of consumers who contacted an attorney began with a phone call (77%) and most did not comparison shop, contacting only one lawyer (60%).
Getting an attorney's background and successes out to consumers is important. According to the survey, nearly half (48%) of respondents said they considered the attorney's expertise in a particular legal field and 37% considered recommendations from others.
After learning why and how legal consumers seek out attorneys, FindLaw also wanted to know, what else are our legal consumers looking for? Those that turned to the web to help them find information about their legal issue were most often looking for general information on their issue (80%). Next consumers wanted answers about what the proper action to take should be (70%). Finally, the vast majority (77%) of respondednts who used the internet and an offline source were satisfied with the legal information they found, specifically online.
FindLaw understands that the more you know, the better you do. That is one reason for the continuing research we do on consumer needs and how best to satisfy them. Not only will we know more, but we want consumers to know more as well. And it is asking these kinds of questions --and looking hard at the answers -- that helps us do just that.
-- Colleen Dillon, Senior Director, Marketing
with Tanya Roth, FindLaw Portal Team