8 Legal Marketing Statistics that Might Surprise You

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Looking at legal industry marketing trends and statistics can help you get a better idea of how to market your law practice. For instance, you can learn about what marketing strategies are currently working, and also identify some of the common mistakes others are making, which might be areas where you can gain a competitive edge. To give you a better idea of what today’s legal marketing landscape looks like, we rounded up eight legal marketing statistics from around the web, some of which came as quite a surprise. Read on to learn what these statistics mean, and how you can use this information to get an edge on your competition.

1) Over 1/3 of potential clients start their attorney search online

Source: iMarc

What this statistic means

Simply put, this stat means that more than one out of every three people looking for an attorney will turn to the internet before asking a friend or family member for a referral.

Referrals will always be an important driver of business for law firms, since the attorney client relationship is based heavily on trust. But this statistic makes it clear that you cannot ignore the web if you intend to grow your practice.

How you can use it to your advantage

This statistic illustrates the importance of having a strong web presence for your firm. Long gone are the days of just building up a rolodex. Today’s clients use the internet to research their legal issues and find legal help, and this trend will only continue into the future.

What this stat tells you is that ignoring internet marketing will essentially eliminate 33% of all your potential clients. They will simply never even know you exist.

It doesn’t get much more straightforward than this. If you aren’t focusing on web marketing today and you hope to grow your practice, you should look into developing an internet marketing plan immediately.

2) 65% of law firms spend most of their marketing budget online

Source: Martindale Nolo

What this statistic means

This survey included a wide variety of law practices. It essentially found that the majority of law firms spend at least 50% of their entire marketing budget online. In fact, 40% of the survey respondents indicated that online marketing accounts for 76-100% of their marketing budget.

This statistic just further reinforces the importance of internet marketing in today’s legal industry. Not only are clients using the internet to find lawyers, but most lawyers are putting a significant amount of money toward online marketing initiatives.

See also: Skills to look for when hiring a marketing person

How you can use it to your advantage

There are two key takeaways from this statistic:

  1. Online legal marketing clearly works. If it didn’t, most firms would not continue spending the majority of their budget on it.
  2. If you aren’t already using online marketing strategies, by starting right now you can immediately get a jumpstart on about 35% of your competitors who are doing minimal marketing online at this point.

This stat tells us a lot about what is working today, and where we are headed in the future. You simply cannot ignore the fact that the majority of your competitors are already out there marketing themselves heavily online. In order to keep up with the trends, you should expect to join them.

3) 49% of law firms say their best marketing channel is buying web leads

Source: ABA

What this statistic means

This statistic tells us that about half of law firms get more clients from lead generation services than they do from any other channel, including referrals.

You can learn a couple of things from this stat. For one, law firms are not very good at online marketing, which is why they are willing to buy leads from other companies rather than use their own marketing methods to capture leads themselves.

Additionally, it once again reinforces just how essential online marketing is to grow a law practice. If almost to 50% of the firms surveyed think buying leads is more effective than getting referrals, you know for a fact that digital marketing is necessary for success.

How you can use it to your advantage

Many lawyers suffer from analysis paralysis when it comes to digital marketing. In other words, they don’t know where to begin because it’s complex and they don’t fully understand it.

Fortunately, buying leads online is the easiest entry point. The lead generation company does all the hard work for you (the content creation, the advertising, the website design, the social media, etc.). You simply buy the leads from them on a per-lead or per-month basis.

Average leads cost anywhere from $25 – $250, depending on the nature of the case. But considering that most legal services cost a minimum of $500, it’s usually well worth the investment.

There are many reputable lead generation services for attorneys. If you are looking to get started, some services to consider include:

  • FindLaw
  • Nolo
  • Lawyers.com
  • Avvo
  • Unbundled Attorney
  • TotalAttorneys

See also: How to Generate a Healthy Pipeline of Qualified Leads

4) 42% of the time, law firms take an average of 3+ days to respond to a message from a new potential client

Source: Law Technology Today

What this statistic means

This is one of the most surprising legal marketing statistics we could find. The stat basically says that in 42% of instances recorded in the study, a potential client that contacted a firm by leaving a voicemail or submitting a website contact form did not hear anything back for at least 3 days.

Yes, of course lawyers are busy. So is everybody else. But letting a potential paying customer wait around for this long to hear back from you is simply inexcusable. You are literally shooting yourself in the foot if you ever hope to grow your practice.

How you can use it to your advantage

There are very few marketing mistakes that are easier to correct than this one. If this sounds familiar to you, you just need to do a better job. Period.

At the very least, you can fire off a quick email to let the person know you got their message and you’ll be in touch soon. Or better yet, you could use a virtual receptionist service so no call goes unanswered.

Studies have shown time and time again that reducing any delays in your lead response time is one of the most critical factors in closing a sale. The longer you take, the colder the lead gets.

The good news is, by simply putting in just a little bit of extra effort to make sure that you follow up the same day, you can easily get ahead of some competitors.

5) 26% of law firms do not track their leads at all

Source: Martindale Nolo

What this statistic means

This statistic indicates that about one in every four law firms does not use any mechanism whatsoever to keep track of the fact that a potential client contacted their firm.

Not a Post-it. Not a spreadsheet. And certainly not a CRM. Just…nothing. If you think a three day average response time is surprising, this one should come as a complete and utter shock.

Tracking leads is just basic business 101. How can you ever expect to succeed if you aren’t keeping track of your potential customers? You might as well just light money on fire.

How you can use it to your advantage

Tracking leads is a no brainer, even if you just use a spreadsheet at first. It’s still better than nothing.

The best way to manage leads is by using a CRM system, which is designed specifically for the very purpose of managing leads and closing sales.

Better yet, by using a CRM designed for law firms, you not only have an easy and organized way to track leads, but you can also do things like trigger automated follow up emails, send appointment reminders, and get intake forms filled out online.

As ridiculous as it seems, this statistic makes it clear just how bad many law firms are at managing their basic business practices. By simply doing the basics, like following up promptly and keeping track of your leads, you will have a clear opportunity to get ahead of the competition.

See also: The 4 Stages of an Effective Client Intake Process

6) 86% of the time, law firms fail to collect an email address, and 45% of the time, law firms fail to collect a phone number on an initial call

Source: Law Technology Today

What this statistic means

This stat tells us that almost nine times out of ten, law firms failed to capture a prospect’s full, basic contact information. And nearly half the time, law firms fail to collect any contact information at all, aside from the person’s name.

How on earth do you plan to follow up with somebody if all you have is their name? Yell for them out the window?

Taking a long time to follow up is one thing, but not even giving yourself the opportunity to follow up is a whole different story. Again, you might as well just light your marketing dollars on fire.

How you can use it to your advantage

Ideally you should have as many ways to interact with your potential clients as possible: name, email, phone number, address, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.

The more touch points you have, the better your chances will be to build their trust and eventually retain the person as a paying client.

At the very least, you should take down the full name, email address, and best phone number for every single prospect that contacts you. That way you will have the ability to follow up when necessary, and you won’t have to rely on your potential clients to come circling back.

7) 35% of the time, phone calls from prospective clients are not answered

Source: Law Technology Today

What this statistic means

This stat means that more than one out of every three calls from potential clients are not answered by a human. Instead, they go to a voicemail or an automated message of some kind.

As you can probably imagine, when nobody picks up the phone, the prospective client will be significantly less likely to hire your firm, even if they do leave a voicemail or listen to your automated message.

How you can use it to your advantage

Think about it…if you were calling a restaurant to ask about making a reservation and nobody answered your call, you would probably just move on to the next place, right?

It’s no different for your clients. Failing to answer calls from prospects can severely impact your conversion rate.

The best thing you can do with regard to this statistic is have a dedicated staff member responsible for picking up every phone call. One reason that virtual receptionist services are becoming so popular is that they operate 24/7, regardless of whether anybody is at your office or not.

This ensures that every single prospect’s call is answered by a real human. The additional costs you will have to pay for the answering service can easily be made up by the boost you will get in your conversion rate.

8) The current demand for legal services shows virtually 0% growth

Source: Above the Law

What this statistic means

This statistic shows us the somewhat bleak outlook for the future of traditional legal services. Ever since the financial crisis of 2008, demand for legal services each year has been flat or even negative.

This means that clients are turning elsewhere for their legal needs, whether it’s to free legal information they get online, or alternative, technology-driven service providers.

How you can use it to your advantage

For your law practice, this stat indicates that winning clients will only get harder and harder with time. You’ve got to really go the extra mile to succeed in today’s market.

You need to let go of all your preconceived notions about how to run a law practice, and start innovating. Come up with new types of service offerings and new business models. Run your law practice like an online business to make things easier on clients and more efficient for your staff.

Above all, don’t settle for being just like everybody else! Do something to make your firm stand out and focus on providing other worldly customer service. That’s always the best way to get ahead no matter the industry.


We hope you found these legal marketing statistics informative and useful. Looking at legal marketing statistics can help you get greater insight into what your competitors are doing, and where they might be making mistakes which you can capitalize on.

If you were as surprised by some of these statistics as we were, that’s probably a good sign. It means that your firm is ahead of the curve when it comes to marketing and managing your prospective clients. And that’s always a recipe for ongoing success.

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