39% of Sole Practitioners Don't Have a Website

law firm marketing, legal marketing, solos not onlineNearly four out of 10 sole practitioners are marketing in the dark -- they don't have a website, according to the 2011 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report.

This fact came up at the recent ABA Techshow conference in Chicago when Richard Granat spoke. Granat is author of the eLawyering Blog and founder of DirectLaw, which he describes as "a virtual law firm in a box."

“In the last 18 months, I’ve seen dozens of [document automation startups] coming out of the woodwork, and the technology is getting better,” Granat said to the ABA Journal, adding that many solo lawyers don’t have a website. “Lawyers have to lead, be distinct, be competitive and incorporate all strategies to define what is unique to their credibility and trustworthiness,” Granat said. “Our profession is endangered in terms of solos and small firms. LegalZoom is going to eat their market share for lunch.”

Solos are missing a lot of business by not having a website. In fact, 97 percent of consumers expect companies to have a robust Web presence, and many look to videos posted on YouTube and Vimeo as ways to get to know lawyers and make hiring decisions, according to Roe Frazer, managing director of Digomé, a company that designs Internet marketing campaigns.

If you're a lawyer in a small firm without a website, you can get a website, SEO and social media services through my employer, LexisNexis Web Visibility Solutions Three out of 4 consumers seeking an attorney over the last year used online resources at some point in the process, according to new research by The Research Intelligence Group.

"Those lawyers that fear or fail to embrace social networks and blogs will see their business leave them for Web-based legal services companies or their practicing peers that do embrace the Net," Frazer said.

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Zachar Law Firm - April 16, 2012 1:34 PM

This number is shocking. Considering how almost the entire population in the Unites States is now online in one way or another. Attorneys and Law Firms without an online presence will have a much harder time obtaining new clients as opposed to a firm of the same size that does. Not only should a website be a basic need, but also including a blog with the website is crucial in today's marketing campaigns and strategies.

Karl Hindle - April 23, 2012 12:40 PM

I'm not surprised at the statistic - 4 out of 10 lawyers without a website - I actually thought it would be higher.

What is not mentioned is how many firms with a website don't market through it effectively. This is more subjective I know, but I think the number will be much higher - possibly as high as the 90%'s. Too often I'm involved with firms who think their web marketing stops with the launch of their site, and again I believe that is poor educating and advising by the web marketing community.

Web marketing and development is a process, not a project with a definitive end point beyond which no further effort is required.

As an Internet marketer focusing on SEO & PPC, I continuously see rankings dominated by the larger law firms pn a local basis, especially the niche practice areas such as personal injury, DUI/DWI, divorce and family law.

However, smaller firms can successfully carve out local and niche market share and generate client leads, despite the big firm budgets if they get the right web marketing partners.

This is not so much an issue of law firms are ignorant, but a weakness within my industry of failing to deliver easy access to quality web development and marketing services.

Only lawyers living under rocks in the Arctic are "unaware" of the potential of the Internet, so the problem really lies with who is delivering the services needed.

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