MLR

Fingers still do walking – but on keyboard

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The Yellow Pages are out. The Internet is in.

The Internet even counts more now than word of mouth.

Internet cursor on gavel

When it comes to the way the public chooses an attorney, methods have drastically changed in the last decade, according to the results of a new study by FindLaw.com.

In 2005, only 7 percent of consumer looked to the Internet to find a lawyer – a distance fourth place behind asking their friends and relatives (65 percent), consulting the local bar association (13 percent) or using the Yellow Pages (10 percent).

Today, 38 percent of people searching for an attorney turn to the Internet, by far the most prevalent method.

While two-thirds of consumers used to ask their friends and family who they would recommend as a good lawyer, today less than one-third do, only 29 percent.

Just 10 percent consult the local bar association today, and a mere 4 percent turn to the Yellow Pages.

In the FindLaw survey of 1,000 Americans, 15 percent of respondents said they have a current relationship with a lawyer and would not be searching for one.

While friends or relatives may know only a limited number of attorneys – and fewer with necessary specialties – free online services can compare attorneys’ credentials, experience and services.

FindLaw, for instance, has the free online “FindLaw Lawyer Directory” to assist consumers, as well as other online resources such as “Guide to Hiring a Lawyer” and “Guide to the U.S. Legal System.”