From the business information blog:
According to a recent study, more than ninety percent of all accident victims who make a medical malpractice or who seek legal redress for injuries caused by defective products, work site accidents, or harm caused by another are influenced in their choice of law firm by media advertising and the results of internet searches.
CEPAC, Inc. conducted the study.
Whether that percentage is high, close, or dead on (I would say 75% to 90%, so it's pretty much dead on), it shows that the way in which consumers choose a lawyer has long ago moved from the "referral" basis to what can best be described as the true consumer way ... much like buying detergent. a television, or a service.
At nearly every conference I attend there will be some older, 'seasoned' attorney who will speak on a topic, and suddenly careen into a diatribe about advertising attorneys. This speaker (typically over 60) will blather on and on, clueless that advertising attorneys are sitting in front of and listening to him or her. I heard one attorney call advertising attorneys "charlatans" and "a pox" on the profession. Alas, that attorney does not realize that many attorneys - of all stripes - now advertise on the web. Some advertise exclusively on the web.
When an aging lawyer complains about 'advertising attorneys' now, I will usually ask ... what type? T.V.? Radio? Yellow Pages? Daily Newspaper? Community Paper? Billboard? The Web- Google, Yahoo or MSN? Church Bulletin? Bumper Sticker? Direct Mail?
Some lawyers, like Richard Shapiro have evolved, his site is babyblindness.com and he has more sites that will showcase his talents.