EL SEGUNDO, Calif., May 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Martindale-Avvo, the leader in legal marketing, today released the results of independent surveys of attorneys and consumers that spotlights the changes experienced by the legal industry—and by consumers in need of legal assistance—during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two hundred and eight practicing attorneys and 2,400 legal consumers responded to the survey, answering questions about various legal roadblocks brought on by the pandemic, including closed courts, delayed cases, and financial strains.
"Martindale-Avvo is one of few organizations with large-scale access to both attorneys and legal consumers during the pandemic. We felt a duty to poll these audiences and share our findings with the legal industry and beyond," said Diana Schulz, Martindale-Avvo's president of communication. "In addition to identifying legal pain points and sharing this data, we're also using the data to guide internal roadmaps so that Martindale-Avvo is among the first to deploy useful innovations that help mitigate as many of these pain points as possible."
Open For Business, But Not Business As Usual
According to the lawyers surveyed, 95 percent of surveyed firms are still accepting new clients. However:
About 81 percent of surveyed firms have seen decreased revenues
Of those, 27 percent report their revenue has decreased by more than half since the start of the pandemic
More than 18 percent of firms were forced to shrink their staffs through layoffs and furloughs
Just 5 percent of law firms have increased marketing expenses during the pandemic
A Long Road Back To a New Normal
Once lockdowns ease, many surveyed attorneys say they believe it will take some time before their practices return back to normal. 62 percent of attorneys said they believe it will take anywhere from four months to a year for their firm to return back to where they were financially pre-COVID-19.
The changes brought about by COVID-19 might also affect how law firms carry out their business in the future. More than 50 percent of lawyers said they plan for their staff to continue to work remotely, in some fashion, when the pandemic is over.
The Consumer View
Even with cases postponed, 52 percent of consumers surveyed said they would still hire a lawyer during the pandemic. Of consumers who said they are not currently in the market for a lawyer, 25 percent cited cost as the biggest deterrent.
Consumers also expressed the importance of being able to meet with an attorney before hiring them. Though 56% of consumer respondents initially said they are unwilling to hire an attorney they hadn't met in person, 44 percent of consumerswere willing to move forward with the hire if the attorney used contemporary means of communication—video call, phone call, or email.
"Legal consumers are hurting along with the legal industry, but there is still a significant appetite for legal help across the country," Schulz said. "These consumer survey results drive home the importance of embracing the latest contemporary communications technologies—especially video calling—and also indicate an opportunity for attorneys who operate on a contingency fee structure to strongly emphasize that solution when advertising to legal consumers."
New Resources For Attorneys
Martindale-Avvo has been using the above survey data and other data inputs to develop new training materials and other resources to help attorneys assist consumers in need during the pandemic. Among Martindale-Avvo's latest published resources for attorneys:
About Martindale-Avvo The leader in legal marketing, Martindale-Avvo comprises the legal brands Nolo, Martindale-Hubbell, Ngage, Avvo, and Captorra — connecting attorneys with 25 million consumers monthly.