The year is 2022. Every human being in the US has a small, handheld computer in their hands where the world's knowledge is available by simply thumb typing a question. How deep is the Grand Canyon? Who won the game last night? Where is the closest Pizza Hut? Who is the best lawyer for my case?
Yeah, that last question has an interesting way of being answered by this magical device in your hand. See, before the proliferation of digital marketing and algorithms that form what kind of data and pages you see on your phone, the best way of finding a good lawyer was done by simply asking around. Now, most people rely on Google to tell them who the best lawyer is. And why not? Google provides great access to information quickly in an organized way no doubt.
Let's say I need a toilet plunger. I don't know much about them. I go on Amazon and type in, "best toilet plunger". I get a list of plungers with ratings, reviews and even some featured at the top banner by Amazon themselves. Some are Amazon Choice, some plungers have an Amazon Preferred or Prime enforcement, which has some credibility. Most of the time, I pick the one that has the most reviews, even if the rating is not a perfect 5.0.
I imagine that this is probably a good way to find a fairly good toilet plunger. But when it comes to attorneys, they are forced to compete for Google's attention in the same type of way. What that means is that the way clients are shuffled to particular lawyers is not necessarily because that lawyer is good at what he or she does, they are simply better than the other lawyers at getting their firm name at the top of your list when you use a particular search term. Now that does take skill, effort, and lots of money so I fault no lawyer for being good at marketing. However, how do you know you have found the right attorney?
First, you need to schedule a consultation with the lawyer and see if you actually get to sit down with them or if you are shuffled off onto someone else in their office. Second, when you are in the consultation, are you getting information from the lawyer that is not something you could get from the internet? And when you leave the consultation, do you feel better or worse about your situation? If your phone has told you that you just met with the best lawyer in town, and you aren't feeling it, then don't be afraid to trust your instincts and keep searching.
In my consultations, I make the meeting more about the client rather than give them a sales pitch. Of course I want to be hired, but not at all costs. Sometimes, I have to tell people things they may not want to hear about their case. That's tough to do when there are lawyers that will line up to tell the client what they want to hear so they can get hired. I don't do that. I also make sure that I use the opportunity to inform the client about their case so they can make the correct decision about which lawyer they choose. How can someone choose the perfect lawyer for them if they don't have the information they need to make an informed decision? By the time a client leaves my consultation, they have information, they have the truth about what we can do as a firm for them, and they have two other referrals to other lawyers that I trust just in case they don't hire us.
Using analytics from our last 50 cases, we have a client retention rate of 91.2% of clients that hire our firm after the first consultation. That's pretty good. But more impressive to me is that of the clients that don't hire us, our data shows that 77% of these clients do go on to hire one of the lawyers we recommended to them. That is really impressive to me because that means that even if we aren't hired, our advice was taken and trusted. And in my opinion, that is the main purpose of a successful consultation, and the number one way to find the best lawyer for your needs.