Can a law firm be successful in 2019 without a website?

I wondered this as I reviewed the findings of the 2019 Legal Technology Survey Report produced by the American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center.

According to the survey, 43% of solos do not have websites. Even more surprising, this percentage has gone up since 2016, when the survey found that 38% of solos did not have websites.

Across firms of all sizes, 86% report that they do have websites — but even then, 14% do not have websites. Those without websites are all smaller firms — while 100% of firms with 100 or more lawyers have websites, 57% of solos do, 92% of firms of 2-9 attorneys do, and 98% of firms of 10-49 attorneys do.

Part of the reason so many solos do not have websites may be resources. According to the survey, solos and small firms are more likely than larger firms to have an attorney managing their site, as opposed to larger firms that rely on internal marketing staff or outside consultants.

Solos are also more likely to be the sole creators of content for their websites, whereas larger firms turn to their marketing staff for content.

Twitter Use by Lawyers

Only about a quarter of lawyers (28%) say they personally use or maintain a presence on Twitter. Lawyers in larger firms are more likely to use Twitter than those in smaller firms, but not by a huge margin — 36% of lawyers in firms of 100 attorneys or more say they use Twitter.

Two-thirds of law firms have no presence on Twitter, the survey found. Roughly 66.6% of respondents said their firm does not maintain a presence on Twitter; 20.8% said their firm is on Twitter, and 12.6% did not know.

When lawyers were asked why they use Twitter, the top reason given was for social and personal use. The next most common reason was for education and current awareness. Interestingly, 5.5% of respondents said they use Twitter for “case investigation.”

Have lawyers ever had clients retain them as a result of their use of Twitter? According to the survey, 3% of respondents answered yes to that question, while 19.2% did not know, and 77.8% said no.

Lawyers and Blogs

Thirty percent of law firms have blogs, the survey found. This is up from 24% last year and on par with 31% in 2017.

The larger the firm, the more likely it is to have a blog. While only 9% of solos have blogs, 60% of firms with 100 attorneys or more have blogs.

Of the respondents to this survey, only 6% say that they personally maintain a legal blog. Of those who personally have a blog, the survey asked why. Sixty percent said they do it because they enjoy the writing and outreach, followed by 51% who say they do it for client and career development.

Those same lawyers were asked if they have ever had a client retain them directly or by referral because of their blog. Notably, 49% said yes, up from 36% last year. The survey does not ask this question with regard to the larger reported number of law firm blogs.

More on the Survey

Over the coming weeks, I plan to write more about the survey results. The LTRC has produced this survey for some 20 years, and each edition has proved to be a fascinating look at the use of legal technology within the legal profession.

The survey report is organized in five volumes, including a new volume on Life & Practice:

Each volume can be purchased individually for $350 ($300 for ABA members). A combined set of all volumes will be made available at a later date. The findings I discussed above are from Volume IV on marketing and communication technology.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.