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Each year, the team at iLawyer Marketing conducts consumer studies, to find out how people go about researching and finding law firms online. In March and April, we ran a new study that involved 1,050 participants of all demographics from across the United States, with various ages (18-29: 12.9%, 30-44: 40.4%, 45-60: 28.0%, 60+: 8.7%).

We asked them a series of questions to try and get “inside the mind” of every day people. One of the things we we wanted to find out was this:

What digital sources do consumers use to conduct research on law firms?

We asked study participants to identify all the digital sources they would use to conduct research on a law firm. The following items were the options they could select from:

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Yelp
  • YouTube
  • chatGPT
  • Bing
  • Instagram
  • Reddit
  • Siri
  • TikTok
  • Gemini
bar graph of sources used to search law firms online

Nearly 92% of participants said they would use Google, which I don’t think anybody would be surprised by. If you are one of the few law firms that has extremely high visibility for a wide range of search terms on Google, you might be in good shape when it comes to generating new leads and cases (although rankings alone are never enough to drive consistent results, as there are 6 keys to law firm marketing success). However, one very important thing we’ve learned over the years, is that you should never rely on one single source for all your leads. Ideally, you have great visibility in as many digital sources as possible to give yourself the chance to generate new cases. As the numbers clearly point out (and we know from our many years of experience in law firm marketing), consumers often use multiple online sources to conduct research on which law firm to hire. Let’s discuss some of the other key ones not named Google.


One app that I know a lot of attorneys (and law firm marketers) are curious about is chatGPT. Are people using it to research lawyers in 2024? When we ran a similar study around one year ago, only 9% of participants said they would use chatGPT. This year, that number shot up to almost 21%. No doubt, it’s from more awareness and increased usage of chatGPT by people in the United States. OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman said a few months ago that 100 million people worldwide are using it every week. Of course, this doesn’t mean the masses are using it as a replacement “search engine” (which it is not). It hasn’t dented Google’s dominance at all when it comes to people researching lawyers online (Google’s 92% is 2% higher than our 2023 study). Speaking of Google, Gemeni was only listed as a research source by less than 7% of all participants. There are other LLMs that are less well known, but usage of LLMs is certainly something we are paying attention to at iLawyer and I’m sure it won’t be long till you are hearing about chatGPT optimization (and LLM optimization in general). We’ll save that topic for another blog post.


Facebook numbers also increased quite a bit from last year’s study, from 21% to 32%. The 30-44 age group had the highest percentage, with 37% of participants including it as something they would use when trying to find a lawyer online.

Facebook usage chart

While nobody out there is relying on Facebook alone to determine which law firm to hire, plenty of people are using it as a supplemental research source. Is is because they may want to see what a law firm is posting on social, to see if they share the same views on politics? Are they wanting to see pictures and videos of the firm to try learn more about them? Is it because they are used to seeing many more law firm ads when on Facebook or Instagram these days? We are going to be doing additional research into why, but it’s a large enough number of participants (333 out of 1,050) that said they would use FB so make sure you don’t ignore it. You will be better off if your Facebook page gives a positive impression of your law firm.


Like it or not, many people turn to Yelp for detailed reviews and ratings of businesses, law firms included. Yelp is another platform that increased from the last time we ran this study in 2023, from 21% to 30%. Many law firms completely forget about Yelp (or hate it, and sometimes for good reason) but you shouldn’t be sleeping on it. Just like Facebook, the 30-44 age group had the highest numbers here, followed by 45-60 year olds. If these ages are in your target demographic, make sure your Yelp reviews look good.

Yelp bar chart

Considering 98% of consumers will look at a law firm’s reviews before hiring them, I’ve seen plenty of times where bad Yelp reviews are negatively impacting a firm’s ability to convert.


YouTube being used by consumers as a research source has also increased from 20% in 2023 to 23% in this 2024 study. Considering that nearly 85% of consumers find video helpful in their choice of which law firm to hire (we know this from previous studies), this is no surprise. Especially since younger people are heavily reliant on videos. YouTube has nearly 239 million users here in the United States alone. That means a huge number of your potential clients are on YouTube. This is also why it may make sense to run YouTube ads for your law firm as part of your paid strategy. Video is more important to the younger demographic than older people. Here’s the percentage data across age groups that said they would YouTube in their research process.

  • 18-29: 33%
  • 30-44: 31%
  • 45-60: 23%
  • 60+: 13%

While many people use YouTube as a “search engine,” our past research shows that most consumers researching a law firm on YouTube are interested in the videos you have available, so they can learn more about you and your firm. Videos play a crucial role in shaping consumers’ trust in your firm and forming their opinions about you. This is why we strongly encourage attorneys to invest in professional videos for their law firm.


Speaking of video, TikTok also increased from 9% in our 2023 study to 13% in this latest one. Depending on who your target demographic is and what kind of cases your law firm is wanting, running paid ads on TikTok may be a smart choice in 2024. There are over 150 million TikTok users in the U.S. No, it’s not just for young people in 2024. Here is a breakdown of TikTok users in the U.S. by age:

Age GroupActive Users (%)

Key Takeaway: Multi-Channel Marketing is Important in 2024

The biggest takeaway from this part of the study is that you want to be found in as many places as possible in 2024. For many consumers, hiring a lawyer is a multi-day, multi-platform process. Most people don’t hire a lawyer in a single day of research. For this reason you want to be able to impress your potential clients and build trust that your law firm is the best choice for them, in as many top tier platforms as possible. Smarter marketing is the key to more success in 2024. This means you should be considering:

  • Google SEO
  • Google LSAs
  • Google search ads
  • Retargeting ads
  • chatGPT optimization
  • Faceboook paid ads (using advanced targeting methods)
  • Instagram paid ads (using advanced targeting)
  • YouTube Ads
  • TikTok Ads


Feel free to reach out if you have any questions for us.

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