The constantly changing technology of the last decade or two has obviously changed the world around us in discernable ways that are too numerous and unrelated to list here. However, as someone who has been an attorney for over 20 years and seen the changes this technology has caused over a gradual amount of time, I think it is worth noting how technology has affected legal professionals themselves, as well as their clients. The first trend is that technology has seen attorneys becoming more social than ever before. The American Bar Association reported a 41% increase in the number of lawyers that have joined some type of social networking site between 2008 and 2010. It has also made us more mobile than every before. The advent of smartphones and the implications of carrying the Internet around in your pocket has revolutionized the way attorneys operate. I have also seen a trend amongst consumers to become much more selective in their attitudes towards selecting an attorney, something that has corresponded perfectly with the increase in the Internet’s abundance of information. Reviews, testimonials, research and other information is so easily available now that an inherent and omnipresent pickiness has evolved in the personalities of many consumers. They don’t want just any attorney representing them–they want the best one they can get for their money. They can run a simple we search of your name and find any complaints people have posted about you online. With this increased selectiveness has also seen many consumers become much more demanding. Enabled software and devices that are ready right out of the box have created a call for simplicity and urgency that surpasses even America’s fast-food craze. However (time to end on a positive note!), on this same note, technology has also created increased transparency for attorneys in affirmative ways. Attorneys can be as up-front as they want to be about pricing and payment options with individualized websites, which greatly increases their client appeal.
Written by Barrett Sharpe
Barrett Sharpe, founder of AdDaddy Networks, is a law firm marketing, attorney advertising, and search engine optimization specialist. He has had his hand in many successful projects, including Lawyer Search and the widely known LegalHub website where attorneys and clients connect. He is available, on a very limited basis, for consulting in a number of fields. Mr Sharpe also operates a seminar, coaching and consulting business for law firms. He accepts communications from interested parties via fax and FedEx exclusively. (phone calls or emails will not be accepted, nor answered.) Barrett Sharpe, 3201 B North Davidson St., Charlotte, NC 28205, fax: (704) 488-0552