Confidence is the Top Trait Consumers Want in a Lawyer According to New Avvo Survey

People who regularly watch legal dramas or reality TV view lawyers differently than those who don’t watch

Seattle, Wash — Avvo, Inc., the web’s largest legal Q&A forum, directory and marketplace (, today released the results of a new survey of more than 10,000 consumers that reveals what they look for when hiring a lawyer and other factors that influence hiring decisions. Consumers overwhelmingly want a lawyer who is a realistic go-getter more than a hand-holder. The top three traits consumers want in their lawyer are: Confident (52%), Realistic (47%) and Aggressive (39%). The lowest ranking characteristics are: Ambitious (12%), Friendly (15%) and Reassuring (18%).


In addition, the survey indicated that television viewing habits impact how consumers view lawyers. People who watch reality television shows, such as The Kardashians or Real Housewives, are nearly twice as likely to value an aggressive lawyer as they are a realistic one.  They also rank the lawyer’s appearance as a consideration in hiring 20% more often than those who do not watch regularly. Two in three consumers who regularly watch television legal dramas, such as The Good Wife or Law & Order, feel that those shows accurately or somewhat accurately reflect the real-life legal profession — more than two times those who do not watch the shows regularly.


The Early Bird Wins: Responsiveness is #1 Factor in Choosing a Lawyer

Ninety-two percent of consumers in the survey cited responsiveness as a “very important” factor in the hiring of a lawyer, followed by track record (80%), respect in the legal community (67%) and then cost (65%).  The least important factors were how active the lawyer is in their local community and where he or she went to law school.


The survey also revealed that consumers who have not previously hired an attorney are more concerned about cost (72% cite cost as “very important”) than those that have hired an attorney in the past 5 years (62%).


“The cost of hiring a lawyer, whether based on reality or perception, is top of mind for people in need of legal help, and likely a leading factor for many in need who decide to go it alone,” said Leigh McMillan, vice president of marketing, Avvo, Inc. “However, when it comes to the decision of which lawyer to hire, other factors, particularly responsiveness, along with track record and respect in the legal community, are decision-drivers more often than cost.”


Other Survey Findings

  • Lawyers should not be afraid to ask clients for reviews: 75% of survey respondents had no issue with a lawyer asking for an online review when there is a positive outcome.
  • Consumers are evenly split about whether what a lawyer says or does on social media sites, such as Facebook or Twitter, factors into their hiring decision.
  • In addition, consumers who had not previously hired a lawyer are 43% more likely to want one who is friendly than those who have previously hired a lawyer.


About Avvo, Inc. is the web’s largest legal marketplace for consumers and attorneys.  In Avvo’s Q&A forum consumers can get free legal advice 24/7 from more than 150,000 participating lawyers, and Avvo’s directory provides comprehensive profiles, client reviews, peer endorsements and the industry-recognized Avvo Rating for more than 95 percent of all lawyers in the U.S.  Avvo helps lawyers grow their business with websites and Avvo Ignite, a cloud-based marketing platform designed specifically for attorneys. Founded in 2007, Avvo is privately held with funding from Benchmark Capital, Ignition Partners and DAG Ventures.