Like it or not, it seems a lot of people find lawyers by searching for them on the Internet first. According to the results of a survey published last year by the good folks over at Avvo.com, 34.6 percent of the respondents still chose an attorney by asking for referrals from a friend.
In other words, referrals are still the major way prospective clients get in touch with attorneys. Still, the survey revealed that 21.9 percent found attorneys through an Internet search, 20.1 percent found one by asking their current lawyers, 10.8 percent looked for lawyers in phone book ads, 10.5 percent found their lawyers by looking on the Internet somewhere other than a favorite search engine while 2.1 percent asked for referrals through social media.
In other words, a good Internet presence is very important these days and it is a safe bet it will become more important in the near future.
But having a presence on the Internet is one thing and having a site that will actually tell prospective clients something they need to know are two completely separate matters. There are a number of attorneys who have decided against setting up a static, “run over here and hire me now” page and have opted for maintaining blogs (referred to as “blawgs” by a lot of lawyers) that deliver some useful information to clients. Some of those blogs are in Arkansas and here is a quick list of a few (in no particular order) that are updated regularly:
1. The Bailey Law Firm (Siloam Springs) — First, a disclosure in order — I’ve known David Bailey since 1989 and freely admit that he is one of my favorite people and one of the best attorneys I know. Plus, I built his site so I’m biased in that regard, too. Still, Bailey offers up plenty of local news, posts some articles relevant to current trends in Arkansas law and even has a spot where people with legal questions can get in touch and, perhaps, get an answer. He lists his qualifications in a matter-of-fact way and gives visitors a good idea about his personality before they decide to trust a case to him.
2. ArkansasAppeals.com (Little Rock) — This blog is maintained by the firm of Taylor and Taylor and is full of news that concern both lawyers and the general public. Want to know what’s going on with the Arkansas Supreme Court on the same-sex marriage issue? You’ll find some information at that site. How about the eligibility of judges in the state who let their licenses lapse but still want to keep on pounding that gavel? That site has you covered.
3. Deborah Sexton Law Office (Fayetteville) — Great site for information about estate planning. Got a question about how to transfer your estate with as little tax liability as possible or whether a will or trust is the right fit for you? You’ll find the answers to those questions and more over there.
4. Arkansas Education Law Blog (Little Rock) — This site, maintained by Jennifer Williams Flinn of the Flinn Law Firm, covers those hot button topics that have people talking throughout the Natural State (common core, anyone?) In addition to practicing law, Flinn is an adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Bowen School of Law. She knows her stuff and proves it with ever post. The information is comprehensive and well sourced. If you care about the status of education law in Arkansas, this site should be one of your first stops.
5. Arkansas Legal Issues (North Little Rock) — This site, maintained by the firm of Wilson & Haubert, is a great resource for all kinds of information on legal issues about which people actually care. Family law, estate planning and more are covered over there. The articles are efficient and offer some fantastic tips for people wanting quickie divorces, wonder about visitation rights, etc.
Those are just a few sites, but all of them are well worth a look. Are there more out there? You’d better believe it. Fire up your favorite search engine and see what you can find out there.
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