Consumers are increasingly relying on online reviews for everything from choosing a restaurant to finding a professional, such as a lawyer or doctor. A new survey from FindLaw finds that consumers are more likely to hire a lawyer who has online reviews. In addition, most consumers have used online reviews in choosing providers of professional services.

Two-thirds of consumers surveyed said they would be more likely to hire a lawyer with online reviews. This is especially true for younger consumers, as an overwhelming 81 percent of Millennials (age 18 to 35) are more inclined to hire lawyers with online reviews. But even a majority of Baby Boomers (age 55 to 70) feel the same way.

Fifty-nine percent of people say they have used online reviews when choosing a professional service provider, such as a lawyer or doctor. Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of Millennials have used consumer reviews of professional services, along with nearly half (49 percent of Baby Boomers).

“Online reviews are becoming an essential tool for consumers looking to hire a lawyer,” said Mark Jacobsen, senior director of Strategic Development and Thought Leadership at FindLaw. “A significant majority of consumers surveyed said that if a lawyer has reviews, that influences their decision on whether to hire that lawyer. And as consumers, particularly younger consumers, get increasingly comfortable and familiar with online reviews, that reliance on reviews is likely to increase even further.”

FindLaw has issued a white paper that provides additional research on why consumers find reviews so valuable, and information on how firms should actively manage their online reviews and ratings, including how to respond to reviews good and bad. You Can’t Control Your Firm’s Reputation (But You Can Manage It) and can be downloaded at:

The FindLaw survey was conducted using a survey of a demographically balanced sample of 1,000 American adults and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4 percent.

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