Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

Only 17 Percent of Solo Lawyers Have a Marketing Budget

Only 17 percent of solo firms nationally have a marketing budget, with email marketing comprising the bulk of their spending.

Their next-biggest marketing spends are for Facebook and Avvo. 

Meanwhile, 94 percent of large firms have a formal marketing budget, and almost two-thirds of midsize firms have one. 

Those are some of the findings from the ABA 2019 Legal Technology Report, which in addition to tracking tech trends also looks at marketing, cybersecurity, firm culture and practice management.

Law firms get the best results, the report says, by keeping their marketing efforts laser-focused on reaching the firm’s ideal clients and referral sources.

“Law firms should not rely solely on anecdotal evidence from clients and referral sources about the effectiveness of any marketing initiative or to view these efforts in a vacuum,” according to the report.

Read the ABA 2019 Legal Technology Report here.

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8 Takeaways from the ABA 2019 Legal Technology Report

  1. Forty-seven (47) percent of firms overall have marketing plans. Ninety-four (94) percent of firms with 100+ lawyers have a plan; 61 percent of firms with 10-49 lawyers; 31 percent of firms with 2-9 lawyers and 17 percent of solos have one.
  1. Of firms with marketing budgets, 40 percent say their budget has increased over the last year, 28 percent say it has stayed the same, and 29 percent do not know.
  1. The leading marketing channels for all sized firms is email (41 percent), followed by Facebook (30 percent) and direct mail (19 percent).
  1. Fewer than 15 percent of firms use Avvo, Findlaw, or the Yellow Pages. Solos are more likely to use Avvo, at 25 percent. Thirty (30) percent of all firms have claimed their Avvo profile. The lawyers most likely to have done so are those in firms of between 2-9 lawyers (43 percent), followed by 31 percent of solos, and 29 percent of lawyers from firms of 10-49 lawyers.
  1. Eighty-six (86) percent of firms have a website. Only 57 percent of solos have a website.
  1. Twenty-six (26) percent of firms use video as a marketing tool, with large firms leading the way.
  1. Twenty-five to 30 percent of firms have a blog. Solos are the least likely, as only 9 percent have a blog. “Most of those who do maintain a blog update their blog monthly (56 percent), and 18 percent update it weekly. But another 21 percent have stopped updating entirely, and another small percentage indicate that they have someone else update their blogs for them.”
  1. Eighty percent of firms have a social media presence. “Of those who participate in some social media, over 80 percent of lawyers in all firm sizes do so on LinkedIn, including 81 percent of solos, 89 percent of those in firms with 2-9 lawyers, 92 percent of respondents in firms with 10-49 lawyers, and 97 percent of respondents in firms of 100+ attorneys. Overall, only 39 percent of respondents who participate in social media report using Facebook (a drop from 47 percent in 2018). Solos and small firm lawyers use Facebook for professional purposes more often than lawyers in larger firms; 50 percent of solos and 48 percent of lawyers in firms with 2-9 lawyers report using the platform, as compared with only 26 percent of lawyers in firms with 10-49 lawyers. Only 28 percent of all respondents report using Twitter, including 31 percent of lawyers from firms between 10-49 lawyers, 28 percent of lawyers in firms with 2-9 lawyers, and only 19 percent of solos reported using the platform,” according to the report.


 Jay Reeves is author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World. He practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. Now he writes and speaks at CLEs, keynotes and in-firm presentations on lawyer professionalism and well-being. He runs Your Law Life LLC, a training and consulting company that helps lawyers add purpose, profits and peace of mind to their practices. Contact or 919-619-2441.


About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

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