By Kevin O'Keefe

Internet > America’s go-to tool for information says Pew Study

Research from the Pew Internet and American Life Project finds that most Internet users (80%) and many non-users (about 40%) expect that they will be able to find reliable information online when it comes to news, health care information, e-commerce, and government. Lawyers can not expect the public’s expectations to be any less when searching for detailed information about the law and lawyers. Our profession should be embarrassed when the majority of lawyer Web sites provide little more than cursory information about the firm and its lawyers.

The study further found: “A large share of Internet users now say that they will turn first to the Internet when they next need this information…. They also say it matters to them that stores have a Web presence.

“In the past year or so, the Internet has turned into America’s go-to tool,”? said Senior Research Specialist John Horrigan of the Pew Internet Project. The study found the public’s high expectations cause by three trends:

  • Two-thirds of U.S. Internet users have more than three years experience online
  • Web site operators have built billions of Web pages and become better at giving Americans what they want in the form they want it
  • search tools have become more powerful so people can locate the information they want

The public is finding detailed and practical information when they go online. Lawyers cannot get away with the typical lawyer Web site providing little more than cursory information about the firm and its lawyers.

The public wants to see helpful legal information about the legal issue they face. They then want to see why you would be able to help them and how in detail you are different than other lawyers. If you are going to have a Web site, you owe the public nothing less.

The Pew Internet Project is a nonpartisan, independent research organization funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts to study the impact of the Internet on families, communities, health care, education, civic and political life, and the work place.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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