Trust is how you earn clients—and good reviews prove that you can be trusted. Yet many lawyers shy away from asking for reviews. The good news? It’s possible to ethically solicit reviews. The better news? It doesn’t take a great deal of time or money — just commitment.
If you’ve been lax about your review strategy, it’s not too late to make a change. Your business needs social proof to grow. Whether you already have a goldmine of former clients or you’re just starting out, here’s what you need to know about review generation.
This article explains why reviews matter, how to ethically solicit reviews, and the ongoing review generation strategy that could take your business from tepid to scorching.
Why do reviews matter?
You might be wondering if we’re exaggerating. Can reviews really be that powerful? The answer is yes. Google and social platforms are very interested in providing a great user experience. Reviews are proof that you’re offering a valuable service.
Reviews can affect how your firm is perceived during the attorney selection process. Social proof could tip someone over the edge while researching attorneys. In fact, according to Clio’s 20222 Legal Trends Report, reviews are the most influential factor in hiring an attorney.
Reviews are important for your Google Local Pack Rankings. For local searchers, reviews (especially recent ones with verified locations) can be extremely helpful. Reviews can improve your firm’s rankings.
Reviews can help your LSAs get more visibility. If you’re looking for leads, then reviews can improve the visibility of these ads.
How to ethically solicit reviews
There is nothing inherently slimy or unethical about asking for a review. The only thing you need to avoid is paying for or incentivizing reviews.
Don’t let your fear stop you—or at least learn how to build a system for requesting reviews, even if you’re afraid.
Here’s the secret formula for soliciting reviews. First, do good work. Second, ask at the right moment. Third, make it easy to give a review. If you are happy with the work you did for this client, then you’ve done the hardest part already! Getting the review is as simple as asking at the right time and with the right system.
Here are some tips to help you get a great review from a client:
- The person who requests the review should be the client’s closest contact at the firm.
- The request should include a direct link to the review platform (like your GMB listing).
- Ask shortly after you’ve delivered a favorable outcome for your client.
Finally, it’s okay to tell clients why reviews are so important. Happy clients want you to do well, but they may not realize the power they possess. Don’t hesitate to share why and how a review can help your firm. If you’ve made it easy for them to submit a review—and you’ve done good work—you have nothing to worry about.
The review generation strategy you really need
While the number of reviews is definitely important, recent reviews are even more important. That’s why the most effective review generation strategy is ongoing solicitation, so you can show a predictable pattern of positive reviews.
A steady flow of positive reviews will impress prospective clients and Google.
Someone who wants to hire an attorney today is interested in your recent performance, not how you did two years ago. In the attorney selection process, recent successes will earn you more clients than a bunch of outdated reviews, no matter how positive.
Recency is important to search engines as well. Although Google has not publicly commented, experts agree that there is review decay. Over time, reviews lose some of their influence over rankings.
In summary, don’t work to get 50 reviews and then stop your efforts. Instead, build a system for requesting reviews that will continue to support the growth of your firm for years to come.
Review and next steps
Asking for reviews is an essential part of growing your business. Ongoing reviews help build trust with prospective clients and prove value to search engines. If you learn to ask for reviews at the right time and in the right way, you’ll create a valuable asset that will support your growth.
Rather than being afraid to ask for reviews, build a system that will enable you to ask (and receive) with confidence. Learn how with help from an experienced agency.