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2021 Legal Industry Trends: Making Sense of the Data

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One of the advantages of digital marketing is the sheer amount of information that can be gleaned from analytical data available to business owners. In every data point, there is a lesson to be learned. These lessons can translate into actionable insights to help guide your marketing strategies, making them more effective and driving business growth.

While the year is still young, there’s still plenty of information to be analyzed to get a sense of where the legal industry is headed in 2021.

We will examine four fields of law — immigration, plaintiff-side employment, consumer bankruptcy, and estate planning & probate — to get a sense of what potential clients are interested in based on Google search data and Scorpion’s own analytic information.

Consumer Trends in Immigration

Interest over the last 12 months for "Immigration Lawyer" (Google Trends)

Interest over the last 12 months for "Immigration Lawyer" (Google Trends)

In terms of search volume, immigration lawyers were among the most heavily searched topics in December and January of 2021. Despite a dip around the holidays — which is typical — this category has seen a return to pre-pandemic interest levels.

At Scorpion, we believe this field will likely experience a surge of interest in the coming months, as the status of DACA and other immigration-related legislation are voted on by Congress.

CPL trends over the last 12 months (Scorpion Data)

CPL trends over the last 12 months (Scorpion Data)

Immigration law has done spectacularly well in terms of cost-per-lead at the end of 2020, with a CPL (cost per lead) of $72.09. Since December, that number has risen just a bit, likely due to immigration firms stepping up their advertising after the holidays.

Assuming that there will be a surge in traffic after DACA and new immigration legislation is passed in Congress, Scorpion expects CPL in this category to continue trending downward in the coming months.

Consumer Trends in Employment Law

Interest over the last 12 months for "Employment Lawyer" (Google Trends)

Interest over the last 12 months for "Employment Lawyer" (Google Trends)

The past year has seen the search volume for employment lawyers fluctuate widely. This trend is likely due to the job market's volatility since the COVID-19 pandemic began. There is, however, some reason to believe that interest will pick up as we move farther away from the holidays.

We at Scorpion also expect that the recent court ruling on the WARN Act could very well lead to an increase in search volume — as it is likely to spark a wave of lawsuits by employees suing former employers over pandemic-related layoffs.

CPL trends over the last 12 months (Scorpion Data)

CPL trends over the last 12 months (Scorpion Data)

Employment law CPL has remained low for much of the past year, which echoes this field's search volume volatility. But once that volume increases, we expect these numbers to normalize. We believe this process will take place as early as late February.

With significant employment law legislation likely to be passed at the federal level, this category should see tremendous growth.

Consumer Trends in Bankruptcy Law

Interest over the last 12 months for "Bankruptcy Lawyer" (Google Trends)

Unfortunately, the bankruptcy law field has struggled quite a bit in the past year due to the effects of COVID-19. We have not seen the typical surge of search volume that often accompanies the start of a new year. A possible explanation for this trend could be that since filing for bankruptcy is a last resort, people are holding out on making the decision considering the possibility of an economic bailout and stimulus package under the new Biden administration.

We can expect this trend to continue until the picture in Washington D.C. becomes more clear.

CPL trends over the last 12 months (Internal Data)

Surprisingly, bankruptcy law did see lower CPL in December than we did in November. Again, this is probably the result of advertising campaigns being suspended during the holiday season. However, the lack of search volume in December led to an increase in CPL, but this is likely to normalize in the coming weeks.

Given these numbers, bankruptcy attorneys should focus on channel and service diversification to maintain CPLs capable of producing good ROI.

Consumer Trends in Estate & Probate Law

Interest over the last 12 months for "Estate Planning" (Google Trends)

Interest over the last 12 months for "Probate" (Google Trends)

The search volume trends for both estate and probate law were very similar during the COVID-19 pandemic. After an initial dip, both verticals ended up reaching yearly highs. We also see big surges after the holidays, which is common since topics around estate laws tend to arise after people have spent time with family.

CPL trends over the last 12 months for Estate AND Probate (Scorpion Data)

 CPL trends over the last 12 months for Estate AND Probate (Scorpion Data)

Since the summer, the CPL for both estate and probate law increased before dipping again in November and December. Though with recent search volume surges, it is likely we will start to see a downward trend.

Making Sense of the Data

There’s a lot to learn from the data that is available to us. Hopefully, you can use some of this information to develop insights into the best ways to position your firm in the coming months.

The legal world is as sensitive to external events, political changes, and seasonal shifts as any other industry. What’s important is that you expose yourself to accurate analytics, which allows you to act effectively on the lessons learned. This is at the core of what Scorpion does, and it’s a fundamental principle in developing your firm’s own digital marketing strategy.

If you would like to learn Scorpion's data-driven approach can help you, feel free to contact us at Visit ScorpionLegal.com or call 844-505-4349.