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How Law Firms Should Respond to Client Reviews

Law Firms

Nearly everyone reads online reviews before purchasing a product or service. According to GlobeNewswire, 95% of customers read online reviews before they buy something, and 58% said they would pay more for services or products of a brand with positive reviews.

Accordingly, you should prioritize getting reviews for your firm. Otherwise, you won't have the social backing to prove you have the skills and experiences to deliver the results prospective clients want.

Read on to learn more about reviews and how to encourage clients to give them. You will also learn how to respond to reviews to make the best first impression on leads.

Why Reviews Matter

Reviews and testimonials are vital for attracting new faces to your business. Here's why:

Increases Reach

When leads search for your law firm on Google and Facebook, ratings and reviews are some of the first things they will see. As such, it's vital to have positive reviews for your business to make the first best impression.

The presence of ratings and reviews also encourages clients to share their experiences with you on as many different sites as possible, increasing your firm's reach across multiple channels.

Social Proof

Social proof is when people copy the actions of others when shopping for services or products. It has a large impact on attracting and retaining clients.

Reviews function as social proof because they encourage leads to trust you. For example, when a lead sees that your firm has scores of five-star reviews, they are more likely to believe that your legal services can solve their problems.

Encourages Growth

Observing your clients' positive and negative experiences with your firm can give you clearer insights into your clients' needs.

For example, if you get multiple negative reviews about your firm's customer service, you may want to retrain or hire new staff. Similarly, if you receive multiple complaints about how difficult it was to book consultations with you, you should re-engineer your firm's consultation booking process.

Tips on Encouraging Reviews from Clients

Now that you know the benefits of reviews for your law firm, here are some tips for encouraging clients to write them:

Put Your Reviews in the Spotlight

Clients can't give you reviews if they don't know you have a testimonial section or even want them. As such, you should put your existing reviews on your homepage. Consider using an app or service to aggregate reviews from different platforms and put them in a carousel for easy viewing.

Simplify the Process of Submitting Reviews

Clients often don't have the time or patience to learn how to leave reviews. To encourage them to do so, include Google Review links on your homepage or "contact us" page. You can find your firm's Google Review link by clicking on your firm's Google Business reviews. Click the "Write a review" button in the top right corner and copy the link in the address bar.

You can also send clients a thank you email for working with your firm that includes a link to your review site.

Be on the Same Sites as Your Clients

If you're on the same sites as your clients, they're more likely to leave you reviews. At a minimum, you should have profiles on the following sites:

  • Google Business
  • Yelp
  • Facebook
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Avvo
  • Martindale-Hubbell

Respond to Clients Who Leave You Reviews

If you notice a glowing review on your Facebook or Google Business profile, thank the client. You can also ask their permission to share their review on your social media channels and website.

You should also respond to those who leave you negative reviews. Thank them for their honesty and time, and ask them why they were dissatisfied and if there's anything you can do to help. This shows clients that you care about their well-being and want the best for them.

How and Why You Should Respond to Reviews

Responding to reviews shows clients that you value their feedback and experiences. However, you can't just respond to reviews as you would on your personal media. You must keep the following tips in mind to maintain professionalism and drive engagement:

Maintain Confidentiality

You must always maintain client confidentiality when responding to reviews. Per the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.9(c), lawyers cannot reveal information related to the representation of a former client. The ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.6(a) also prohibits lawyers from disclosing information relating to the representation of a client unless:

  • The disclosure meets one of the exceptions under 1.6(b)
  • The disclosure is needed to carry out the representation
  • The client gives informed consent

Attorneys have been disciplined for posting review replies that contain confidential client information. In The Matter of Margrett A. Skinner, the State Bar of Georgia punished a lawyer who responded to a client's negative review by posting a reply that included confidential information, including the client's employer, name, and how much the client paid the lawyer.

Always Think About Your Replies

Avoid responding impulsively to client reviews — replies driven by emotion can sound angry, even if you don't see it that way. Leads who see your defensive response may also be more inclined to believe the negative reviewer.

Instead, take some time to think of a proper response to the negative review. Place yourself in the reviewer's shoes and consider why they gave you a low rating.

Once you're ready to write a response, start by thanking the reviewer for their time. Then, apologize for their poor experience and ask them why they believe you fell short of their standards. Conclude by encouraging them to reach out to you through email or direct messages and tell them that your team is always here to help. This shows clients that you care and are willing to better your services where possible.

Remove Fake Reviews

Some businesses may write fake reviews to slander competitors and get a leg up in the legal industry. Unfortunately, fake reviews are not as uncommon as many believe. According to a 2023 BrightLocal survey, 62% of consumers believe they have read a fake customer review in the previous year.

Here are some tips for spotting fake reviews:

  • Look at the details in the review. If the review is too vague or mentions details that have nothing to do with the complaint, it may be fake. For example, if a negative review mentions your family instead of your firm, it is probably fake.
  • Spot repeated exclamation points. What is the tone of the review? If there are too many exclamation marks, the review may be fake. A study from MIT revealed that fake reviews contained more exclamation marks than genuine ones.
  • Look at the reviewer's history. If the user does not have any other reviews or only has negative reviews about law firms in your area, they may be a competitor trying to put others down.

You can remove fake reviews by flagging them as inappropriate or reporting them.

Scorpion Can Help You Manage and Respond to Law Firm Reviews

Managing and responding to law firm reviews can be tiring, especially when you're a small firm with limited staff and time.

Fortunately, Scorpion is here to help. We have over 20 years of experience in the law firm marketing field — from website development and brand building to powerful advertising and better rankings. We can handle all of your marketing needs while you stay focused on winning. We will encourage clients to leave reviews for your law firm, respond to reviews promptly, and report fake reviews.

Interested in learning more about Scorpion's law firm marketing and review management services? Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

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