Managing Online Reviews for Lawyers

Managing Online Reviews for Lawyers

Online reviews are important for building a law firm’s reputation and credibility. Potential clients turn to reviews when hiring a lawyer, making it crucial for law firms to manage their online presence and all aspects of local SEO.

But how do you encourage clients to leave reviews? Where should they be leaving reviews? And how do you use client reviews to your advantage?

In this blog, we’ll provide clear guidance on how to solicit reviews, what to do (and not do) in the process, and how to leverage positive reviews to boost your conversion rate and sign more clients.

Let’s begin.

The Impact of Online Reviews on Legal Practices

For service-based businesses, the power of online reviews cannot be overstated. Prospects look to the experiences of others shared online when choosing a lawyer.

A study by BrightLocal found that 76% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2023, with the legal sector being significantly impacted by this trend.

GBP For Lawyers Reviews H&L

Positive reviews can greatly improve your firm’s credibility and appeal. They act as personal recommendations, highlighting a lawyer’s expertise, professionalism, and success in handling cases. These testimonials can effectively draw in prospective clients looking for reassurance that whoever they hire can handle their case effectively.

Negative reviews can deter potential clients from ever reaching out. Issues like poor communication, lack of transparency in fees, or perceived incompetence can be amplified through online platforms, posing significant challenges to a firm’s reputation.

However, it’s not just the content of the reviews that matters, but also their quantity and recency. A steady stream of current, positive reviews can significantly boost a law firm’s online visibility and search engine rankings, making it more likely for potential clients to find and choose their services.

Conversely, a lack of recent reviews or a large number of negative reviews can give a bad impression which will steer prospects away.

Related – Reputation Management for Lawyers: A guide to reputation management for lawyers.

Best Practices for Soliciting Reviews from Clients

Law firms need to actively solicit client reviews. However, it’s tricky, so learning best practices is crucial.

  • Ethical Guidelines and Transparency: Before anything, you need to follow the legal and ethical guidelines set by your state bar.  Clients should understand that they’re not required to leave a review and never feel pressured to leave a positive review if they don’t feel it’s deserved.
  • Timing and Approach: The ideal time to ask for a review is soon after a case’s conclusion when the client’s experience with your firm is fresh in their mind. Do this through a follow-up email or in person in your last meeting together. The request should be polite, and the process should be as easy as possible. Provide a direct link to where they can leave a review in your email, for example.
  • Client Experience and Feedback Loops: Encourage honest feedback by creating an environment where clients feel their opinions are valued. This should be achieved by regularly seeking input throughout the client’s case, not just at the conclusion. Additionally, this feedback loop can be invaluable for internal purposes, allowing the firm to improve its services based on client insights continuously.

By following these best practices, law firms can ethically and effectively encourage clients to contribute to review.

Responding to Online Reviews: Dos and Don’ts

Managing online reviews involves not just monitoring them but also responding appropriately.

Here’s a breakdown of the dos and don’ts when engaging with reviews:


  • Acknowledge and Thank: Always acknowledge reviews, both positive and negative. Thank reviewers for taking the time to provide feedback. Thanking clients for leaving positive reviews demonstrates appreciation, and acknowledging negative reviews shows that you take client concerns seriously.
  • Be Professional and Courteous: Maintain a professional tone in all responses. This is important, especially when dealing with negative reviews. A respectful and thoughtful reply can go a long way in mitigating the impact of a less-than-favorable review and shows your commitment to client satisfaction.
  • Offer to Take the Discussion Offline: When prospects leave negative reviews, you could offer to discuss the matter privately. Invite the reviewer to contact you directly to resolve their concerns. This approach helps prevent airing grievances publicly and demonstrates a proactive stance in addressing client dissatisfaction.
  • Be Brief and to the Point: Responses should be concise and focused. Avoid divulging confidential or sensitive information. A simple acknowledgment and an invitation to discuss the matter further offline are often enough.


  • Ignore Reviews: Not replying to reviews can give the impression that your firm is disengaged or indifferent to client feedback. This can damage your reputation and may deter potential clients from reaching out.
  • Get Defensive or Argue: Engaging in arguments or being defensive in response to negative reviews can escalate the situation and harm your firm’s reputation. It’s important to remain calm and professional, even if the review is unfair or inaccurate.
  • Infringe on Client Confidentiality: When responding to reviews, be mindful of client confidentiality. Avoid discussing specific aspects of a case or revealing any client information.
  • Use Template Responses: While it might be tempting to use generic or templated responses for efficiency, personalized replies are more effective. They show that your firm values each client’s feedback and is attentive to their specific concerns.

By following these dos and don’ts, you can effectively manage your law firm’s reputation and turn reviews into opportunities to get more clients.

Leveraging Positive Reviews to Boost Your Firm’s Image

Positive reviews are one of the best ways to improve your law firm’s image and attract new clients. But you have to know how to leverage them to your advantage.

A good strategy is to place positive reviews strategically on your firm’s website. Placing them on the homepage or in a dedicated testimonials section can build trust with potential clients.

reviews on site
(Image Source)

You should also share them on other owned marketing channels, like your social media platforms. Share positive reviews on your social media to build authority and trust with bottom-of-funnel leads.

positive facebook review for a lawyer

It’s also effective to place client testimonials in email newsletters, as they can be more persuasive than traditional marketing messages. These real-life endorsements provide real proof of the quality of your services. Here’s how we do that at JurisPage.

law firm marketing agency email review

Encouraging client referrals is another way to capitalize on positive reviews. Clients who have had positive experiences and have left reviews are more likely to refer others to your firm. A gentle reminder as part of the follow-up process after acknowledging their review is painless and enough to get the ball rolling.

Lastly, you can develop case studies or client success stories based on positive reviews, with the clients’ permission. These case studies provide a more comprehensive and detailed narrative about what it’s like to work with your firm, offering prospective clients an in-depth look at your success stories and method of operation.

Dealing with False or Defamatory Reviews

Navigating the challenging terrain of false or defamatory online reviews requires a thoughtful and measured approach.

Here’s how law firms can handle such situations:

  • Identify and Assess the Review: The first step is determining whether a review is genuinely false or defamatory. False reviews are those that fabricate experiences or facts, while defamatory reviews contain harmful and untrue statements that can damage a firm’s reputation. Accurately identifying these reviews is crucial before taking any action.
  • Respond Professionally: Even if a review is false or defamatory, it’s important to maintain professionalism in any public response. Acknowledge the review and express regret that the reviewer had a negative experience, but avoid admitting fault or engaging in a detailed discussion. Offer to move the conversation offline to address their concerns privately.
  • Attempt to Have the Review Removed: Many online platforms have policies against false and defamatory content. Contact the review site and request the removal of the review if it violates their guidelines. Be prepared to provide evidence or an explanation as to why the review is false or defamatory.
  • Document Everything: Keep detailed records of the review and your responses. If the situation escalates, these records can be valuable, especially if legal action becomes necessary.
  • Consult Legal Counsel: If a defamatory review is particularly damaging and the platform refuses to remove it, consider consulting with legal counsel to explore your options. They can advise on the feasibility and process of pursuing legal action against the reviewer for defamation.
  • Focus on Positive Engagement: Counteract the impact of false or defamatory reviews by encouraging more genuine client reviews. A higher volume of positive, authentic reviews can dilute the effect of the negative ones and improve the overall perception of your firm.
  • Educate Your Team: Ensure that your team understands how to identify and deal with false or defamatory reviews. Having a consistent approach across your firm can help in managing these situations effectively and maintaining your firm’s reputation.

Related – Law Firm Marketing Strategy: A guide to law firm marketing.

Take Care of Your Reputation By Monitoring Reviews

The best law firms actively solicit and manage the reviews they receive, using them to get even more clients.

If you’re looking for help with your law firm marketing, reach out. We have a team of specialists ready to help.