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Client service soared. Client satisfaction is up. Everyone is busy. And clients are turning to Google to search for attorneys. It doesn’t add up — or does it?

Top legal decision makers say it makes perfect sense — to them. Here’s why and what they have been searching for:


Clients are searching for employment lawyers three times as often as all others. It was true in March 2020 when the pandemic was hitting and it is still true today. The searches peaked last August, slowly trended downward, and started heading up again last month (June 2021).


Clients hadn’t been looking for litigators since last February — but the searches surged in May. This is the second most popular search.


Clients looking for white-collar attorneys saw a peak last November. Searches dropped in February and then saw a slow but steady increase through last month (June 2021).

IP Litigation

Searches were up and down throughout the pandemic but show a clear upward trend starting in June 2021.


Despite record M&A activity, few clients searched for M&A attorneys until May 2021 when the searches started popping up.

Looking for Knowledge and Insight

Clients tell us the Google searches are a tool they use to scan the attorney thought leadership horizon. They see who pops up and what they have to say. Attorneys with more than a standard bio tend to land at the top of these searches. Instead of searching by topic or issue — clients also search attorneys to see what they can learn. This is where clients find:

  • Thought leadership
  • Blogs
  • Tweets
  • Ranked and awarded attorneys

Clients like to see their own attorneys show up — especially with compelling insight — so they can confirm they are working with the right attorneys.

Concerned About Capacity

Clients are concerned about individual attorney capacity, so they are doing some diligence. Before they talk to their peers about referrals these top legal decision makers want to see who stands out from the crowd.

High GC Turnover

The high turnover in the GC’s office (31% at last count) drives newly appointed GCs to do some searching as they get to know their law firms and attorneys.

Planning Ahead

Clients are working on 2022 budgets now. Their first drafts are already in. Searching for attorneys helps them get their heads around the upcoming landscape.

More Reasons to Love Thought Leadership and SEO

Top legal decision makers are including attorney google searches as part of their vetting process. This is one more signal in how clients look at their law firms and attorneys. It also reveals clients’ hunger for new insights and ideas. You can outflank the system by making sure you share your insights and observations in a personalized manner — and you can have your clients compare everyone to you as the gold standard.

Be well –


The Mad Clientist

(Based on BTI analysis of Google Trends data measuring March 2020 through June 30, 2021 to cover the period of the ongoing pandemic and reopening.)

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