How much time do attorneys really spend on marketing?

View into glass office room with five lawyers from a distance

For busy lawyers, every minute of the day matters. Attorneys at small law firms are frequently tasked with wearing many hats and taking on responsibilities that fall outside of practicing law. This often includes administrative tasks associated with running and operating a small law firm, along with key marketing activities to help increase a firm’s visibility and revenue stream.  

According to the 2023 State of U.S. Small Law Firms Report, attorneys report spending about 9% of their time on administrative tasks and 6% of their time on marketing activities. Combined, that’s 15% of time that attorneys could be spending helping clients. Thankfully, when it comes to recouping the time spent on marketing and administrative tasks, attorneys and firms have options that can help them achieve greater efficiency and growth for their practice.

A screenshot from the 2023 State of U.S. Small Law Firms Report, showing data that attorneys report spending about 9% of their time on administrative tasks and 6% of their time on marketing activities.
According to the 2023 State of U.S. Small Law Firms Report, attorneys report spending about 9% of their time on administrative tasks and 6% of their time on marketing activities.

Using AI to tackle administrative tasks       

Every attorney knows that their law firm won’t be able to operate long without tending to administrative tasks like client communications, legal research, document management, and time tracking and billing. But many dread these tasks and understand that they take precious time away from doing what they really love: Practicing law.

Today, artificial intelligence (AI) technology can assist with or completely take over many law firm administrative tasks. For example, AI-enabled web chat can aid with the client intake process, and AI technology can also quickly complete tedious work associated with time tracking, invoicing, and billing. 

The best part? Attorneys don’t need to go all in and adopt every AI solution that’s available. They can be strategic and choose the AI tools that make the most sense for their needs. Using AI in this way can help law firms operate more efficiently and attorneys be more productive. Most importantly, reducing the amount of time attorneys spend on administrative tasks gives them back the energy they need to focus on what they do best. 

2023 State of U.S. Small Law Firms Report

Today’s small law firm leaders show optimism about their practices’ future prospects but recognize that substantial challenges remain ahead of them. The report examines these realities along with the strategies firms are employing to confront them.

Partnering with FindLaw to accelerate business growth 

As statistics from the State of U.S. Small Law Firms Report show, attorneys are only devoting about 6% of their time to marketing — yet many would likely argue this figure is still too much. But it’s not that attorneys and law firms don’t think marketing is important or valuable. They simply don’t have the time to devote to marketing their firms in a way that’s driving real and meaningful results. That’s where partnering with a digital marketing vendor like FindLaw comes into play.  

FindLaw provides integrated marketing solutions that drive results for law firms — specifically, only solo and small law firms. This focus provides FindLaw’s digital marketing experts with a deep understanding of the day-to-day challenges these lawyers and firms face and how to overcome those challenges.

Additionally, FindLaw regularly conducts surveys and research to better understand legal consumers and how they find, vet, and hire an attorney. Drawing upon these deep resources, FindLaw’s digital marketing experts tailor marketing solutions to help attorneys meet and exceed their goals.  

FindLaw delivers customized marketing strategies that drive real and measurable results, including: 

Survey results also show many firms lack a clear line of sight into the value of their marketing programs, as 45% report not being confident in understanding how their marketing efforts are driving business growth. Law firms that choose FindLaw are never left in the dark about how their marketing program is performing thanks to the INSIGHT performance analytics platform, a handy resource with 24/7 access to see and track marketing results.  

Read our latest guide to learn more about how time spent on marketing can drive business development. To understand the strategic steps small law firms are taking to address some of their biggest challenges, download a complimentary copy of the 2023 State of U.S. Small Law Firms Report. 

Small law firms: Leveraging marketing to drive business development

This guide explores the current legal marketing landscape for small law firms and certain marketing tactics that can bolster any legal digital marketing strategy.

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