These days, most business owners and service providers have websites, and that includes the vast majority of personal injury lawyers. Not having a website is not an automatic reason to reject a personal injury lawyer, but it might be viewed as evidence that that lawyer is not as up to date with modern technology, customs, and practices. And that could be a consideration when you're looking for the right lawyer to handle your personal injury claim.
If a Lawyer Isn't Online, Are They Still Plugged In?
It is so commonplace these days for business owners to have websites that, if you come across a lawyer who doesn’t have a website, it is certainly fair to wonder what else that lawyer may not be up to date on. For example, nowadays almost lawyers conduct their legal research online. Few law firms have big law libraries anymore. They probably have a few shelves of books, but lawyers generally search for cases and statutes online, not by poring through books. So, if a lawyer doesn’t have a website, it could make you wonder how he or she gets legal research done.
But it's not just legal research that lawyers are doing online these days, it's research of all kinds. If a lawyer wants to learn something about the potential defendants or witnesses in a personal injury case, they turn to Google and do a little sleuthing. Before the internet, that type of research would have taken weeks or months and cost hundreds of dollars. It might have meant hours in the library, or writing to request information from multiple state and federal agencies, or hiring a private investigator.
Can Your Lawyer's Technophobic Ways Hurt Your Case?
Nowadays, after a few minutes of online searching, so much information is so easily obtained that it is almost reckless for a lawyer not to use the internet to find out everything that can be learned about a client’s case, including checking out the client him/herself. It might come as a surprise, but just like employers with job applicants, reputable lawyers have been known to search for information on a potential client using Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and a variety of other online resources.
A good lawyer wants to understand the universe of public information available on their own client, the other parties in the case, other lawyers, and even the judge -- especially the red flags, and especially before hearing something negative for the first time at trial. It's a stretch to say that a lawyer without his or her own website isn't as tech-savvy and won't be as adept at finding this information where it's available online, but it's something to consider. (More: How Can I Tell If My Personal Injury Lawyer is Doing a Bad Job?)
Questions to Ask Yourself (and the Lawyer)
But if you do come across a personal injury lawyer with no online presence (maybe because a friend gives you a recommendation) who otherwise seems qualified, you're certainly within your rights to ask about that when you first talk.
When you are hiring a personal injury lawyer, you want to make sure that the lawyer is, at the very least, competent, experienced, and honest. Not having a website is so unusual for a lawyer these days that you might want to satisfy yourself that the lawyer really is properly skilled and adept with modern technology. If the lawyer seems to have a logical reason for not having a website and seems otherwise competent, experienced, and honest, then you can feel comfortable with hiring him or her. If not, then keep looking. (More: What Should I Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer at My Free Consultation?)