My friend and CEO of Clio, Jack Newton put up the above slide in a presentation at the DC Bar’s Practice 360 conference on Friday.

The Bar thought it important enough to capture Newton’s point via Twitter.

I was not at the conference, but I am familiar with the statistics bearing evidence that the vast majority of people faced with a legal situation never seek the assistance of a lawyer. Most don’t even know they have a legal issue.

Lawyer, author and commentator, Jordan Furlong, calls it the latent demand for legal services. The 85% of the public to whom lawyers are irrelevant. We’re not talking low income people either, almost 90% of people would never think of contacting a lawyer.

I am sure Jack was taking the topic further across other points, particularly via Clio’s findings.

The point is there is a lot of work lawyers are not getting and, from what I can see, much of that is because lawyers are not connecting and engaging with people in a meaningful way. 

Most people don’t know a lawyer, don’t trust lawyers and aren’t even sure what lawyers do –  or at least could do for them. 

Lawyers are not connecting with people. Lawyers are not going out where ordinary people are to listen to people, engage people in a real and authentic way and establish trust – enough trust that people understand what lawyers do and whom to contact when they have a legal need.

The Internet is how people connect and engage each other.

Blogging and other social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn – used in a real and authentic way to listen and engage has worked extraordinarily well for lawyers — and for the people the lawyers have connected with. 

Unfortunately, most lawyers see the Internet as websites, directories, content marketing for SEO and SEM. 

That’s not engaging people, listening to them and connecting with them. That’s staying where you’re comfortable and asking people to come to you. 

Rather than looking at the net as a form of marketing or advertising to draw people to you, to attempt to get people to think you are better than the next, look at the net as a way for you to go out and connect with people.

You’ll start to reach that 80% of the legal market below the surface of the water.