Consumers are open to using online legal services, so long as these are coupled with professional support, according to new research. A survey of over 500 consumers by legal technology provider The Law Wizard – www.thelawwizard.com – found that over two-thirds were attracted by the idea of performing legal tasks on the internet. However, 72% indicated they would value support from a solicitor or other legal professional during the course of any online transaction.

The demand for pure “DIY” services is less clear, with only 17% prepared to perform legal tasks online without any assistance. At the same time, the survey found that the internet is the first port of call for consumers in need of legal services. Only 35% would head first to a solicitor.

The survey also revealed that the perceived benefits of online legal services are, overwhelmingly, value and convenience. With high demand for professional involvement, reassurance may also be considered important. Of those who had performed a legal task online, there was a high satisfaction rate. 83% said they would do so again.

Despite revealing high demand for online legal services, the survey results indicated that businesses offering these types of services are not yet well known amongst the general public. Fewer than half of those surveyed were aware that some legal tasks can be conducted over the internet, with or without the assistance of specialist providers.

The Law Wizard co-founder Tom Hiskey said: ‘There is much doom and gloom about technology replacing lawyers, but our survey provides reassurance that expertise and a human angle is important. The key for professionals is to find the right combination of convenience, value and support. Demand is high and the market is in its infancy, so there are significant opportunities’.

The full results of the survey are available to download as a PDF here Consumer Attitudes to Online Legal Services

Key findings of The Law Wizard’s survey:
• 67% attracted by the idea of performing a legal task online.
• 72% value some level of professional involvement or support, with only 17% prepared to go “DIY”.
• The primary perceived benefits of online legal services are value and convenience.
• 51% unaware that some legal tasks may be performed on the internet.
• When in need of legal services, consumers are most likely to look to the internet (46%).
• Around 10% had completed a legal task online. Of those, 83% of those would do so again.