Client testimonial or "reviews" pages are among the most clicked-on sections of our law firm websites. In fact, of the hundreds of sites for which The Modern Firm has direct data, testimonials pages are second only to attorney biographies on the list of most-visited interior website pages.

Client Reviews

But many lawyers are hesitant to collect testimonials and reviews. Some are quick to point out that just because something is popular, that doesn't mean it is ethical or legal—let alone effective. Even when their concerns are addressed (short version: sharing client testimonials and reviews is generally legal, ethical, and effective), many lawyers are still reluctant to do anything that feels remotely Saul Goodman-ish. By working closely with our clients over the last two decades, we've developed a strategy for collecting testimonials that is effective and feels right for both the attorney and client.

To use a courtroom metaphor, testimonials and actual case results are evidence in support of your (potentially biased) claims about the benefits of hiring your firm. They are similar to the testimony of an eyewitness compared with that of a party to the case — the jury might believe both, but one weighs more heavily in their minds.

In a potential client's eyes, this validation can be equally effective whether it comes in the form of a testimonial hosted on your site, a review on a general online rating site (such as Google, Yelp, FaceBook, etc.), or a review on an attorney-specific platform such as Avvo or Martindale-Hubbell.

Why Bother with Testimonials?

Statistics on consumer confidence in reviews vary by industry, but consistently show that people use online reviews and testimonials as "social proof" prior to making a commitment. In general, most people rate online reviews and testimonials second only to personal recommendations from family or friends when choosing a service provider (whether it be a dentist, mechanic, lawyer, or doctor). In a 2017 survey, 57% of people said that online reviews are a "very important" or "extremely important" element of their purchasing decision. Only 2% said they were "not at all important." Elsewhere, most people (97%) told researchers that they feel that online reviews and testimonials are the most credible information they can readily access to evaluate a business. 

But offering "social proof" to potential clients is only one element of how testimonials and reviews can help your practice. A candid review or testimonial is one of the few ways that a lawyer can persuasively communicate the personality and strengths of their practice without sounding crass. The process of soliciting past client feedback, reviews, and testimonials can also be an excellent way to reconnect with previous clients. It can help to place your firm, and the good work you did on your client’s behalf, at the top of their mind when a friend, family member, or colleague mentions to them that they need legal representation.

Finally, reviews — both on your website and on reviewing platforms like Avvo and Yelp — play an important role in your firm's visibility to search engines, which treat these as an important organic ranking factor. The Modern Firm has developed several tools and tactics to help our clients use their reviews and testimonials as part of their search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

Is It Ethical to Encourage and Share Client Testimonials and Reviews? 

In a nutshell, truthful testimonials are in accordance with the ethics rules of most jurisdictions. In certain states, disclaimers may be required — and are always recommended. (Want details? Check our explainer on the legal ethics of online reviews and testimonials.)

The Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs) governing most bars allow the display of client testimonials and reviews on your law firm website. Importantly, restrictions often apply and there's a good deal of variation among jurisdictions. If you're concerned about what's appropriate, the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct are a good place to start, as most states have adopted the ABA Model RPC (or something quite similar). The ABA also provides other resources to help attorneys quickly get a handle on the expectations in their states.

When it comes to ethics rules on attorney advertising, rules 7.1–7.6 of the ABA Model RPC is worth your attention, as is this resource page on "Professionalism & Ethics in Lawyer Advertising.” Broadly speaking, an attorney's use of client testimonials, client endorsements, or reviews is governed by Rules 7.1 and 7.2 ("Communications Concerning a Lawyer's Services"). The crux of these rules, as they pertain to testimonials and reviews, is that:

  1. You can share information about your services through any media.
  2. You cannot make false or misleading claims.
  3. You should be careful (according to Rule 7.2 "a lawyer shall not compensate, give or promise anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer’s services except … nominal gifts as an expression of appreciation that are neither intended nor reasonably expected to be a form of compensation for recommending a lawyer’s services.").

Sample Testimonial Disclaimer Language

At the Modern Firm, we always suggest including a disclaimer on your testimonials page This will absolutely minimize the possibility of any confusion by underscoring that each case is unique, complementing your standard site-wide disclaimer: "Nothing on this site predicts or guarantees future results."

If your state requires a disclaimer for testimonials, it may well furnish the specific language. Use it. If not, here are a couple good options:

  • Testimonials found on this website are actual client reviews of [YOUR FIRM]. We appreciate our clients and their willingness to share their experiences. Please keep in mind that the success of any legal matter depends on the unique circumstances of each case: we cannot guarantee particular results for future clients based on successes we have achieved in past legal matters. 
  • [YOUR FIRM] is fortunate to have many past clients give us positive feedback about working with our attorneys. Some of our positive reviews appear below. We encourage you to learn more about what clients have to say about our attorneys on Avvo, Facebook, RateABiz and Google. Please keep in mind that the success of any legal matter depends on the unique circumstances of each case: we cannot guarantee particular results for future clients based on successes we have achieved in past legal matters. 

(As per many state's RPCs, be sure to use a legible font that doesn't overly minimize the disclaimer.)

How to Get Reviews and Testimonials

Despite the obvious benefits of reaching out for that feedback, most lawyers still hesitate. It's important to bear in mind that this discomfort is almost entirely one sided. In our experience, although some of this hesitation stems from ethical and professional uncertainty, most of it comes back to lawyers feeling like asking for a review or testimonial is likely to annoy their clients.

Lawyer Evaluation

This is rarely the case. A happy client is often flattered to be asked to share their experience. Studies find that most people report that they appreciate having their honest feedback heard, and like having an opportunity to share their opinion and experience. For example, more than half (59%) of software buyers said they wrote reviews to help others. 

You will feel better about this process if you make the request an extension of your relationship with the client and do so in a way that is consistent with your character and the values of your firm. We recommend a two-step testimonial process:

  1. Reach out to the client personally to see if they are willing to write a testimonial (this can be done in person, over the phone, or in a short email); if so
  2. Follow up with a detailed — yet pithy — email with instructions (we've included templates below)

You'll note a few important features built into these templates: 

  • Each begins by reminding them that they've already agreed to write a review and offering a thanks-in-advance—that combination has proven to powerful motivate folks to carry through and put pen to paper
  • Each offers a few helpful "talking points" to make it easy to get started (most people struggle with where to start, but flow easily once they start)
  • Each opens the door for further business or networking
  • Each makes clear that you'll publish the testimonial, gives them an opportunity to clarify how they'd like to be credited (by name and location, business role, anonymously, etc.), and includes a formal request for permission to use their comments in promotional materials

We recommend collecting at least five testimonials before your website launches (of course, more is better!) and to keep collecting reviews and testimonials over time.

Testimonial Request Templates

Sample Testimonial Request: Individual Client

Dear [CLIENT],

Thank you for offering to take a few minutes to write up a short testimonial about how I assisted you with your legal matter. We are updating our law firm website and, as you can imagine, a chance to read about other people's experiences is extremely helpful to others when choosing a lawyer.

If it's useful for you, here are a few questions you can answer to help you think about your experience with our firm:

  • Why were you looking for a lawyer and why did you choose me over other attorneys?
  • What were some specific actions or ways I helped you?
  • What else would you say to someone who was looking to hire me?

I welcome your thoughts and your input. If you'd like your testimonial to remain anonymous, please let me know. For our records, please include the following at the bottom of your testimonial (you can copy and paste, if you like): "I consent to [FIRM] using these comments in their marketing materials."

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.



Sample Testimonial Request: Business

Dear [CLIENT],

Thank you for agreeing to write up a brief recommendation based on our recent work together. We are updating our firm's website and, as you can imagine, hearing about others’ experiences with a law firm can greatly help business owners choosing representation.

Here are a few questions other clients have found helpful when drafting a review or recommendation:

  • Was there a particular element of our approach that benefitted you most?
  • What were some specific actions we took or ways we helped you?
  • What else would you say to someone who was considering retaining us?

Please also let me know how you'd like the recommendation attributed. Most clients prefer name, title, and company, while others prefer only their company name be used. We’re happy to do whatever makes you most comfortable. For our records, please include the following at the bottom of your testimonial (you can copy and paste, if you like): "I consent to [FIRM] using these comments in their marketing materials."

I look forward to your response. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.



The Modern Firm offers our website design clients a private platform that streamlines the process of collecting testimonials by requesting private feedback first, before asking for a public review. This platform can automate the entire process of asking for and following up on reviews on third party sites, as well as managing testimonial requests. We also work with our law firm marketing clients to create comprehensive strategies for collecting and managing feedback. We use online testimonial request forms and custom-designed review pages that make it easy for clients to review a firm on Google, Avvo, LinkedIn, Facebook or elsewhere with the click of a button.

There are many ways for a law firm to approach client reviews and testimonials. Making client feedback a part of your process for closing every client's file is an excellent practice. Consistently gathering feedback will help improve your marketing, grow your practice, and — most importantly — ensure your clients always get the best experience and service possible.