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Get Your Phone Ringing: How to Get Referrals for Your Law Firm

Discover the proven strategies that will skyrocket referrals for your law firm. Power up your knowledge by listening to our exclusive podcast with Stacey Brown Randall!

9 min
Jul 11, 2023

I'll tell you a thing: referrals provide you with quality leads for your law firm, all without the exorbitant costs of extensive marketing campaigns. When potential clients receive a law firm referral from someone they trust—a friend, family member, or acquaintance—they are far more likely to choose your legal services over competitors. The inherent trust that comes with a referral can be a game-changer for your business growth.

But let me guess, you hesitate to ask for referrals because:

  • you're juggling multiple cases and responsibilities, leaving you with limited time and energy to actively start lawyer referral process
  • you feel like asking for law firm referrals makes you seem too needy or desperate for business
  • you believe that you should be able to generate business solely based on your own skills and reputation, without relying on referral marketing for attorneys
  • you think that asking for referrals could lead to discomfort or put the other person in an awkward position
  • you have a small professional network and feel that you have few people to approach for referrals

You name it.

But there's a way to get more referrals without having to deal with all these concerns.

In this blog post, we're going to share 8 tips on how to get your phone ringing with referrals for your law firm—whether it's a new business or an established one.

We also have a special treat for you. Down below you will find our podcast episode "How to Get a Lot More Referrals" with our special guest Stacey Brown Randall. Stacy is a really special person in lawyer referral business, as she gives her clients a real framework to keep the referral growth going year-after-year.

So, buckle up and let's get those referrals pouring in!

Strategies for Getting Law Firm Referrals in 8 Simple Steps

A law firm's reputation and growth depend largely on referrals from satisfied clients, colleagues, and other professionals in the industry. Referrals are the ultimate validation of your hard work and dedication to your clients, and they can help you build a loyal base of customers who keep coming back to your firm. So how can you get more law firm referrals?

Ask for Referrals Without Really Asking for Them

An answer from a lawyer to a referrer
An example of an email letter for previous or existing clients

A typical strategy for collecting attorney referrals looks like this:

  • Send your referral request at a specific time: This could be after a successful case outcome, a positive client review, or simply when the client expresses gratitude for your services.
  • Be direct when asking for customer referrals: Clearly express that you would appreciate any referrals the source can provide and explain how it would benefit both parties.
  • Attend networking events: Attend local networking events and industry conferences to meet new potential clients and referral sources.
  • Provide excellent service: Clients who are happy with your work are more likely to refer you to others. This will be discussed in-depth under the subsequent heading. 
  • After asking for business referrals, follow up with the client: express your gratitude and keep them updated on any progress made as a result of their referral.

That's a nice and trustworthy strategy, yet not the only way to get more client referrals. Check this simple, yet brilliant insight from Stacy Brown, author of the book "Generating Business Referrals Without Asking":

Being memorable and meaningful is what generates referrals. Focus on existing clients' needs. For instance, as a business and productivity coach, I recognized that my top referral sources were business owners who were also parents. On Mother's Day, I sent female referral sources a Wonder Woman water bottle, celebrating their heroic nature. This unique gesture made them feel seen and appreciated, ensuring they wouldn't forget who gave them that water bottle.

Implementing this win-win strategy ensures that not only do your potential referrals remember you, but also recognize that their attorney genuinely cares and remembers them. This creates a lasting impression and fosters a strong referral relationships that benefits both parties.

Provide Excellent Customer Service

The most important factor in lawyer referral marketing is providing excellent customer service.

When someone likes and trusts you enough to refer someone to you, it carries a lot of weight.

Ensure your team is responsive, courteous, and attentive to client needs. Go above and beyond to provide personalized service and attention to detail, ensuring clients feel heard and valued.

A testimonial from a satisfied client

Though it may seem difficult, here are some steps to take: 

  • Listen actively to your clients and understand their needs, which will help you provide better services. 
  • Respond to your client's inquiries and concerns promptly
  • Be honest and upfront with your clients about what they can expect from you and the legal process. This will help manage their expectations and avoid misunderstandings.
  • Use plain language when communicating with your clients. Avoid legal jargon and explain complex legal concepts in a way that is easy to understand.
  • Follow up with your clients to ensure they are satisfied with the outcome after resolving the case.  
  • Thank your clients and other referral sources for their referrals.

Build Relationships with Other Professionals

It is not just clients that can refer your services to others; professionals in the legal industry can also do so. This can include other lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, and professionals who may work with clients who could benefit from your services. So, you need to build and cultivate relationships with them. 

To build relationships with other professionals, you need to: 

  • Attend networking events where you can meet other professionals in your field.
  • Join professional organizations related to your practice area. This will allow you to meet other professionals and stay current on industry trends.
  • Participate in online forums and discussion groups related to your practice area. 
  • Offer to speak at events and conferences related to your practice area
  • Provide value to other professionals by offering free consultations or sharing educational materials.

Get Involved in Your Community

The lawyers who visited a seminar
One of the best ways to get involved in the legal community is by attending seminars or workshops

Community events allow you to raise your profile and make yourself more visible to potential clients and other professionals. You can get involved with your community by: 

  • Volunteering for local organizations or events related to your practice area
  • Attending community events, such as fairs and festivals
  • Joining local organizations like the Chamber of Commerce or a community service group. 
  • Sponsoring local events, such as charity runs or sports teams. 
  • Hosting events, such as seminars or workshops related to your practice area.

Use Social Media

A satisfied client who always refers a lawyer
Satisfied clients' comments on social media showcase your legal expertise

More than half of the world’s population uses one or more social media platforms, making it a good referral source for law firms. Platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter allow you to reach a wider audience and stay top-of-mind with potential referral sources. The things you can do to get the most out of your social media and obtain law firm referrals are to: 

  • Create engaging content that provides value to your followers. This can include legal tips, news updates, and educational resources.
  • Engage with followers, colleagues, and other industry professionals by commenting on posts, sharing content, and participating in online discussions.
  • Use relevant hashtags to make your content more discoverable to potential clients. This can include hashtags related to your practice area, location, and industry trends.
  • Encourage your clients to leave reviews on social media platforms. Positive online reviews can help build your reputation and attract new clients.

All you have to do is create an account on one or more platforms you think are relevant to your law firm and use them in different ways. You can create a business page on Facebook to share updates about your firm and interact with potential clients and referral sources. Facebook Ads can be used to create ads for targeted demographics. LinkedIn can be used to network with other professionals and join relevant groups and forums. Instagram can showcase your firm's culture and personality, while Twitter can be a great way to stay up-to-date on legal news and trends.

It is not just about creating an account on these platforms. You must have an active presence on these, post engaging and informative content regularly, and engage with your followers.

Keep Track of Your Referrals

Keeping track of where your referring clients come from is the most important thing! You can use tools like a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system or a simple spreadsheet to track your law firm referrals. A CRM system will allow you to organize your referrals, track your interactions with potential clients, and set reminders for follow-up. A simple spreadsheet will allow you to track the referral's name, where it came from, the date it was received, and the follow-up status.

Thank Your Referral Sources

After receiving a referral, you should show gratitude by sending a thank you note or expressing your appreciation in person. You acknowledge the referral source and strengthen your relationship with them.

Your thank you note doesn't need to be lengthy or overly formal. It can be as simple as a short email, a handwritten note, or a phone call. The key is to be sincere and authentic in your expression of thanks. When you show gratitude for a referral, you establish yourself as a thoughtful and considerate attorney, and that can go a long way in building a positive reputation in your community.

I often find myself reminding people about the importance of being a good person.

Follow Up with Your Referrals

Once you have contacted the referred potential client, provide them with an initial consultation to identify their legal needs and how you can help. Listen carefully to their concerns during the consultation and answer any questions clearly and concisely.

After the consultation, make time to follow up with the referred client. Reach out to them and provide feedback on their concerns, and let them know if you can take on their case. Prompt communication is essential at this stage as it shows that you are interested in helping them with their legal issues and that you are a reliable and trustworthy attorney.

How to Get a Lot More Referrals: Insights from Stacey Brown Randall in Grow Law Firm Podcast Series

Looking to up your law firm's referral game? We've discussed eight potent strategies to increase your referrals. But there's more. We invite you to join the Grow Law Firm podcast, where Stacey Brown Randall, an award-winning author and business growth coach, shares her unique approach.

Stacey has developed a five-step approach specifically designed for those with lawyer referral resources. Her method is straightforward and has proven successful in boosting referrals for many legal professionals. But what if you don't have a substantial referral network yet? Don't worry, Stacey has got you covered. She also offers tactics tailored for legal professionals who are just starting to build their referral resources.

Sasha and Stacey talk about:

  • Stacey’s easy-to-implement system to obtain sustainable growth through referrals.
  • How to nurture your existing relationships to create more business.
  • How lawyers tend to overcomplicate the process of business growth.
"Most Lawyers don't leverage their connections. An average engagemnet is worth $5K. With 40 referrals per year and a 60% close rate, this equals $120K."
— Sasha Berson
  • How to achieve success using Stacey’s simple-to-implement formula.
  • How Stacey’s clients go from a handful of referrals to 30 or 40 within only 12 months.
  • The 5 steps to creating growth.
  • The importance of thanking your referral sources properly.
"Your intentions don't matter. Your action does."
— Stacey Brown Randall
  • How it takes only 20 to 30 hours a year to keep Stacey’s system going for continued growth.
  • Why it’s not a good idea to use your own promotional material when dealing with your referral sources.


Stacey Brown Randall Website -

Stacey Brown Randall Twitter -

Stacey Brown Randall Instagram -

Generating Business Referrals Without Asking Book -

Referring Machines Program -

This Is How Lawyer Referral Marketing Generates Easy Money for Your Law Firm

Despite their high referability, many lawyers fail to tap into lawyer referral marketing resource. According to our data, the average engagement for referred business is worth $5,000, with a closing rate of 60%, compared to a mere 25% for leads generated from digital marketing efforts.

Imagine the transformation that can occur when a lawyer goes from receiving just 6-8 referrals to an impressive 40 referrals per year. Taking into account the 60% closing rate, this could result in 24 new clients! And this is only the beginning—the impact can continue to grow exponentially in the years to come.

To get your law firm's phone ringing, it's crucial to recognize the power of referral program. By implementing effective referral marketing strategies and nurturing strong referral relationships with existing clients and contacts, you can unlock a steady stream of high-quality referrals that drive your firm's growth and success.

If you want to take your law firm's marketing to the next level, consider working with a digital marketing agency specializing in helping law firms grow. Grow Law Firm may be the best option for you. Our expertise in search engine optimization, web design for attorneys, law firm PPC, and other key marketing strategies can help you reach more potential clients and build a strong online presence to increase your revenue. 

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