Samuel Edwards

May 24, 2023

How to Handle Negative Reviews for Your Law Firm

As a law firm, your online reputation can make or break your success.Negative reviews can have an especially devastating effect on potential clients’ decisions to work with you.In order to maintain a positive online presence, it is essential to know how to effectively address any negative reviews of your firm. This comprehensive guide will provide the necessary information on how to handle negative reviews, craft an effective response, and prevent more from occurring.The guide will begin with discussing the importance of responding to negative reviews promptly and professionally.It will also cover how to acknowledge the reviewer’s concerns, demonstrate empathy and understanding, and provide solutions or explanations.Additionally, the guide will provide strategies for crafting an effective response, such as tailoring the response to the specific review and highlighting the firm’s strengths and accomplishments.

How to Handle Negative Reviews

Avoiding defensive or aggressive language

1. Responding promptly and professionally

When handling negative reviews, it is important to respond promptly and professionally. Doing so shows the reviewer that you are taking their concerns seriously, as well as demonstrating respect for them.Ensure all responses come from a reputable source or employee of your firm and use appropriate language – avoid being defensive or aggressive in tone which can be seen by potential customers browsing online and may give an impression of poor customer service standards embody your response with empathy & understanding towards how the client feels, put yourself in their position.

2. Acknowledging the reviewer's concerns

When responding to negative reviews, it is important to take time and acknowledge the reviewer's concerns.Show them you have heard what they said by repeating back their pain points in your response while still providing solutions or explanations that may help resolve the issue.Be sure not to speak defensively but instead demonstrate concern so as not upset customers even further- creating a friendly dialogue often helps build trust with clients who are struggling to get answers from your firm. Your client will appreciate feeling understood and taken seriously no matter how tough the situation becomes.

3. Offering solutions or explanations

When responding to a negative review of your law firm, it's important to offer solutions or explanations if you can.Explain any misunderstandings that may be present and clarify the circumstances around the situation in an attempt at a resolution where appropriate.Try not to get defensive but instead focus on how best to resolve whatever issue caused their frustration when possible - this shows both empathy and understanding for their concerns as well as a genuine interest in solving them.Other than offering resolutions directly related to the original issue, consider other ways you could help such as discounts/promotions that are applicable or even something unexpected yet thoughtful like extending apologies with special gestures outside of regular services provided by your law firm (e.g., sending flowers).

4. Demonstrating empathy and understanding

Handling negative reviews

It is important to demonstrate empathy and understanding when responding to a negative review of your law firm. Acknowledge the reviewer’s frustration by actively listening and showing that you are taking their feedback seriously.Validate how they feel without making any assumptions or insinuations about their experience while expressing genuine concern for them as well as apology if appropriate.Showing both humility and compassion will go a long way in diffusing tense situations with clients who have been disgruntled with your services, which may persuade them to reconsider leaving further negativity towards your business online should it be warranted at all after addressing an issue adequately.

5. Avoiding defensive or aggressive language

When it comes to addressing negative reviews of your law firm, avoiding defensive or aggressive language is key.Instead, try remaining calm and professional in order to show empathy for the reviewer's situation.Strive to provide genuine solutions as well as understandable explanations instead of simply denying fault or becoming hostile with unproductive arguments. By responding this way you can demonstrate that your team cares about resolving any individual issues even if it’s not possible satisfy everyone all the time.

Crafting an Effective Response

Responding to a negative review

1. Tailoring the response to the specific review

When crafting an effective response to a negative review, it is important to tailor the message specifically towards that reviewer and their individual complaint.It should address any issues or concerns as well as provide accurate information regarding the firm’s policies and procedure related to resolving these types of disputes. By being specific in your responses you show that you have taken time to carefully consider this person's experience while also providing helpful advice on ways they can resolve their issue with the law firm.

2. Addressing specific issues raised in the review

When crafting an effective response to a negative review, it is important to keep the reviewer’s specific concerns in mind. Make sure that any responses directly address these issues and provide detailed explanations when relevant.Take responsibility for mistakes or misunderstandings if applicable - never blame or discredit the client's experience.Provide accurate information about policies or procedures where appropriate (e.g., timelines, fees) as this will help prevent future confusion and conflicts from arising with other potential clients down the line.Acknowledge criticism constructively without antagonizing the reviewer further; use language which shows understanding of their situation but also clearly communicates your point of view on what happened.

3. Providing accurate information about the firm's policies or procedures

When crafting an effective response to a negative review, providing accurate information about the firm's policies or procedures is important.Make sure that any statements you make in relation to these are correct and up-to-date. Showing evidence of your commitment towards customer service with concrete examples from current or prior client interactions can be helpful too.You may even want to provide additional details such as how long it usually takes for clients' issues to be resolved instead of resorting to blanket responses - this allows customers to feel more valued by informing them what they should expect when working with your law firm which will help boost credibility and reputation management over time.

4. Highlighting the firm's strengths and accomplishments

When crafting an effective response to a negative review of your law firm, it is important to highlight the strengths and accomplishments that make your business stand out.Show off any awards or recognitions you’ve received, outline the positive feedback from other clients who have provided their own reviews on external sites such as Google Reviews or BBB ratings.Pointing towards those successes helps shift focus away from just addressing customer concerns with negativity but also showcasing why people should trust in working with your business for all legal needs.This allows potential new customers reading these reviews see what type of level commitment they will get when seeking counsel at this practice despite individual grievances someone else may have experienced over time due to some specific circumstances that are unavoidable at times regardless how hard firms work provide smooth services always.

Strategies for Preventing Negative Reviews

1. Encouraging satisfied clients to leave positive reviews

Encouraging positive feedback

One strategy for preventing negative reviews is to encourage satisfied clients to leave positive reviews. To do so, it’s important that law firms prioritize open communication and transparency throughout the client experience.Additionally, proactively addressing any potential issues before they escalate helps reduce the likelihood of a dissatisfied customer leaving a bad review online.Finally, when customers report satisfaction with their experiences after working with your firm as well as knowledgeable staff members – emphasize those successes by offering incentives such as discounts or coupon codes in exchange for writing an honest review on social media platforms or legal directories like Google My Business and Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory

2. Ensuring open communication and transparency with clients

Ensuring open communication and transparency with clients is essential to preventing negative reviews. Keeping them informed of their case progress, setting realistic expectations around timelines and results, and responding in a timely manner when they have questions or concerns - these are all ways that can help cultivate trust between the firm and its clientele.Additionally, providing additional resources such as legal guidance videos or blog content on topics like “How To Prepare for Legal Court” may also prove useful during this process. Open communication not only builds relationships but will prevent issues from escalating into negative feedback about your law firm online.

3. Addressing client concerns before they escalate

Addressing client concerns before they escalate is a highly effective strategy for preventing negative reviews.It should be an integral part of the customer service protocol for any law firm. This can include:

  1. Proactively communicating with clients so potential issues and questions are addressed in advance,
  2. Having set policies regarding communication channels and response times to inquiries,
  3. Responding professionally to all emails or telephone calls promptly while providing accurate information at all times,
  4. Keeping open lines of communication during transactions (e-mail updates, etc.),
  5. Actively addressing questions or complaints made by customers quickly, and offering clear explaining plans/solutions when needed

By implementing these proactive strategies it will help minimize possible grievances that could spark unfavorable online reviews later on down the line.

4. Providing exceptional customer service

Satisfied client

Providing exceptional customer service is a key strategy for preventing future negative reviews. This means:

  1. Listening to clients and understanding their issues
  2. Keeping them updated about the progress of their case
  3. Being responsive and available to answer questions in a timely manner
  4. Addressing any hostility with kindness or empathy when needed
  5. Offering straightforward advice that puts the client’s best interests first.

Such actions will show your customers you care about providing quality services which can help build trust in attorney-client relationships while also reducing potential grievances leading up to leaving invalid bad reviews online.


Maintaining a positive online reputation for your law firm is essential in today’s competitive legal market.Negative reviews can significantly impact the public perception of your business, so it's important to know how best to address them effectively and promptly.By following this advice you will be able to create a more robust brand identity while also gaining trust from potential new customers interested in working with you now and into the future.


Samuel Edwards

Chief Marketing Officer

Samuel Edwards is CMO of and its associated agency. Since 2012, Sam has worked with some of the largest law firms around the globe. Today, Sam works directly with high-end law clients across all verticals to maximize operational efficiency and ROI through artificial intelligence. Connect with Sam on Linkedin.

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