Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.



Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this


  1. 1. $  0 One, Two, Free! Endless Challenges and Infinite Opportunities for Lawyers When Price Approaches Zero @Carolyn Elefant, MN Solo & Small Firm Conf. 2010
  2. 2. Cornell LII: One Lawyer’s Free Epiphany Cornell LII circa 1995  Cornell LII 2010 
  3. 3. Justia, FREE .10-.25/page + trip to courthouse or Congress Court Documents, Legislation GoogleDocs, Zoho: FREE @$500 for license for Amicus, PC Law, etc.. LPM Tools Social media, blogs, DIY web presence: FREE $600/year (MH special!) $250 - 1/4 page in paper Yellow Pages $200/month) Advertising Gmail, Yahoo: FREE Not yet in wide circulation Email VistaPrint: FREE $125 for 250 cards Business Cards Efax: FREE $1/page send or receive Fax Google Voice: FREE Receptionist Service ($50-$100/month) Call Forwarding Freeconferencecall: FREE ATT (via operator) .50 cents/minute Conference Call GoogleLegal, Fastcase: FREE LEXIS - $600/month, limited search Legal Research 2010 1994 Product/Yr.
  4. 4. Free = Faster + Cheaper + Better Free = (expand)access to justice
  5. 5. So too, we may become its casualties . Just as lawyers are the beneficiaries of free…
  6. 6. Free Wills Free Contracts Free Legal Research Free Corporation Free Copyright
  7. 7. H/T Stages of Grief Over FREE
  8. 8. DENIAL No way! Technology can never replace What lawyers do. (I’m a JD!) A free will? You get what You pay for.
  9. 9. You get what you pay for… but often that’s good enough
  10. 10. ANGER Yeah, let’s shut down Legal Zoom and deprive consumers of the only choice they can afford. Cloud computing and online legal services are A danger to clients - we can’t allow that!
  11. 11. DEPRESSION I spent $100k on a law degree and I’ve Been displaced by a computer program That can do document review. If Top 10 law grads are getting laid off, what Hope do I have for a future In the law?
  12. 12. BARGAINING Well, maybe I’ll give away just a little bit, as long As I can get paid for most of what I do.
  13. 13. They won’t buy the cow if you give away the milk for free But if you don’t spill some milk they won’t even look at the cow
  14. 14. ACCEPTANCE the faster that lawyers can accept the world as it is in the 21st century and not as it was in the 19th century, the better
  15. 15. Opportunity for Success= Function (Price) When Price approaches 0, Opportunity = 0 Opportunity = Function (1/Price) When Price approaches 0, Opportunity = 1/0 or Opportunities are infinite!
  16. 16. 8 Rules of FREE
  17. 17. Rule #1: Free is not a stand-alone business model. If you compete on price, you will lose in a race to the bottom.
  18. 18. Rule #2: If you give away time free , you won’t have any free time . Leverage technology or expertise to keep marginal costs near zero.
  19. 19. Rule #3: Use free as a strategic shortcut.
  20. 20. Examples of free as a shortcut: to get information to expedite preparation or strengthen a case
  21. 21. Rule #4: Use free to expand the pie and capture clients who otherwise wouldn’t have hired a lawyer. Examples: Free wills or LLCs for populations you want to attract. Free “diagnosis tools at website. Free annual review (with fee for resulting work).
  22. 22. Rule #5: Make free addictive so that people will pay eventually! Blogs, newsletters & client alerts Hard to break the habit after law school!
  23. 23. Rule #6: Increase the value of free by limiting it. Examples: Limited time of year offer. Limited free consultations. Free coupon to paid client.
  24. 24. Rule #7: Never forget that free thrills . Free lunch with divorce. Free flash drive for documents Free books to explain case process. Free tech help Free password legacy service Free apps
  25. 25. Rule #8: Free doesn’t mean free from liability. Consult applicable ethics rules and malpractice carrier. Use disclaimers if needed.
  26. 26. The Future of FREE
  27. 27. Can lawyers push free too far? Free support groups for victims? Work free, sell client data to subsidize free service (with client consent)? Keep an eye on the UK Legal Services Act, effective Jan.2011
  28. 28. FREE = Abundance. Possibility. Access to Justice . Contact: Carolyn Elefant, [email_address] 202-297-6100