The need for an online legal marketplace

1,992 views

Published on

The future of law is an online legal marketplace

Published in: Technology, Career, Business

The need for an online legal marketplace

  1. 1. The Future of LawThe inevitable shift of legal services from offline to online A LawPivot and Northwestern University Venture Lab Project
  2. 2. Small businesses, crushed under the weight of high,unpredictable legal fees, are underserved by thetraditional law firm structure. BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  3. 3. In response, many companies arepushing for fixed fee arrangementsto manage legal costs or cutting outthe lawyer altogether. BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  4. 4. At the same time, recentgraduates are either turning down or not receiving offers from large law firms, and instead are joining small firms. BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  5. 5. But solo practitioners, who account for one third of lawyers in the US, have not seen inflation-adjusted income grow since the mid 1980s.BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  6. 6. Some small firms rely on old ways of drummingup business, which include:• Referrals• Public presentations at seminars and tradeassociation shows• Direct communication efforts liketelemarketing, post card and direct sales letters BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  7. 7. These are now fundamentally outdated.The new model is to go online to find clients. BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  8. 8. Private industry has made progressincorporating technology on several fronts. BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  9. 9. Some companies cut out the lawyer entirely, and use self-servicelegal sites like LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer for basic legalneeds. BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  10. 10. “But the real work that the lawyer is doing istailoring the documentsto the specific needs of the client.”Professor Esther BarronDirector of the Entrepreneurship Law Clinic at Northwestern Law School BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  11. 11. Many states are attacking companies like LegalZoom for practicing law without a license.BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  12. 12. In the near future, there will be an electroniclegal marketplace where clients can go to findand select their legal advisors in an informedmanner. BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  13. 13. Lawyers use the internet to build a reputation, andbusinesses use the internet to hire a lawyer and seekfree legal advice. BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  14. 14. We talked to one of our LawPivotlawyers about the importance of an online reputation. BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  15. 15. LawPivot lawyer Dustin Manwaringpractices California law from his office in rural Idaho. He maintains an online presence to build a client base in California. BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  16. 16. He told us “the borders and barriers are beingbroken as far as where lawyers are located.” BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  17. 17. “New law graduates and individualpractitioners may need to figure out howto be the best in a niche, establish anonline reputation and let people findthem.” BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  18. 18. Many sites allow lawyers to show off their expertise as a way to attract clients. BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  19. 19. Lawyers used to be able tocharge high prices for access tothis information, BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  20. 20. but according toLawPivot CEO JayMandal, lawyers arenow offering thesecommoditizedservices for free, andonly charging forcustomized orbespoke services. BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  21. 21. Unfortunately, companies have beenunable to innovate further in somecases because of well-meaning butoutdated regulations. BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  22. 22. Restrictions on a lawyer’s ability to advertise are meant to protect a client’s choice of lawyer during a time often filled with duress or emotional difficulty.BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  23. 23. Furthermore, lawyers and business people cannot splitfees in the US. The only viable platform is a general,unfiltered posting of lawyers, where prospective clientspay subscription fees unconnected to lawyers’ fees inorder to access the information. BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  24. 24. Such restrictions discourage private investment in the online legal services industry.BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  25. 25. Unsurprisingly, 28% of Americans state that they are unable to compare information about different attorneys, and 27% state that they are so intimidated and confused by the process of choosing a lawyer that their ability to research options is limited.BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  26. 26. This mass confusion hardly preserves theclients’ freedom of choice. BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  27. 27. Because new regulations cannot keep pace with the rapid pace of technological innovation, lawyers are left with little guidance about online actions. BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  28. 28. Relaxing these regulations would benefit clients and lawyers. But, even with these regulations, there are still excellent opportunities. BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  29. 29. LawPivot started as a legal Q&A website forsmall companies to gain access toconfidential and free crowdsourced legalanswers. BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  30. 30. This gave lawyers an opportunity to meet and market their services topotential clients. Clients’ questions are matched to lawyers indifferent specialty areas based on a personalized search algorithm. BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  31. 31. On December 1, LawPivot launched its legal marketplace evolving from a free Q&A site into a site that facilitates transactions between lawyers and clients.BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  32. 32. BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  33. 33. Law Pivot believes that the best solution for lawyers andclients is atrusted and efficient legal marketplacewhere Law Pivot facilitates transactions, provides pricing andrating information to clients and provides a platform forlawyers to build reputations and professional relationshipsonline. BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  34. 34. LawPivot believes that going forward, the best lawyers willdistinguish themselves by offering bespoke legal judgment. And while advancements in technology may lead to some difficult displacement for employees at law firms, BUSINESSES LAWYERS PROGRESS REGULATION INNOVATION
  35. 35. It will also allow the legal industry tobecome more efficient and better serve those in need of affordable and customized legal advice. THE END

×