These days, industries are being overhauled on a daily basis. It’s all about the “platform.” The platform, the platform, the platform. Uber, AirBnB, Lending Tree, Home Advisor, etc.—the list goes on and on. If you can think of an industry, it probably has a platform. One of the few industries to remain untouched by this wildly popular innovation is the legal industry—until now. Enter Legal Services Link, a member of the 1871 Tech Incubator in Chicago.
As anyone that has hired an attorney can tell you, the legal industry is largely disconnected from technology and is at least a decade behind most other industries in terms of technological innovation. This is due to the fact that the profession is heavily regulated and is largely run by people who would not be considered “first adopters.” As a result of the industry’s failure to innovate, it is now faced with the economic anomaly of there being an oversupply of attorneys and an undersupply of accessible, affordable legal services. Fortunately, the legal industry has finally recognized that out of necessity, it too needs to innovate.
No Referral? Google It
When most people need an attorney, they try and get a referral, and if they can’t get a referral, they do what everyone does when they’re in a bind—they turn to Google. Both methods have their flaws. With the referral process, it can be hard to get a good referral, and oftentimes, the attorney referred is not the right fit for that particular legal need. With Google, it is difficult and time-consuming to weed through the information to find even a remotely suitable attorney, and once that attorney has been identified, it can still be difficult to get in touch with and engage that attorney. As a result of the flaws in these processes, many individuals and businesses with legal needs have unsuccessfully tried to address their own legal needs—either personally or with the help of online, legal form providers.
Legal Services Link has created a third way allowing individuals and businesses with legal needs to quickly post short summaries of their needs to its platform, identifying their budget and payment preferences and asking any essential questions that need to be addressed. Once submitted, those summaries are then automatically emailed, anonymously, to all attorneys on the site that practice in the appropriate geographic location and area of law. Attorneys quickly review the summaries, and if they are interested in satisfying the client’s legal needs, they submit short applications directly to the clients telling the clients why he/she/it should hire them. At the end of the day, the client ends up with is a short list of applications from attorneys that know what the client’s legal needs are, know what the client’s budget is, and want to work for that client. No time wasted, no hassle, no headache.
Hopefully, this latest platform will do what other platforms have done for countless other industries, and bring the legal industry into the twenty-first century.
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About the Author:
Matthew Horn is the co-founder of Legal Services Link.