As has been described previously, our mission at LegalShield is to close the access to justice gap and technology plays a large role internally, externally, and with our partner vendors in achieving that vision. Recently, I had the pleasure of connecting with technology experts attending our upcoming Elevate 2019 conference. I asked each how they see legal plans as part of the future of the legal industry.
“Legal plans provide an opportunity for access to attorneys information that are generally not available. The access to justice (A2J) deficit in our country is indicative of the need for low-cost access points into the legal service market.” Jason Velez, CEO, 1Law
“Subscriptions have made their way into almost every part of our life e.g., food delivery, cell phones, internet, movie tickets, etc. and professional services are no different. It is almost expected business behavior. Additionally, the business model itself creates a more proactive relationship with your client.” Allen Rodriguez, Founder of ONE400
To Allen’s point, the shift is needed because the law cannot continue to offer the same services in the same format, as even ten years ago. In today’s market, clients are demanding affordability.
“Legal plans allow people access to the legal system who otherwise would be left in the cold. Hiring a lawyer is a scary and expensive proposition. These plans allow individuals to be matched with an appropriate lawyer at a cost effective rate.” Nalini Prasad, BlueShark Digital
“Traditional legal services by nature of their referrals and retainers have only been available to a small percentage of the population. These clients and relationships will not go away but growth in this area will be limited. Legal plans are bringing about a massive shift in how legal services are engaged and performed. Many clients who have never engaged with an attorney are becoming comfortable with their new power and access to legal services. The bulk of services they need are simpler and faster for firms to resolve. As legal plans proliferate, growth of simple, basic and even automated legal services will explode. This is only the beginning.” Stephen Zetzer, CEO, eWranglers, LLC
Legal plans are based on an affordable monthly fee which leads some people to question how such broad services can be provided at a low rate. As Stephen outlined above, the answer is technology plus the purchasing power of a large community, for example LegalShield has over 1.8 million members. The fixed monthly fee provides the certainty that the public demands in today’s market.
“Many consumers would gladly pay for the security of being able to get the legal assistance they needed for a monthly price. I think legal plans will help bridge a gap between those consumers who want guaranteed assistance for a regular fee.” Lori Gonzalez, President, RayNa Corporation
“Legal plans give consumers more confidence and power in the marketplace. Many consumers are intimidated by the process of selecting and working with an attorney. Big businesses and wealthy individuals expect and generally receive great service. Small businesses and consumers often feel too unimportant to get the attention and service they deserve. Legal plans give individuals and small businesses greater power. As part of a network they are more likely to receive a high level of service on every legal matter.” Alexander Verno, Friedman, Framme & Thrush, P.A.
A common misconception is that lawyers cannot make money providing services to a legal plan. Solos and firms can save marketing time and money by signing up to multiple plans and having a healthy influx of clients. And these plans are also not just for individuals.
“Legal plans are incredibly important, particularly for small businesses that have recurring legal questions and need a quick, but cost-effective, point in the right direction. Plans reduce costs for clients while also improving access to justice and are still a money maker for enterprising attorneys. Definitely an important part of the mix that catches the trend in which consumers want more for less, more quickly. And also lawyers are shifting up their practices to include a mix of flat rate, contingency fee and micro services that can combine to positively impact their brand and bottom line all in one.” Stephen Kane, former solo attorney, now CEO of FairClaims
The third annual Elevate 2019 will build upon the success of the two prior years’ events and provide networking, CLE hours, and exposure to technology and innovation, including the experts above, from June 20th to 22nd in Denver, CO. The event is open to all attorneys and if you wish to join our referral network at any time, the information is here. Our goal is to help you grow your practice with connections and education by including up to 10 hours of pre-approved CLE over three days. If you have any questions , please do not hesitate to reach out to me on Twitter @toddbarrs.