Posted by: johnocunningham | November 8, 2012

The On-line Legal Revolution

In the legal field, just as in banking, hospitality and other service industries, the Internet is being used to drive down the cost of products and services and speed up delivery times. Lawyers and law firms should keep an eye on this latest entry into their professional field because it is growing much more swiftly than traditional modes of connection with clients.

Here are just five out of many examples of this phenomenon:

1. RocketLawyer.com gives consumers (a less fancy word for “clients”) the chance to buy legal documents and forms at low prices, purchase pre-negotiated legal service packages, and complete all kinds of necessary legal tasks associated with business start-up, such as incorporation and document filing.

2. Nolo.com similarly provides users with access to legal forms, plus legal books and software, as well as many “do-it-yourself” legal tools for simpler legal tasks related to personal bankruptcy, wills, promissory notes and other common transactions and documentation.

3. LegalZoom.com helps people to start businesses, execute wills, apply for intellectual property protection, and get help from experienced lawyers who can answer questions related to these tasks.

4. Legal365.com is based in the UK, but expanding quickly, and it touts an ability to deliver what clients have long been clamoring for: low fixed prices; service without legal jargon; free documents and library access; and 100 percent satisfaction guaranteed.

5. IBM’s Watson has already demonstrated that it can dominate human intelligence in question and answer competitions that require some degree of reasoning, as well as informational recall. Now, IBM is looking at legal adaptations of Watson that could provide lawyers with low-cost, high speed digital associates… or might even reach directly to legal consumers who just want answers to legal queries. The future is HERE.

Lawyers: If you are not asking yourself how you can deliver legal services and products cheaper and faster without sacrificing quality, then you are not keeping up with the competition that is racing along the inside rail and looking to overtake you. Look for ways to improve your service and your products, and then communicate how you are doing that to a target audience that is waiting for your competitive message.

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