"There will be 10 to 40 percent fewer lawyers in the next decade than there are today, a trend that will effect mostly solos and small firms, predicts Fairfield, Connecticut-based attorney Fred Ury, according to [Jim] Calloway [director of the Oklahoma Bar Association's Management Assistance Program]. And the growing number of venture capitalists throwing tens of millions of dollars at startups automating basic legal services cannot be ignored by U.S. lawyers, Calloway said. However, lawyers can embrace some of those same systems, tools and techniques to boost their own law practices and attract clients."
As a new startup myself, I need to figure out how to create business in a challenging economic environment. Not only are potential clients seeking lower cost alternatives to the traditional attorney fee structure based on the venerable billable hour, but there is a huge movement afoot to meet that need in the form of low-cost do-it-yourself document assembly services such as LegalZoom. Need a will? Power of attorney? Simple divorce papers? Just click a link and avoid talking to (and paying for) a lawyer.
To that end, I have added my own online document assembly service to my law practice. The drawback to LegalZoom and its commercial competitors is that they cannot offer legal advice -- you're completely on your own, so if something goes wrong, you could be stuck with a bigger problem than what you started with. My service goes beyond what they offer -- for a low, fixed fee, you can ask for a personal consultation on your legal documents, whether you create them on my website or not.
Times change. The trick is to keep up and not be left behind.
This blog is an advertisement for the Law Office of Philip R. Yabut, PLLC, and the information in this post is not to be construed as legal advice, nor does reading it form an attorney-client relationship. Please do not post confidential information in the comments section.