Quite simply, the law is not accessible to everyone.
I recently spoke with Scale Up customer, Jane Button of Jane Button and Associates, who talked about the number of clients she sees who have an open and shut case. Too often, they’re owed money from their defendant, and too often they’re not able to obtain legal representation they need to win their case, because of the inaccessible cost of legal services.
So, these clients try to represent themselves. Their seemingly open and shut case crumbles due to technicalities, processes and nuances that they didn’t understand as a lay person trying to navigate the law, because not only is the cost of accessing the law prohibitive, so is the complexity. I’ll say it again, the law is simply not accessible to everyone.
Jane, who works in construction law and conveyancing, regularly represents these clients anyway, eating into her profit margin in a bid to help those who would otherwise have little to no chance of finding justice. For her, accessibility is the one area of law that she would change if she could. And she’s not alone.
Online legal services offer an alternative to the traditional way in which a regular person, with money or not and regardless of their location, can access legal services appropriate for their situation. This is a big part of the reason I started Automio in the first place. I share Jane’s ambition to help reshape the legal industry to make it less complex and more accessible. There is more we need to do as an industry to make the law available to everyone, but here are five ways in which online legal services are part of the solution.
- They’re available to anyone with an internet connection.
The quality or choice of modern online legal services is no longer limited to how far a client is willing to travel. The flipside of that means law firms are no longer limited to the client pool in their city or region. Online legal services offer law firms an opportunity to promote their services to anyone with internet access, regardless of where they’re based, thereby generating additional revenue opportunities.
- They’re accessible 24 hours.
Online legal services are available to clients any time of any day, allowing them to work around their own schedule and access the help and information they need at a time that suits them best. This means that law firm owners can quite literally make money while they sleep.
- They’re more cost effective.
Less manual work, less repetition and less admin all mean online legal services cost less for law firms to sell. Not only can these savings be passed on to clients, but it also gives law firms the opportunity to design tiered service solutions that better meet the needs of their different client segments, and to make the most of upsell opportunities.
- They’re easier to find.
The beauty of online advertising and search marketing is that clients can kind of have an idea of what they need, throw some words into a search engine, and probably find a result that will at least point them in the right direction. For first-time users of legal services, this is a game changer in terms of accessibility. And for savvy law firms who are investing in digital marketing, it’s a whole new way to find ideal clients that doesn’t rely on referrals – pure opportunity.
- They’re easier to understand.
People best consume information in many different ways, and the great thing about online legal services is that law firms can deliver critical information in many ways online to help their clients access and understand information in a way that makes sense to them. The written word can be adapted and expanded to suit the needs of a client segment, video can help answer and explain FAQs, and visual tools like diagrams can help explain processes and other complex information. When innovative law firms are driving clients to the online world to access legal services, the opportunities for them to reduce manual and repetitive tasks are endless.
The benefits of accessibility in the law are not limited to clients. Law firms should be embracing the opportunities that online legal services present in order to remain competitive in a digital world. The firms that survive the digital revolution will be those that open the doors to a new way for clients to find and access legal services. If your law firm needs help to be one of those survivors, you need to talk to us. Now is good.