This ebook will serve as a practical how-to manual with best practices for lawyers wishing to collaborate with branded networks to market their law practice, deliver legal services to clients online, and for lawyer brand building and client development.
There is a revolution occurring in the delivery of legal services in the United States. Consumers in need of personal and business legal services are turning to the Internet to seek legal assistance. This should not come as a surprise. The public is going online for almost every other consumer need in their personal and professional lives. Instead of marketing legal services to the public, lawyers need to understand how to create a better marketplace for legal services.
Companies focused on the legal industry have identified this enormous unmet market need and are making strides to brand their reputations online as affordable and accessible solutions. These companies are developing technology platforms to deliver services directly to the public. They are also inviting lawyers to team up with them to deliver legal services online.
Speeding up consumer law revolution, the number of legal technology startups has grown rapidly. They are obtaining funding from major venture capitalists, gaining support of academic institutions and startup incubators, and entering into relationships with companies outside of the legal profession that have more experience in ecommerce. These startups are also testing the waters of lawyer regulation and ethics to find models of monetization that will sustain their growth.
More importantly, these companies are actively building their lawyer networks. They need licensed lawyers who recognize the change in the legal marketplace to join with them to serve the consumers seeking online legal services. The legal profession must learn to collaborate with nonlawyer legal service companies in order to meet the public’s need for affordable and accessible online legal services.
Rather than attempt to compete with the online “branded networks” with million-dollar marketing budgets, innovative lawyers will understand how the consumer law revolution impacts the legal marketplace, their private practices, and their clients, and will learn to collaborate with these companies and their branded networks. As a form of lawyer advertising and client development, the use of online marketing tools has great potential to increase access to justice in our country for certain legal needs, as well as become a resource for additional client development and revenue for many lawyers.
The purpose of this ebook is to introduce the different and evolving models of branded legal services networks and to review the different forms of online marketing tools they provide. Included in the full book is a background on online lawyer advertising with a discussion about the underlying assumptions behind our existing restrictions on methods of advertising legal services. The full book also goes into the many ethical issues that may arise from the use of online marketing tools without the lawyer’s attention to best practices.
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