Mr. Matlock wrote:
Matthies wrote:law school is a professional school, most other professional schools medical, dentistry, ventrany and for most of its history law school prepared graduates to practice a profession, most often on their own or in small groups. Law changed (but only for a small minority of lawyers, the ABA says 70% of lawyers work for firms of 50 employees (not just lawyers) or less).
But today almost no one wants or is willing to do that, people go to law school wanting a corporate job, a secretary, and office and someone else who worries about all the particulars about running a law firm for them. Unfortunely that's still not how the majority of law is practiced. The basic fact is most kids go to law school thinking "biglaw" is the standard model, or that they can be a lawyer and not have run a business, its not. Its still primarily a business that servers law as its product. There are simply too many law students wanting an office job like an accountant than there are those jobs to be filled. There are still plenty of clients and cases out there, just not in the way people want to get them.
Great post... as per usual Matties!
Question: In your opinion, what kind of a negative impact has on-line services, such as Legal Zoom, had on the "shingle hanging" crowd?
You know I don't know, legal zoom is not something I've discussed with my lawyers friends. But there is a trend towards "online" law firms, or firms that do allot of business online, or over webcams, ect. I'm helping a few lawyer add this to thier practice now, allowing current clients to access their files in real time, electronically sign things, see their bills, see the lawyers notes, even a chat room to post questions. They can access 24/7.
One of the biggest things that gets to clients is when they hire a lawyer your are their ONLY lawyer, they don't consider that lawyer has other clients. So one of the most common complaints is "my lawyer never calls me back/or i don't know what's going on with my case" online systems allow clients to check on things on their own, without the lawyer having to return 10 phone calls at the end of the day just to update their clients on basic things like X was filed today, or whatever. Plus you can now have access to clients out of town, but still in your state. You don't need to drive to Denver from Vail to write up a will or estate plan if you can do it over video chat and with online forms.
I think there is some serious money to be made in setting things like this up for lawyers by other lawyers with tech skills. Allot of lawyers data is confidential so they don't really want a geek squad guy messing around in their computer. When i was doing clerking for firms in law school I could get 25-30 an hour as a law clerk, but for law releated tech support and set up systems people ahve been falling over themslves to pay me $75+ an hour. In a few days when i'm licnsed I bet i could get alot more than that since I will be under confidentaillty. And there are like NO SET UP COSTS, i can do this shit from my desktop at home, and still clerk, and I can bill for EVERY HOUR. So in eight hours of legal tech support i bill eght hours, where leagal work I might be lucky to bill 2-3 in an 8 hour day. Plus ehtical ruls say you can't bill two cleints for the samwe time, so say I had two cleints in Vail I had meetings with, I could not bill both of them for the drive up there, I could bill half to each, but that's it. But etch support, if I devlope a spreadsheet conflict checker for 5 lawyers in one hour, then each gets billed $100 for 1 hour = $500. Then once I have it devloped I can sell it o other alwyers.