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  • The Future of the GLSA: Charting a New Course – Part V

    In part five of our weekly series on the future of the GLSA, we will hear from ARAG’s Jean Clauson, who is a repeat panelist on the State of the Industry Panel, featured last month in Law Technology Today. Jean is GLSA Past President and instrumental in the legal industry innovation movement.

    Where do you see the GLSA in 3 years?

    Jean: In the next few years there are opportunities for GLSA to build a more robust membership base through diversification and inclusion. GLSA can become more diverse by:

    • broadening their reach of experts, contributors and board members to include both attorney and multi-disciplinary professional participants;
    • providing a platform for attorneys who are minorities to step into more leadership roles; and
    • creating a culture for ALL types of legal plans and services to get involved with GLSA.

    By doing these things, we will create a more inclusive environment that supports bright people, innovative ideas, and a creative use of resources to advance access to quality legal services through legal services plans and industry collaboration.

    What is the single most important change to the legal profession that must happen to improve access to justice or legal services?

    Jean: More collaboration in the industry could really move the needle going forward. In the past few years, I have seen an abundance of innovative startups in legal tech, AI, consulting and services arenas. Additionally, the ABA and state bar associations have established their own Access to Justice Commissions, task forces, and technology initiatives. I’d like to see more collaboration and “knowledge-share” between the groups so that we can move quickly to experience process efficiencies and results through shared resources and a central knowledge bank.

    How does your company improve access to justice? 

    Jean: ARAG makes an impact by providing consumers with the ability to access and afford an attorney versus doing nothing. ARAG’s legal insurance product improves access to justice by providing middle-moderate income people with a resource to manage their legal issues, financial & budgeting needs, identity theft concerns, elder care assistance, and much more. 90% of our plan members say they are MORE likely to work with an attorney simply because they have a legal plan.

    Outside of our daily business, we are passionate leaders that serve on several access-to-justice groups nationwide.

    How can attorneys make more money using your company or plan? 

    Jean: There are a few things attorneys can do to make more money on the ARAG network:

    • Provide a great client service experience (resulting in referrals). We’ve found that attorneys with a really buttoned up client service process (in every facet of the client journey) do very well at ARAG.
    • Setup your firm to manage volume business. The most successful firms on the ARAG network have a system to proficiently manage a large quantity of calls, emails and cases. They also have systems in place to choose the cases they want, enter case information, conduct the intake meeting, and bill ARAG. It’s really about attorneys working smarter versus harder.
    • Be intentional about the areas of law that you choose to provide legal services for with a legal plan. Some attorneys pick several areas of law on our network and then get frustrated when we send cases their way that they do not want. By only selecting the areas you wish to serve you will ensure that ARAG (and our plan members) are not contacting you regarding case types you don’t want to serve. This decreases the time and effort or you and your staff to communicate back and forth with a client you don’t want to represent.

    If you are interested in hearing more from the State of the Industry Panel, participating in charting GLSA’s new course sessions, and learning more about how legal and subscription-based plans can help your practice, attend the Tampa Bay conference this May 9th to 11th — more information available here. Registration is open now and there are limited tickets here.

  • The Future of the GLSA: Charting a New Course – Part IV

    In our fourth installment of our weekly series on the future of the GLSA, we will hear from attorney Chuong Bui, of Counsel for Creators, a subscription-based law firm based in California. Chuong is a new panelist on the State of the Industry Panel, featured last month in Law Technology Today.

    What is the single most important change to the legal profession that must happen to improve access to justice or legal services?

    Chuong: The profession must be willing to experiment with new business models and offerings. Legal help must be “productized” in a way that gives consumers a focused solution to a particular legal problem. Lawyers need to think beyond simply offering services and consider how their expertise can be leveraged in a variety of ways.

    Beyond that, serious changes to various ethical rules must be considered. As of this writing, lawyers are completely forbidden from using many of the tools that other startups use to grow. For instance, they cannot raise capital from non-attorneys, which leaves the whole sector underinvested. This is a huge problem that throttles innovation.

    How does your firm improve access to justice? 

    Chuong: We have been able to help hundreds of small businesses who need straightforward legal guidance but don’t want to deal with the trouble and expense of hiring a traditional attorney. Many of our clients have hired us for just $95 per month and received proper legal direction that would have taken hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the past.

    How can attorneys make more money using your company or plan? 

    Chuong: Right now, our company works only with a limited number of attorneys as we ensure that our product is robust. In the future, we will provide opportunities for attorneys with specific subject-matter expertise to make consistent income without having to deal with any of the administrative overhead. Additionally, as the law firm with the longest-running legal subscription program, we are uniquely positioned to help other firms implement this model successfully.

    If you are interested in hearing more from the State of the Industry Panel, participating in charting GLSA’s new course workshops, and learning more about how legal and subscription-based plans can help your practice, attend the Tampa Bay conference this May 9th to 11th more information available here. Registration is open now and there are limited tickets here.

  • The Future of the GLSA: Charting a New Course – Part III

    In our third installment of our weekly series on the future of the GLSA, we will hear from Allen Rodriguez, founder of ONE400 and the moderator for the State of the Industry Panel, featured last month in Law Technology Today. Allen has been a member of GLSA for several years and serves on the Board.

    Where do you see the GLSA in 3 years?

    Allen: I believe the GLSA will be a leader in subscription-based legal services solutions. This will not only include traditional legal plans but also include technology-based solutions like AI (artificial intelligence) supported document automation, bots, limited scope automated solutions and more.

    What is the single most important change to the legal profession that must happen to improve access to justice or legal services?

    Allen: Modify the model rules so that more lawyers can unleash innovation without worry of getting in trouble with the bar. Additionally, embracing the subscription model will help significantly as well as it decreases the barrier of entry (cost of legal services) and allows firms to operate at scale.

    How does your company improve access to justice?

    Allen: I personally am part of the California State Bar Association Access Through Innovation of Legal Services Task Force where we are working to recommend changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct so that technology may play a greater role in A2J. Additionally, ONE400 has created several technologies that support legal plans and other technologies that improve the delivery of legal services, reduce their costs and improve access to such services online. All of this with the aim of passing along those efficiencies to the end user.

    How can attorneys make more money using your company or plan?

    Allen: We can help attorneys adopt the subscription model and deploy the appropriate technology for supporting it. They, in turn, will move from a transactional revenue practice to one that generates steady, predictable, recurring revenue. They will also lower the barrier of entry for the end user and will be able to increase revenues and create steady growth by moving more volume efficiently.

    If you are interested in hearing more from the State of the Industry Panel, participating in charting GLSA’s new course sessions, and learning more about how legal and subscription-based plans can help your practice, attend the Tampa Bay conference this May 9th to 11th more information available here. Registration is open now and there are limited tickets here.

  • The Future of the GLSA: Charting a New Course – Part II

    In our second installment of our weekly series on the future of the GLSA, we will hear from the speakers on the State of the Industry Panel, recently featured in Law Technology Today. First up is Jorge Newbery, the CEO of a new legal plan, Debt Cleanse, who joined GLSA recently.

    Where do you see the GLSA in 3 years?

    Jorge: GLSA would rebrand itself the ALSA “Affordable Legal Services Association” and be the trade group for legal practitioners and innovators whose mission is to make justice affordable for all Americans. We would embrace the use of technology and share the resulting cost savings with the 99%. As a group, we lobby to end short-sighted practices which are protectionist , i.e. follow the District of Columbia’s lead in allowing law firms to include non-attorney partners and end state laws which require lawyers to conduct certain types of work, such as the Illinois requirement that lawyers handle real estate closings, which could readily be handled by non-lawyers. Although these practices may result in enhanced earnings in the short-term, these feed to the public perception that lawyers do not contribute a lot to our society. We need to help change that.

    What is the single most important change to the legal profession that must happen to improve access to justice or legal services?

    Jorge: Affordability. Money buys justice in our country today. The majority of consumers and small business owners are legally bullied by the elite of our country. We need to change that.

    How does your company improve access to justice? 

    Jorge: We connect consumers and small businesses struggling with unaffordable debts with affordable attorneys who want to help people. Many of our plan attorneys are working from home or modest offices and their lower overhead results in lower fees. Further, our strategies enhance the ability of members to pay their attorneys, and our technology maximizes the efficiencies of their interactions, saving time and reducing fees. Finally, we do all the marketing, so attorneys discount fees to our members by 25%.

    How can attorneys make more money using your company or plan? 

    Jorge: We provide plan attorneys marketing, training, technology and tools so that they can spend more hours on billable legal work, rather than on non-billable marketing, administration, and other non-core functions. Best of all, we provide the platform for many attorneys to do what they went to law school to do: help people.

    If you are interested in hearing more from the State of the Industry Panel, participating in charting GLSA’s new course, and learning more about how legal and subscription-based plans can help your practice, attend the Tampa Bay conference this May 9th to 11th more information available here. Registration is open now and there are limited Early Bird tickets here.

  • The Future of the GLSA: Charting a New Course – Part I

    This is the first of a weekly interview series centered around the future of the GLSA and our upcoming Tampa conference. Today we chat with GLSA President Matt Hahne.

    What is your view of the current and future mission of the GLSA?

    Matt: I believe the current view of the mission of GLSA is twofold. First, to build an organization designed to be a think tank for innovative legal services with the goal of providing access to justice, and second marketing and encouraging the growth of legal plans in our country.

    We can always look to improve, but the idea of creative and critical thinking will only come with more players/organizations affiliated with GLSA to share ideas. We need to improve on opening up the doors of GLSA to any and all organization that are in the business of expanding the access to justice in this country. The Umbrella should be huge!

    What do Legal Plans need to elevate their presence in the US and Canada?

    Matt: Being a plan attorney, I think Legal Plans need to continue to work hand-in-hand with their attorney network to market legal plans. Consumers do not know the benefits of legal plans and are simply uninformed. Network attorneys see how legal plans help people every day and these stories need to be shared nationwide in the hopes of getting more consumers signed up for legal plans.

    What is the single biggest barrier to access to justice and how can GLSA address this?

    Matt: Everyone has their own opinion regarding this issue. I believe the single biggest barrier is attorney compensation. GLSA can certainly help address this. We can continue to promote the growth of legal plans in our country. Legal plans provide attorney services at a discount rate while providing a streamline of clientele for the firm.

    Why should attorneys join a legal plan?

    Matt: I often tell attorneys that are interested in joining a legal plan, if you have all the business you want at your firm and you don’t need any more clients, then legal plans are not for you. However, if you want to reach a base of potential clients that you otherwise arguably would not acquire while generating consistent income, signing up for a legal plan is a no-brainer!


    If you are interested in participating in charting GLSA’s new course and learning more about how legal and subscription-based plans can help your practice, attend the Tampa Bay conference taking place on May 9th to 11th — more information available here. Registration is open now and there are limited Early Bird tickets here.

  • Protecting Your Sensitive Information With Cyber Security Measures

    Thank you GLSA for the opportunity to share important information for members about their cybersecurity. In my practice, we focus on helping people understand how to implement easy and reasonable measures to protect themselves and their firms online. One of the core measures that I help people implement is 2 Factor Authentication(2FA). Also referred to as Multi-Factor Authentication(MFA), or 2 Step Authentication. To define what we are talking about, think about the status quo username and password combination. In this scenario, all that is needed to access a resource is a username and a password. This introduces a lot of risk in that the entire lot of data protected behind the combination is solely dependent on the quality and secrecy of the password. Most users, in order to make their lives easier, tend to use passwords over again on multiple sites to make their lives easier. This is understood, considering the sheer volume of credentials a typical partner for firm administrator needs to get through the day. Passwords are a topic for another blog post, however.

    Most popular websites and applications now support the ability to add an additional security measure beyond the username and password to better secure access. Gmail, Office 365, most financial and banking sites and firm management applications such as Clio support 2FA. I submit that failing to enable 2FA on your accounts may subject you to a negligence complaint in the event of a data breach. When working with users to set up 2FA, I frequently hear, ‘that was easy’ when completing the process. In most cases activating 2FA on an application is as simple as clicking the security settings for your account, clicking a button to enable and entering your phone number and receiving a test text message. Because of its dependence upon the possession of a device such as a smartphone or an authenticator application, a username and password along with 2FA are exponentially safer than a username and password alone. Because of the ease of use to employ text messages in your 2-factor strategy, I submit that failing to use 2FA for any applications that support it constitutes negligence on your part in your strategy to protect data. There really is not a good excuse for not doing it.

    Your action item after reading this blog post is to list the top 3 applications you use in your practice. These would be the applications that contain the most sensitive data about your clients. Perhaps Office 365, Clio or another firm management system, and perhaps a file storage system such as DropBox. Then check each application to determine whether it supports 2FA. Note Office 365, Clio and DropBox all support 2FA. If it does support 2FA, enable it. This applies to everyone in your firm who uses the respective application. Be mindful to include administrative or technical support staff. Also consider these people may be outside your firm such as an IT consultant or contractor. Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to improving data security for GLSA members. Feel free to contact for more info about 2FA or any cybersecurity topic. 888-908-4551 or smz@eWranglersbts.com.

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