Why attorneys should become legal plan providers
THE FUTURE IS NOW UPON US
We have all heard about the future of legal services. Change may have already impacted our law firms to varying decrees. To deny the changes would be to deny reality. Lawyers had a monopoly on legal delivery when legal expertise was the sole element. We have heard about Limited License Legal Technicians (LLLT_ and Navigators. These are not theoretical but already exist in some states. About 80% of Americans who need a lawyer can’t afford one. This is despite the country having a surplus of attorneys on tap. Something is wrong with the design and continuation of this system for both lawyers and clients.
We have heard about artificial intelligence. Law firms should consider the power of AI (Ross) in order to serve justice. But how can we do this alone? Insurance Adjustors are already being replaced by AI. There is already Robo advice when buying insurance. There are already Chat Bots to guide individuals in decision making. There are free legal documents online at state sponsored sites. The travel and taxi cab industries have been dramatically redesigned by automation and tech changes. Are lawyers next?
WHY WE BECAME ATTORNEYS
Did we want to make a lot of money? Did we want the respect? Do we love justice? Do we continue to lose sleep at night worrying about clients and fair treatment? Then we must hate limited access to justice and injustice. We may not be able to solve everything but we can have a substantial impact on the legal system.
There are great partners out there that have been around for a while. They are Legal Plans.
Legal plans provide a tremendous way to provide access to justice and involve attorneys. As attorneys we need to match up with new clients. Without clients what good can we do? There can be a tremendous flow of clients from legal plans if attorneys are responsive, efficient, creative, caring and love justice.
Some attorneys procure their clients by being active on boards, advertising, and word of mouth. Legal plans are another way to procure a stream of paying clients.
I suggest that if you have not done so, you consider being a legal plan provider. It will force you to be efficient in developing good systems, including case management software, document automation, and objectively measuring your Key Performance Indicators. Clients will come to you. These are clients that you would not have been allowed to serve without the legal plan and also may be clients that would not have had access to justice but for the legal plans.
I suggest that the collaboration among other legal plan providers, legal plan administrators, and others including tech professionals can help attorneys with their own bottom line. You will be able to join the movement in delivering access to justice along with state of the art, best practices legal representation.
You will get paid timely for your services. You will have referrals both from satisfied legal plan members and legal plans. Some of these referrals will be for public clients- those with no legal plan affiliations. Your systems and efficiency’s will equally apply to public clients. You will get paid for your services. To help solve the access of justice concern, the traditional response by lawyers is that we spend some time on pro bono work each year. Legal Plans are another way, and I suggest more effective.
To encourage efficiencies and responsiveness for each lawyer and to be client centric is good for the profession. To collaborate and share ideas and systems with like-minded lawyers and non-lawyers including tech professionals is invaluable.
We as attorneys are in the best position to see what wording in documents is most effective in our respective and fragmented Court Systems. We must take the time to insure our documents and forms are drafted adeptly. The time spent in developing these systems promotes justice.
Access to justice is much talked about but, this really works. This is a great expanding movement to be a part of and one where we can boost our profession toward the noblest of aspirations.
Make a living so that we support ourselves and our family is important. Legal services delivery requires legal, technological and process expertise. Tech and process savvy providers, with client centric models will continue to expand. This involves much more than and individual lawyer can offer without assistance and collaboration. Do not become an alternative provider, but one that is sought out first.
GROUP LEGAL SERVICES ASSOCIATION
I urge you to check out the Group Legal Services Associations, not only for your bottom line and profitability, but for the promotion of justice and our profession.