Legal market about to be hit by a zooming rocket?

Change is impacting on the legal market just as it is in every sector. The interesting thing about lawyers and the legal sector is it’s traditionally very slow to adapt, but market forces and the opening up of the market to Alternative Business Structures (ABS’s) where law firms can be owned by non-lawyers is forcing change.

Another major driving force for change is technology.  There are clearly many situations, where the traditional way of obtaining legal advice, going and seeing a lawyer and handing over your matter or case to his or her trust and skills will remain necessary and important. No 2 legal matters are the same, and let’s face it, most legal issues are of critical importance, whether they are personal or business problems or needs.

However, there are also areas where it is possible to offer a document or service at a much cheaper cost and faster using technology. In the last 10 years, there have been a number of non-solicitor businesses who have offered DIY legal documents. You only need to go into WH Smith among others to be able to buy a DIY will kit. The problem with this is that if you don’t understand the document and it’s not flexible enough, it can backfire spectacularly.

Things have moved on apace. There are now 3 leading companies who provide highly interactive legal contract, forms and templates, backed up by a highly skilled team of lawyers and tech staff. You can create your document using a highly flexible tool which explains each option in clear English and what the legal terms mean in that clause. You also have the option of additional, fixed fee advice on the document you have created for that extra peace of mind. The companies concerned, Mylawyer, Rocketlawyer and Legalzoom are also savvy enough to look to work with traditional solicitors as opposed to simply seeking to cut them out. Many lawyers are now waking up to the fact that by embracing technology, clients will appreciate that they, as lawyers, see things also from the client perspective, and that the offerings by these companies, if embraced, can actually help their business rather than destroy it. Sadly, there are also many law firms who still do not get it, and probably never will. They may not survive with such an attitude.

So, keep your options open and go have a look at what’s on offer. The mylawyer site is very easy to use and some good examples of what’s on offer are their interactive employment contract and, for personal issues, the divorce legal centre.