I’ve been toying with ideas on how to leverage technology to increase access to legal services. Lawdingo is onto something with its online platform that facilitates “virtual legal consultations.” An explanation of the service is linked below via TechCrunch.
Virtual consultations are the next step for lawyers. There is a definite bonus to personal meetings for an attorney-client relationship. Whether it be going out for a lunch meeting on a bike or skis, grabbing a cup of coffee, or sitting down in my office, I firmly believe that personal connections matter to my practice. However, I also represent a number of people whom I’ve never personally met. We talk on the phone, email, Skype and text, but never meet in person. I have represented clients in Boulder, London, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. They trust me even though I’ve never looked them in the eye and shaken their hand.
I foresee a growing divide in how lawyers practice in the near future. There will always be a place for a personable, accessible lawyer, especially in criminal and family law. On the other hand, there will be an expansion of clients who are perfectly comfortable with consulting an attorney strictly online. Whether top-shelf lawyers are willing to meet that latter demand remains to be seen.