From a client’s point of view, you could divide law firms into two groups: those that are designed for lawyers and those that are designed for clients.
How do you know which is which?
The ones that are designed for lawyers are the ones that clients approach with fear and uncertainty. They fear out-of-control fees and are uncertain about what they are going to get for those fees.
That doesn’t mean clients won’t use this type of firm. In fact, a lot of clients have a built-in expectation that this is the norm when dealing with law firms.
How does anyone identify a law firm designed for clients? It probably looks a lot like the firm created by Ian Aldridge, known as Progressive Legal.
Mr Aldridge accepted the reality that the usual first action of his prospective clients facing a legal issue is to start Googling. He also noticed that many questions he was being asked by prospective clients were the same questions.
These realities led Mr Aldridge to create a legal information portal called Law in a Box. Clients pay a small annual charge for access to the portal. Progressive Legal’s target market includes entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses.
The information in the portal is written in a language that a business person would understand. Legalese is avoided. The service is based on the expectation that a business client should be willing to pay a small annual fee for relevant and reliable legal information.
As well as being a standalone service, Law in a Box is also a component of the firm’s innovative Legal Shield subscription service.
Legal Shield is comprised of four tiers priced from $154 to $495 per month. The highest three tiers offer the production of a set number of tailored legal documents. The lowest tier for $154 per month does not include tailored legal documents but does include access to a lawyer, a legal protection audit and Law in a Box. The higher tiers also include these three services.
There isn’t a one size fits all approach of what a law firm designed for clients looks like. It depends on the type of clients and the legal services provided.
For its target clients, Progressive Legal shows us what a law firm designed for clients looks like. Through Law in a Box and the Legal Shield subscription service it has gone a long way to removing the fear and uncertainty that so many clients have come to expect from dealing with law firms.
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