I’ve created a new page on this blog for my new ebook: Consumer Law Revolution.
This ebook is the precursor to my full book that should be published by the ABA LPM sometime later this year. The ebook provides an introduction to the concept of branded networks and online marketing tools for lawyers.
For the book, I researched almost all of the legal tech startups and branded networks from both the lawyer and consumer perspective. These case studies are in the full book as are all of the important ethics issues surrounding lawyer collaboration with these companies to engage with and provide legal services to the public.
I wanted to make the best practices portion of this material free and available to practitioners because I don’t know of any other resources out there like this and it’s needed. As most of you know by now from my writing, I believe that the legal profession should find ways to collaborate with companies providing legal services online. It will be a significant way to increase access to justice for certain legal services. Not for all services, not for all clients, and not for all lawyers – see my book on unbundling or that ebook for reasons why not. However, it will be significant for large segments of the public needing basic legal services and may lead to other forms of collaboration and innovation in the delivery of legal services that could expand access in ways we can’t see right now.
For those who are venturing into this area of lawyer advertising/delivering legal services online in their law practice, this ebook and the full book to come should be a helpful guide.
As always, I welcome feedback.
I’ll be very interested in reading your book, but one thing I need to get advice on which I hope you will address is what is the best “bang for the buck” integrating one’s website with all the various Q&A websites, lawyer listings and directories to get a good SEO ranking on the obvious 800 pound gorilla, Google/Google Places which most consumers are going to use.
It seems like everyone is getting into the act, more every day, with Findlaw, Avvo, Rocket Lawyer, Justia, Yext, etc. and the cloud- computing branded services like Rocket Lawyer and Clio. (I’ve tried both of these and find they offer way more services than I need or want to pay for with monthly subscriptions, and their web browser interfaces are slow and klunky compared to my own macs and network and offer little intrinsic advantages over, e.g., Dropbox for sharing documents).
I’m writing this as a virtual solo who is trying to keep costs low and margins on services as high as possible. I don’t want to replace a bad Class C office space costing $800/month with an equivalent amount of unnecessary computer subscriptions.
Also, as to Q&A competitors jumping in the Avvo game (Avvo having been around since 2007), why isn’t their business model and the issues similar to Google’s supremacy in the search engine field viz. Bing or someone thinking there’s going to be the new Facebook or LinkedIn in the social media world? What do those latecomers bring to the game that’s supposedly so great? (A handpicked group of supposed “superlawyers” for the Q&A site Rocket Lawyer just bought, for instance)?
Thanks for your comment, Jack. Yes. I do address how to create a marketing strategy using these branded networks and their platforms, including the best combinations, in the full book. Obviously a lot of that strategy is going to depend on the practice area and client base you are serving. I also discuss subscription models for these companies so that you can evaluate which would be most cost-effective to join for a fee and which to just take out the free profile with. Many of these companies are still honing in on how they will monetize their business models so your marketing strategy is going to be one that shifts as more of these platforms come into the marketplace. Once the full book comes out I hope to start blogging more on this topic. There are a lot of issues here regarding our advertising restrictions and prohibitions on fee sharing with nonlawyers that raise interesting questions.