My new book about the online legal marketplace, Consumer Law Revolution, was released today from the publisher and pre-orders should be shipping this week.
I’m excited to share this book with the legal profession. It dives into an area that is growing in practice and where we don’t have clear, established best practices to guide us. The online legal marketplace naturally involves technology and the unbundling of legal services, but also new forms of online lawyer advertising and collaboration with non-lawyer legal service companies that provide online marketing tools and platforms for lawyers to connect with consumers.
As with most of the work I do, part of my motivation for writing this book was because growth of the online legal marketplace increases access to justice by providing the public with alternative methods of receiving assistance and of matching them up with the lawyer or self-help service that will be best for them. By alternatives, I mean that more individuals will be able to find a legal service that they can afford to pay and which are delivered in a manner that they are able to receive it without financial or physical hardship.
The book covers a lot of online marketing basics but also provides case studies of many of the legal technology startups that are coming on the scene to disrupt the delivery of legal services. Lawyers need to be a part of this disruption. For most of these case studies, I joined up as a lawyer and as a prospective client to see how the process worked from both sides. I hope the readers will find this review and my analysis useful in making selections about which branded networks to join. There are checklists and suggested best practices as well as evaluation of the potential ethics issues that may arise.
I look forward to the conversations and debates this book will generate. I did not mince words in criticizing the outdated lawyer advertising rules and questioned the lack of data behind many of the assumptions that are behind those rules. If there are answers to my questions or reasons my proposals would not be feasible, that’s great. If there are none, then I hope this book sparks some reform or clarification or something useful to further the progress of our profession’s ability to stay relevant and adapt effectively to the changes in the legal marketplace. Thanks to everyone who supported my research and writing for this book.
Here’s the official marketing copy for the book from the ABA LPM:
There is a revolution occurring in the delivery of legal services in the United States. Consumers in need of personal and business legal assistance are turning to the Internet to find lawyers, just like they shop online to buy consumer products. Firms that lack a compelling online marketing presence will lose out on clients and revenue. The Consumer Law Revolution will show lawyers how to harness the marketing power offered by branded legal services networks such as Rocket Lawyer, Avvo, LawZam, LexSpot, and many more—and pull in new clients in the process. This book will help you:
- Develop an online presence for your legal brand
- Learn how branded networks operate–and how best to utilize their services
- Market your practice through online directories, legal networks, lawyer matching sites, forums, document sharing platforms, and more
- Understand the ethics considerations involved with online legal marketing
Praise for The Consumer Law Revolution:
“Lawyers can often feel overwhelmed by the rapid changes in the profession coming from technological innovation. Stephanie Kimbro takes them through an important aspect of it step by step, clearly, patiently, and comprehensively explaining how to establish a foothold in an online world. She brings calm, clarity, and foresight to a world moving ahead at warp speed.”—Ron A. Dolin, instructor at Stanford Law School
“If you don’t know a Shpoonkle from a Rocket Lawyer, you need this book. There is a brave new world of legal marketing online, in which technology companies are developing platforms to meet consumers’ legal needs. In The Consumer Law Revolution, Stephanie Kimbro maps this new landscape and offers guidance in navigating it. Whether you want to join this revolution or fight it, Kimbro’s book is a must-read.”—Robert J. Ambrogi, lawyer and blogger
“This book is a must-read for anyone who genuinely cares about solving the access-to justice-gap once and for all. Kimbro’s practical, how-to guide brilliantly takes the reader step-by-step through the tools needed to ethically and effectively utilize online marketing and advertising for legal services in an effort to reach untapped and underserved markets.”—Renee Newman Knake, associate professor of law at Michigan State University College of Law and co-founder of ReInvent Law Laboratory