Cheap Legal Advice
Online and/or cheap legal advice might be cheaper today, but could be much more costly tomorrow.
But let’s make sure no-one reading this article is under any illusions about where Linkilaw stand on legal fees …
Law has been far too expensive and inaccessible to consumers and for businesses, legal costs can be a huge burden. Linkilaw is a huge advocate of the revolution taking place in legal services and we’re confident that that technology, deregulation, new business models and the twin drivers of choice and competition, will make law more accessible, more affordable and (lawyers take note) transform the purchasing landscape for 52% of business owners who currently ‘muddle’ through, rather than seek external legal advice.
However, with legal services as with most things in life, there is a crucial balance to be found between price and value. Driving the lowest price possible for a legal document might feel fine and dandy when that document is not necessarily needed, but won’t feel so terrific when you grab for that document in 2 years time and find it has no teeth.
In fact, this is the dark side of cheap legal advice that has been demanded by consumers and given to them by some legal professionals and legal firms. This is what we’ll be covering in more detail in this post and you’ll see that cheap legal advice may not be so good after all.
The Tide Will Be Out And Your Business Will Be Feeling Pretty Exposed
At the end of last year, Dr Patricia Greer (a former Law Society corporate affairs chief) was commissioned by the Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling to conduct a review of the accessibility and affordability of legal services. The review is due to complete shortly and one of the areas likely to be covered will be infrastructure changes in the legal sector itself, including the recent increase in online and telephone services.
There have been a lot of reservations about online advice with The Law Society openly warning that the cheapest option is not always the best option… but then, in the words of Mandy Rice-Davies … “they would say that wouldn’t they?”
But one of the biggest providers of online legal documentation, Legal Zoom, admit that they never, “review your answers for legal sufficiency, draw legal conclusions, provide legal advice or apply the law to the facts of your particular situation.” … which does raise a rather large question mark about the sturdiness and value of their documents?
The point here is that regardless of whether legal advice is online or face-to-face – if a case is poorly managed and/or documents have disclaimers like those above, then it could cost you big time in the long term and the practical consequences for a business of following bad advice can be disastrous.
There are some very able online legal providers out there with sterling recommendations and repeat business – we partner with a number of them. However, some advice needs time and expertise to deliver. It requires consideration of wider points, including the commercial implications for your business.
This requires a legal skill set that is not just about template documents, downloadable advice and/or quick fire Q&A. It sometimes requires a good quality lawyer, with experience in your sector and/or issue plus the commercial savvy to not rack up legal costs but to drill into the commercial requirements.
The Balance Between Price And Value
The advances in technology are going to transform legal services, saving time, cost, hassle, uncertainty of dealing with the traditional legal firm and process.
Huge savings and efficiency will be found in a historically conservative legal landscape and that’s exciting as the market and it’s consumers, find a balance which taps into this technology: safeguards the client to ensure sound legal advice whilst offering a multi-channel service which does not cost the earth.
As an example of how wider change can help, reducing the touch points of legal teams and the courts should and could lead to positive change.
Proper access to justice is not only fundamental to individuals and businesses, but also affects our economy and commercial environment. Services like Linkilaw are driving change in how business owners and good quality lawyers can work together. Increasing efficiency, choice and competition – whilst maintaining the quality.
Want to utilise Linkilaw’s services to find a full range of free quotes from qualified lawyers? Then click the image below and let’s get started!