Attorney matching services are a recent phenomenon in the world of finding an attorney online. Legalmatch and Legalfish operate as the two biggest matching service only sites, Findlaw has recently incorporated a service as part of it’s very popular web portal. All of these services will allow the posting a specific legal problem by clients seeking lawyers. Depending on your local area, these services will then show your case to several attorneys who may post a response.
One considerable advantage of these services is that they allow participants to state the level of privacy that they desire. It’s up to the users if they want to show their contact information to any attorney that reads their case or if they want to see if the attorney can present a credible review or action plan before revealing their information. People who are concerned with their community image should especially appreciate this feature.
In addition, all these services perform a prescreening of the attorneys involved. Don’t be overly impressed by this; however, remember these services are all primarily designed as marketing. It’s a nice small side benefit, but ultimately you’re going to have to rely on your instincts and good judgment in selecting an attorney. These services try to require that attorneys provide proof of good standing registered with lawyer’s applicable bar. If you are concerned with either of these, then it’s not a bad practice to inquire of any attorney that you are considering, as the services don’t require continuing checks and an attorney might be with a service for several years.
These services will charge responding lawyers from several to ten of thousands of dollars for the right to respond to your case. One upshot is that since an attorney who responds pays a considerable fee that attorney would likely have a sincere and legitimate interest in your case’s area of practice. Unfortunately, attorneys have become quite good at claiming an expertise in virtually any area. However, when an attorney spends a considerable sum on marketing focused on one practice area, then they will naturally develop an actual expertise in that area.
In addition, by responding you can quickly garner information that the attorney needs work and is available for your case. This really is a slow low pressure way to find an attorney. You will also save a lot of money on consultation fees when you have a more complicated case requiring a more detailed analysis of potential representation.
The downside can also be that it can take time for an attorney to respond. Since there’s a significant investment required to be a subscriber, there won’t be a large number of responding attorneys. A tip on these services can be to send a message to the attorney to call you once you receive their response. This lets the attorney know you’re a good prospect and have thoughtfully read the lawyer’s response.
It’s easy to see that for more complex cases that attorney matching services can be an ideal way to select a lawyer. Contested family law cases or more intricate personal injuries matters lend themselves to benefiting both the potential client and the intake lawyer with this method. Conversely, more cookie cutter areas like Bankruptcy or real estate closing would not benefit from the use of an attorney matching service.
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