“It’s like a legal Facebook page,” – Mai Chen
How legal services are being delivered has been going through an online revolution for some time and a new website where people seeking legal advice can target a lawyer with the specific legal skills is the latest in the evolution.
MyAdvice.Legal was created by Mai Chen of Chen Palmer Partners.
“We have lawyers in New Zealand who have a lot of expertise and specialities but sometimes it’s not known among the general public. We need to have a better way for people to access this experience and knowledge,” she says.
MyAdvice.Legal works off the philosophy ‘Best Lawyer, Best Practice, and Best Price’.
Ms Chen says there are ten customer promises that lawyers must agree on, to be able to register on the site, and so offer their expertise.
“That includes the principle of transparency and that a lawyer will respond within 24 hours and provide the first hour of legal advice for free. They have to agree to do one piece of pro-bono work a year,” she says.
Ms Chen says the client has access to an encrypted portal to keep all documentation secure and will have access to video conferencing.
“They have to provide the client with a weekly report and if the client is living rurally access with the lawyer can be maintained online through Skype.”
MyAdvice.Legal was launched mid-October and Ms Chen says interest has been high.
“We were getting 40 to 60 visitors an hour,” she says.
Once a lawyer affiliated with the site gets a confirmed instruction from a client, the subscription cost is $199 a month.
“We do take a 2.5% administration fee from the agreed budget between the two parties.”
Lawyers will be able to promote their own specialised experience via their online profiles at MyAdvice.Legal by contributing blogs and articles.
“I think value billing will become more prevalent and artificial intelligence will be essential to keep the price of advice more consistent with client expectations,” says Mai Chen.