Debuting this week is a new web based legal app that will allow consumers to locate an available lawyer and connect with them instantly by voice and video, in much the same way that someone can hail a ride ‘on demand’ using the transportation app Uber or order food using food delivery app Menulog.
Tentatively named “The Law App’, the Australian designed and developed technology is currently awaiting final approval from Apple to be included in the app store. The app’s developer, Kristin Noble, hopes that the app will be available in the app store by the start of July 2018.
“Our state-of-art app is in the on-demand service space… it’s like Uber or Menulog but for lawyers,” says Noble. “You simply touch The Law App and communicate with a range of pre-screened and validated lawyers in real time video-chat, live and direct.”
When a client first installs the app, they are prompted to create a login and simple profile, either by connecting to a social network such as Google+, Facebook or even using an email address.
Once the user logs in, the app allows them to list their matter and requirements for legal help. If a lawyer who is part of the system works in the relevant area of law, the lawyer will respond with their interest in handling the matter, as well as a clear indication of expected costs. The user can then conduct face-to-face interviews and make their selection based on the most appropriate candidate and quote.
Users describe their matter and choose a particular area of law to narrow the field to include only lawyers who have experience in the correct area of law.
When lawyers and clients meet together during the interview process, they can select a video call option to communicate more effectively. When a party sees the video call coming in, displaying the caller’s name and profile, the counterparty can either deny or accept the call. If the recipient accepts, the two are connected into a private video call. If either party denies (or misses) the call, an alternative suitable time can be scheduled.
The Law App’s video and audio calling system is currently deployed using the tokbox chat system (https://tokbox.com/) which is very clear and easy to use for all parties.
“We believe that technology such as this has broad-based applications within the legal societies as well as a relationship development device for lawyers in all areas of law,” Noble says.
Her plan is to develop a network of lawyers to participate in and grow the service. The Law App offers lawyers a period of a free trial and then charge on a monthly subscription basis for ongoing participation. A small administrative fee is also passed on to The Law App from the lawyer based on the matter or engagement.
She foresees the app being used to answer quick and simple legal questions at no charge, as well as foster a competitive marketplace to obtain the best priced comprehensive legal service. The incentive for lawyers and legal experts to participate is to establish new relationships with clients that could then lead to fee-generating services and referrals.
She also sees the app as being useful to legal services organisations in providing quick legal help and a legal triage to low-income clients, especially those in remote areas or with disabilities who may be unable to attend an office for geographic or physical reasons.
So could this app become the Uber or Menulog of the law industry? No doubt, access to on-demand legal advice, especially at a lower and more competitive cost, will be attractive to many consumers. The bigger question will be how many lawyers will participate and to what extent they embrace this new technology. “Our hope is that they will and that The Law App will also find a place in the pro bono community” Noble explains.
Meanwhile, membership is free and currently operating as a web app on www.thelawapp.com.au (watch for The Law App to appear in the app store in the coming months).
Opening email to Lawyers
The Law App was founded on the principles and ideals of justice and efficiency.
We believe that lawyers should help people and avoid becoming the butt of a joke.
How do we accomplish this? By putting the client first. We are their voice.
Our job is to help them navigate the legal system. When lawyers engage in the civil and professional practice of law the client benefits. The Law App’s network of lawyers strive to maintain the highest respect among their peer lawyers and clients alike. This helps our clients all achieve better results because respectable lawyers have greater credibility with other lawyers and the court systems in which they practice.
All we ask is that you give us an opportunity to provide you more business by joining our growing network of lawyers in Australia. We believe that you will be impressed.
Grow with us. You’re in charge.