Law on Call? Why This May be the Next Evolution of Legal Aide
One of the most common complaints amongst the public is that it can be quite difficult to obtain the services of both a good and affordable attorney. This has led to debates on how the justice system unfairly favors the wealthy and leaves everyday people at a disadvantage. This issue has been heard, but for many years, little has been done to correct it. Much of it is due to the fact that the only means of obtaining legal advice for many people was through a law firm, until now.
First Non-lawyer Firm Opens for Business
The first-ever non-lawyer-owned law firm in the United States has opened for business. This March, Northwest Registered Agent is planning to open Law on Call. The Utah-based company will begin offering people in Utah access to legal services from licensed attorneys. This is especially important for people who may not need a full-time attorney but just someone to confirm a few concerns for them. In fact, Law on call will be offering this exact form of service to people. Clients will be paying $9 a month to have unlimited access to an attorney via phonecall. If they require actual work from an attorney, the starting rate would be at around $100 per hour with no retainer necessary to obtain the services. For many clients, this is a perfect option for quick work and may even lead to a faster legal process.
The Serious Issue Surrounding Traditional Lawyers
One of the biggest reasons for introducing Law on Call into the legal market is the terrible experience of going through the traditional route. Even for simple questions, the experience can be downright frustrating to the normal person. In many instances, attorneys won't even meet with a potential client if they believe that the payout isn't big enough. Even if the work is worth it, most people will still have to jump through a number of obstacles to even see the attorney in person. All this has created the perfect condition for Law on Call to be a serious competitor in the industry.
Is This Legal?
Many learning about Law on Call for the very first time may be confused as to the legality of it. This is because, for many years, opening this type of business was not legal. It wasn't until August of 2020 when the Supreme Court of Utah ruled in favor of a number of decisions that ultimately ended in the Utah Regulatory Legal Sandbox. Overseen by the office of legal services, the two-year pilot program was created to allow other players to come into the legal service industry. The goal of the courts was to create a level-playing field for anyone who wanted to obtain legal services. Chief legal strategy officer for Northwest Registered Agent, Drake Forester, stated that the goal of Law on Call is to shake up the traditional playbook.
Why Law on Call is so Affordable
Perhaps the biggest issue that leads to increasing legal service rates within traditional law firms is the pressure to increase billable hours. Not only do law firms pressure their attorneys to obtain more hours, but bring in more clients as well. This can dramatically slow down the legal process, even with the help of other attorneys. Law on Call works because it removes those pressures from their attorneys. In fact, many of the attorneys on hand will tend to specialize in a variety of legal areas, which opens up further options for clients. If the client likes the work they have received, they do then have the option of hiring that attorney for more hands-on work.
Movement in Other States?
Understandably, people in other states may be wondering if their own state will receive this type of legal freedom. Law on Call has been said to be working with other parties to expand this service and use the Utah Legal Sandbox as evidence of a working system. Although it may take a couple of more years for this to expand to the rest of the United States, the path is already being paved to make it a reality.
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