US online legal service Rocket Lawyer to offer Twitter style legal advice
USA online legal service Rocket Lawyer is planning to introduce a service to dispense very brief legal advice online for free. Clients are allowed up to 600 characters for their question and will receive a reply within 24 hours.
The company is planning to offer a free question and answer service on a smartphone app to be launched in the new year. Consumers will have 600 characters to explain their legal problem and are a promised a reply from a qualified solicitor within 24 hours. (Source)
The app was created in the USA earlier this year and Rocket Lawyer’s UK arm is preparing to roll out the app in the UK in Q1 2014. The app will have coverage of 20 law firms across England and Wales with plans for expansion into Scotland and Northern Ireland once relationships have been built with legal firms in these areas. (Source)
Rocket Lawyer founder Charley Moore told the Law Gazette “This is the “on ramp” for legal services for the next generation”. He added “They expect and demand that lawyers are going to be responsive to them, which means being available through mobile”.
Rocket Lawyer’s site already allows members to create legal documents from online templates and offers members one free 30 minute consultation per month with a lawyer from a panel of firms with discounts on further consultations. The majority of the company’s revenue comes from business although the majority of its clients, around 70 percent of 10 million clients, are consumers.
Moore denied his company was taking work away from existing legal firms by offering services for free, describing Rocket Lawyer as “the best opportunity lawyers can have right now”. Moore claims there is a latent demand for legal services and that business models such as his will allow lawyers to be more efficient and satisfy the potential demand for legal services. Moore added “There is a latent demand for legal services with millions of transactions and disputes yet to be resolved”.