A website launched this summer aims to fill the justice gap by making it easier for clients to find the right lawyer and by providing lawyers – mostly solos – with free administrative software to help them manage their costs of performing Lower legal services.
In the front end, Xira is a website where clients can search for lawyers that suit their legal problem and budget. They can then book a consultation directly with the lawyer they have chosen and meet that lawyer in a Zoom video call.
In the backend, Xira is a free and non-binding service for lawyers that offers free access to a suite of cloud-based practice management software that includes case management, time management, document management, electronic invoicing, online calendar and booking and secure messaging.
It even includes the cost of Zoom audio and video calls with clients, regardless of whether the clients come through Xira.
The only cost to the attorney is a $ 30 fee for booking a new client that is incurred when a client finds, books, and meets the attorney on Xira.
If an attorney elects to receive electronic billing payments through Xira, there will be a $ 10 monthly fee for this service.
An attorney can also choose to increase the document storage from the standard 2GB to 100GB for an additional $ 10 per month. However, these fees are completely optional.
Founder Reza Ghaffari, who was formerly chief operating officer of the telecommunications company Coriant until it was acquired by competitor Infinera in 2018 for $ 430 million, sees Xira as a means to help individual lawyers become more successful by working more efficiently .
Ghaffari sees a legal market where large numbers of lawyers have become self-employed, often virtually and many part-time. At the same time, there is a large number of consumers who are not getting the legal help they need.
“Let’s put these together,” said Ghaffari of his reason for starting Xira. “Let’s offer a product that solos can use to expand their practice. We also wanted to create a place where users can find the right advice. “
Looking for a lawyer
For clients looking for a lawyer, Xira offers various filtering options to help them find the right match with a lawyer focused on their area of need.
You start by entering the type of legal problem and its status on the homepage. This search opens a results page with brief profiles of the matching lawyers (or cards, as Xira calls them). These profiles show the advocate rate for an initial consultation, the default billing rate, and the next available meeting time.
The customer immediately receives a confirmation of the planned consultation.
The order in which lawyers appear on the results page is randomized to give a fair view of all lawyers on the platform. The client can click through a profile to view an attorney’s full bio, which includes more details on legal practice, experience and fees, as well as an expanded live calendar of available session times.
On the search results page, filters allow clients to narrow down the results in several ways:
Depending on availability, from immediately to within 30 days. According to the hourly rate. From those who offer free advice. By those who offer flat or contingent fees. According to reviews. Through spoken languages.
Once the client has selected an attorney, the client selects a meeting time from the calendar that shows the attorney’s availability and receives an immediate confirmation.
The platform allows clients to rate lawyers who use them and these ratings are available to others who come to the site. For lawyers new to the site, Xira helps import reviews from other sites like Google, Yelp, or Avvo.
Manage clients and cases
For lawyers using Xira, their starting point is a dashboard where they can manage their cases, bills, messages, and other activities.
Lawyers manage their cases and consultations through a dashboard.
When a new client books a consultation via Xira, the client immediately receives a confirmation and the appointment immediately appears in the attorney’s Xira calendar. Xira can synchronize with calendars in Office 365, Google and iCloud. The attorney clicks the calendar appointment to view the client’s details.
With Xira, the lawyer can control the time of the booking. The attorney can set a minimum advance notice amount and set breaks or buffers between sessions.
When the time for the meeting comes, both the attorney and client are taken to a lobby until the meeting begins. They can take part in the meeting at the scheduled time.
The Xira platform contains a document safe for every case.
If the client keeps the lawyer, the lawyer can open a new case in Xira and manage their activities and billing through the platform. A document folder is also created for each new case. The client will have access to this folder and will be notified when the attorney adds a document. The client can read and download documents, but not delete them.
Each case also includes secure messages in which the attorney and client can exchange text messages.
Xira also offers a mobile app in which all of these functions are available.
Xira was officially launched in California in July. So far, marketing has been focused on the consumer and most of the lawyers listed are located there. It will expand its marketing to New York and Florida later this year and eventually has broader planning.
Meanwhile, attorneys in any state can register for the site for free, which is free and takes less than 10 minutes.
Xira also plans to build an ecosystem of legal professionals using the platform so lawyers can band together for temporary assignments or refer cases to one another. The plan would also give lawyers access to paralegal clerks through the platform.
The company is currently looking for angel funding to fund its marketing and development plans.
It literally costs nothing for a lawyer to register with Xira. For this, lawyers receive a practice management platform, audio and video conferences and the potential of new customers. Only when a client books a consultation and meets with the attorney is there a fee, and then it’s a relatively minimal $ 30.
Xira’s practice management software is not a full-featured platform that a law firm could support. It is designed for solos. There is no way to link an attorney’s Xira account to that of another attorney in the same firm, or to share calendars, tasks, or documents with colleagues.
But for a solo, Xira is a platform worth reviewing. I will repeat that an attorney can use this to manage all of the attorney’s cases, not just those that come in through Xira. This includes online planning and video conferencing. Do you need to schedule a meeting with a current client? Send the client to Xira to book the time in your calendar.
“The long-term vision is to make solos practicing more efficient so they have more billable hours,” said Ghaffari. “When they have more billable hours and fewer operational costs, they may lower their prices so that many people in need of legal advice can get it.”