For many consumers, it remains intimidating to find a lawyer to consult with. They don’t know who to call or what it might cost them.
A new website called Pro Help Legal aims to solve this problem by offering near-instant access to video chat with an attorney, with the cost of the consultation clearly disclosed in advance.
The client who seeks help answers two questions – legal question and country of residence – and receives a list of suitable lawyers.
Each attorney’s profile shows what the attorney charges for advice, if any, and what areas of practice and experience the attorney has.
A video meeting on Pro Help Legal.
Once the client has selected an attorney and the attorney is currently online, they can request an immediate meeting. When the attorney is not online, the tenant can use the calendar in the attorney’s profile to schedule a meeting.
Lawyers pay nothing to be on the platform and set the amount of their consulting fees. Some offer free consultations, while others charge between $ 1 and $ 75 for a 15-minute consultation.
Customers must purchase “Connection Credit” for $ 7.99 for each call and pay the fees charged by the attorney.
Started last month
The website just launched last month and has only signed up a handful of attorneys so far. However, founders Josh Cordova and James Dorman told me that they plan to bring more lawyers to the job site while focusing on the quality of the lawyers they hire rather than the quantity.
You have already noticed a high level of consumer interest in the site and will be running ads on Google to get more traffic.
Dorman, an attorney in Meridian, Idaho, and Cordova, an executive director and advisor, met while both were on the MBA program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
They started planning the website after a customer at Dorman asked aloud why a customer couldn’t just swipe a credit card and speak to an attorney.
They were also aware that a number of lawyers are looking for more business but lack efficient ways to find clients. “I’ve met lawyers who drive Uber just to make ends meet,” Dorman said.
Free for lawyers
Lawyers set their available time using the dashboard.
With Pro Help Legal, a lawyer can register for free and create a profile. Lawyers have access to a dashboard where they can set their consulting fees and calendar their availability.
When a customer books an available time slot, Pro Help Legal notifies the attorney via text and the attorney can return to the dashboard to view details.
The dashboard shows a calendar with scheduled meetings.
Lawyers can also set their profiles for immediate availability. For example, if an attorney is in the office with no scheduled meetings, the attorney can use the dashboard to show that the attorney is currently available.
Pro Help Legal processes the customer’s payment prior to the meeting. Payments are processed through the strip payment processing, for which a processing fee is charged. The balance is paid to the lawyer.
Lawyers and clients can extend the duration of a consultation. When a client has purchased a 15 minute consultation and wants to continue an additional 15 minutes, the attorney can decide whether to charge a fee and have a fee processed immediately.
Lawyers and clients can also complete assignments, and lawyers have the option of processing flat-rate payments through the platform. However, all further business between the lawyer and the client would take place outside the platform.
For video meetings between lawyers and clients, the platform uses Amazon Chime, which Cordova selected for its stability and security. Video conferencing is not recorded and there is no option to record it due to its design.
They are the only video conferencing platform for lawyers and clients that offers 256-bit encrypted video connections.
Lawyers listed on the website must have their own wrongdoing insurance.
Pro Help Legal is similar to another website I wrote about recently called Xira that also allows clients to find and book appointments with lawyers.
The challenge for a site like this at startup is building a core of attorneys listed on the site and potential clients who come to the site.
However, when Pro Help Legal can do it, it will provide consumers and lawyers with a win-win situation that will provide consumers with an easier and more transparent way to connect with an attorney, and even provide lawyers with a new source of potential clients a way to pick up a few consultation fees on a quiet afternoon.