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Selling Legal Services in Small Bites... Food for Thought!

Establishing a long-term relationship with a lawyer can be intimidating for many. This is especially true when one has an isolated question for which only a small amount of legal advice is necessary or desired.

How can this potentially large marker for legal services be served? A major push comes from the startup LawTrades. According to Cofounder and CEO Raad Ahmed, legal help is too inaccessible to the average consumer. Large companies and wealthy clients are the only ones who can afford counsel because legal services have gotten too costly due to the inherent tendency for bills to grow under the billable hour model. Furthermore, getting help from a traditional lawyer takes too long to suit the practical needs of clients in this fast moving society.

That is why on July 13 the company launched its new email legal access service, Micro. The program connects consumers to lawyers in various fields so that they can have their legal questions answered in less than 24 hours for a flat, predetermined fee starting at $25.

LawTrades customer Josh Muccio describes the process as “very transparent”. The client knows how much they are going to pay for the attorney’s services as well as which questions will be answered and the attorney knows exactly what the client is asking for as well as what he or she will receive for compensation. There are no surprises and there is little risk involved for both parties, making the transaction a simple and even enjoyable experience.

This small scale model may open the profession up to critical examination of the billable hour model that hamstrings the ability of the profession to provide services to a large portion of the public with a predictable expectation of cost. Lawyers may well grow comfortable returning the profession to its long ago, stable base: a fixed fee for service model.

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