App matches clients with attorneys

By Thomas Franz
BridgeTower Media Newswires

DETROIT — A new app has been created to ease the process of lawyers matching with potential clients.

Legal Services Link aims to be the first technology platform to automate the client/attorney matching process.

“The app is completely free and takes about two minutes to sign up,” said Matthew Horn, the CEO of Legal Services Link.

The company is two years old, and Horn said his team had been fine-tuning the app and website for much of the first year. The app now has more than 2,000 attorneys and 2,000 clients signed up.

For lawyers, the app asks them to submit a profile with a name, headshot and link to their law firm biography.

“The functionality really comes in when we ask for the area of law in which they practice and the jurisdictions they’re licensed to practice in. Once they do that, they’re automatically in our directory and automatically receive emails and notifications whenever a project is posted that falls into their areas and jurisdictions of practice,” Horn said.

The app also offers a place for attorneys to manage project requests and communications, as well as customizable tools for building and maintaining their own client-facing profiles.

Legal Services Link allows consumers to anonymously post their legal projects, which are automatically distributed to the appropriate attorneys through email and pop-up notifications, therefore allowing attorneys to respond to projects from their phones or tablets.

“What the app has done, it takes two minutes for clients to punch in a summary of their legal issue, then it goes out to all of the attorneys in the network that fit their description. Instead of finding a needle in a haystack, they find out very quickly who the interested attorneys are in working for them,” Horn said.

Daniel Linna, a law professor at Michigan State University College of Law and director of LegalRnD —The Center for Legal Services Innovation, said an app like this could change the way law firms conduct business in the future.

“To me, it’s all about transparency and empowering customers and clients. I’m all in favor of anything that creates greater transparency in the legal industry and empowers consumers to make better decisions when they face questions about legal matters, including whether to hire a lawyer and which lawyer to hire,” Linna said.

As it pertains to Legal Services Link, Linna said the app appears to be a win-win for lawyers and clients.

“There’s absolutely a need for more online services that make it easier for consumers to find lawyers. It’s pretty much a no-brainer that instead of resisting these things as lawyers, we need to be looking at them and saying how can we really best use those platforms to communicate to the public the value we provide as lawyers,” Linna said.

Horn, who is a practicing attorney in the Chicago area, said he thought of the idea for Legal Services Link after graduating from law school and recognizing the challenges of bringing in business to move up the ranks of a firm.

“I thought, why is it so difficult to get clients, why isn’t there a platform out there like finding a car or a loan or a soulmate, there are many parallels. I sat on it for a time while becoming an educated lawyer,” Horn said.

Horn said that the app has been successful in matching people with family law issues, followed by estates and trusts, small business issues and criminal law.

He hopes to continue discussions with bar associations about building out their platforms.

“Whether it’s our platform or something else, I think this is the future of legal hiring,” Horn said. “It’s very much meeting the demand of these days of people wanting everything on-demand and immediately, and that’s what we’ve done.”