LegalTech for Consumers

A Brewing Crisis
Most Americans can't afford legal services. Approximately 75% of people who appear in civil court are unrepresented. Because these litigants don't know the law or the rules of procedure and evidence they are unable to protect themselves or their interests. They can neither defend themselves nor assert their rights. Even in the criminal justice system where the right to counsel is guaranteed by the Constitution, defendants too often receive inadequate or substandard representation. The situation is untenable and only worsening.
An Industry Failure
The legal industry has failed to take meaningful steps to address this problem. Bureaucrats and regulators impose arbitrary rules that do little to protect the public but stymie innovation and drive up the cost of legal services. While they acknowledge that a lack of access to justice is a serious problem and pay lip service to solving it, industry leaders have proven more interested in protecting a status quo that keeps them employed and empowered.
An 'Outside-the-Box' Solution
Small firm and solo practitioners who interact daily with consumers in need of services are better situated than insulated bureaucrats and big firm lawyers to put forward real solutions to the access to justice problem. They best understand the wants and needs of today's clients and how to meet them in a cost-effective, efficient way. The attorneys can devise the processes and systems that bring an affordable suite of services to people who need them.
A Confluence of Factors I: Incentivized Providers
While the need for legal services is increasing, particularly in the wake of the CoVid pandemic, demand for legal services is falling because most people can't afford a lawyer. As a result, the pool of qualified clients for most small firms and solo practitioners is actually shrinking. With competition for qualified clients growing ever fiercer, today's lawyers have an economic incentive to adopt innovative systems that are affordable for clients and profitable for providers. Attorneys should thus be ready to bring new ideas to market if only to keep their own businesses viable.
A Confluence of Factors II: Technology Breeds Opportunity
The CoVid pandemic has further demonstrated that technology, while not a panacea, is the most important tool available to lawyers to bring access to justice to more people who desperately need it. Attorneys can develop systems that divide their practices into two buckets: Legal work that must be performed by counsel and ancillary services outside the definition of the practice of law. The former can be streamlined by more effcient communication between lawyer and client. The latter can often be automated.
For example, lawyers are often hired to form corporations. Many of the tasks involved - filing a Certificate of Incorporation, hiring a registered agent, issuing meeting notices - do not require attorney-intervention. OlyverApp provides users with a process to handle those matters themselves. However, drafting bylaws, while routine, constitutes the practice of law and should be performed by a lawyer. OlyverApp gathers the information counsel needs to provide that service and sends it to the attorney, saving time and money on unnecessary consultation.
Building the Marketplace
Companies that generate consumer-facing legal tech platforms, websites, and software need to work together to build the marketplace. This involves cross-promotion focused on developing consumer awareness of the existence of alternate service providers, sharing information and strategies for attracting users to these services, and coordinated efforts to push back at regulatory attempts to stymie development.

OlyverApp does not provide legal, accounting, or other professional services.


© 2021 OliverClarity Inc. All Rights Reserved.