The on-demand economy has brought us a lot of great things. For example, you can now arrange for a ride from virtually anywhere using a smartphone app. You can video chat with a doctor in hopes of figuring out why your cold won’t go away. There are so many things you can do in the on-demand economy that were just not available 20 years ago.
How would you feel to learn that concierge law is considered part of the on-demand economy? Concierge law, also known as subscription-based law, is still considered a niche within the greater legal industry. But new law firms that provide only subscription-based services are popping up all over the country. Even existing law firms are starting to offer subscription-based services alongside a more traditional practice.
How Concierge Law Works
Concierge law works similar to concierge medicine in practice. Clients pay an annual or monthly fee in exchange for regular access to a basic list of services. In a medical setting, that would mean well patient visits, inoculations, annual checkups, and most other forms of primary care.
In a legal setting, access to a basic list of services really depends on the kind of client you are talking about. A business client might need regular contract reviews, help closing certain kinds of deals, and the like. Someone looking for personal services might want access to a lawyer for immediate help with things like traffic accidents and being pulled over by the police.
It seems to work due to the fact that there are plenty of people who want access to legal representation but do not want to be stuck paying huge retainers and excessive hourly rates. They want a simple price structure for basic services. If this doesn’t make sense to you, consider the following two statistics cited by MarketWatch in a December 2016 report:
- 80% of low-income earners cannot afford access to legal representation
- The average rates for attorney representation run between $200 and $520 per hour.
For an individual or small business that does not have need of in-depth legal representation, paying those hourly rates is just too much. They would rather pay for subscription-based legal services.
Preparing to Offer Concierge Law
Offering subscription-based legal services seems like a pretty good idea in the on-demand era. But like anything else, a law firm really needs to be prepared to do it right. We believe the first step in doing so is to deploy an appropriate legal case management software package. Our Salesforce case management solution is a strong candidate.
Understand that concierge law naturally results in working on a lot of smaller things rather than just one or two big cases per year. It means working with a larger number of clients on a more frequent basis. A law firm has to have the right case management software in place or things get out of hand very quickly.
The ideal case management application brings together all of those separate systems a law firm currently uses. This includes case management, matter management, billing, accounting, marketing, and research. Everything is centralized in a cloud environment that offers easy access to everyone involved. Giving clients access through a customer portal is a big plus as well.
The on-demand economy has changed the way, America does business. It is changing the way law is practiced, albeit more slowly than in other areas of the economy. Law firms taking advantage of the on-demand economy are finding a new way to practice law through subscription-based services. Is your firm one of them?