On October 1, 2015, the American Bar Association (ABA) and Rocket Lawyer announced the launch of “ABA Law Connect,” which matches small businesses with lawyers. $4.95 buys the small business one online question, answered by an ABA-member lawyer in the relevant jurisdiction, and a follow-up question. Illinois, Pennsylvania and California are the initial test markets.
According to the ABA press release, the program seeks to provide affordable avenues to legal services for small businesses and provide exposure to potential new clients for ABA members:
“ABA Law Connect is an exciting opportunity for the ABA and Rocket Lawyer to assist small businesses, connecting them with ABA members, and represents one of many efforts by the ABA to improve access to legal services,” ABA President Paulette Brown said. “By providing a low cost, highly accessible, online avenue for small business owners to get answers to basic legal questions, we hope to improve access to legal services while simultaneously offering our members potential new opportunities.”
As for Rocket Lawyer, its founder and CEO Charley Moore touts its cloud-based program:
It’s always been Rocket Lawyer’s mission to leverage technology in order to bring quality and affordable legal services to small businesses. . . . ABA Law Connect will open up new channels for small businesses to get the professional counsel they need.
But according to its website, Rocket Lawyer provides services for legal consumers as well:
Founded in 2008, Rocket Lawyer strives to make the law affordable and simple for everyone. With financial backing and technical support from Google Ventures and its other partners, Rocket Lawyer has developed a cloud-based platform connecting millions of people with the legal help they need, at a fraction of the traditional cost. Using simple Q&A interviews, as well as live consultations with attorneys on their mobile phones, tablets and desktop computers, small business owners, self-employed individuals and consumers can now manage a wide variety of legal situations with relative ease.
Hopefully, this will be a win-win for small businesses and legal consumers alike. Only time will tell.