Last week, we announced that Rocket Lawyer partnered with new investors Google Ventures and August Capital, committing $18.5 million (as well as lots of energy and support) to building our online legal service. Thank you to the many thousands of visionary lawyers who publish profiles on RocketLawyer.com. You are helping millions of people and small businesses to thrive by making real lawyers like you more accessible online.
This is a big milestone for the legal industry, and we’re excited to continue collaborating with lawyers to make access to quality legal service better for all.
Since the announcement, lots of our customers, partners and colleagues (many of whom are lawyers themselves) have joined the discussion about the transition to law in the cloud that we are committed to accelerating. Several lawyers and commentators have specifically questioned how the popularity of cloud computing generally, and Rocket Lawyer in particular, may influence how attorneys practice law now and in the future.
So, we’ve identified a few of the most common questions and tried to give you our perspective. First and foremost, Rocket Lawyer was created to help people and businesses address some of their most basic legal needs more efficiently. We think that by doing so, we are increasing the size of the legal market. The number of people and businesses that can make legal wills, incorporate, put agreements in writing and work with good lawyers will go up as we make it easier for them. We expect that as folks get used to a simpler way to “make it legal,™” they will become lifetime consumers of legal services that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to access or afford.
According to a survey we conducted, fifty-one percent (51%) of small business owners say the main reason they avoid seeking legal counsel is because it is too expensive. This perspective comes at the same time as over a quarter of the same business people say that legal issues pose “the biggest risk to their company!” We’ve already helped millions of Rocket Lawyer users with legal matters, in collaboration with thousands of energetic attorneys with free legal profiles on our site. We want to help even more lawyers represent online clients by giving attorneys a lot for free and low cost (like free profiles and access to a Web Law Office).
It is also really exciting to see how many other entrepreneurs are building new online resources involving real lawyers. We believe in open platforms and ideas, like Justia and Google Scholar, for example. If you think your service might be helpful to our users, let’s talk!
Here are answers to some of the most common questions we’ve received.
Are you trying to put lawyers out of business?
Are you kidding? You’re the “lawyer” in Rocket Lawyer!
I started Rocket Lawyer and I am an attorney. A big inspiration for creating this service was my belief that lawyers need better tools to connect with clients the way that clients increasingly want to be served. Clients want lawyers who are online. They want to be able to collaborate with their lawyers and access legal information the same way they interact with their banks, vendors, friends and colleagues, via the Web.
We will help you compete. Would you create your own phone system in order to practice? Then why should you have to create an entire network of all of the online stuff that you need? Clients need simplicity and so they look for brands where they can get comfortable with an experience and trust that the same experience will be available to them every time they interact with the brand. By building your brand, as an accessible lawyer, we will increase the size of the legal market together. More people will actually be able to engage with lawyers because we’ve made it easier for them to do so.
Why do lawyers have to pay to use Rocket Lawyer?
My profile and every other lawyer’s profile on our site is free. In addition, we provide a benefit called Rocket Lawyer On Call™ that connects our consumer and small business members with a local, independent attorney who can help them with their complex legal needs. It’s free for lawyers to join On Call™, and we encourage attorneys to sign up so they can connect with these new clients. It’s also free for attorneys to use almost every feature on our platform because we want lawyers and clients to use Rocket Lawyer to work together. Lastly, we also have some premium paid offerings, including online advertising opportunities, for attorneys who want additional exposure.
What is Rocket Lawyer On Call™?
On Call™ is our Legal Plan for individuals, families and small businesses. Lawyers who participate in the On Call™ program have all agreed to provide our eligible members with legal services that match our legal plan benefits. It’s in line with our belief that costs for legal services should be transparent and predictable. On Call™ is a great way for participating lawyers to get new clients through Rocket Lawyer where we handle the online part and you provide the legal services.
How is your company related to Google?
Google Ventures is an investor in Rocket Lawyer and a Google executive serves on our board of directors. We also partner with Google to create free legal templates for Google Docs. We share Google’s passion for making it simpler for people to find information and get things done. So, we look forward to helping the legal community to get the most out of the cloud and we think Google Ventures is a terrific partner.
Our users tell us that Rocket Lawyer is already the easiest way to handle their legal matters, and now we’re going to use our capital to make our services even more of a ‘wow’ experience for everyone. This means helping attorneys to do more in the cloud too, via the Rocket Lawyer platform, including making connections to other cloud services easier for attorneys, be it Google Scholar, Facebook, Google Docs, Android, LinkedIn, Twitter or search.
We hope this helps you think about what we can do together. This is an amazing time of transition for the legal market and we are humbled by all of the great stuff that we see lawyers doing online already. We’re serious about helping lawyers make the most of the Internet to serve clients better. If you’re committed to building your practice this way, we would love to work with you.
Just get started by setting up your free profile.