In the midst of a global pandemic stretching back over a year, many people have taken to the internet for services traditionally sought in person. Legal services are no different. There is an appetite among clients, whether they are creating a will or closing on a house purchase, for a safe, contactless way to do business. Online lawyer solve the problem neatly and nimbly.
There’s just one catch: how do you determine quality in the online legal market? How are clients expected to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak? Traditional brick-and-mortar law firms used to attract clientele through good word-of-mouth and local advertising. Compelling adverts and positive referrals gave prospective clients some assurance that they were in good hands.
How do you find the right online lawyer? In this post, let’s look at four ways to go about it.
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Start by Determining Legitimacy and Experience
At a minimum, you need your lawyer to be a real lawyer – I.e., a licensed legal professional. When browsing the website of an online law firm, look for confirmation of this fact. To gauge their level of experience, look for any favourable press and awards attached to the firm. Press from a trusted organization or news outlet is a reliable indication of a firm’s professionalism and experience.
As an example, Axess Law lists their inclusion in a Globe and Mail article and Financial Post article, as well as awards and rankings from various organizations.
Look for a Transparency Policy
You don’t want to write a blank check for services, only to find out later that the duration and scope of said services are beyond your budgetary comfort level. Therefore, it’s critical to choose an online lawyer offering transparent fixed prices.
Transparency extends beyond pricing, too: you want a lawyer who uses clear, understandable language instead of confusing legal jargon. To get a sense of a law firm’s communication style, simply read their website copy – it should give you a clear impression of how they approach clients.
Read the Google Reviews
The trusty Google review section – it isn’t just an asset in choosing a restaurant or hotel. Past clients’ experiences with a law firm, documented in starred Google reviews, will let you know the quality of service you can expect.
Don’t accept anything under four stars. 4.5 stars is approaching an exceptional level of legal service. And if you find a law firm that has more than 4.5 stars (from a sizeable number of reviews), you can rest very easy knowing you’ll receive remarkable legal services.
If you’re someone who works weekends or evenings, or anticipates needing legal help during those times, consider availability. Does the online law firm you are considering offer 7-days-a-week availability? Check their website or call them for confirmation.
Luckily, finding the right online law firm doesn’t require you to leave the house. With an internet browser, some time, and the above criteria for reference, you should easily find an outstanding online lawyer.