One piece of advice I've given to any out-of-work lawyer asking in this period of layoffs and no jobs is: be creative.
So I came across LawBidding.com
LawBidding.com is a free, easy-to-use website which connects individuals and businesses with attorneys. By connecting those who are seeking legal help with those providing these services, LawBidding.com's mission is to make retaining an attorney more efficient and less expensive for clients and to make it easier for attorneys to find potential clients!
Oh shit, I forgot. Pursuant to that new FTC rule or whatever about disclosure, I'm not receiving any money from these people. I don't even know if they have any money, but they haven't offered me any. I've never spoken with them (is this enough to keep me out of trouble or should I write more?)
Lawyers have to set up an account and log in to view the postings of potential clients. are attorneys who have set up an account with LawBidding.com. Lawyers and clients can communicate publicly and privately
So a client posts their issue, gets some bids from various lawyers (hopefully), and chooses the lawyer. No obligation on either side.
What I like about this site is the not-so-subtle dig at hourly rates:
This site makes it very efficient to receive numerous bids on legal work. Because these bids can be based on three fee structures: flat fee, hourly rate or contingent basis, this site will allow for options beyond the expensive and sometimes inefficient hourly rate.
What's the downside to this site? Stupidity. Stupidity on both the client and the lawyer.
I see this site as a "good introduction," but not the only method to determine whether the client and lawyer should engage. Any client or lawyer that doesn't further investigate whether both parties and the case are a good match, is just plain stupid.
I don't know how this site will play out for certain types of cases, such as criminal defense where the client may not have time to wait for bids, and may not want to post about the case, even if in general. I see this as a great site for typical legal matters - contracts, wills, real estate closings, etc..
There are those lawyers who will be critical of this "bidding" website because law is a "profession." But the biggest firms get the biggest clients by preparing bids in response to ads in trade papers, and being interviewed by the client.
We all bid. A client comes in, and may have already spoken to other lawyers and received their "bids."
To argue that this is the type of site that will encourage clients to hire the "lowest bidder," is silly. Clients do that anyway, and we as lawyers all know that. Those clients that are not looking for the lowest bidder, won't hire the lowest bidder whether they meet them in person, or online.
I see no reason why this is any different.
Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. Please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com