The 2018 Survey of U.S. Legal Technologies examined the standing of legal technology solutions for non-lawyers. It found that most of those solutions are single-feature. They either refer you to potential lawyers, offer resources to clarify legal jargon, or assemble information on legal matters.
These single-feature solutions are valuable because they make the law a bit more accessible to clients, but only to a point. They’re limited because they do not direct clients to lawyers and facilitate legal services as well. They do not provide the crucial accompanying support of an attorney.
In our experience, these limitations can be overcome through multi-feature solutions. They perform a variety of functions on a single platform, with a single login to access all, for both clients and attorneys.
Whereas there is a market for single-feature solutions for attorneys and for clients, multi-feature solutions are primarily marketed toward attorneys. As such, clients who are using legal tech platforms are usually using them at the discretion of their attorney. Even so, these platforms offer more support to clients than single-feature solutions. And they still give clients access to documents, calendars, invoices, and informative legal resources. They are far more useful to clients than most people realize.
More Features Means More Support
A principle goal of all legal technology solutions is support for attorneys. It's all about easing the way of the attorney. Which, of course, is great. That means more time for them to practice law and less time on the business side of the practice.
However, the single-feature solutions offer limited support for clients. They function as information repositories or “cold” attorney-referral services for clients. They mostly help a client in the initial phase of finding an attorney or perhaps paying invoices online.
Multi-feature solutions, however, are compilations of resources and functions that carry you through the legal process. These solutions facilitate engagement with attorneys, streamline communication and scheduling, manage online payments, and more. The array of services and support offered contrast with the single-feature experience for clients: that of switching from one tool to another on different websites and applications.
More Support Means More Action
The 2018 Survey of U.S. Legal Technologies does reveal that single-feature tools do facilitate action for clients, particularly in document creation. And in that we mean creating legal documents without the support or review of an actual attorney. Sure, this is a great option if the risk is low. You can complete a form and start the process of contesting a parking ticket. However, it it's a divorce, will or estate, or other matters that pose more of a legal risk, an attorney is absolutely required, even if it's just to review the document.
Multi-feature solutions enable other services early and later on in the legal process: case intake, research, court filing (depending on the jurisdiction), review, and more. The compilation of these features in one place allows you and your attorney to communicate in ways that expedite the case development process.
More Action Means More Satisfaction
When you work with an attorney who uses a multi-feature solution, you're not guaranteeing success. We desperately wish that was the case. But you are protecting your legal issue immensely, simply by working with an attorney.
Multi-feature legal solutions are designed to streamline, automate, and connect as much of the work life of a lawyer as possible. They give lawyers back the time they need to dedicate their minds to the fine print of your legal situation. And increased dedication means increased satisfaction for you.
As you think about how to best respond to a legal issue you may be facing, we encourage you to think about the tools that will best connect you to professional help and give you access to the legal process in one place.
To learn more about SimpleLaw’s client portal, where you can interact with your attorney and see updates on your case, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.