Ask most lawyers why they chose their profession, and you’re likely to hear a variety of reasons: Some because of others’ expectations, some because they wanted to help people, some because they saw it as a tool to become more involved with government, some because they simply found the law fascinating. Whatever the reason, many lawyers didn’t consider what it takes to manage the business end of being an attorney.
When dealing in business of any kind, you need to play to your strengths and outsource your weaknesses. Sometimes, especially in the modern world, outsourcing means finding better technology. In this fast-paced world, having a technological edge can make all the difference when it comes to acquiring and retaining clients, dealing with the intricacies of managing a well-run business, and accessing information.
In a highly competitive environment where clients have instant access to vast amounts of knowledge through the Internet, a modern lawyer doesn’t need to be tech savvy — but they must at least appear to be. Debuting at the 2016 ABA Techshow, 1Law is a new iOS app that harnesses the power of technology and big data to aid consumers in locating an available attorney or related professional to assist them with their legal needs. This app is similar to the Uber app, where a client hails a ride. 1Law connects the client with a lawyer instantly by video and talk real time.
1Law is created by Jason Velez, who has a thriving law practice in Utah and Nevada and offices coming in Arizona and California. A solution thinker, Velez sought to bring accessibility and compassion into the modern tech world while enhancing the ability to establish relationships and business networking.
As a multi-purpose tool, 1Law provides a number of benefits to both consumers and legal professionals.
After a user sets up a profile, the app shows a map of their location. Nearby attorneys who have connected to the system show up as a blue icon if they are currently available for questions, or a grey icon if they are not. Users can choose a particular area of law to see local legal specialists in that area, or select an icon to view that lawyer’s profile. If the user wants to contact the lawyer, he or she taps the call button under the profile.
1Law uses Twilio as its video platform, providing a seamless interface. When the call comes in, the attorney can either deny or accept the call. If the lawyer accepts, the two are connected into a video call, and the user can pose their questions.
Through 1Law, consumers receive easy and accessibly answers to simple and immediate questions at little or no charge. Lawyers can use 1Law to create relationships that lead to fee-generating services and referrals. Because lawyers may also see contact information of users who contact them, they can plan accordingly to follow up and offer their services. This also enhances a law office’s branding and allows attorneys to reach a wider — but more selective — demographic.
1Law is also a valuable tool for legal services organizations and law offices that provide legal triage to low-income or disabled clients. The app helps many users who have difficulty getting into an office whether it’s due to geographic, transportation or scheduling reasons or to a disability.
Lawyers are welcome to try out the 1Law service for a free trial period. If they find it to be a valuable addition to their services, they can then join on a subscription basis. 1Law will help enhance member attorneys’ business as well as their ability to be what they went to school to become: A lawyer.