Google Ventures is part of an investment group funding the online legal help site RocketLawyer.com. To read more about the funding click here.
Sites like RocketLawer.com and LegalZoom.com allow consumers to prepare basic legal documents on their own without the assistance of an attorney. These sites have come under fire from state bar associations for practicing law without a license.
How will the rise of these self-serve legal sites impact small and mid-sized law firms? Certain areas of law like Wills, Uncontested Divorces and Certificates of Incorporation will be the first to feel the effects of commoditization as clients move to a self-serve model. Other more complex areas like Personal Injury and Bankruptcy should be more resilient.
Google’s investment in RocketLawyer should be seen as a wake-up call to small and mid-size law firms. Disinter-mediation of legal services is inevitable, but it doesn’t mean the end of the small law firms. Attorneys excel at protecting and fighting for the rights of their clients — something that RocketLawyer (and Google) will never be able to do. Successful law firms will focus on providing individualized services to the wide variety of clients’ needs.
Has your law firm already been impacted by self-serve legal services? Please let us know in the comments section. Thanks!