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Should Law Firms Offer Smartphone Legal Advice?
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Summary: With more and more people owning smartphones, law firms should consider offering legal services through them. 

Customers nowadays expect a chat or email customer service function in addition to being able to call for help. We’ve seen this technology used by companies such as Bank of America and Amazon, and according to Forbes, law firms may soon be utilizing it as well.

  
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Pew Research Center found that 77% of U.S. adults use a smartphone, and people nowadays are sophisticated consumers of online services. According to Forbes, “This has led to a growing need for customer service-based mobile apps. Today, there are clearly established best practices for designing functional mobile apps that consumers appreciate when they are used. Mobile apps make life easier. They allow people to worry less and enjoy life more. This is a natural merger of our expectations for customer service, with a mobile on-demand delivery. More and more, we seek out companies that digitally deliver excellent customer service but with a personal touch.”

Forbes said that law firms are looking at ways to offer customer service through mobile apps because this attracts new customers and engages current clients.

“Legal apps, while not a new concept, vary widely in terms of utility and effectiveness,” Forbes stated. “Most people can easily distinguish between legal apps that add value, like providing the creation of free legal forms or answering common legal questions versus those apps that are merely legal directories. It is very rare to find a company that creates a mobile app that not only makes it easier for DIY tasks but also adds humanized, personal touches.”

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Technology is increasingly being used in the legal world, but luckily, the need for a human attorney never goes out of style. As Forbes pointed out, non-lawyers cannot practice law, and humans want to talk to attorneys during times of need. When most regular folks hire an attorney, they are doing it because they have a problem that needs to be solved, and they are usually feeling anxious and need support.

But for smaller issues, mobile features such as chatbots can be great for users who want fast and easy assistance. They may use this to gain a baseline understanding of their problem before contacting an attorney, or they may use this information to decide whether or not they want to hire an attorney.



“In an age of transparency, people should expect a relationship with a law firm to be affordable, responsive and accountable — meaning they don’t want to pay by the hour for routine legal services or do all the work themselves. With more business conducted online, people are increasingly conditioned to getting assistance and hearing back quickly,” Forbes stated.

Do you agree with Forbes that law firms should start using mobile apps? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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