Legal.io and the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York ("LeGaL") were covered today in Legaltech News.
"LGBT denizens of the New York metropolitan area may soon find it easier to obtain legal representation from attorneys in their own communities, as on-demand legal network and service delivery platform Legal.io recently announced a partnership to connect the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York (LeGaL).
The partnership will allow Legal.io users to access LeGaL's newly formed pro bono panel and lawyer referral network. Both groups will be made up of private- and public-sector attorneys from the metropolitan New York area, which includes Westchester County, New York; Long Island, New York; and parts of Northern New Jersey.
Meredith Miller, president of the LGBT Bar Association and Foundation of Greater New York, said the partnership will allow the LGBT locals to connect with attorneys that are dedicated to the community and understand LGBT culture.
Tony Lai, CEO and co-founder of Legal.io, noted that his team "couldn't be more aligned with the mission of LeGaL." He explained that unlike other on-demand legal services like Avvo and RocketLawyer that focus on consumers, Legal.io focuses on local service organizations.
Miller was first introduced to Legal.io at the Long Island-based Touro Law Center, where she is a professor of law and director of the school Solo & Small Practice Initiatives incubator. While discussing ways in which Legal.io could support the school's legal program, Miller realized that the tech company services were also something LeGaL "could use in different ways."
She explained that the on-demand services offered by Legal.io will allow LeGaL to "be able to better match requests and members of our community," as well as "make the best connections for potential clients with our member lawyers [and] also to then have access to efficient ways to track and get a lot of data."
Such data is collected through Legal.io's "outcome reporting module that tracks the status of each request that LeGaL services, whether through their legal clinic, telephone or online channels," Lai said. "Data is gathered throughout the entire service delivery process, including from both providers and recipients of services."
Insights that can be extracted from Legal.io's data include the demographics of clients and the types of services most requested, which Miller said will be used to help LeGaL better understand and adapt to current demands."
To read the full story, go to http://www.legaltechnews.com/home/id=1202771501964#! (paywall).
For further reference, here's some more of the discussion off the back of some of the questions asked by LTN reporter, Ricci Dipshan:
LTN: Can you speak to the impetus/reasons behind the partnership with LeGaL and how it came about?
Tony Lai: The partnership initially arose from our work with Fred Rooney and the burgeoning legal incubator community. In the face of the recent market turmoil that has changed the way lawyers think about themselves, their work and their careers, legal incubators are preparing independent lawyers to be agile and entrepreneurial, and to develop the flexible support networks of other professionals and advisors to succeed. Fred introduced us to Meredith Miller at LeGaL, who shared this vision for lawyers, and also for how technology could scale the impact of LeGaL’s work with the LGBT community during a critical juncture for the LGBT rights movement as a whole.
This partnership speaks to one way we can build societal values, like equality and fairness, into the technologies that are going to have an increasingly prominent role in how legal services are delivered. Whilst these technologies have the potential to scale the impact of individuals and organizations across the legal profession, we feel they have particular promise in terms of helping vulnerable, underserved communities.
Our team couldn't be more aligned with the mission of LeGaL. From the leadership of Meredith Miller and Matthew Skinner, all the way through the board and the entire staff, the willingness to embrace innovation to benefit the LGBT community in Greater New York enabled our teams to work closely together to prove out the success of the initial pilot. This laid the way for the launch of this full partnership, where the Legal.io platform will serve as the technology and payments infrastructure for their entire lawyer referral and information service, from intake to outcome.
LTN: What do you hope to achieve with the partnership and why are you the best organizations to support LGBT legal aid and community?
Tony Lai: Building off your first question, the partnership also came about because of LeGaL’s willingness to stand up as an example for what is possible when courageous non-profit boards look to lead the way for other organizations in their shoes. LeGaL is a leader, but it is just one of dozens of similar organizations serving the LGBT community across the country, not to mention the needs of the LGBT community around the world. At Legal.io, we believe in local communities, and our vision is to build on these landmark partnerships to transform the delivery of legal services through technology, one community at a time.
At the operating level, we’re excited to help enhance the capacity of LeGal to serve its clients and to deliver rewarding and meaningful opportunities to its attorney members. In terms of scalability, the Legal.io platform allows LeGal to deliver higher levels of service to its clients in an efficient manner. In addition, by making the service delivery process measurable from intake to outcome, LeGal can make the data-driven decisions that will continuously improve its business processes and service workflows. Lastly, by automating the administration of referral arrangements through our software, LeGal is ensuring the sustainability of its program in the long term.
LTN: Can you talk to the differences Legal.io has from other competitors in the industry such as Avvo and Rocketlawyer?
Tony Lai: There are differences in principle and in practice, between Legal.io and companies such as Avvo and Rocketlawyer: In principle, we differ around what constitutes trust in the legal service industry. While RocketLawyer and Avvo have sought to spend heavily on marketing to consumers, bypassing local service organizations, at Legal.io we believe that trust is earned through relationships and a commitment to shared values, as embodied by organizations like LeGaL.
In practice, this difference is reflected in how Legal.io builds infrastructure that can be used by legal services organization to engage clients whilst keeping their trusted brand central. Our vision for the future of the legal profession is one where trust remains highly decentralized, where issues in complex areas of law, or where local relationships matter, are best addressed through the collective intelligence of a local community of professionals. From day one, we’ve strived to build a solution that looks to empower at the community level, and to do so, we’ve built a secure, modular platform that was designed from the ground up with the particular complexities of the legal industry in mind.
LTN: Can you talk to how Legal.io is able to track and if possible measure service through its platform?
Tony Lai: The Legal.io platform has an outcome reporting module that tracks the status of each request that LeGaL services, whether through their legal clinic, telephone or online channels. Data is gathered throughout the entire service delivery process, including from both providers and recipients of services. The Legal.io team includes some of the leading minds in legal tech, and leverages modern design, machine learning and other advances in technology to automate this process where possible.