My Shingle

Oh, If We Could Get Clients to Pay To Do Their Own Work

by Carolyn Elefant on October 25, 2006 · 6 comments

in Business Models, Ideas & Tips, Setting and Collecting Fees

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One of the legacies of the first conference that I attended over a year ago is that I’m still reading other women’s blogs that I’d have never encountered but for the conference.  And it’s through one of those blogs that I learned about a franchise called Dinner My Way where you pay to cook your own meals to take home and freeze for meals throughout the next few weeks.  Dinner My Way pre-cuts all of the ingredients, provides recipes and utensils, but you still do the work.  The apparent appeal of this set up is that you retain control over the food, you prepare all your meals at once (so you save time) and get the satisfaction of claiming credit for a home cooked meal.

Reading about this insane idea (really, what it boils down to is that you are paying someone to do your own work), I marvelled at the way the idea has been packaged – and then wondered whether there was some way that lawyers could make this work for us.  Could we set up forms in our office for simple legal transactions and have clients pay to come in and fill them out themselves?  Would clients pay a few hundred dollars to draft their own uncontested divorce petition or simple will or any of the other documents that groups like We the People provide?  If something like this can work for food, seems that there should be a way to make it work for law.

  • http://www.SCTrialLaw.com Dave

    Carolyn,
    There’s *absolutely* a way to make this work for lawyers. I’ve wanted to do that for years, but I don’t practice in the areas where it would be easiest.
    Have a web-based, forms driven information for uncontested divorces, incorporations, wills and healthcare powers of attorney.
    When I had a general practice, we did this with an intake questionnaire that we would talk to them and my paralegal or assistant would fill out.
    You could have it done over the internet and with document generation software have all of the work done, then review the information and documents, bring the clients in to review what was going to happen and then send out the docs.
    If done correctly, there could be a high degree of automation, review by the lawyer and enough client contact to personalize the transaction.
    BUT the client would have filled out the bulk of the information.

  • http://www.SCTrialLaw.com Dave

    Carolyn,
    There’s *absolutely* a way to make this work for lawyers. I’ve wanted to do that for years, but I don’t practice in the areas where it would be easiest.
    Have a web-based, forms driven information for uncontested divorces, incorporations, wills and healthcare powers of attorney.
    When I had a general practice, we did this with an intake questionnaire that we would talk to them and my paralegal or assistant would fill out.
    You could have it done over the internet and with document generation software have all of the work done, then review the information and documents, bring the clients in to review what was going to happen and then send out the docs.
    If done correctly, there could be a high degree of automation, review by the lawyer and enough client contact to personalize the transaction.
    BUT the client would have filled out the bulk of the information.

  • http://www.reallawyernews.com Jamie Parks

    I agree with Dave, there is absolutely a way.

  • http://www.reallawyernews.com Jamie Parks

    I agree with Dave, there is absolutely a way.

  • dorothy Whitson

    I have no instructions to cook the beef I just bought. Call me at 9516840847

  • dorothy Whitson

    I have no instructions to cook the beef I just bought. Call me at 9516840847

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