Find a Lawyer With the Click of a Mouse....!!!
For attorneys across the World, the Internet has clients surfing right to
their doors, and finding a lawyer in India too is becoming as easy as a
click of the mouse.
Numerous legal Web sites have cropped up recently, many of which serve as
virtual match-makers between attorneys searching for clients and clients
in need of help. These sites come in various forms, including simple listings,
auctions for legal counsel and referral services.
One new company, however, is taking it a step further.
On Aug30, Legalserviceindia.com, a provider of legal information on the
Internet, launched an affiliate network of law firms and solo practitioners
in India. Potential clients can now be connected to an attorney who specializes
in the area of their specific legal need just by visiting The Web site.
Legalserviceindia.com is just the latest in this recent onslaught of lawyer
listings on the Web, but unlike many other sites, Legalserviceindia.com
limits the members in its network to 100 attorneys per zip code per practice
area. This limiting of members allows clients to have access only to attorneys
who have passed Legalserviceindia.com's selective screening process, and
it gives lawyers a greater opportunity for client generation, company officials
"What we're doing is targeting consumers," said Kevin Choudhury (CEO), "We're
not just a long list of lawyers."
Legalserviceindia.com, which is based in Pune, is using Delhi as a launch
market for its affiliate network of lawyers. Networks are also currently
being formed in Poona, Bangalore, Calcutta, chennai, mumbai, hyderabad.
When visiting Legalserviceindia.com, consumers can search a list of participating
law firms to see which lawyers specialize in their particular needs and
are located in their geographic area. Fourteen Delhi firms have become members,
and eighteen more are waiting to hear whether Legalserviceindia.com will
accept their applications.
"We have lawyers from all over the country e-mailing us, calling us who
want to be a part of our network," said Swapnali, senior member for Legalserviceindia.com
While the potential benefits for clients looking for help are obvious, Kevin
said that participating attorneys have a lot more to gain than simply increased
business. In addition to client generation, Kevin said lawyers benefit by
becoming part of the knowledge network of other lawyers and by gaining access
to Legalserviceindia.com's business consultants and other experts.
A Delhi lawyer Tapan Choudhury, who recently became part of the affiliate
network, these other reasons were almost as important as the client generation,
especially since members of the network all come from smaller firms. Although
he has received "a few nibbles" from clients since the June 1 launch, Tapan
said the site's other features will serve to "level the playing field a
lot for the smaller players." But the access to new clients remains the
strongest selling point to participating lawyers.
"The client generation is the most important," said Tarun Choudhury, another
participating attorney in the affiliate network. "Those other things are
nice fringe benefits."
Tapan and Tarun both said potential clients have already contacted them
since the network was launched more than four weeks ago. By paying a Rs
3000/- activation fee for a one year period , attorneys can become part
of the network and have access to a pool of potential clients created by
visitors to Legalserviceindia.com.
While the affiliate network is a relatively new creation, Legalserviceindia.com
was founded last August as a joint venture between Lawyerssearch.com and
legalservicesindia.com , Two of the biggest websites dealing in legal information.
From the time the Web site was launched last August, Legalserviceindia.com.
has grown leaps and bounds. Now, with the resources in place, the company
introduces its newest feature -- the affiliate network.
According to Vijay (Founding member), most visitors to the site do not even
reach the point where the network comes into play. Many can often solve
their own problems by searching through an on-line library of more than
1,600 articles. Vijay said that this library, which he says is the largest
of its type on the Internet, contains articles written specifically for
consumers and small businesses, not for lawyers.
Another feature of legalservicesindia.com is a document builder, which allows
users to create documents such as wills and contracts by answering several
The site also offers live one-on-one chats with lawyers, which Purnima (In
charge of German Office-Frankfurt) describes as similar to AOL's instant
messenger service. This feature, however, only allows lawyers to dispense
legal information, not legal advice.
"Some people need to go that extra step and need legal advice," Kevin added.
That is where legalservicesindia.com hopes its lawyer network enters the
picture. By perusing the list of local participating lawyers, users may
find a lawyer in their geographical area who can provide that advice.
Kevin said that the lawyer network is composed primarily of solo practitioners
and small law firms, and that becoming part of the network is a difficult
process. Simply paying Rs 3000/- per month is not enough.
"We are trying to make sure these lawyers are highly ethical," kevin said.
"We ask for three peer references and three client references, and make
sure they're in good standing with the bar."
When the affiliate network first began to form in Delhi, Kevin knew of several
"My initial contacts were contacts I knew from my brothers who are practicing
lawyers," kevin said. "After that, a lot of lawyers have contacted us."
Kevin said that legalservicesindia.com is trying to keep involvement limited
to firms with five or fewer lawyers. This restriction, along with limiting
each practice area to 100 attorneys, makes legalservicesindia.com more exclusive
than most other legal services Web sites.
While Kevin estimated that approximately 30 to 35 Mumbai lawyers have expressed
interest in joining the network, he said he expects that number to grow
significantly in the next few years.
University of Pune a law professor said that the network should be able
to especially benefit clients who are not familiar with ways in which to
find a lawyer.
"It's better than consulting young people or going in blind," said Vijay,
who consults legalservicesindia.com on ethical matters. "That's a problem
a lot of young people have."
Kevin said that legalservicesindia.com has received dozens of inquiries
per day From all over the country and that the response in the first few
weeks has exceeded his expectations by far. Kevin said he sees a great potential
"The idea is a good one," said Avneet a law graduate (Chennai). "There will
undoubtedly be competition."
And in many ways, there already is. While legalservicesindia.com is the
only service to offer a lawyer network of this magnitude, a number of companies
have starting using Web sites as ways to attract clients.
In addition, Tapan Choudhury a Lawyer said that site, located at legalservicesindia.com,
will soon expand its lawyer directory, although no definitive plans have
been made for it.
"The Internet will play an increasing role for people who know what type
of lawyer they want or just need a little guidance," Tapan said, adding
that many people will still need someone on the phone to walk them through
While those consumers may be out there, Tapan said that more and more people
are looking to the Internet to buy groceries, clothing and tickets for events.
Looking on-line for lawyers seems like a natural development in the evolving
And the success of legalservicesindia.com's network and other new services
may help to determine the future in the way lawyers interact with clients.
"The Internet is no longer the way of the future," Tarun said. "It's the
here and now." [/url]