ECONOMIC DOWNTURN RESULTS IN INNOVATIVE NEW CLIENT RETENTION TOOL FOR LAWYERS
LawRex provides easy-to-use online solution to lawyers looking for clients.
Washington, D.C. – August 24, 2009 – Recognizing the serious need for an industry utility to help attorneys through the current economic downturn, Lawyer Referral Exchange (LawRex) has taken the initiative to create a solution. LawRex is a Lawyer-to-Lawyer Client Referral and Management System created by lawyers for lawyers. It is a platform exclusively for lawyers to find, exchange and manage client referrals, co-counsel requests and freelance inquiries.
Firms and companies are slashing attorneys with vigor in this economic climate and lawyers are finding themselves in dire need of clients - with the market providing little in the way of innovation to obtain them. Whether attorneys are newly attempting to strike out on their own, have already done so, or are simply trying to bring clients into their firm to prove their worth and retain their jobs, the necessity of locating and securing new clients is paramount to almost every practicing attorney today.
The number of lawyers that are laid-off monthly is staggering. Hundreds of attorneys are losing their jobs every week. Every month leaves the market more and more saturated with highly educated and experienced attorneys whose severance is short and bills are long. A recent Law.com article indicated that attorneys are even being turned away from volunteer positions because the market is so flooded with attorneys looking for work.
A technologist and a few lawyers were discussing this issue one evening. The lawyers explained that while the best way to cultivate new clients and generate work was through personal referrals, those tended to be few and far between. To make matters worse, often referrals fell outside of the necessary practice areas or jurisdictions and were therefore useless. The technologist, Joe Bous - a silicon valley type with an engineering degree and 15 plus years experience in website development, programming and business - suggested that there must be an online forum where lawyers could trade referrals with each other. The lawyers could not think of a single efficient forum for this purpose; but one of the lawyers, Joe’s sister Isis – an in-house attorney with nearly ten years of legal experience – decided they should search for it.
“We searched for days, going to the usual places – bar associations, social networking sites, legal match sites and blogs – but no one provided an efficient forum for exchanging good leads between lawyers,” said Isis Bous. “In some cases, you already know an attorney that can help a client when you can’t. In those cases you can refer the client easily. But what about those cases where you don’t know someone in the right jurisdiction or practice area? It seems wrong to turn a client away empty handed. It makes you wonder how many lawyers out there are turning away clients that you could help.”
They did manage to unearth an obscure website that seemed to be exactly what they were looking for; a lawyer-to-lawyer referral exchange network. But after attempting to join and failing to receive a response, Joe Bous decided to contact the owner, tax attorney Kreig Mitchell. He discovered that Mitchell developed the site in 2006 and attempted to launch the service but was unable to give it the attention it needed to grow. Eventually, the site was abandoned and had been unused since. Believing in the concept and its necessity, the Bous siblings decided to purchase LawRex from Mitchell. After months of research and development, the siblings completely rebuilt the system and re-launched it with numerous new features and capabilities.
Using LawRex, attorneys can help clients find other lawyers who have the interest, ability and time to handle particular legal matters. In exchange for referring those cases to other LawRex attorneys, the lawyer increases his or her LawRex Karma. That lawyer can then use the Karma to find cases contributed by other LawRex members that fit his or her practice. LawRex is also designed to foster the exchange of high quality referrals by allowing participating members to comment on the quality of referrals they receive. This ensures that using LawRex is efficient and equitable. LawRex is open to all lawyers who are licensed and in good standing in one or more jurisdictions.
“We are not another social networking site; there are plenty of those out there already. We are providing the first and only secure online platform exclusively for lawyers to exchange qualified referrals,” said Joe Bous. And "because every lawyer could use a little extra good karma," said Isis Bous, LawRex intends to take the idea one step further. LawRex plans to feature Pro Bono cases wherein lawyers can earn Karma Points for volunteering their service to these cases.
With the state of the economy and the necessity to become creative with the resources available, the next logical step is for lawyers to take advantage of information they already have but previously discarded. Qualified referrals were turned away everyday, but LawRex provides the means and incentives for attorneys to do something good with them. A valuable tool like nothing else available, LawRex can help lawyers grow their businesses in a fast, easy, ethical and equitable manner.
As an incentive to those who sign up in the first three months, LawRex is offering free upgrades to Associate Level Membership for three months. Also in the first three months, if a member refers 5 qualified attorneys to LawRex and they also sign up, that member will receive a further upgrade to Senior Partner Level Membership for three months. All attorneys who are referred by a member must put the member's full name in the sign up form when asked how they found LawRex for the promotion to apply.
Lawyer Referral Exchange – LawRex is a Lawyer-to-Lawyer Client Referral and Management System created by lawyers for lawyers. LawRex is a platform exclusively for lawyers to find, exchange and manage client referrals, co-counsel requests and freelance inquiries. Attorneys are regularly approached with quality legal cases that they cannot take for a variety of reasons; and without a known referral, those clients are turned away. LawRex provides means and incentive for lawyers to refer those potential cases to other lawyers and get cases in return.