This Article provides information about a new method to shop for legal services, reinventing the way potential clients connect with attorneys. Several dot-coms manage the transaction in which clients purchase legal services through the Internet, providing a venue for businesses and individuals seeking legal services and attorneys interested in representing them. Every year tens of millions of small businesses and individuals are looking for a good attorney. But, for many consumers, the process of selecting a lawyer is a confusing and daunting task. The result, the American Bar Association ("ABA") says, has been a troubling disconnect between the legal profession and millions of potential clients who go it alone because they find lawyers too intimidating, too costly, and too difficult to find. According to a 1998 study by the ABA, nearly half of Americans have a need for legal advice once a year, yet only 20 percent hire an attorney. Upstart Internet entrepreneurs claim they have discovered a way to bridge that gap and the entrepreneurs forecast a radical transformation in the way lawyers and clients find one another and how they interact.
Pat Newcombe, Shopping for Legal Services Online, 21 LLNE News, no. 2, 2001, at 6.