Friday, June 17, 2011

LawyerUp: Legal Service As Fast As Pizza Delivery?!

An image from LawyerUp's Facebook page

 A couple of years ago we wrote (here) about a website called "Who Can I Sue.Com" that drew criticism as distateful from some attorneys.

Now comes word of a similarly innovative and/or distasteful legal service (depending on one's perspective) called "LawyerUp," which enables individuals to pay a monthly fee for the ability to have a lawyer available, within 15 minutes, at all times of the day and night! (I've just done a search for LawyerUp and have not been able to locate their website, but their Facebook link is here.)

The New York Times has the LawyerUp story, here. According to the Times's John Schwartz, company co-founder Chris Miles explains his thinking as follows:
“If I want a pizza, I can get a pizza in 15 minutes,” he says. “I can get a plumber in the middle of the night. Why can’t I get a lawyer?” Miles co-founded the company in February, and started full operations this month in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, having built a roster of criminal lawyers who do not mind getting late-night calls.
The service works as follows:
The service’s personal plan, aimed at young people, costs $4.95 a month. Those who do not have a subscription can pay a flat fee of $100 for the first call, which the company calls its “pay-in-a-pinch plan.” For all clients, an operator checks contact information and processes the lawyer’s initial fee of $250 on a credit card for the first hour of service. Perhaps inevitably, there is an app for that, already available on Android phones and under development for the iPhone. It is basically a panic button, speed-dialing the service.
It's hard to envision a huge potential customer base for the LawyerUp service, but perhaps if one views it as an old-fashioned retainer arrangement -- but with pizza-delivery-like speed! -- it makes a little more sense.

Perhaps a legal document to go with your pepperoni pie?