Back in January 2013 I wrote a post predicting “The Rise of the Walmart Lawyer.”
The rise has begun.
My prediction was that Walmart would contract with young lawyers who would then utilize an online legal document generation program like LegalZoom – and offer advice on which pre-packaged legal documents the consumer needed.
It’s begun in Canada, and not quite the way I predicted. The reality is actually more radical. Axess Law, a new-wave Toronto firm, is now offering “bespoke” legal services from a tiny rented space in the front of several Walmart stores in the Toronto area, with an eye to expansion. And they’re actually using their own proprietary documents and software akin to LegalZoom, more Canada-specific, and not quite so “canned” as LegalZoom
What makes them different?
Price, of course. Simple wills $99, notary services $25. And a carefully limited range of services. More complex work is referred out.
Business model: volume. The traditional law firm model was based on scarcity, which no longer exists – one of the reasons the profession is in trouble.
Accessibility: drop-by and drop-in service, no appointment necessary. Hours – 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. They say that the hours of 5-8 are their busiest – just when other legal offices are closed.
How are you changing to deal with the future? If you provide a “commodity” level of services, you are in danger. If Walmart does it, are Target, Kohls, Kroger, Walgreens and CVS – in partnership with hundreds of other new-form law firms – far behind? You need to read the full article. It’s one of the waves of the future – but not the only one.
If you’re worried about your future – contact me. Let’s talk.