LNPR: Lawmato relaunching with immediate consultation feature
Starting on Friday, December 1, legal tech startup Lawmato will be back with its virtual legal consultation platform app (“Lawmato”) offering new and improved features.
One of the new features is the availability of immediate consultation. “We suspected, and ourcustomers have spoken, that they value the ability to obtain consultation at the moment most convenient to them,” said Lawmato founder and CEO Tom Tong. Lawmato’s first of its kind scheduled virtual consultation offering provides transparency and efficiency to prospective clients, whether individuals or businesses. Prospective clients can search for lawyers, review background, experience and consultation rate, choose the lawyer they feel best fits their needs and select dates and times to meet. The relaunched app offers an improved scheduling system with seamless ability for prospective clients to choose dates and times for meeting so lawyers can quickly respond and confirm. “Another way we listened to our customers.” Tong said.
“Lawmato is designed to give prospective clients peace of mind, making competent lawyers available at their fingertips, and with instant payment to ensure efficiency in the consultation process.” said Lori Ann Fox, Lawmato’s co-founder and General Counsel & Director of Operations. “Our app’s immediate and scheduled consultation capabilities help reduce, or possibly even remove, the fear, uncertainty and anxiety of not knowing,” Fox said. “It’s like when you suspect a health issue – there’s that fear of the unknown until you consult a doctor.”
“Why Lawmato?” Tong said. “Today people do everything with an app. . .we’ve all met virtually with doctors. . .now it’s with a lawyer.”
Transcript 00:00:00:14 - 00:00:28:07 Bob Ambrogi Welcome to LawNext PR, the podcast, where we put a spotlight on the latest news coming out of the legal tech industry. This is Bob Ambrogi at an each sponsored episode of LawNext PR, I interview a legal tech company about its just released news or latest developments. Today, we're going to highlight Lawmato. And to help me do that, as Lori Ann Fox general counsel and Director of Operations. Lori Ann, welcome to the show.
00:00:28:09 - 00:00:34:07 Lori Ann Fox Thank you, Bob. I'm very happy to be here and look forward to our conversation.
00:00:34:09 - 00:00:39:16 Bob Ambrogi Well, let's start with the basics. What is Lawmato and who's it intended for?
00:00:39:18 - 00:01:09:12 Lori Ann Fox So Lawmato is actually something that I love so deeply. And when I was asked to join, I was super excited about it. So what it is, is it's an app that allows and offers the opportunity for virtual consultation between a prospective client, be it an individual or a business and a lawyer. So it benefits both parties, both the lawyer and the prospective client.
00:01:09:18 - 00:01:39:16 Lori Ann Fox And what they can do is they can get on to the app either via the web and iPhone and Android device. They can look for a lawyer, schedule a meeting. They see, get full transparency about the lawyer so they understand what the costing is, their expertise, what their background is, how long they've been practicing. And the lawyer can then do a conflict fact check to see if they can speak with the consumer or the prospective client.
00:01:39:18 - 00:02:03:16 Lori Ann Fox And then they meet at the date and time that they both agree upon, have the consultation. And the greatest part is this The consumer or the prospective client only pays for the exact amount of time they meet with the lawyer. So if the lawyer's bill rate, for example, is $400 an hour and they talk for 15 minutes, it would be a $100 charge.
00:02:03:20 - 00:02:29:11 Lori Ann Fox In order to schedule the consultation, they'll input a credit card that will be charged at the end of the consultation. The great part for the lawyer is that they actually get paid for their expertise and consultation while having the opportunity to gain a new client and build their practice and grow. So it's really a win win. And for the lawyer, we only charge a flat rate technology fee.
00:02:29:11 - 00:02:41:01 Lori Ann Fox There are no subscription fees either for the prospective clients or for the lawyers. And then of course, we have a brand new feature that we're super excited about that we're launching.
00:02:41:03 - 00:02:51:04 Bob Ambrogi Well, I want to talk more about all of that, but I wonder if you could go back and talk about what was the inspiration for this. So why did why did you start Lawmato in the first place?
00:02:51:06 - 00:03:15:14 Lori Ann Fox So my co-founder Tom had the idea and I Tom is a fantastic entrepreneur. He's also a corporate lawyer in a very large global firm and one of the sweetest, nicest, kindest people you will ever meet. So he was working on a client focused on telehealth, and he said they're looking at it. And he's like, Why don't we have this for law?
00:03:15:16 - 00:03:46:18 Lori Ann Fox And so we went out and created it. And then after he launched, he and I had had been friends for a number of years. He reconnected with me and we got to talking and then he invited me to join as a co-founder and take over kind of the daily operations and getting everything going. So that's the impetus for the product itself, because he thought it would help everyone because there's no one who's limited or prohibited or restricted from being able to use it.
00:03:46:19 - 00:03:59:12 Bob Ambrogi Lori Ann I know that as we're speaking today, you're relaunching the application with new features, a new user experience. Tell us about what's new in the application.
00:03:59:13 - 00:04:26:04 Lori Ann Fox So we're very excited about that. And we got a lot of feedback from prospective clients and lawyers. And of course, when you start something new, you don't know what you don't know, right? Especially as entrepreneurs. So we took all of that feedback and we decided to re invest and invest further in our application so that we made it a much simpler interface and user experience, both for the prospective client and the lawyer.
00:04:26:06 - 00:04:48:11 Lori Ann Fox So for the prospective client, it's much simpler now. They actually have descriptions of the various areas of law so that they don't have to wonder what type of lawyer they need to speak with at the same time. There's a lot more usability in terms of being able to determine what types of notifications you want. You know where you're going to be looking in terms of jurisdictions.
00:04:48:11 - 00:05:22:12 Lori Ann Fox It's it's a simpler way that we approached it. And at the same time, for the lawyers, we made it easier for them to schedule as well because in the prior version there was an issue where it was sometimes difficult to communicate about scheduling. So now we've made it super easy. You can pick days, times and then the lawyer can say, Yep, one of those works, or propose an alternative so that no longer do you have this, you know, kind of place where you're sitting there going, okay, well, I think they might be available, right?
00:05:22:12 - 00:05:46:13 Lori Ann Fox Because it's virtual. So you may need to meet after hours or during lunch, but you don't have time to get somebody office. And we all know that in today's world, nobody really wants to leave their business or their home or their work or whatever they have going on. Well, the same thing for the lawyer. They don't necessarily have to be in their office any longer either, because you can do this on your phone.
00:05:46:15 - 00:05:49:10 Lori Ann Fox So that was a great thing that we did.
00:05:49:12 - 00:05:55:14 Bob Ambrogi So you have this this enhanced ability to schedule. Are there other new features in this new version of the application?
00:05:55:19 - 00:06:13:00 Lori Ann Fox So there is. And that's the one that I'm super excited about. And I'm such a nerd that I just get all sorts of giddy. So what it is, is we added the the one thing that I know that everybody's always wanted, right, is you can get on your phone and you can talk to a doctor and you don't even have to schedule, right?
00:06:13:00 - 00:06:49:22 Lori Ann Fox There's all these different telehealth apps out there. Well, we have that for law now. So for a flat fee, a prospective client to talk with a lawyer for up to 20 minutes, and if they both agree to extend that conversation, they can pay another flat fee for up to another 20 minutes, assuming that everyone has availability and the flat fee is cost effective for the for the prospective client, it's $99 and it gives them the ability, you know, especially when your hair's on fire or you're scared or you're anxious, you're not sure what's going on, especially with legal things.
00:06:49:22 - 00:07:19:06 Lori Ann Fox Right? It's like the doctor saying, I'm going to have to talk to you, and you're like, the same thing happens with lawyers. Or at least, you know, I've seen that throughout my my years of practice. So now you can actually access a general practitioner immediately based on availability and talk with them to say and so that they can help you say, okay, you don't really have a legal issue or Hey, you do, and these are the things that you need to do A, B, C, D, this is the type of specialist you would want.
00:07:19:11 - 00:07:42:08 Lori Ann Fox This is generally kind of an average range for that type of matter for an hourly rate or flat fee, or maybe it's even a contingency issue because it has to do with personal injury or a tort. So there are all these different options and opportunities so that the prospective client can get some peace of mind and get a plan in place.
00:07:42:10 - 00:07:51:07 Lori Ann Fox And at the same time, the lawyer still gets paid for their time and expertise. And if it's in their wheelhouse, maybe they can get a client to.
00:07:51:09 - 00:08:14:09 Bob Ambrogi That makes so much sense. I mean, we all know that so many people, so many people who potentially have legal problems don't actually know if it's a legal problem or if they suspect it's a legal problem. They don't know what kind of a lawyer or what kind of a legal problem it is. So that ability to just be able to talk to somebody briefly, relatively briefly, it just get a a quick assessment of of do I have a problem?
00:08:14:09 - 00:08:16:10 Bob Ambrogi Seems like it to be really helpful.
00:08:16:12 - 00:08:44:06 Lori Ann Fox I think so. And in it kind of goes to one of the tenets that has driven my practice my entire life. I truly believe that prospective clients or clients, in other words, you, me and everybody else who needs to hire a lawyer because I don't know about you, Bob, but I've certainly hired lawyers over the years, and I've always told people and recommended that they really need to trust their lawyer and it helps if you like them, too.
00:08:44:08 - 00:09:00:01 Lori Ann Fox It's kind of like going to a doctor, right? If you don't like the doctor that you're seeing, you're not going to listen to what they say. You're going to think they don't know what they're doing. I'm not going to listen to I'm going to go read the Internet or whatever. You're wrong to listen to my family member, whatever the issue happens to be.
00:09:00:03 - 00:09:22:23 Lori Ann Fox Well, I think the same thing happens with lawyers, but lawyers can be intimidating. And so I always tell people, try the lawyer out, go talk to them. And this is a great way for people to be able to do that. I said, because you have to trust your lawyer and you need to like them enough to be able to tell them all of the deepest, darkest, dirtiest secrets, because that's how they're going to help you.
00:09:23:01 - 00:09:57:03 Lori Ann Fox They're going to look at all of the ugly stuff for you and help you manage it so that you can get some peace of mind. So to me, that's really what this entire platform does, is it gives everyone that full transparency an ability to see who the lawyer is, only pay for the time that's necessary, not have to lay out large retainers or, you know, say, oh, well, gosh, are they telling me everything I need to know in a quote unquote free consult where, you know, those sometimes go well and sometimes not as well.
00:09:57:05 - 00:10:14:21 Lori Ann Fox This gives full transparency 362 The lawyer for the prospective client and they can both make a decision about are we a good fit? Can I help this person or this business? And at the same time, the person or business can say, that's the right lawyer for me.
00:10:14:23 - 00:10:24:21 Bob Ambrogi So let me just break it down a little bit on the client side and on the lawyer side. On the client side, does this work in every state? And what kinds of legal matters is it appropriate for?
00:10:24:23 - 00:10:52:06 Lori Ann Fox So it's great. So far we have had it work in all of the states, no issues that we've ever seen with it. And in fact, we love our lawyers and we give them a huge shout out because they're an amazing part of our family. We also love our clients because it does cover every type of legal issue. So whether it's real estate or intellectual property or civil litigation or criminal litigation.
00:10:52:06 - 00:11:14:01 Lori Ann Fox Right. And it doesn't just have to be the traffic ticket. It's the I got arrested because my significant other decided to get drunk and stupid one day and call the cops on me because they didn't like me at that moment. I mean, all of those crazy things happen to people. All of the time. So it covers every area of law and in every state.
00:11:14:03 - 00:11:23:23 Lori Ann Fox So now, of course, we're always looking for more lawyers so that we have more bandwidth to be able to help more people and at the same time help our lawyers grow their practices as well.
00:11:24:01 - 00:11:29:03 Bob Ambrogi And as a client using the app, I get to choose the lawyer. I'm going to consult with. Is that right?
00:11:29:05 - 00:11:58:10 Lori Ann Fox Absolutely. As long as you're doing a scheduled consultation, you have full control about everything you see when the lawyer was licensed, what their expertise is. You can see a photo of them. If they've uploaded it, they tell you what their hourly rate is or their consultation rate. So you get all of that control at the same time. You get to control what dates and times you're available and propose those to the lawyer.
00:11:58:15 - 00:12:16:18 Lori Ann Fox You tell them what who the parties are of the matter. Is it. Now, if it's just let's say I'm looking for a contract to be drafted, I need a template for my business for distribution or reseller agreement or maybe a marketing affiliate agreement or something of that nature. Well, there may not be another party, and I can say that right.
00:12:16:18 - 00:12:39:07 Lori Ann Fox I can say, you know, no other party and I can say what state I'm in. And that's you know, the other piece too, is, let's say on originally doing business and formed in Texas, but now I'm wanting to do a contract over in California. So maybe I want to talk to a California lawyer about the differences in contract law there on behalf of my business so I can do that.
00:12:39:08 - 00:13:01:16 Lori Ann Fox Or maybe I got a speeding ticket while I was driving in Mississippi, and I need to hire a lawyer there to help me with it. I get all of that insight, and so I get to choose as a prospective client who fits me, who speaks to me in the written word, seeing them, seeing what their rates are. All of it.
00:13:01:18 - 00:13:13:06 Bob Ambrogi A lot of the listeners here will be lawyers, the lawyers side of the equation. So if they're listening now, they want to know how did they get started or how did they get listed on Lawmato? How does that happen?
00:13:13:08 - 00:13:39:05 Lori Ann Fox Super simple. You go to Lawmato.com and you click the register button, you put in your email and a password. You get a verified Haitian code to your email, and then you go fill out your profile. Be ready with what your expertizes your licensing date. And so, like for me, for example, I'm licensed in three states and I put all of mine in.
00:13:39:10 - 00:13:59:01 Lori Ann Fox You can also choose which counties you want to work in, but if you're a transactional lawyer, for example, like me, you might want to say, I can cover the entire state. But if you're a litigator and like I live in Dallas, Texas, then I may want to only say Dallas County or an adjacent county such as Collin or Denton or Tarrant.
00:13:59:03 - 00:14:19:16 Lori Ann Fox If I were in Georgia, another place I'm licensed, I might say Fulton de Cab, but maybe I don't want to go to Gwinnett. So I get all of those choices about where I want to say I can practice what I do, what my rate is. We don't tell you to do anything. It is so super simple for you as the practitioner.
00:14:19:18 - 00:14:38:14 Lori Ann Fox And again, there's no subscription fees, there's no monthly fees. It's and there's nothing out of pocket for the lawyer. So what happens is on the lawyer's side, you have the virtual consultation because you said you did a conflict check when you saw the party information, you're like, Yep, I can help that person. I don't see any problems. Great.
00:14:38:14 - 00:15:07:12 Lori Ann Fox I like that date in time that they proposed and you set it up. You have the consultation, you meet with them. Lawmato already has the credit card information or the cash app link, whatever it is that they was clients put in. We build the client's credit card, we collect it, we reduce it by a flat fee, and at the end of the month, all of the consultations that you've done, you get paid minus the tech fees for the consults.
00:15:07:14 - 00:15:36:18 Lori Ann Fox There is one caveat, and that is this If you want to be an immediate consult lawyer, because let's say you're a general practitioner or you have a lot of knowledge because you practice long enough in this life, right, then you can send us an email at admin, at Lawmato dot com and say, Hey, I'd really like to serve as an immediate consult or a consultation lawyer, and we will then give you an extra button in your profile page so that you can turn it on and off.
00:15:36:18 - 00:16:02:13 Lori Ann Fox It's little toggle button so that you can choose. Yep, You know, I've got a couple extra hours. If somebody wanted to contact me, I'd be willing to talk to them and we just do it as a round robin. We don't rank at this point, so it's the next available lawyer. That's who gets the immediate consultation. You get a little notice, you hop on with the potential client, you can ask them for the party information in order to do a very quick conflict, chat on your own and move on.
00:16:02:15 - 00:16:29:22 Lori Ann Fox So an if for some reason there is a conflict on an immediate consult, as long as you know, take that and disconnect within the first 2 minutes. We don't charge the client for that immediate consult. We'll actually refund them and then they can go in and get the next available lawyer. So the great part is it's allows a prospective client to be able to find another lawyer if that lawyer has a conflict.
00:16:30:00 - 00:16:43:16 Lori Ann Fox And of course they can just go in and be connected with the next one. And the lawyer who had the conflict goes back into the rotation so that they can get the next client that comes in. So it works for everyone.
00:16:43:18 - 00:16:52:15 Bob Ambrogi So where the client signed up and the lawyer signed up on the schedule, the call this has happened by video, by audio, or is there a choice?
00:16:52:17 - 00:17:12:15 Lori Ann Fox You get to choose. So we automatically default to audio and video just like you and I are doing right on this podcast. It could be by audio, it could be by video. You could have both. We do the same thing. If you don't want video, you can turn the video off. If you do want video, you can leave it on.
00:17:12:15 - 00:17:33:20 Lori Ann Fox And in fact, we even have a feature that if for some reason, let's say you're a small business owner and someone needs your attention for a couple of moments, you can actually hit a button in the app. You can basically pause and block out the video and then you can come right back into it. And it never stops the consultation.
00:17:34:01 - 00:17:38:17 Lori Ann Fox But if you have something urgent to take care of, you can do that.
00:17:38:18 - 00:17:44:17 Bob Ambrogi So Lori Ann, what else would you like listeners to know about Lawmato? What about this new release?
00:17:44:19 - 00:18:23:08 Lori Ann Fox Well, we're very excited and happy to have our lawyers with us going forward, to have new lawyers who want to join us and who are just as excited about helping people and building their practices and without all of the extra fees that so many of us see when it comes to marketing. Right. Because it's a return on investment issue this way you have a low cost investment as the lawyer in order to have that return on investment with paid consultations and at the same time determine whether this is a potentially good client to add to your practice and create them as a client.
00:18:23:08 - 00:18:57:00 Lori Ann Fox And even if that particular person doesn't hire you, the one thing that I have learned over the years is people will tell others when they like you and have good, solid information. So that's the great thing in my opinion, for the lawyers and then for the consumers. They just get so much peace of mind without having to outlay huge sums of money or try to figure out who do they know, who might know a lawyer or start getting on search engines to figure it out and typing in.
00:18:57:00 - 00:19:14:00 Lori Ann Fox Well, I think I have this and then of course, you get all the people online who, Oh, well, you know, that's not an issue or whatever it is, Right. The the version of law, just like medicine that goes round on the Internet. So this really helps everyone be able to have what they need.
00:19:14:02 - 00:19:22:22 Bob Ambrogi You know, telemedicine for law. I like it. It sounds like a win win for clients and for lawyers. So congratulations on this new launch and thanks for thanks for being here today.
00:19:23:00 - 00:19:55:14 Lori Ann Fox Well, thank you, Bob. We're very excited. And so we're hopeful and we're really looking forward to all of your listeners who are excited about joining us doing so. And of course, you're always welcome to reach out to me as well. If you have any specific questions or you can email that same admin at lawmato dot com email address and the likelihood is you'll hear from me because Tom and I are both really hands on and make certain that we address everyone's questions, issues and concerns as well as help them get excited.
00:19:55:16 - 00:20:17:01 Bob Ambrogi Well, thanks again to Lori Ann Fox and Lawmato and congratulations on this new launch. You could find them in the Android store or the Apple App Store, or you can just use the Web version at Lawmato dot com. That's it for today's episode. If you enjoyed it, please subscribe wherever you get your podcasts or on YouTube at law Next, underscore PR.
00:20:17:03 - 00:20:25:04 Bob Ambrogi You can also find all the episodes of the law next legal tech directory under the resources tab. This is Bob Ambrogi. Thanks for listening.