Some have asked why the American Legal AlliancesSM is making a push to add 1,000 new solo and small firm lawyers to our national network. Is it a marketing ploy for a legal marketing or software vendor? No, it is not.
The expansion of the ALA network is a response to the terrible job market for law school graduates, and the gloomy predictions for solo and small firm lawyers in the recent book, Glass Half Full, by Professor Benjamin Barton.
Barton’s hypothesis is that most solo and small firm lawyers will be unable to compete with the LegalZooms and RocketLawyers of the world. The implication is that our society will have very few solo and small firm lawyers. I consider this to be unacceptable.
Leg me switch to writing in the first person here. I am Michael J. Evans, plaintiffs’ lawyer for 35 years, and CEO of the American Legal Alliance, LLC. When I began practicing law with a plaintiff’s litigation firm in 1980, I found my life’s calling. I loved representing victims of corporate wrongdoing, and obtaining justice for my clients.
After several years with my first law firm, I decided to launch my own law practice by going solo. During the first two years, I had to handle all kinds of matters, including traffic court and writing wills. I wrote over fifty wills, and made friends with all my clients. One client for whom I had written a will suffered the loss of his daughter to death in an automobile accident. The client called me and asked me to represent his daughter’s estate. I filed suit and we made a good recovery. I was on my way to getting my law firm off the ground.
If new lawyers don’t have the opportunity to handle small legal matters for real people, our society won’t have lawyers when the next generation needs someone for traffic court, or to advise them about their duties under a lease. If LegalZoom and RocketLawyer (which I refer to as RoboLawyers) succeed in putting solo and small firm lawyers out of business, the society we are leaving to our children will be less just.
After 35 years of great success representing injured plaintiffs against large corporations, I feel that I have a duty to try to help the next generation of lawyers who want to help people with legal problems. I believe I know some other lawyers who will feel the same, and I’m looking to several of them to help me in this venture.
Although I started and spent most of my career as a “people’s lawyer” for people in my community, I decided in 2000 that I wanted to join the Internet revolution to see if I could find ways to use the Internet to make it easier and faster for people to get top-notch legal representation.
So in 2000, I started the American Legal Alliance to take law practice onto the Internet. I had grown up in a rural area without access to quality legal care, and I saw the Internet as a way to extend quality legal representation to people all over America, no matter where they lived. I recruited lawyers in 42 states, and I recruited to some major plaintiffs law firms to actually litigate any cases our Alliance might generate. Then I began using cutting edge online marketing to bring in clients. We were very successful, and settled tens of millions of dollars in mass tort claims in the first three years.
After reading “Glass Half Full” a month ago, I realized we could extend the ALA network to 1,000 or more solos and small firms and give them the tools and opportunities to make their practice a success. We aren’t taking everyone who wants to apply for the ALA network; we’re looking for people who share our interest in representing individuals–not businesses. We ask you to sign up for our free email newsletter to get enough information so you can decide whether you want to join us. If you want to be a part of the ALA network, you can request an invitation (there’s no charge to request the invitation), and we’ll send you you’re login credentials if we feel that you fit in our group. You can request an invitation after you get our email newsletter.
What services will you get if you become a member of the ALA network? Our current plans include the following:
- • You will be eligible to participate in future ALA mass tort marketing campaigns.
- • You will be listed as a member of the ALA network on the ALA website.
- • You will receive ALA’s email “Income Opportunities” notifying you of new opportunities to earn legal fees.
- • You will be part of the ALA referral network and can refer cases to and work jointly with other members of the ALA network. For example, we have ALA members who are experts in highly specialized areas of the law. If you have a client with a legal matter in one of these areas, you may be able to work on it jointly with one of our experts so that you can gain experience and share in the attorneys fee.
- You will be able to refer serious, substantial cases to experienced law firms associated with the network. These firms have the experience and resources to get the highest compensation for your client, and you will receive a referral fee.
- You will receive mentoring in the form of videos and email articles from experienced lawyers who want you to succeed.
- You will receive the tools and information to help you engage in successful social media marketing.
- If you create high-quality videos, you will be able to provide them to ALA for distribution through our video outlets.
If you have more questions, please register for our email.
We look forward to hearing from you.