We first encountered Lawyers Online back in 1998 in the heady days of the Dotcom Boom when they blitzed the UK legal profession (via 54,000 CDs stuck to the front of the Law Society Gazette the Lawyers Online internet cafes were also a popular attraction at legal industry conferences and tech shows during this period) and helped kickstart law firms getting online. This side of the business – effectively a legal profession-dedicated ISP – still continues but now the organisation is evolving and relaunching to meet the challenges of the Legal Services Act and the ABS era.

We spoke to Lawyers Online founder and CEO (and PI solicitor) Rosie Houghton, who explained that “with currently over 200 law firms as members (totally nearing 1600 solicitors) we propose to launch a co-operative group marketing scheme based on TV and radio advertising campaign. For example if every law firm were to contribute, we would as a group potentially have £2 million of TV advertising potential.”

In addition, Lawyers Online aims to build regional panels of firms who will receive exclusive leads by areas of specialism. “The scheme is currently being piloted with 14 firms in the London area. Members are being forwarded leads via a call centre. All leads are vetted by our in house team of lawyers before being forwarded to the firms,” said Houghton, adding that “There is no requirement for our members to have Lawyers Online branding on the door, unlike Quality Solicitors and other organisations!”

If your firm is interested in joining this scheme, please visit www.lawyersonline.co.uk or contact 0845 3886793.

COMMENT: What Haughton is saying here is instead of joining some commercial ABS franchise/branding start-up operation, law firms would do far better to link up with Lawyers Online which has been providing a virtual community for UK lawyers for the past 15 years.

In related news: Legal News Service – www.legalnewsservice.co.uk – has entered into a strategic collaboration with Lawyers Online. Legal News Service is the new way for law firms and solicitors to issue press releases, generate media coverage and manage their PR activity. It provides firms with access to high-quality press release templates, created after extensive market research with journalists to ensure they contain all the information required to make a newsworthy story.

To use Legal News Service, clients simply complete the relevant template, of which there are over 100, and the press release is automatically generated for their approval by the system’s intuitive software. It is then quality-checked by an experienced PR professional before being uploaded to the client’s secure account for approval. Media distribution lists based on the client’s specific requirements or the content of the release are provided as standard and clients have a secure login area where they can review current activity and the history of their account.

Rosie Houghton commented  “We are delighted to team up with a like-minded business like Legal News Service. This arrangement will provide our member firms with easy access to another important service – effective public relations. There’s no obligation – it’s simply there if they wish to use it and our members will have some added extras such as consultancy support.”