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How Offline Lawyers can survive in the advent of Online Legal Service Providers?

Hrishikesh Datar, Founder & CEO, Vakilsearch
Friday, April 1, 2016
Hrishikesh Datar, Founder & CEO, Vakilsearch
Headquartered in Chennai, Vakilsearch is one of India's leading online legal services platform proving end-to-end legal services like Legal Advice, Documentation, Legal Support & Compliances, Company Incorporation, LLP Incorporation, Trademark Application, IP Protection and Advisory Services

In today's world people exist on the internet. We do anything that we need to or want to do online, from buying our groceries and furniture to getting birth certificates as well! It has also become a place where people find out everything that they need or want to know about a variety of services, including legal services and solutions that they are in need of. Looking at these changes and the online world becoming larger, I will share a few pointers on how an offline lawyer can maintain the balance with the online world.

More often than not, we purchase these legal services from the source which initially gave us information on legal services. The Indian legal system does not make it possible for most legal and professional (CA/CS) services to be executed online. In forming liaisons with these organisations early on, it enables a company to generate business from areas larger than its current circle. An offline lawyer or firm is able to put up its information online. Moreover, by getting good reviews early on, it does give a company the confidence that they will be able to continue bringing in a steady flow of business, which will have a ripple effect in keeping them at the top of the search page and exponentially escalate their client base.

These service providers also constantly innovate. Quickening the process of providing to their clients the legal aid required and circumventing the largest obstacle faced by users, which is to obtain permits, patents or trademarks to legitimize their businesses. The problem in India, especially in the professional services industry field is that people are charged for services based on a perceived capacity to pay. For instance, someone arriving in a car would have to pay a steep sum for the same services, for which someone arriving by public transport would pay a significantly less amount. However, taking legal services in particular, it is a known fact that they are almost certainly the hardest to navigate through, given the immensely procedural nature of this industry. Most business owners don't have the time to work through tedious legal procedures; this is why they tend to veer towards online services as their best bet. Online legal service providers essentially provide end-to-end services in helping a company register its business, fills in and files all of the necessary paperwork which will arm a new company for its entry into a market.

Online legal service providers have also changed the setting of this industry by introducing a wide host of services that are unique to an organization. This includes rate cards that clearly define the standard price for each service; this removes the cost discrepancies, meaning that everyone will pay the exact same price for the exact same service as anyone else. Transparent payment policies are very beneficial to users, point being that if you are starting an LPP, these online portals will do everything from obtaining the DSC to the final registering of the LPP. Sometimes these providers may even apply for the PAN and TAN for your LPP. The legal services industry, while maintaining certain standards of professionalism, is unable to uphold several others due to its highly confusing and unorganized nature. Portals such as Vakilsearch find and verify vendors across the country, which ensure that any new business is able to attain the expertise and assistance required to successfully venture into and penetrate the market. These portals have also made available a never before seen in India service to entrepreneurs - which is the option of paying for legal services through EMIs; again showing us the highly technological and innovative mind of online legal service platforms.

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