Michael Chasin and Aaron George were fellow students at Loyola Law School when they took a look at the industry they were about to enter and noticed a problem.
“We saw so many of our friends struggling to find employment,” Chasin said, “yet there were clients sitting out there who didn’t know how to find lawyers. It didn’t make sense.”
Instead of practicing law, the two decided to start a business that would connect consumers with attorneys. George, now 27, dropped out of law school after his second year; Chasin, 26, finished out his degree last year but didn’t sit for the bar.
The result is LawKick.com, a website that launched last year and opened to the wider public this month.
Consumers looking for an attorney can go to the website and select the type of attorney they need, ranging from patent infringement to DUI. They fill out a form with basic facts about their potential case and the information is then emailed to attorneys that have signed up on the website. The attorneys email back with price quotes, then the consumer can choose an attorney and proceed with a hire.
Chasin said using the website, aimed mostly at individuals and small businesses, is much easier than searching for lawyers on Google and providing them with the same information over and over. LawKick is operating as a free service for both consumers and attorneys, and has received about $250,000 in angel investments. Chasin and George want to keep it free for consumers, but might eventually take a fee from attorneys who use the service and charge for the use of direct-payment services.
So far, about 175 attorneys in the L.A. area have signed up, most of them solo practitioners or from smaller firms. The company plans to expand to other cities and has already signed up an additional 50 attorneys in other areas.
“We’re dealing with a very old profession that is desperately in need of innovation,” Chasin said. “What we want to do is revolutionize the way legal services are sought after and provided.”
Sherman Oaks firm Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, which specializes in working with L.A. technology companies, has launched a business litigation practice with the addition of high-stakes trial lawyer Michael A. Sherman from Bingham McCutchen.
The firm has handled corporate work for tech companies and startups since the early 2000s, and is now seeing rapid growth due to the local tech explosion of the last several years.
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