The Bar News

ABA/Rocket Lawyer Law Connect partnership targets small business legal services

The following state and local bar associations have expressed unified and strong opposition to the American Bar Association’s Law Connect pilot program which was launched by the ABA in partnership with Rocket Lawyer on October 1, 2015. The ABA’s Law Connect Rocket Lawyer program provides online legal advice to small businesses operating in Pennsylvania, Illinois and California at a cost of $4.95 along with free advice for online follow-up questions.

In its October 1 press release announcing the program the ABA stated, “The new ABA service called Law Connect, will be an affordable way for small businesses in those states to get answers to fundamental legal questions. For $4.95 a small business owner or representative can ask a question online of an ABA-member lawyer as well as a follow-up question. Those interested in additional legal advice can discuss legal matters further in a lawyer-client relationship.” ABA President Paulette Brown stated, “ABA Law Connect is an exciting opportunity for the ABA and Rocket Lawyer to assist small businesses, connecting them with ABA members, and represents one of many efforts by the ABA to improve access to legal services.”

After reading the ABA’s press release, bar association leaders from our states contacted the ABA to express strong opposition to the Law Connect Program and formally, requested the ABA Board of Governors to reconsider this misguided and ill-conceived program at its November board meeting. Many state and local bar associations raised a number of serious ethical questions about the ABA’s Law Connect Program and expressed strong dissatisfaction with the ABA for ignoring well established bar association lawyer referral programs which serve the public and small businesses in our states.

It is important for the lawyers in our states to know that we strongly oppose the ABA’s Law Connect program which reflects a “Blue Plate Special” mentality and naïve understanding of the scope of legal services that thousands of lawyers in Pennsylvania, California and Illinois currently provide to small businesses in our states. The ABA Law Connect program is not in the best interest of the public, the legal profession or small businesses that operate in our states. We want our members to know that the ABA is not listening to its constituent bar association members who remain strongly opposed to the Law Connect program.

Illinois State Bar Association • Pennsylvania Bar Association
The Chicago Bar Association • Philadelphia Bar Association
Bar Association of San Francisco

Alameda County Bar Association • Allegheny County Bar Association • Baltimore County Bar Association • Bar Association of Lehigh County • Berks County Bar Association • Brooklyn Bar Association • Bucks County Bar Association • Butler County Bar Association • California Lawyers for the Arts • Carbon County Bar Association • Centre County Bar Association • Chester County Bar Association • Cumberland County Bar Association • Delaware County Bar Association • Dauphin County Bar Association • Erie County Bar Association • Lackawanna Bar Association • Lancaster Bar Association • Lawrence County Bar Association • Lebanon County Bar Association • Mercer County Bar Association • Monroe County Bar Association • Montgomery Bar Association • Northhampton County Bar Association • San Fernando Valley Bar Association • Schuylkill County Bar Association • Westmoreland Bar Association

Posted on January 12, 2016 by Chris Bonjean
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