Solo and small firm lawyers get lost in the maze of legal products and services. Which are helpful? How do they work? Who can I trust?
Offering a list of possible services and solutions isn’t enough. In fact, that can just lead to more confusion. Any lawyer who’s hit the exhibit floor of conferences such as the ABA TechShow or ALM’s LegalTech knows what I mean. The average lawyer is overwhelmed.
The American Bar Association stepped up to the plate last week to help solos and small firms on this front. ABA Blueprint offers lawyers a one-stop shop for legal products and services.
Rather than a compilation of providers or a bar affinity program offering discounts alone, Blueprint, with a dynamic Web interface, walks ABA members through “Firm Builder,” chatbot-like tool that offers customized practice solutions based on members’ individual practice needs and free live consultations with practice management experts. The application can be used on desktop and mobile devices.
Universal Solutions, an alternative way to build your firm on Blueprint, is open to any lawyer and offers solutions and services tailored to starting a firm, getting paid, growing your firm, building a team, e-discovery and insuring your future.
From practice management solutions, billing tools, virtual assistants, insurance, and marketing technology, Blueprint offers steep ABA member discounts to over a dozen services, including:
- Ruby receptionists, a virtual reception service
- Clio, a cloud based practice management solution
- Quickbooks Online
- Microsoft Office 365
- LexBlog (us), a comprehensive blogging solution
No question that Blueprint offers value to lawyers. The names of trusted solution providers and discounts that more than cover ABA dues make sure of that.
The ABA is making a sincere effort to help lawyers with Blueprint. First discussed this last summer, the ABA at the impetus of its current president, Linda Klein (@lindakleinlaw), moved quickly (uncharacteristic for ABA) to get Blueprint to market.
When I first heard of ABA Blueprint, I asked on Twitter how LexBlog could help. I received an immediate response on Twitter from Nicole Bradick, Chief Strategy Officer of CuroLegal, which developed Blueprint in concert with the ABA. She connected me with their CEO, Chad Burton, who quickly put together a deal with LexBlog that offered ABA members our most liberal discount.
It’s easy to be cynical of the ABA and criticize their offerings for lawyers (me included), but Blueprint is on its way to offering lawyers meaningful solutions in a method that scales – through technology and partnerships.