o better use of computers, as far I’m concerned, than connecting people in need of legal services with good lawyers. An Australian computer programer running a national business is doing just that.
As reported by Australia’s The Age:
…Sohila Zanjani is a law graduate and the owner and director of Prime Law Brokers (PLB), a national business that refers clients to the ‘right’ lawyers.
Free to clients, her firm has 500 law firms on its books and takes 600 calls a month from people seeking lawyers. Now run from Ms Zanjani’s Mount Eliza home office, the business is funded by monthly consultancy payments from law firms.
PLB has grown steadily since 1998, when Ms Zanjani took it over from Yuri Rapoport, the lawyer who started it in mid 1996. Now she is planning further expansion, formulating a new business plan with the help of accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers. ‘It is my intention to make Prime a household name,’ she says.
Zanjani acknowledges she “can’t give them legal advice,” but she calms them down and reduces their anxieties.
Too bad we in the U.S. pass laws that prevent lay people from helping direct people to good lawyers and lawyers from accepting referrals in an arrangement like this. In the States we have often have state bar association sanctioned referral services that are ill equipped in developing on line social communities.