Get a new model or lose clients: comment from Richard Cohen in The Lawyer

In areas where technology can help clients to help themselves, the billable hour is outdated

It does not surprise me that so many clients are unhappy with the cost of getting divorced; couples in this situation are in a highly emotional state and uncertainty around final costs just increases their anxiety.

As last month’s report by the Legal Ombudsman points out, the withdrawal of legal aid, with up to 200,000 couples having to fund their divorces themselves, will create even further dissatisfaction.

The question is, what can family lawyers do to cut costs and give clients more certainty around what the total costs of getting divorced will be? And how can they do this without reducing the quality of the service they deliver?

One approach is to ‘unbundle’ the divorce service. This is where the litigant handles their divorce themselves, but with support from lawyers online and on the phone. These lawyers provide them with tools such as document and form automation as well as legal advice, assistance and document review, essentially on a ‘self-help, but assisted’ basis.

Read more of Richard Cohen’s comment published on The Lawyer’s website on 11th March 2013.