Our mission is to make legal work better for everyone. That requires innovation and a willingness to do things differently. But among our core values as a company is a simple creed: respect the rules.
The legal industry is highly regulated, and for good reason. The law is the backbone of our society, and ensuring lawyers are held to the highest ethical standards is of vital importance. As lawyers ourselves, we couldn’t agree more.
That’s why we’ve designed our platform from the ground up with industry rules and regulations at the center. Here are some key principles that guide our business:
- We give consumers helpful and understandable information about legal issues. We don’t give legal advice. We know and respect the line between helpful information and legal advice. Consumers are desperate for easy and understandable access to the former, but the latter - legal advice - is the purview of licensed attorneys. We work hard to provide consumers with understandable information and options, but we don’t give legal advice. And we make that clear in numerous places on our platform.
- We give consumers the information they need to make their own informed choices. Our aim is simple: to provide consumers with easy access to information and options so they can make their own informed decision about who to hire or what legal help to pursue. We don’t refer consumers to specific lawyers, nor do we give recommendations. Consumers can leave a rating for an attorney they connect with on our platform, but evident has no rating system of its own.
- We advise consumers that using our platform does not create an attorney-client relationship. At multiple points in our process and in every communication, we advise and remind consumers that evident is not a law firm, we are not providing legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by using our platform. Any attorney-client relationship will be formed once they formalize their engagement directly with an attorney. The attorney-client relationship is sacrosanct, and we go to great lengths to ensure this point is clear to consumers.
- Consumers pay us nothing, and pay their attorneys directly. As it is, many consumers struggle to afford any kind of legal representation. So we’ve made our service free for consumers. And when a consumer does hire an attorney they’ve connected with through our platform, they pay that attorney directly. We currently don’t handle payments through our platform at all.
- Attorneys set their own fees, and have total control over the attorney-client relationship. Attorneys set their own fees. Always. And the attorney and their client formalize their engagement on their own terms outside of our platform. We remind attorneys in all communications regarding new requests from consumers that they should conduct a conflict check and formalize their engagement. These are important pillars of proper legal representation, and we work hard to remind attorneys of these obligations.
- We encourage limited scope representation and advice, where it can be given in compliance with Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2. Millions of Americans cannot afford the cost of full legal representation, yet they also do not qualify for legal aid. Nearly all of us would benefit from legal advice in some form - whether you have a question about a security deposit dispute with your landlord, or don’t understand a particular provision in your employment agreement, or thousands of other similar instances. Limited advice or scope is not appropriate in every circumstance, but there are thousands of instances where it is and we encourage attorneys to expand their services to include limited advice.
- We charge a flat monthly subscription fee. That’s it. Attorneys who want to access our platform to connect with consumers, receive monthly informational updates, and use our other helpful tools and resources pay a flat monthly subscription fee. That’s it. There are no other fees.
Regulations on the delivery of legal services are undergoing significant changes, but even under current regulations there is significant room for innovation that provides a better experience for consumers and lawyers alike.
As regulations change to allow for ever more innovative services, we’ll change with them. But at every step of the way, we’ll continue to live by our core values including: respect the rules.
Feel free, as always, to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.