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We commonly hear about the most expensive attorneys in the profession – those who charge hundreds of dollars an hour to do large securities offerings or complex commercial litigation in exclusive venues, like Wall Street.
But many more attorneys set up shop on America’s main streets to help the average consumer – those who need legal help with traffic accidents, small claims, real-estate transactions, estate planning and the like. And these lawyers are typically more concerned with maintaining accessibility and affordability, especially in hard economic times.
Toward that end, a group of Florida lawyers has adopted an innovative approach to bring legal services to the masses by setting up a kiosk at a local mall. These “mall attorneys” offer legal advice for free or at steeply discounted prices. Some recent examples include free 15-minute consultations and a one-time charge of $300 for work on estate planning, trusts and wills.
One lawyer who offered his services in “The Law Booth” told a local reporter that he thinks the kiosk helps potential clients overcome the common misconception that all legal services are terribly expensive.
"We wanted to take away some of the fear people have that if they pick up the phone to speak with an attorney that it will automatically cost them $500," attorney Paul Burkhart says.
There’s no question that everyone will, at one time or another, need the services of attorneys who handle these types of matters. And if having lawyers available at the local shopping mall means addressing the unmet legal needs of consumers at more affordable rates, then more power to them.
Posted: 1/5/2012 10:25:46 AM by
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About This Blog
Thanks for stopping by On the Merits, the first blog from the Texas Center for Legal Ethics. On the Merits will take a close look at significant legal stories with an eye toward addressing the legal myths and misconceptions that turn up in news stories, movies, TV programs, websites, anonymous emails and other forms of mass communications. Our goal at On the Merits is to provide readers with a thoughtful examination of what the media and others are saying about the legal profession and to apply the frequently-absent context of how the legal system actually works.
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