The legal industry has earned a reputation of being behind the times. The good news is things are starting to change. Online solicitors have emerged in the last few years as a cheaper alternative to traditional law firms. The question is, are online solicitors really as good as their highstreet counterparts? Well, at Lawhive we actually believe that they are better! Here’s 9 reasons about why you should consider using an online solicitor to help with your legal issue.
1. Online solicitors are more convenient
Online solicitors offer a more convenient approach to getting legal work done. Because you’re working with your solicitor through the internet you’ll be able to easily communicate with them through various digital channels like email, online messaging, or video call without needing to travel to a physical office. This eliminates the hassle of commuting and saves time that can be better spent on work, family, or other responsibilities. Online solicitors are also equipped to accept documents electronically. Believe it or not, many solicitors that haven’t made the move online will still ask that you send them your documents via post!
Traditional solicitors will be eager to tell you about their “office hours” – in other words the tiny window of time that they are willing to talk to you and provide updates on your case. Online solicitors on the other hand often have flexible scheduling options, including evening and weekend appointments, which cater to clients with demanding schedules or those in different time zones.
2. Online solicitors are cheaper
One of the main reasons people choose online solicitors is because they often charge lower fees. Online solicitors typically have lower overhead costs, such as office rent and staff salaries, which means they can pass those savings on to you.
Unlike traditional solicitors who primarily charge hourly rates, online solicitors work primarily on a fixed fee basis. This provides far more certainty about what you’ll be paying for your legal work and can contribute to a lower overall cost.
3. Online solicitors are safer
Privacy and safety are key concerns when it comes to choosing a solicitor. You may have the impression that working with a solicitor online is less secure. In reality the opposite is true. Online solicitors are a much better option for people concerned about security.
When you work with an online solicitor you’ll be interacting through an online platform. These platforms invest heavily in advanced encryption and secure storage solutions to protect your sensitive information. Traditional law firms on the other hand often rely on physical storage methods, such as filing cabinets and paper records, which can be vulnerable to theft, loss, or damage. With online solicitors, your data is stored digitally, reducing the risk of these issues and providing an additional layer of safety.
Because your information is all stored digitally, online solicitors are also able to utilise advanced access controls that ensure only authorised individuals can view details about your case. These controls can include unique login credentials, and role-based permissions, which restrict access to sensitive data based on the user's role within the organisation.
In a traditional law firm, physical access to case files and sensitive information is often less controlled, increasing the risk of unauthorised access or accidental disclosure of confidential information. Put it this way. It’s a lot easier to read an open file left on someone's desk than it is to break into their email account!
4. Online solicitors can easily be changed
Sometimes, you may find that the solicitor you've chosen isn't the right fit for your needs. With traditional solicitors, it can be time-consuming and frustrating to search for a new one.
With an online solicitor, switching to a different one is much simpler. Once you've found a solicitor that’s right for you, the process of transferring your case and documents is often more efficient, as everything is already in digital format. At Lawhive we’ve tried to make the process of changing solicitors as quick and easy as possible. Because everything is shared with your solicitor via our online platform, if you switch solicitors it’s just a case of letting us know and we can get it sorted within a few hours. It’s worth noting that just because you can switch solicitors doesn’t mean you should! In scenarios where a solicitor has already begun working on your case unless you both agree to part ways a solicitor will still want the costs covered for the work they have already done.
5. Online solicitors are more transparent
Transparency is essential when working with a solicitor, as it helps you understand what you're paying for and how your case is progressing. Online solicitors tend to be more transparent about their fees and charges, often providing clear, upfront information on their websites. This makes it easier for you to compare different solicitors and choose one that fits your budget.
In addition to transparent pricing, online solicitors use digital tools to keep you informed about the progress of your case. For example, through the Lawhive platform it’s easy to view important documents, read updates about your case, and ask your solicitor questions or provide input. By staying involved and informed, you can better advocate for your needs and ensure your online solicitor is working towards the best possible outcome for your situation.
6. It’s easier to find a skilled solicitor online
One of the advantages of using an online solicitor is the ability to find someone who specialises in the legal area that you need help with. Unfortunately the best solicitors tend to leave small towns and rural areas to move into bigger cities where there is more work available. This means that local solicitors, despite seeming like an attractive option on the service, tend to offer a much lower quality of service than their online counterparts. Because online solicitors can be found and contacted from anywhere, there is a much larger pool of talent available. This makes it far easier to locate a specialist for your case that can provide a much higher level of service. If you’d like some tips and tricks for finding a solicitor online check out our guide.
7. Online solicitors are faster
One of the main goals of any legal case is to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. This is especially important if your case is time sensitive. Online solicitors help clients achieve faster outcomes because the process of working with them is far more streamlined and efficient. With digital tools like email, secure messaging, and video calls, you and your solicitor can collaborate more effectively, allowing for quicker decision-making and faster progress on your case.
8. Online solicitors are easier to contact
In today's fast-paced world, the ability to communicate with your solicitor in real-time can be a big advantage. Online solicitors offer immediate communication through online messaging, which means you can get answers to your questions and address concerns as they arise. Traditional solicitors on the other hand rely primarily on phone calls and in-person meetings, which can be limiting and inconvenient.
Real-time communication can be especially helpful in situations where you need urgent legal advice or need to make a quick decision related to your case. Having instant access to your solicitor ensures that you can stay informed and make well-informed choices, leading to better outcomes for your legal issues.
9. Online solicitors are disability friendly
Online solicitors provide greater accessibility for clients who may face challenges visiting a traditional law firm. People with physical disabilities or mobility issues can benefit from the convenience of working with a solicitor remotely, without the need to navigate inaccessible buildings or travel long distances.
People who have demanding work schedules or live in rural areas with limited access to local law firms or solicitors can also benefit from the ease of using an online solicitor. With the ability to talk with your solicitor from anywhere and at any time, online legal services help ensure that everyone has equal access to legal representation and advice, regardless of their circumstances.