Crowdsourcing legal advice for corporations
LawPivot made the news this past week by securing $600,000 in funding from a group of investors that includes Google Ventures. This funding is in addition to $400,000 the company received previously from investors. An invitation-only site, LawPivot allows companies to submit a legal question to multiple attorneys for their responses. After entering the subject of the question and “other characteristics that are most important to you” (LawPivot: How It Works), LawPivot’s search engine recommends attorneys the company can select to answer the question. The process is confidential. According to the ABA Journal, a Pillsbury Winthrop attorney signed three new clients by participating in LawPivot. Although it is free to use the site now, eventually LawPivot plans on charging for the service.
Is this a good strategy for attorneys to look for new business? Would you feel comfortable engaging in a casual attorney-client relationship like this?
What about using crowdsourcing in different manner, to develop a legal treatise/practice guide using a site similar to Wikipedia? For an excellent discussion of this topic, see Staffan Malmgren’s post Crowdsourcing Legal Commentary on VoxPopulii, the blog of the Cornell Legal Information Institute. Check out this Mashable post for examples of other crowdsourcing sites.