The Legal Chamber Fall 2006
Welcome to the fall 2006 issue of The Legal Chamber, the official LegalMatch Member Attorney newsletter. Included in this issue: an overview of the refinements we have made to the client intake system, an explanation of where more cases originate, an interview with Cheryl Smith, Director of Online Marketing, an excerpt from a national article featuring Online Legal Matching, an announcement regarding LegalMatch opening a new office in Austin, TX, and information on our new website program.

First, a bit of trivia... We have one question regarding Jurisprudence Theory
The Legal Chamber Fall 2006 Who was Lon L. Fuller, and what did he believe? (find the answer to this question at the end of this newsletter)

In this issue:
What you need to know:
We've decreased the steps and added more automation

Take a look at and you'll see a new intake process. In short, it now takes far fewer steps for clients to input their information, and these steps yield more accuracy, thus decreasing duplicitous cases while improving the quality of the cases that get presented. One improvement is our automated zip code feature, which double checks location. We invite you to review our changes and, as always, your marketing manager welcomes your comments on these changes and any other aspect of


What you need to know:
Organic cases are of better quality

We now are attracting quality clients from many other sources including our own law library, at a record pace. These are high-quality cases because the clients "discover" or "determine" that they need an attorney while doing research about their situation, within our site or when they are on one of our affiliate's sites. They are well-informed, understand the attorney/client relationship (most notably, they understand that legal representation costs), and they have a better appreciation of their own circumstance. Here is a graph showing the growth of these valuable cases at LegalMatch in the last twelve months.

Organic cases are of better quality

What you need to know:
We're aiming to double our case volume this year!

Interview date: November 26, 2006
Editor: Cheryl, welcome to LegalMatch. We're delighted to have you as our new Director of Online Marketing.
Cheryl: I've been enjoying it here. I love the team I've been working with. There are a lot of talented, good people.

Editor: So, what do you think of LegalMatch?
Cheryl: I was impressed with LegalMatch from even before day one. During the interview process I had the opportunity to sit down, individually, with the CEO, both co-founders, and several company directors. The message and sincerity from all of them was the same: they are here because they care about helping people. They want attorneys to build successful law practices and they want consumers to find the best legal representation available to resolve their issues. Being here has been very satisfying. It feels good to wake up in the morning and know what I'm doing is helping people: whether it is helping a lawyer grow a business or helping someone going through a hard time and finding a way out.

Editor: In the short time you've been here, many projects have been implemented. It's obvious you have some lofty goals. In general, how will you achieve these?
Cheryl: How does anyone get anything done? One thing at a time. Just get the ball rolling and then see what gets traction. I do have some lofty goals: I'd like to see our case load double and see LegalMatch as a national brand by this time next year. It will all take time. Right now, the focus is on case quality. We're making our whole process more intuitive and less intimidating to people with legal issues, so they know legal help really is available for their issues. There are over 8 million people a month searching online for legal advice and legal services, of those, over a million people a month are specifically looking for a lawyer. Of these, we only want the cases of the highest quality to be guided through our system, reaching our attorneys. We filter the leads for our members and we take pride in knowing that we do it better than any other company. But still, we know that even to these high-quality cases, finding an attorney is an intimidating process. To alleviate this, we provide the answers to their preliminary questions and give them the preparation and confidence they need to feel secure about presenting their case to the right attorney. Finding these high-quality cases is not easy. People search for legal assistance in a number of different ways — the search engines online are a very valuable resource for tapping into the way people think. With our thousands of affiliated legal websites, our industry alliances, and our expanding offline business development partnerships, we continue to dominate the online legal matching industry.

Editor: Can you briefly explain how people find LegalMatch online, in non- technical terms?
Cheryl: Oh gosh, it is a tiny bit complicated (said with a wink and a smile). LegalMatch's online marketing is extremely sophisticated. We have over 190,000 web pages of legal information indexed by the search engines. Our ads show up over 30 million times a month when people do legal issue related searches in the major search engines, and we appear at over 50,000 smaller legal issue-related websites. A growing percentage of consumers come to LegalMatch directly. They hear about us from one of the nearly one million people who have already used our service, our PR initiatives, our industry associations, or our offline partnerships.

Editor: Is there anything you would like to say to our Member Attorneys?
Cheryl: I'd like to thank them for being with us. Internet advertising is just now getting widespread media attention. Many of our Members have been with us for years. They took a chance on spending their advertising dollars with us instead of "traditional" Yellow Pages advertising. We work hard to give them a greater value than they will get from any other source by providing them with highly screened, very detailed leads. Ideally, we want to do as much as we can to really help them leverage their membership. Some attorneys may not realize their membership is a lot like being in a co-op; we are the experts in offline and online marketing, much like they are specialists in their legal practice area. By pooling our ad spend across a variety of advertising venues and using the efficiencies of our online case intake system, we are able to bring them incredibly detailed quality leads, for a much lower cost than attorneys could achieve on their own. We look forward to extending that advertising into new channels this year to bring them even more.

Editor: Congratulations and good luck!
Cheryl: Thank you. I love it here and that we are all playing our part to help people. It feels good.


What you need to know:
Law Journal newsletter touts Online Legal Matching as the future

From E-Commerce Law & Strategy

There's a new player in the $173 billion legal services industry, and its initials are OLM — a euphonic moniker for "online legal matching." Actually, OLM has been around since 1999, when LegalMatch launched in San Francisco, but attorneys were a tad skeptical about replacing traditional forms of client acquisition with the uncertainties of the Web. In today's tech-savvy environment, lawyers and law firms are ready to embrace intelligent e-commerce as a strategy — before it passes them by. Visit E-Commerce Law & Strategy.


What you need to know:
Case availability is increasing in Texas and the southwest

We have just opened our first business office in Texas because of a surge in consumer cases from this area in the past year. We saw a need to respond to our growth by increasing Texan attorney participation. "With the recent Texas State Bar opinion embracing online legal matching as a viable and ethical way for Texas attorneys to market their services," says Anna Ostrovsky, Chairperson and General Counsel of LegalMatch, "we have increased our presence in the southwest by opening a new sales office in Austin to better serve the legal consumers of Texas."

Two recent opinions, both precipitated by LegalMatch on behalf of the online legal matching industry as a whole, paved the way for this growth in business. Both the Federal Trade Commission and the Texas State Bar were asked by LegalMatch to evaluate whether or not the business model of online legal matching violates the strict ethical mandates set upon attorneys and their marketing practices. The FTC, in their opinion sent to the Texas State Bar, not only announced that there is no cause for concern with regard to ethics, they went so far as to predict that online legal matching will ultimately lower legal costs for Texas consumers. When the Bar reviewed the processes of online legal matching, it concluded that, when done within reasonable guidelines, online legal matching doesn't violate lawyers' ethics on garnering clients. Located in the Great Hills Corporate Center, the LegalMatch offices are headed by Neal Carmichael and officially opened in October.

The new offices are now home to the southwest operational and sales departments. "Texas is the center of the southwest and dominates the region in population. We need a strong presence there to assure that we can service the enormous amount of people looking for a better way to find the right attorney. We are proud and pleased to help the citizens of Texas and the entire Southwest," says Laurie Ziffrin, LegalMatch CEO.


What you need to know:
LegalMatch now offers full service website development and hosting.

If you want your own corporate website but don't know where to turn, and don't have time to even turn around, LegalMatch now offers a full service solution just for you. Our new websites are fully customized and professionally designed. LegalMatch does not use standard templates that make your website look like everyone else's so they are unique and of the highest quality. Our ongoing customer service allows you the flexibility to update and change your website when you decide. This includes minor changes such as updating contact information, and major changes such as a complete website redesign. And, since full tracking is standard on every website we design and host, you will be able to track all traffic coming through your site with simple, easy-to-use tools. Whatever you'd like, you can have! We're here so that you'll never have to worry about having a fully functional, up-to-date and world class website!

LegalMatch now offers full service website development and hosting

All these wonderful features and month-to-month contracts, too. Truly, we are a one-stop shop for all your marketing needs. Now you can service your website and your LegalMatch membership in one place, with your existing Marketing Manager.


Trivia Answer:
Who was Lon L. Fuller, and what did he believe?

Lon L. Fuller wearing his lampshade hatLon L. Fuller was a natural law theorist who believed and emphasized that the law must meet certain formal requirements (such as being impartial and publicly knowable). To the extent that an institutional system of social control falls short of these requirements, Fuller argued, we are less inclined to recognize it as a system of law, or to give it our respect. Thus, law has an internal morality that goes beyond the social rules by which valid laws are made. Obviously, Lon was fun at parties and was known for his lampshade hats. Read more about Lon. L Fuller on Wikipedia.

Look for more trivia and more LegalMatch news in the next issue of The Legal Chamber.

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