LegalMatch Help / FAQs
About Our Service
- 1. What's LegalMatch all about?
LegalMatch helps people find the right lawyer: Anyone can present a case (answer some simple questions about their legal situation) for free on the LegalMatch Web site without revealing their identity. Then, LegalMatch pre-screened lawyers review your presented case, and decide whether to respond to your legal issue. When lawyers are interested in helping you, you will see their responses to your case and extensive background information and ratings so that you can make a smart decision.
- 2. What does LegalMatch cost?
Nothing. LegalMatch is FREE to both consumers and businesses who need legal help. There are no hidden costs, fees, or other charges. All costs of the service are born by Member Attorneys who have paid an annual fee to respond to your inquiries.
LegalMatch provides you with a choice of lawyers for FREE. If you find a lawyer that is right for you using LegalMatch, there is no obligation to hire that lawyer. LegalMatch does not participate in your fee negotiations with your chosen lawyer. Nor do we receive any portion of the fees you pay to your lawyer.
- 3. Why should people use LegalMatch to find the right lawyer?
Traditionally, people have found lawyers through Yellow Pages, directories, or friends. The LegalMatch founders realized that each of these resources had severe limitations, and none allowed the consumer to make an informed decision when selecting legal counsel. The Yellow Pages and other directories are a big confusing mass of ads, often selling premium spots to the highest bidder. Who knows if a particular lawyer even has a license? And friends, though well meaning, may steer you toward a totally inappropriate lawyer. Just because your friend knows a great tax lawyer doesn't mean that person can handle your divorce!
So, here's why using LegalMatch is the best way to help you find the right lawyer:
- Our automated matching system only matches you with lawyers that meet the specifications you entered when presenting your case.
- All of the lawyers in our system have been carefully screened. This means they have a valid license, good standing with their state bar association, and good professional references.
- You will have access to detailed information on all lawyers who respond to your case - where they went to school, what they've accomplished in the past, what they charge, and where their professional values stand. With LegalMatch, you stay in control of the process - and in the end, you can make an informed decision about hiring a lawyer.
- 4. Is LegalMatch completely confidential? Do I have to reveal my identity?
Legal problems are often sensitive issues. Who really wants to call random lawyers out of the phone book to discuss personal issues? Sometimes, even asking a friend about finding a lawyer can be uncomfortable.
With LegalMatch, you don't have to show your face or talk to anyone until after you've confidentially described your case on our secure Web site. Lawyers will review your case in writing - you don't have to say a thing!
We won't release your contact information (name, address, telephone number) to anyone, including the lawyers interested in helping you, until you decide to. Lawyers will only see your case summary and where you need legal help. You can read responses from lawyers, check out their professional backgrounds - and then make a phone call. By the time you connect with a lawyer, both of you already know a good deal about each other! You can get started on solving your problem without the awkwardness or fear of the unknown.
- 5. Why would a lawyer use LegalMatch?
Clients don't magically appear at lawyers' offices. Lawyers have to work to attract them. This usually involves spending a lot of money on Yellow Page advertisements or joining a referral service. While these methods may certainly cause clients to call a lawyer, they in no way tell that the client will have an appropriate case for that lawyer. Most forms of advertising lead to a lot of wasted time for a lawyer in the form of screening phone calls and conducting free consultations. With LegalMatch, a lawyer can just log on to our Web site and read case summaries before inviting potential clients to call. LegalMatch helps lawyers connect with the clients they really want to help - not just with any stranger who has a legal problem! This way, they can build a more successful practice.
- 6. Do people who use LegalMatch leave feedback on their lawyers, or "Rate" them? I'd like to know what other consumers think.
Once someone has worked with a LegalMatch lawyer, they can leave feedback about that lawyer for other people to see. Did this lawyer return phone calls? Did prior clients feel that the lawyer did a good job? Find out by reading the client feedback on lawyers interested in your legal matter.
Our users create the ratings; while LegalMatch pre-screens our member attorneys to make sure they are good standing with their local or state bar association, we do not rate or rank our members or in any way recommend any specific lawyer or lawyers.
- 7. What makes LegalMatch different from other legal service Web sites and referral services?
- Several factors make LegalMatch unique:
LegalMatch is not a referral service. When a consumer presents their issue on LegalMatch, our system automatically matches the consumer's case to all LegalMatch lawyers that correspond to their consumer's criteria. We don't just give you the next name on the referral list or the info for the highest bidder.
Unlike referral services, LegalMatch believes that informed consumers know best when it comes to choosing the right lawyer for their needs. With LegalMatch, you're given the power to confidentially and thoroughly review the experience, track record, availability, and fee structure of pre-screened lawyers who match your criteria before deciding whom to contact. We will never try to take that choice away from you by recommending any specific member or members or selling "premium" or "exclusive" memberships to lawyers. The only way for our members to stand out is by impressing you - the client.
- We screen lawyers before they join our program so you know they are licensed and in good standing with their bars. If they don't meet our requirements, we'll reject them.
- We require lawyers to pay to participate in our service and we require active participation. A lawyer won't be successful with LegalMatch just by passing our screening process and paying annual fees. To benefit from our service, lawyers must regularly use our service and reply promptly to potential clients. So, in most cases, you can count on a quick response. First and foremost, LegalMatch strives to serve the consumer.
Technical Support / Customer Support
- 1. What are the minimum requirements to use LegalMatch?
LegalMatch uses many modern Internet technologies to present cases and distribute them to lawyers, so you should be using a recent version of your chosen browser. Here is a list of Internet browsers that fully support the technologies LegalMatch needs to operate best:
- Firefox 3.6
- Internet Explorer 8
- Safari 4
- Google Chrome 4
- 2. Why am I getting a Security Certificate Warning?
LegalMatch uses SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to protect selected private information you may input on our site. Our security certificate is valid for the domain name www.legalmatch.com. It is also possible to access LegalMatch without using the prefix WWW, however when you do so, the accessed Internet address will not match the address the certificate is valid for and your browser will alert you with a warning. If you do not click Yes (or Continue or OK) to proceed, you will NOT be able to login.
- 3. I'm getting a warning to change my browser security setting.
To properly view LegalMatch and present a case to our system that local lawyers in your area may review, your Web browser security settings must reset.
You should be using a version 5.0 or newer of Internet Explorer, version 6.0 or newer of Netscape, or version 5.0 or newer of AOL to use the LegalMatch system. If you're using an older version of any of these programs, use these links to upgrade to a newer version:
- 4. Why do I need to enable cookies to use LegalMatch?
Cookies allow Web sites such as LegalMatch to track a user's progress through the site. While cookies may store personal information that you enter into a Web page for any Web site, they cannot access and 'read' your hard drive, and most expire when a session is over.
For you to use LegalMatch properly, cookies need to be enabled on your computer. Any information you enter while using LegalMatch is stored on our servers and not in cookies. Your password is encrypted before being stored and so is any credit card information we might receive (for Priority Service cases only). For a complete description of how cookies work, see www.webopedia.com.
- 5. How do I contact Technical Support?
Contact our technical support staff, who will assist you if you have difficulty with your browser or accessing your personal home page.
- 6. How do I contact Customer Support?
If you're a consumer or client with a question about a case presentation or how to use our service, email this link to send a message to our customer support staff or call 1-(866)-678-5342.
If you're an attorney who needs assistance with their LegalMatch membership, submit a support request from attorney support or call 1-(415)-946-0898.
- 1. How does LegalMatch actually work?
Simple. If you think you need a lawyer, go to the LegalMatch Web site. Click "Present a Case", and you'll be taken to an area that asks you simple questions about your legal matter. Once you've filled in the information, our technology "matches" you to lawyers in the area you requested who practice in the type of law you need help with. These lawyers will get to read summaries of your case and decide whether they'd like to work with you. Then, they'll send you a "response message" (a message with their contact information, and a link to their "Profile" - which has lots of information on their background) - or call you directly, if you prefer. When you and a lawyer connect through LegalMatch, it's because you're already familiar with one another and both want to work together.
- 2. Can I use LegalMatch without presenting a case?
Not at this time. The point is to gather information and make an intelligent client/lawyer match. So, we always need you to tell us about your legal matter first on our Web site. We do not accept any legal matters via telephone or email. Presenting your case on our Web site only takes a few minutes; it's confidential, and it's actually kind of fun!
- 3. How long will the process take?
Presenting your case on LegalMatch will take about 20 minutes or less depending on the nature of your matter.
Finding a lawyer using LegalMatch will take between 1- 3 business days depending on level of service you requested. You may begin to receive lawyer responses immediately, but we recommend you wait a little to allow the majority of lawyers to review and make responses on your case. For Real-time Priority service, wait one business day; for Priority Service, 1-2 business days; and for our Standard Service, 1-3 business days.
LegalMatch actually saves you time in the end. The alternative to LegalMatch is calling each lawyer individually and scheduling 30-minute consultations, which may not happen for several days in the future. You may have to speak with 5-10 different lawyers before you not only find someone who has the experience to handle your case, but also is willing to take your matter at the dollar rate you require. Plus, we provide more background information about the lawyers than you could ever get from a consultation.
All of your information is completely confidential on LegalMatch. We will not distribute your personal information to any other organization, nor will we use it for any other purpose other than to help you find the right lawyer. Likewise, lawyers will not know your identity or contact information until you decide to reveal them.
After Presenting a Case
- 1. How do I choose the right lawyer?
Think of it this way: we'll do the homework, and you grade it. This means we'll provide you with detailed information on every lawyer interested in working on your case. Then you look it over, and learn background information about the lawyer, such as where they went to school, their level of experience, their rates, and their professional philosophy. Take everything into consideration for each lawyer - expertise, personality, pricing, "gut feeling", etc. We'll give you the inside scoop about the lawyer, but ultimately we trust you to choose who's right for your situation. Most lawyers will offer a free initial consultation; so if you're still not sure, give that lawyer a call.
- 2. How do I access my LegalMatch account?
You can view the status of your case at any time by logging into your LegalMatch account. To view your LegalMatch account, log in to LegalMatch with your username and password.
Once you are logged into your LegalMatch account, you can view how many lawyers have viewed your case and how many have made responses. If you need to, you can also modify your case details or your contact information.
- 3. What if I forget my LegalMatch Username and Password?
- 4. How long will it take to get a lawyer response?
Finding a lawyer using LegalMatch will take between 1-3 business days depending on level of service you requested. You may begin to receive lawyer responses immediately, but we recommend you wait a little to allow the majority of lawyers to review and make responses on your case. For Real-time Priority service, wait one business day; for Priority Service, 1-2 business days; and for our Standard Service, 1-3 business days.
LegalMatch actually saves you time in the end. The alternative to LegalMatch is calling each lawyer individually and scheduling 30-minute consultations, which may not happen for several days in the future. You may also have to speak with 5-10 different lawyers before you not only find someone who has the experience to handle your case, but is also willing to take your matter at the dollar rate you require. Plus, we provide more background information about the lawyers than you could ever get from a consultation.
- 5. What should I do when I get a lawyer response?
When a lawyer makes a response on your case, you will receive an instant email notification. This email notification will direct you to the LegalMatch Web site to view the full lawyer response and profile. You may also begin to receive telephone calls from lawyers if you agreed to release your contact information.
To view the lawyer response, log in to LegalMatch with your username and password.
Click on the "View Responses" button to see all responses to your case. You can then view the lawyer's personal response message to you, plus each lawyer's profile and background information. Contact the lawyers you feel could best help your case. Remember, unless you contact a lawyer or agreed to release your contact information, the lawyers interested in your case do not know who you are.
- 6. How do I edit my case if I want to make changes later?
After you log in, you'll be on your personal home page. Find the correct "Case Identification #" and below it is a "Modify" link. Click on it. This will allow you to review the answers you provided during your case presentation for that case. Continue through the pages until you reach the information that you want to modify. Make the changes and then, simply click on "Continue to next step" button until you reach the "Review and Confirm Page" and continue to the next page which will allow you to select the type of service you choose. Press on the "Submit" Button.