Last Friday I lead a seminar on new idea development -- how to make
new ideas come to life. I believe that a person is worth his weight in
gold if he can identify a real problem and then focus on and create a
valuable idea to resolve the problem.
don't see how I can come up with a new idea!'' That remark caught me by
surprise. ``I'm a lawyer, and our profession has constraints that make
new ideas almost impossible.''
So I asked, ``Would you agree that finding a lawyer is difficult?''
''Not really. All anybody has to do is go to the Yellow Pages,'' the lawyer replied.
Later on, in order to examine that assumption, I went to the Yellow Pages. There I found 136 pages of attorney advertising.
could create a short list from the 136 pages, selecting candidates by
reading ads to identify practice areas. Next you could consult with
your top candidates before making your final choice, asking questions
about their qualifications. Supposing you have to fork over $50 a pop
for the half-hour consultations with five lawyers, you will have spent
$250, plus the value of your time.
Then I remembered some people go to the Florida Bar for recommendations.
The Florida Bar, at www.floridabar.org,
provides a pdf pamphlet, ''How to Find a Lawyer in Florida.'' They
suggest, ``When you hire a lawyer, the lawyer will be working for you.
He or she should be genuinely interested in your problem and in giving
you the best possible advice.''
Looking for a referral in Miami,
I went to the Dade County Bar Association (dadecountybar.org). That is
where I learned attorneys conduct an initial half-hour office
consultation for $50. But unfortunately the referral service wasn't
Now I began to understand why so many attorney searches
are resolved by asking a friend to recommend a lawyer who successfully
resolved a similar problem.
I focused on facts: Finding an
attorney in Miami-Dade County is a frustrating and expensive process.
This understanding helped me identify and confirm the prevalence of a
How can this process could be simplified, made less
expensive and more effective? Are there others out there who have
already seen and solved this problem?
I knew about LegalZoom.com.
They do not provide legal counsel. They target people who have simple
legal document needs but don't want to spend the time or the money, at
$250 an hour, to consult an attorney.
Through Google I discovered
several online client/lawyer-matching services. I preferred
legalmatch.com -- it's free, fast, easy to use and protects your
You create a case presentation by answering questions
just as a lawyer would during an initial consultation. Lawyers
interested in your case presentation respond to you with a personal
message detailing their experience and fee structure. You compare each
lawyer's capabilities, fees, and educational and professional
affiliations and contact the one you feel will best resolve your case.
conclusions: Lawyers are developing valuable ideas. There are
customer-friendly services that now are matching client and lawyer,
working within the constraints of the highly regulated legal profession.
And, you too can create valuable ideas! Check out my Idea Path. Then put on your creative hat and begin gathering ideas!