Sunday, January 22, 2012

LegalMatch: Grease Trap for Solos

I received a great tip on a scam that all solos should be aware of--LegalMatch.  Apparently, according to my tipster, he was contacted by Merrill with an offer of client referrals about 2 years ago.  Now, all attorneys know that you're not supposed to pay a referral fee--but lawyers do.  Generally it's a percentage of what you earn after you receive it, or the referral agency collects the money from the client and takes their cut off the top before they pay you.   So, when he was contacted by LegalMatch because they had a need for real estate attorneys in New York.  He was sent the following email:

Your inquiry was sent over to me for reply. You expressed some interest in our attorney-client matching organization. In order for us to consider any attorney in any given area, we must first have a sufficient number of clients for them to serve in their area. This is done by first getting the answers to the following:
So if you would please answer the following I can determine whether such factors exist and move forward with you from there.
1) What are the main areas of law you handle? (list in order of preference);
2) What states are you licensed to practice in?
3) Do you limit the counties that you take clients from? (If so list counties);
4) Do you practice full or part time?
5) Are you solo or partnered firm?
Sounds harmless, right?  After sending in his answers, he was then set up with a test.  Yes, they sent him a test.  The email was as follows:
I spoke with Director ___________ and he has not as yet decided to select any attorney out of the several he has interviewed over the past few weeks for the New York Area. And so he authorized me to give you access to our Real Estate Litigation clients to determine whether it will be worthwhile to schedule you to for a teleconference with him. I've included New Jersey as well. 
Would you please evaluate at least twenty (20) of the these clients. This will be done by way of having you log on to an Evaluation account. You would have to speak with the Director to determine whether he could present you for more practice areas.
The evaluation account is where you review cases that we have in your area. Our model is to limit the number of attorneys in each area so we do not overwhelm clients with too many choices and can ensure the success of those attorneys who are selected by our Attorney Review Committee to represent those clients. In order to review our current clients please follow the instructions infra: 
Please go to legalmatch.com and on the right hand side, below the Supreme Court pillars, click on "Member Attorney Log In" then type in lower case one word "___________" for user name and password "clients" 
Get your pen and paper and write 3 columns: Yes, No and ? 
Once you log in you well see client cases on the left side. Click on Family Law and this shall give a listing of all cases we have in your region. Next: then click on the first case at the top of the list. This shall open up the description of the case. from there evaluate the case and answer the question "would I be inclined or disinclined to engage this case?" If yes, place a mark in the Yes column, if not inclined, place a mark in the No column. Once you complete review click Next at the upper center then review the next nineteen (19) cases while keeping track of how many you would be inclined versus disinclined to engage.
This will determine whether it would be worth while for me to schedule a teleconference with my Director. 
NOTE: Some clients may make the mistake of entering their contact info into the body of the facts. They are expecting a LegalMatch lawyer, so please do not call them if you see such. 
Thank you.
So, he proceeded to evaluate the cases, which took lots of time.   After doing that he was told that he was under consideration for becoming part of LegalMatch, but he needed to go through a selection process and be considered by their selection committee.  He started to get really excited.  Hell, he'd gladly fork over a third for all of the guaranteed business.  He was even directed to a website that showed how much traffic LegalMatch gets verses other referral services.


He then had no less than 5 conference calls with a Director as part of the selection process.  Each time, he was told that the pool was slimming down and he was still in the running.  Several of these calls took longer than a half hour and he was salivating at the mouth for this unique opportunity.


FINALLY, he heard from the Director with the good news.  He was being made an offer.  He was selected as THE CANDIDATE for their opening in Real Estate Litigation in New York.  He thought it was the answer to his dreams.... after all, getting clients in the door is the number one challenge in running a solo practice.  Well, first you have to know what you're doing.  But it is the second hardest thing.  Then he received the following email to confirm his offer:

Candidate Membership Application—Confirmation Email

Membership Applicant Name:      ________________, Esq.
Area(s) of Practice/Client Type:   Real Estate
Geographical/Client Region: State of New York. The attorney, shall have access to all Real Estate client matters coming to LegalMatch only from within the specified client allocation areas, and seek to engage those who he deems appropriate for Practice’s goals and objectives. 
Membership Term  and  Fee:     Three (3) year Membership for $73,795 per year, only if  The Committee selects attorney.

Upon Committee Approval Fee Shall Be Paid As Follows: If attorney is selected by LegalMatch’s Attorney Review Committee, membership shall be extended and $6149 shall be paid followed by membership orientation, creation of home page and the scheduling of attorney to commence review of client matters and sending responses thereto, followed by thirty-five (35) subsequent installments of $6149.

§1 Reply to this email by typing in §2 infra: “I confirm the details infra/above” in the body of your e-mail reply.  Once I receive your reply, we will overnight to you your Applicant Packet which includes a sample profile, Attorney Membership Agreement, and other helpful membership tools for you.  By confirming this email you agree to have the $500 Application Fee charged via the billing method you provided and move forward in the application process.  If you are not approved for Membership, your $500 Application Fee will be refunded in its entirety.  I understand that an Attorney Membership Agreement will be forthcoming for my review and that this understanding of parameters above does not constitute a formal offer of membership with LegalMatch.  LegalMatch reserves the right to accept, or reject, my application based on their strict eligibility requirements.
Wow and wow.  Here's the real kicker:  they don't guarantee you any business at all!  He nearly vomited in his mouth (I'm using artistic license of course) and never wanted to hear from them again.  To pay that amount of money up front is insanity!


To add insult to injury, he got an email this week with the subject line "Attorney Needed":

I am assisting a group of potential clients that have completed an intake and are ready to retain an attorney. I realize your time is limited. Are you available this week for a 10-15 minute conference call?
Please advise.
Yep, LegalMatch again.


Don't waste your time with their nonsense.  If you have $75K to hand over to this grease trap  then you probably don't need the business.  

56 comments:

  1. The sad thing is, this type of scam is usually run by another lawyer as most jurisdictions, if not all, forbid attorneys from splitting or giving referral fees to non-attorneys.

    I have many colleagues that are solos and they get these types of solicitations (Yodle seems to be a big one) on a daily basis. This is their modus operandi. They will call you and say: "We hear you are one of the best 'fill in the blank practice area' lawyers in town. Are you looking for new clients? Great because we have a website and get thousands of inquiries a week from clients looking to hire an attorney that specializes in your area of practice. Right now we have one exclusive listing available in your area. Interested to join our vast network of professional?"

    How do these scammers make money? They have you sign an agreement saying you will pay them $X (I have seen as high as $75 per lead) for each click or lead that they refer you to. You have to pay that amount even if the prospective client never shows up to your office. Some racket huh? I can't believe how many young attorneys desperate for business fall for these scams. Oh and beware of web developers looking to set up a jazzy site for you. Also avvo is a rip off and not credible. They use a rating system, like SuperLawyers, which you can game to get a perfect 10 supberb score. Their monthly subscription fee is obscene. You literally spend thousands of dollars on these "referral programs" and get no business. It is dispicable how these fuckers are preying on the desperation of young lawyers who have no alternative but to set up a solo shop without clients or knowledge on how to handle a legal case.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. While the things legal match does are indeed horrible, I made the mistake of hiring one of their lawyers who proceeded to do to me exactly what legal match apparently did to him. He took my money, I changed my mind in 1 day and it took me a lot of other people contacting him to finally get my money back. Since then, I have read many complaints about this particular lawyer all horrible. Don't deal with this co in any way

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  2. What a prestigious "profession," huh?!?! This is the type of filth that law school applicants, high school seniors, and all college students need to see BEFORE applying to law school or registering for the LSAT.

    If this doesn't scare the hell out of them, or impart some clarity, then they truly are lost causes. Good work, Angel!

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  3. wow! I have been contact by them before and have always thought it was a scam.

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  4. If you can spare $75K, pay your student loans first before getting involved with these jokers. Disgusting! The sad thing is they probably end up scamming quite a few desperate people out of money (maybe not $75K but some amount).

    Legal match needs to be shut down like ACS, the worst student loan servicer I have ever dealt with. I paid my loans off just to get those creeps out of my life because they didn't know how to apply extra amounts to principal, and they still haven't sent me a paid-in-full letter. It is infuriating. The legal profession and everything related to it - these scam job referrals, student loan lenders, CLE providers, bar associations - is the biggest rip-off in history. Start shutting the law schools down!

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  5. I have been down that road. Here is an interesting link to criminal charges against the founder of LegalMatch:

    http://kevin.lexblog.com/2004/05/articles/law-firm-marketing/legalmatchcom-founder-indicted-on-federal-charges/

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    1. That is quite old - it was for him hacking a competitor's voicemails. LegalMatch got rid of him.
      Here's a link summarizing the outcome:

      http://law.justia.com/cases/new-york/appellate-division-first-department/2005/2005-07784.html

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    2. He is in the office every day and has his hands in everything.

      Delete
  6. Lately, I have had some group called Yelp hitting me up for an internet ad campaign with no guarantees.

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  7. I used Legal Match many years ago. I was not charged any money to be listed as an attorney. I never did get any work out of it. I had some potential clients who wanted work done for free. It ended up being a waste of time, maybe 2 hours of my life. I can't imagine that they would even ask for money for potential clients. This is not how real clients choose an attorney. If you are going to be in practice for yourself, you have to be a good at business. It is not hard, but it is time consuming.

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  8. Have you decided to adopt Nando's "disgusting photo model" of scamblogging?

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  9. I actually have done pretty well on LegalMatch. I am evaluating whether to continue this year. The fees started out as $40,000 a year up front. Got some great frequent flyer miles. I have negotiated down each 2 year period till I have paid $240,000 over the last six years. I have collected 1.4 million in fees. Some good years some OK. FYI

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    1. 9:19 Anonymous-Note to you PR department; Any lawyer who made 1.4 mil on $240k in ads would not be "evaluating whether to continue this year".
      Obviously posted by a non-lawyer with no understanding of economics.

      Delete
    2. There are a host of reasons why a successful business owner would choose not to continue such an arrangement. Deciding how much they wish to expand, if at all, is just one. If you read the post you would know that on a yearly basis it would be 40k out and 233k back. A great return and good growth. Maybe continuing at that rate requires more associates or staff and that isn't desired anymore. Perhaps your understanding of a business plan is what is at issue not the poster's understanding of economics.

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  10. 9:19:

    Really? How about you identify yourself so that your "claim" sounds more legitimate. Trust me when I tell you that you are not fooling this crowd with your claims of making money under an anonymous identity. When I read it, the first thing I think of is "shill" for legal match. Prove me wrong, identify your law office, and maybe others will sign up for the service.

    Nobody in their right mind would pay that much money up front for a service that may or may not generate business. Fucker.

    Yes, I am anonymous. I am not making outrageous claims either.

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    1. This "success story" isn't a very good best-case scenario, even if it is simply a shill for LegalMatch. Here's the fuzzy math: Take a gross of $1.4 million in attorney's fees. Subtract the standard 1/3 for overhead and the standard 1/3 for employee costs. Now you're left with roughly $467,000 in gross profit. If the $240,000 paid to LegalMatch is ADDITIONAL overhead (which seems likely), we're talking about a net gain to said attorney of $227,000... over 6 years, which is an average take-home profit of about $38,000 per year. (Even if LegalMatch fees are included in the standard overhead and this attorney can run a successful practice while being understaffed by at least one full employee and/or operating his or her law office out of a van down by the river, we're still only talking about an average profit of $77,800 per year). All in all, this service has been mildly beneficial for this particular attorney. Contrast this relative success story with the much larger number of solos and small firms LOSING $30,000-$40,000 per year to LegalMatch, and it starts looking a lot like law school, but with a much lower ceiling (although in fairness, at least the floor is a little higher, as those pesky breach of contract claims are fully dischargeable in bankruptcy).

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  11. My whole issue with this scam, as was the tipster's, was the deceptive means they used to try to get him to sign up. If the service was really worth it, I don't think they'd have to lie to get that to happen. Also, as a solo, it's hard to front that type of money and then you actually have to have enough time in the day to deal with the clients until the $$$ starts rolling in so that you can hire help. So, my question is, if someone has $40K to front--they do not likely need the business. In short, you sound like a shill and I'd love to see you post your info and I'll happily eat crow.

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  12. Its hard to imagine people making scams like this. I am not sure how this relates to grease traps. But its an interesting article all the same.

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  13. Welcome to the desert of the real world.

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  14. The agreement is drafted so badly that it doesn't even say who is paying whom, so perhaps the attorney could demand the payments from LegalMatch as a nonrefundable retainer against work referred and selected.

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  15. I am presently a Legalmatch member attorney. My monthly fee is $550 or so and I am in a two year contract so it's far less money. What they do is send me "leads" and I have to chase down the client. It's a pain in the butt. Most clients don't read the e-mails (it's in the criminal law category) so you call right away. Some clients pick up the phone, some never answer or call back. I have made money from it - not tons but it's not operating at a loss at this point but for sure they talk it up far better than the actual practice. I would not sign up again, however.

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    1. I fully agree with this and many of the other negative points. I am not a rock star attorney so the many clients I had to chase I guess ended up hiring one of the others in my same pool. They were great at sales and got me to join but I simply couldn't afford to pay the bill (rent became more important), and they cancelled me. Now they're suing me for the balance of a contract which they canceled. Hmmm.

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  16. I am a real legalmatch member. In my best year, I made 3x the cost of membership;
    In my worst year maybe ten percent of the ad cost.

    In my experience, the site has been declining due to increased competition form other sites and direct attorney websites.

    You have to spend considerable time winnowing the dead beats, nut-jobs, imposters and non-starters to land a case.
    Their fees are negotiable, but they bluff well.In some markets, they land enough "fish" that they don't merely bluff, but will reject your ad offer.
    In legalmatch parlance, every post is a "case" even though some of these are from trolls or people (probably attorneys) testing the site,

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  17. And by the way, when they sue you it's in California...so if you're across the country, you've got to defend there...bastards. I hope the attorney took it on a contingency because they'll never get a nickel out of me...

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  18. I'm cancelling the interview with legal match scheduled for this morning. Thanks folks.

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  19. I used to work there.

    To paraphrase Han Solo: And I thought it smelled bad on the outside...

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    Replies
    1. I would like to talk to you, I need information for a suit.

      Delete
  20. I've worked for them for several years and they treat their workers as badly as they scam the lawyers with claims of big bucks. Would you sign a contract for $30,000 from a company owned by a known 'convicted felon'? Here's a tip, they only pursue a small percentage of lawyers that jump out of their contracts due to outrageous lies about the efficacy of their memberships

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  21. I am another victim. In the sales pitch they showed me the hits for the two months prior. These hits were fraudulent. After 30 days in the plan, it is obvious that all they bring in is junk.
    I’m trying to figure out how they set me up with the two preceding months. One possibility is they had people call in false cases, another possibility is they marketed during that 60 days to bring in a decent response.
    I also have suspicion that if they get a valuable case, they pull it and sell it on the side to attorneys willing to pay a premium.
    I also wonder about the endorsements. How do they get these attorneys to lie for them?

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  22. They aren't just after solos. I'm at a firm in Dallas and have gotten three emails from them in about two weeks with an Austin TX phone number listed. I assumed it wasn't legit. Thanks for this blog post confirming my suspicions.

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  23. I am very sorry to say, I worked for these snake-oil salesmen for over a year in my youth. In good conscience I cannot say that it is 100% fraudulent as some attorneys did, in fact, do very well. Those instances, however, were few and far between.

    Anonymous above me states that they aren't only after solo practitioners and he's 100% right. While I was there I played a part in signing and entire personal injury firm. My commission was $3k, as a lowly appointment setter. The former attorney (turned shady salesman) who handled the account thereafter made six figures and took his family to Europe for the next three months, during which time the firm tried (and failed) to back out of the contract.

    Their practices border on unethical, and structurally they are corrupt to the core. In most cases, if you have the money to pay them what they ask; then you are doing well enough to not need them. Instead take the money and advertise in the YP, since that's where 75% of our leads came from anyway.

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  24. I use to work there for 2 years, I recently left the company due to the lies they ask us to tell attorneys, don't be fooled by these guys. The "potential clients" posting a case are sold to other referral groups. Also Demetri is very much involved in this organization as a "consultant" he makes decisions at the very top. Don't waste your money and if you do sign a contract, don't worry they wont sue you. I have had numerous charge backs from attorneys that didn't finish their contracts and we didn't go after a single one of them legally.

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  25. Its sad to read all this and hear my fellow attorneys based there business decisions off what they read on the internet. Come on people its the INTERNET! I've use this program and it has been extremely successful. More important I challenge every attorney to Google your current phone provider, local favorite restaurant , and any service you use on a daily basis to see if they have negative reviews. It's one thing I know about running a successful practice , and it's simply this you can make excuses or you can make money. But you can't do both

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    1. Wow! Finally a post that I was hoping to see. It amazes me that living in the age of advanced technology and the World Wide Web, so many business professionals, regardless of their age, do not educate themselves on this topic. Anyone, and I mean ANYONE, can post anything they want on the Internet; From the CEO, marketing dept, reputation mgmt dept, wife, cousins, uncles of a company(usually posting negative articles about another competing company) all the way down to an inmate in our federal prison system. It IS very sad that most professionals DO base their decisions on what they read on the internet, even if what they are presented makes total sense. Nothing is guaranteed in marketing and there will always be risk involved. A lot of times, the marketing is not even the issue, it's the business owner failing to do their part. Great post!

      Delete
  26. I am a lawyer in San Francisco. I got contacted by "Josh Byther" of Austin/Plano TX.
    he called me and his initial pitch was of the exact nature described above. I did not fall for it for one second.
    I told him if he had clients send me their names so I could do a conflict check.
    No good lawyer would fall for this. Especially in CA where referral fees are illegal.

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  27. I found my attorney through LegalMatch twice...what do you mean no one will fall for this? You guys forget attorneys don't have the best reputation...most of the time you guys want me to pay a fee for a consultation and I don't even know if you are a good attorney, and second once I retain you...I speak to your paralegal most of the time. I am glad there is a service that checks attorneys background good standing with your bar, and screens the attorneys before joining the network so I can have a chance to speak to a reputable attorney...I have dozens of attorneys around my house, but I don't have the time to speak to all of them, and how do I know who to go to...it is intimidating as a single woman trying to get help I need and not know what attorney is really in it to help me, or just wants my money. Thanks LegalMatch.

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  28. haha - ONE guy who obviously has a grudge against LegalMatch keeps posting "inside info" as a bunch of different "anonymous" people, versus ONE guy from LegalMatch's PR team doing the exact same the other way. What's amazing is anyone believes what people write on the internet.

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    1. Well I don't know about the rest, but my post (and this one as well) was kept anonymous because LM has a habit of suing for defamation and, in my case, they would absolutely pursue.

      I have no such grudge. I made a lot of money working for them and it was actually a pretty fun place to work. I even made it a point to say that some attorneys, albeit a vanishingly small percentage, actually did well.

      I like your quotes around the words "inside info", like it's something to be particularly skeptical about. This company isn't Area 51, they are a relatively large marketing firm that has employed thousands of people over the years. Their business practices are common knowledge to many, so the fact that the majority of "what people write on the internet" about them is negative should rightly give pause to anyone considering getting into bed with them.

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  29. I am seeking a lawyer and I just entered my info online with lm to find a civil rights lawyer for my discrimination case. I think it is amazing that people on this blog who are supposidly lawyers are complaining about paying fees up front. If you are lawyers and you find this wrong then don't you think it is equally unjust to ask a potential client for $5000. Retainer fee . Its the same in my eyes. I am not taking sides but it sounds like the pot is calling the kettle black.

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    Replies
    1. Lawyers have paid serious up-front fees in advance, it is called law school, and the bar exam. Attorneys are also heavily regulated, so if an attorney takes your $5,000 and does nothing, you have recourse. Some sales guy, with no legal training or experience, pitching an expensive no guarantee marketing plan is different. The companies I have been approached by use a lot of high pressure sales techniques. Their sale's gimmicks don't work on me....but they try.

      Delete
    2. When I worked at LM, I preyed upon lawyer's rather large egos. I got them to listen to me by getting them to talk. Once we get them to listen we walked them through a one hour explanation of how the system worked then a highly skilled closer would call them back to close the deal.
      angelicapoe510@yahoo.com

      Delete
    3. Every single time I've tried to give a client a break and accept a few hundred dollars upfront (rather than the few thousand dollars most attorneys would demand upfront for similar cases), I've gotten stiffed by the client in the end. I've found that the mark of a good client isn't necessarily someone with easy access to funds but someone who understands the value of your time and is willing to pay you a substantial retainer upfront, even if they have to take out a cash advance or borrow from a friend or family member.

      Delete
  30. Despite all the vitriol here, I see that LegalMatch is in its 14th year with an A+ BBB rating. My intuition is that the satisfied member attorneys and employees don't take the time to blog about the merits of the company, probably being preoccupied with their success. It's the same story with any Internet-based company of this size, but whatever the reality it does seem overly simplistic to label something a "scam." Let's assume that like any marketing endeavor the results will vary and not everyone will be pleased. As for the post about LegalMatch declining litigation against its disgruntled member attorneys, I haven't dissected their contract but that would make sense to me just from a practical business perspective. The founder's history is a little disconcerting, but even that happened so long ago it probably shouldn't even matter at this point. Overall, it looks to me at the very least like a legitimately helpful way for laypeople to quickly find representation, and I rather doubt the website would still be in existence if its members never yielded any business from it. Personally, I don't practice in any of the relevant areas of law, so I would never become a member for that reason alone. Internet law and legal ethics interest me tremendously, however, and for LegalMatch to continue functioning in spite of everything I've read here is probably just a testament to its business model. I wouldn't expect 100% of its members make huge profits, and I sympathize with those who did not, but attorneys who project all of the blame and risk onto their marketing services probably should not be in a for-profit private practice anyway. Yes, I'm posting this anonymously so as to avoid any nonsense, just like almost everyone else here decided to do. Just be wary of what you read online would be my condensed point. LegalMatch is an interesting example, and free speech is something I want to defend as much as anyone, but the economic ramifications of a complaint-focused blogosphere are likely far more extreme and widespread than we realize.

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    1. Yet, looking over the posts we have yet to hear from a single attorney that thinks the service is really worth it. The reason LM is still in business is that their overhead is low, mostly marketing.

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    2. It bothers me that the word "free" appears at least four times on the www.legalmatch.com homepage. The language on the site is carefully worded so that a prospective client might reasonably believe that their case might be selected for pro bono representation. Also, the phrase "Always 100% free to find and communicate with licensed attorneys — no hidden fees" implies that at minimum, a prospective client would be entitled to a free consultation with a licensed attorney. That being said, if the service advertised itself more clearly, I could see it being a useful resource for consumers who understand that this is a "pay for play" referral service.

      Delete
  31. Wow thanks! I was informed to go to legalmatch.com for a lawyer but if they are going to scam their lawyers I don't want no part in their services. No doubt I may be scammed as well as a potential client.

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  32. I was an employee at Legal Match in 2005 but I am a student now at Cal-Berkeley and a free lance journalist. I am doing an expose on these people. I have established a facebook page for people to report there stories, post there
    "Legal Match Alumni Club"
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/527668377317750/

    or contact me at angelicapoe510@yahoo.com if you are willing to talk (on or off record)

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  33. I should have known that any blog that is dedicated to the life of disenchanted lawyers would have a lot of unhappy people on it and I have come to the conclusion that unhappy lawyers are a strange lot. Who else but a lawyer posting anonymously on a blog would argue that posting anonymously on a blog is proof that a poster with an opposing viewpoint is not credible or lying? I am not sure if that is an example or an indictment of their skills in making an argument.

    I am not associated with LegalMatch. I am not an attorney, I am in sales and considering whether to pursue an opportunity with them. So this offered not as a defense of LegalMatch but to debunk the title used here because, like it or not, you haven't done "everything right". I would venture to guess you have done very little right.

    First, LegalMatch is a marketing company not a referral service. Referrals in sales usually come from satisfied customers who are REFERRING others to a service or product they have found valuable. If it isn't done that way it isn't a referral no matter what you believe the definition to be. Marketing is about drawing in PROSPECTIVE clients and delivering them to the person or business who purchased the marketing method. That's it, nothing more. Marketing companies can't promise you more actual business they can only promise you more prospective business. The only thing that referrals and marketing prospects have in common is that they are both PROSPECTS.

    Second, yes you may have to actually work to have contact with these prospects. Contacting potential customers is the JOB. It isn't chasing them it is your JOB, your business depends on it. One of the reasons people look for these types of services on the internet is that it provides anonymity (based on the number of anonymous posters above this concept is not a surprise to most of you). It is so they can submit information when it suits them and respond when it suits them. They really don't care what your opinion is of the value of your time they are your potential customer they aren't required to care and as a potential paying customer, by definition their time is more valuable than yours. They are your potential CUSTOMER and it is up to you to make them a client not your marketing company and yes that means you do what you have to do to contact them. You can wait to ignore and bitch about them AFTER they are your client otherwise do your job.

    Third, I know you think of yourselves as attorneys but you are really in SALES and sales is a numbers game period, end of story. Any service that can deliver potential customers to you has a value. Marketing companies can't guarantee buyers regardless of the marketing forum. They can be extremely targeted, and give you plenty of info to make turning them into buyers easier but that is all they can do. Getting prospects to buy is YOUR job.

    Fourth, if you are in business for yourself and think you aren't in SALES go work for someone else because you are destined to fail.

    Now I am not defending the process described at the beginning of this post. The sales process is convoluted and unprofessional and the fact that LegalMatch condones it is more of an indictment than calling them a SCAM which they are not. Professional sales organizations don't over-promise. Certainly chewing up another professional's time to jump through hoops that are unnecessary, designed to imply a value and justify price is even more disturbing because that can only happen as a matter of policy and the sales process.


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  34. They just contacted me under the guise that they were looking for a lawyer to handle a local case. It was outside of my area of practice so I referred to other local attorneys. But it occurs to me that that may have been an intentional error to get me hooked.

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  35. wow! I have been contact by them before and have always thought it was a scam.

    getting new clients & incorporate my company

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  36. As an attorney who signed up to get leads from http://LegalMatch.com, beware, their service is a complete waste of money, and more importantly, your time.

    When I signed up, I was a new attorney who wanted real estate leads from them, and was interested in the one-year package, which cost about $700 per month. The sales agent promised me that "only a handful" of attorneys were signed up in the real estate section, so I would not have much competition. He also told me that they limited the number of attorneys that could sign up to take such leads, and there was only one more slot to be filled. When I told him I only charged $100 per hour (I was new then), he told me that I would get all the clients because of my reasonable fees. In reliance on that, I signed up for three years, and paid $500 per month.

    Result: http://LegalMatch.com provided me the most junky of all leads. These were people who could pay no more than $50 per hour, but who acted snotty nonetheless because 12 different attorneys had called them before I did and were vying for their business. Clearly, the sales agent had lied about "only a handful" of attorneys being my competition, and there being a limited number of slots. Also, despite the fact that I am a relatively good salesman, it proved exceedingly difficult to sign up LegalMatch clients because 1) they would not answer their phones 2) they could not pay anything close to reasonable fees 3) they only wanted a free consultation without any desire to actually retain an attorney 4) they were annoyed with being bombarded with so many attorney calls in one day.

    I stopped making payments and stopped using their services after only a few months of signing up with them, and now their collection agency is trying to collect for 2.5 years of their service. If they sue, I will surely crossclaim for fraud and let the world know how terrible they are.

    If you are a new attorney with limited resources (i.e. time, money) looking to buy leads to expand your business, LegalMatch may cause your business to go belly-up. Beware.

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  37. Legal Match is a scam! Do not give them your money if you are an attorney! They lie to you in order to get you to sign up for their service. I was told I would be the only lawyer in my county to receive leads and I find out there were already three others. Stay away from Legal Match! Legalmatch.com is a total scam. Anyone posting positive things is probably a paid blogger and not a lawyer.

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  38. You guys are amazing pessimists. What about all the successful attorneys using Legal Match. Legal Match doesn't guarantee results, the attorney must be proactive and engage the clients as they are requesting an attorney contact. If the attorney isn't aggressive in contacting the clients of course they will have poor results... Does a law school guarantee their graduates will make money after charging hundreds of thousands in tuition??? No, of course they don't. Legal Match is a tool, if you don't know how or are unwilling to use the tool, you will not get the desired result...

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