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.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!
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.
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?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.