Issues and opportunities for disruption of pro bono services

When it comes to tech disruption in the delivery of pro bono services to clients, there are numerous matters to consider, given how important such disruption is for the community, argues one legal entrepreneur.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly, Legally Yours co-founder and non-executive director Wes Young said that while there are “some really good offerings around the country” that provided disrupted pro bono services, there remain challenges in the delivery of those services.

“Where the main issues lie is there is no coordinated approach in how to provide ease of access to them in a manner that suits clients. This is compounded by other factors such as a perception that the ‘professional pro-bono sector’ doesn’t like collaborating with the private sector and that service offerings are primarily state-based,” he explained.

Ironing out such issues is integral, the Hobart-based Mr Young continued, given that tech disruption affords opportunities for clients and service providers to access services in ways that better accommodate the needs of those clients.

“For example, Blockbuster Video died not because people stopped wanting to watch movies from the comfort of home. It died because a new player (Netflix) offered superior customer service and product delivery. Do you remember when they first started, and you ordered the movie and a DVD turned up in the mail? They were actually disrupting though providing a superior product offering before tech developments allowed them to offer a streaming service,” he mused.

But in among the issues, there are opportunities, he said.

“They can be broken down into two areas: one, using tech to offer a one-stop-shop for a seamless client experience. Two, using tech to pull together what has been an ad hoc approach to the promotion and access to services.”

Mr Young’s comments follow insights from Chrissie Lightfoot, legal futurist and CEO EntrepreneurLawyer and Robot Lawyer LISA, who recently argued that while innovation in the legal marketplace is making headway, there’s still a fair way to go before significant impact can be felt.

*This article was first published on the Lawyers Weekly website on the 2nd May 2019*

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This article does not constitute legal advice or a legal opinion on any matter discussed and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and practice in this area. If you require any advice or information, please speak to a practising lawyer in your jurisdiction. No individual who is a member, partner, shareholder or consultant of, in or to any constituent part of Legally Yours Pty Ltd accepts or assumes responsibility, or has any liability, to any person in respect of this article.

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