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Pro Help Legal Australia – Interview with James & Karen

Interview Article by Ashley Stratford

Recently I had the opportunity to speak with two of the co-founders of Pro Help Legal Australia, James Dorman and Karen Finch, about their recent launch of Pro Help Legal Australia. (ProHelpLegal.com.au)

Pro Help Legal Australia is an online platform for individuals wishing to seek legal advice. On the platform you can video chat with legal professionals, often receiving an initial video consultation for free.

Pro Help Legal Australia is designed to replace the tedious aspects of ‘brick and mortar’ law firms so that individuals are able to speak directly to a lawyer without the need to get through so many intermediaries.

James, what made you want to start Pro Help Legal Australia?

Pro Help Legal originated because over 80% of individuals in America, and also in Australia, who are seeking legal advice never speak to attorney, rather there are a number of barriers that prevent individuals being able to receive appropriate legal advice.

Pro Help Legal was founded on hoping to remove barriers and help everyone access legal advice from licensed attorneys, and we are excited for the launch in Australia!

Our research shows that fear of unknown legal fees are a significant barrier to accessing lawyers. On our program individuals are given up front costs, so if the lawyer is willing to do an initial consultation for free, then that is made evident on the platform.

Likewise, if a lawyer charges for an initial consultation than that is also made evident to the individual before they book their video consultation.

Additionally, individuals are usually able to interact with lawyers right away. For instance, I’ve had clients to who have been pulled over by the police and have logged on to the platform to speak with a lawyer in that moment.

Lastly, unlike other web-based platforms, Pro Help Legal Australia has taken special care with regards to the ethical issues that surround legal advice. Our technology is encrypted, and we do not record conversations between clients and lawyers.

This ensures the maintaining of lawyer-client privilege.

What are the positive aspects of this platform over conventional law firms?

Unlike, conventional law firms, clients do not need to travel to receive their appointment. Pro Help Legal Australia is a fully online platform, and therefore individuals can receive legal help from the comfort of their own homes or workplaces.

This allows for greater flexibility, especially among individuals who are unable to take time off work or career responsibilities.

Most importantly, Pro Help Legal Australia allows individuals to have direct contact with a lawyer.

Therefore, throughout your whole matter you are interacting with someone who can provide you with legal advice, instead of running messages through secretaries and law clerks, only to find out that your matter is not appropriate for the law firm you’ve been interacting with.

Pro Help Legal Australia allows you to select the lawyer appropriate for you. You may even wish to try out a few lawyers on the platform before ultimately deciding to proceed with your matter.

Ultimately, the legal system is reluctant to change, however, with the onset of COVID and global shutdown, the existence of Pro Help Legal Australia emphasises that such platforms are necessary in order to progress the legal industry.

Karen, how will this platform be applied in Australia?

I envision that this platform will be used as a ‘telehealth’ resource for the legal field. Like, medical appointments which have been able to be conducted online, Pro Help Legal Australia offers clients greater flexibility and transparency, something which has become expected of paying services in the wake of the global pandemic.

Additionally, Pro Help Legal Australia can allow firms to use their junior lawyers to interact with clients on the platform.

If used like this then junior lawyer will be able to receive greater client interaction, earlier in their careers, allowing them to develop faster as competent lawyers.

Furthermore, as the system is easy for clients to use and lawyers to implement, there is the possibility that there will be a greater increase in pro-bono services.

Pro Legal Help Australia was launched in November 2021 and is now available for lawyers to sign up for free and for clients to use.

Do you need legal advice?

This Q&A Channel Partner Feature post 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 have a specific question or you’d like to let us know what you need help with, head to our Talk to a Lawyer search resource and find the right lawyer for your needs.

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.