Having a lawyer to consult on an ongoing basis helps businesses avoid and mitigate the consequences of crises. Lawyers can save businesses significant amounts of time and money as advisors, rather than de facto emergency workers.
The financial stakes are high for many legal issues small businesses encounter on a regular basis. Failing to sign a (well-written and tailored) contract with a vendor, partner or employee can leave you mired in misunderstandings, and even litigation, when things don’t go exactly as planned or derail in ways you never could have imagined a priori (get it?!). A registered trademark for your brand can be a lifesaver, literally, if a competitive business attempts to use a similar logo or name. With so much at risk, hiring a lawyer seems like an obvious decision.
But studies consistently demonstrate that consumers don’t consult lawyers when they need them. For example, 70% of households reported an event in the past year that might have led them to hire an attorney, but less than half did. Respondents cite (their perceived) cost of hiring a lawyer as the most powerful reason for demurral.
Why Don’t Small Businesses Hire Lawyers?
So, the question remains: why don’t businesses hire lawyers when it can save them so much time and money in the long-run?
Americans have a dismal view of lawyers. 18% of Americans say they trust lawyers as opposed to 44% of Canadians, and law came in 22nd out of 25 professions when respondents were asked whether they had a positive view of that profession (with only real estate, oil and gas, and automobile tolling in lower). 69% of people agreed that lawyers are “more interested in making money than serving their clients” and only 20% of people believe that lawyers have very high ethical standards.
Despite widespread skepticism, 76% of consumers who hired a lawyer in the past five years said they were somewhat or very satisfied with their experience. Why is there such a disconnect?
First, many Americans who have a negative view of lawyers have never actually hired one, but rather base their views on media portrayals of lawyers as untrustworthy, bombastic and money-grubbing.
Second, and relatedly, people simply don’t interact with lawyers regularly (unlike, for example, doctors), don't know how to find lawyers, and rely on their own personal networks when they require one. When asked how they found an attorney, 46% of respondents reported they asked a friend, family member of colleague and 34% contacted a lawyer they knew or had used before.
Thus, if you or someone you know doesn’t know the type of lawyer you need, you are less inclined to hire one.
Priori Bridges the Gap
Priori is here to bridge the gap between lawyers and businesses. While most people express a general belief that lawyers are knowledgeable about the law (would hope so!) and can help clients navigate the legal system, they remain confused in the details. Specifically, clients are (1) uncertain about how to assess the quality of a lawyer; (2) dissatisfied with the ways lawyers communicate with them; and (3) confused about how lawyers bill for their services.
Priori is designed to address precisely those concerns.
Priori has created a network of trusted and vetted lawyers, all of whom we interview personally. When you encounter a legal issue, we search our network for the right lawyer for your unique business. Finally, we negotiate discounts with all of our attorneys and are committed to a transparent pricing structure and wherever possible, flat fees.
We believe that using a lawyers you trust regularly can help your business thrive, and we’ve designed Priori to make it as easy as possible for you to find the right lawyer at the right price.