Google’s venture capital arm’s recent substantial investment in Rocket Lawyer seems to have been greeted with a widely varied response by family lawyers.
Rocket Lawyer is a U.S. online subscription legal document assembly service. It is expected to be “launched” in the UK late next year.
Some family lawyers feel that it will take away valuable drafting work from them with much needed associated professional fees, whereas others seem to regard it likely to have minimal impact on the full blown professional services offered by family lawyers.
One experienced family lawyer said, “In the same way as some of the best will writing software has found its place in the provision of legal services for straightforward wills, where the estate is modest, I envisage this development as fulfilling a similar role in the more straightforward divorce cases.”
Some may feel that it should be welcomed as another useful referrer of clients.
Self-help certainly has a role to play, it seems, in even the more complex divorce cases. A magic circle partner said to Family Law Week that it is by no means uncommon for wealthy clients to deal with specific aspects of their divorces themselves, calling on specialist family lawyers for advice on specific elements of the divorce, the financial settlement, tax planning or difficulties in relation to arrangements for the children.
It remains to be seen whether Rocket Lawyer will be used by divorcing clients as part of their self-help approach.