Attorney creates app to take guesswork out of legal services

A Chicago-based attorney has created an app to make finding and pricing legal help easier. 

Matt Horn said he had the idea as he wined and dined potential new clients only to have them walk away.

And as a consumer in need of legal help himself, he spent hours searching online unsure of a lawyer’s fees or reputation.

"I saw all these platforms - Lending Tree, Taskrabbit , - places where people can go and say 'This is what my need is. Who wants to help me?"' Horn explained.

So he created a platform of his own: Legal Services Link.

"It’s giving consumers options," Horn said.

Horn created an online platform where users can post information about their case and their budget. Lawyers can then reach out to offer their services.

"You get responses from multiple lawyers interested in representing you and you can then make an informed decision," Horn said.

Tampa-based attorney Rinky Parwani of Parwani Law says the service has a lot of cost-cutting potential.

"I think we have become a very shop online society and we don't do our homework, but you still have to do that, as an educated consumer because our legal case is so important and you don't want to pick the wrong lawyer for your particular situation," Parwani said.

If you're looking for legal help but you have a tight budget, Parwani suggests asking your employer if they have legal insurance. You might be entitled to free services.

If you're paying for an initial consult, make sure you'll get the chance to talk specifics on your case.

"Generally if they're charging, you're going to get legal advice," says Parwani.

And don't be afraid to unbundle your legal needs and pay for things one step at a time. 

Let's say you use a do-it-yourself site like Legalzoom to draw up some documents, like a will.

You could then go on Legal Services Link's app or site and post that you simply need a lawyer to make sure you did it right.

Or maybe you just need a written demand letter before moving forward. You can post one need, one task at a time.

Legal Services Link has between around 5,000 attorneys available around the country - with roughly 100 in Florida.

"It's making it so attorneys come to you. You don't have to search for one," says Horn.