Augusta, GA (WJBF) — Experienced lawyers on demand. How would you like to have that really with just the click of a button be connected with an experienced, intelligent, knowledgeable lawyer to handle your legal needs? You can do that and we’re gonna tell ya how via a new company called LegalSpark. It is a tremendous opportunity for you to get the counsel you need.
Brad Means: We do wanna welcome Nick Gladd to the set of The Means Report. Nick is by day really the general counsel for TaxSlayer, one of Augusta’s and one of the nation’s finest companies. He’s also the general legal officer, the chief legal officer, Nick, excuse me, for Legal Spark, which is why he’s here today. But first of all before we get to Legal Spark, I wanna talk about TaxSlayer, it’s been in the news lately. You all have been busy with your move, with your renovations, right?
Nick Gladd: We have, we are excited for this move. We’ve got a new technology campus opening downtown on Broad Street. We wanna be part of the technology boom that’s happening in downtown and all over Augusta, and we’re there.
Brad Means: And you’ve already started work on getting it up to speed, getting the building to where you need it, right?
Nick Gladd: We’ve already started the work and we’ll be in in the next spring.
Brad Means: All right, let’s talk about LegalSpark.com. You once explained to me that LegalSpark.com is like Uber for lawyers, and I tried it out and it is. It’s that simple. Let’s just start at the beginning though. What gave you the idea, Nick, or what made you aware of the need of connecting clients with attorneys in this easy of a manner?
Nick Gladd: It is a very simple concept. This is a 20-minute legal advice call, where the lawyer is gonna call you on your phone and give you that 20 minutes of legal help. The basis of it is, everyone over the course of a year is gonna have some legal question. And the scope of that could be anything from a family law issue to a I wanna start a new LLC, to I’ve got an intellectual property idea, how do I protect it? All these questions have an answer, and we’re gonna connect you through our platform, LegalSpark.com, with an experienced, quality lawyer, who’s gonna answer that question for you in a short time, in a 20-minute period.
Brad Means: Is this something that you noticed was lacking in the legal world, either when you were in private practice, or now in the corporate world, where it was sometimes cumbersome to connect client and attorney?
Nick Gladd: Brad, I was a 15 year practicing lawyer. I did products liability law, I defended automobile companies. So, I did the daily grind for those clients. This is completely different. This is opening the doorway, expanding access to lawyers by anybody. For the John Q. Public that’s out there that needs answers to those questions, again, that they’re gonna have over the course of the year. This opens that door for them to get a call from a lawyer, which is turning it on its head in that the lawyer’s gonna call the client, instead of the other way around.
Brad Means: Sometimes it can be daunting when you’re trying to think about that first step of calling a lawyer, of getting legal advice, of getting into that whole legal arena because of the cost. Tell me what LegalSpark.com can do when it comes to that initial cost to connect with that attorney.
Nick Gladd: And there’s two things there and I don’t wanna gloss over this, there’s an intimidation factor that folks have to connecting with a lawyer. How do I get to a lawyer? Do I really have to call and talk to a secretary? Am I gonna get screened? Maybe it’s an embarrassing issue that you only wanna discuss with a lawyer. Well, this eliminates that. This is something you can do in the convenience of your home, in your car, anywhere you’d like. So, it eliminates that intimidation barrier to lawyers. And then there’s that convenience factor. And then there’s a fixed cost. This is a under $50, 20-minute legal help call that you’re gonna get, 49.99. You’re gonna be connected with a lawyer. A lawyer’s gonna call your phone for that convenient call that you can have, again, in the safety, with a privacy factor, and in the convenience of wherever you want that call to be.
Brad Means: What kind of legal advice can be dispensed in 20 minutes? I’m not presuming that an entire issue can be resolved in that time, but how quickly does the attorney who calls you get to the point?
Nick Gladd: Well, and this goes to the question you just asked, which is, what’s the basis of this? And I can’t tell you over my course of 15 years how many times I was asked the question, hey, Nick, you’re a lawyer, I gotta quick legal question for you.
Brad Means: Oh yeah, people do it all the time.
Nick Gladd: Yeah, and they do, and they do it to all lawyers and it’s fine. I may not be a specialist in that scope, but I know where to find the answer for that person. And typically, it’s a family member or a friend who’s asking those questions. Well, that’s the basis of what we’re doing here. It’s someone with that quick, what they think is a quick legal question that they now can talk to a lawyer in a matter of minutes. Once they onboard with us and choose the Uber style of selection of an attorney, all the attorneys that are available in that particular topic. Let’s say, someone has a business question. A push notification is gonna go to all the lawyers, all the business lawyers with us. The first business lawyer that accepts that push notification in a matter of seconds, is gonna be then connected with that new client.
Brad Means: So, that connection comes pretty quickly. That call back is pretty fast.
Nick Gladd: That attorney’s gonna call you within 10 minutes.
Brad Means: Let me ask you this, where are these attorneys? Where are they coming from? Are the sitting around Augusta?
Nick Gladd: LegalSpark, we just launched about two weeks ago, and we are launching initially in Georgia only. We’re actually targeting Atlanta in our ad campaign. But it is a Georgia-wide product as we sit here right now. So, we have, and I’m excited to say, we have 30 plus highly experienced and qualified lawyers that are already registered with us. And they are all across the scope regarding of whether or not they’re criminal lawyers specializing in criminal law, intellectual property, business, immigration, family and divorce lawyers. We have all those topics covered, and again, over 30 as we sit here and that number is increasing every day.
Brad Means: Well, I’m sure it will grow manyfold as word gets out about LegalSpark. Let me ask you this, and you’ve already touched on it, but I think it bears mentioning again, and that is that these lawyers get back to you very quickly. How do they juggle that and their normal jobs? Or is it just the attorney who’s not busy right then, and you’re gonna get that person, and that kind of goes to the whole speed and efficiency of LegalSpark. Because you do sometimes have to wait forever for one to call you back.
Nick Gladd: Well, foremost this is a tech product. This is the result of a tech company, like TaxSlayer, where we have the resources to do this. We started with a concept and ended up with a highly technical product. And part of that product is an application that the attorneys use. It is a extremely convenient app on their phone, where the push notification comes in, and the acceptance of that push and the call is all made through their app on their phone. Well, if you, as an attorney, are unavailable that day, you simply on your dashboard, simply click I’m unavailable that day, and I won’t get those push notifications.
Brad Means: Got it.
Nick Gladd: Moreover, if I am available and I’m just indisposed at the moment, I’m in a deposition, I’m on another call, I just simply won’t, if I’m the attorney, I simply won’t respond to that notification. But since we have scaled this to have many lawyers available in each topic, somebody else is not unavailable at the time and will grab that push notification. And that’s how it works. Just like Uber in that there’s many, many drivers out there, the first one that grabs it is gonna be your driver.
Brad Means: Now, are these attorneys that you’ve onboarded, that are part of LegalSpark right now, leaving their phones on 24/7 in case they get dinged, in case the opportunity arises?
Nick Gladd: Yes, they are.
Brad Means: And how do they get paid?
Nick Gladd: Good, so it is a 49.99 charge.
Brad Means: Yeah, you don’t have to give me specifics, but I mean part of that goes to them.
Nick Gladd: It’s essentially half and half. There’s a technological fee and there’s an attorney fee.
Brad Means: Sure.
Nick Gladd: And the attorney, once they make that call and they answer that question, and the question could take five minutes, it could take the whole 20 minutes, but once they are done with that question and they’ve answered that question for that new customer, then they mark that call complete, and their lawyer’s fee is then transferred into their dashboard.
Brad Means: And can a relationship begin then after that 20 minutes? In other words, you’re about to hit 20, and the lawyer on the other end says this, or you say, obviously, we need to continue this, and then you go into the typical attorney-client relationship.
Nick Gladd: Or maybe not a continuation or the call indicates that, listen, here’s the answer to your question, and you’re gonna need to do X, Y, and Z. I’m here for you, but you’re gonna need to see a lawyer for those other issues.
Brad Means: Right, and that can happen during the course of that phone call.
Nick Gladd: Sure can.
Brad Means: Did you think it would start off with this level of enthusiasm? Did you foresee this? Because I do sense that it is just taking right off in a big way.
Nick Gladd: I tell you, I’ve been on the road to Atlanta a lot recently. I’ve been registering and onboarding new attorneys in Atlanta. And I’ll tell ya, we do have several local attorneys, as well, giving them a plug because they are a great asset to LegalSpark. On the road to Atlanta, and one of the trips to Atlanta was a great meeting I had with the State Bar Association. And I’ve got their wholehearted excitement behind LegalSpark, because we’re not infiltrating the legal community. All we’re doing is providing a new platform, a connection platform, that again, expands that access that folks that don’t otherwise have access to a lawyer, for them to get the legal advice and the help that they need right away.
Brad Means: Yes, the same attorneys, you’re just able to hook up with them faster.
Nick Gladd: Right.
Brad Means: Nick, I think this is gonna be a huge success, and I really do appreciate you taking the time to share LegalSpark with us.
Nick Gladd: Brad, thanks for having me onboard. And I wanted to congratulate you on this award winning show.
Brad Means: Thank you so much. Listen, that means a lot and I appreciate it. And Marlena, that means a lot to her, as well. Thank you for saying that. Make sure that you download the LegalSpark app. It is easy to do so, it’s available on Apple devices or at the Google Play Store. Do it right now while you’re watching television. Go to LegalSpark.com, your lawyer is waiting. And you’re gonna find that everything Nick said is more than true. It really is a fascinating concept, and it is another feather in the cap of Augusta, Georgia.