You might recall that a while back we added 'Mr Lawyer' to our Cartoon Character in Legal Services League Table. Well, 'Mr Lawyer' suddenly came back into my conciousness this week on the back of a Google search.
I am moving house and need a conveyancing solicitor. Actually, I already have one but I wanted to see if they were offering value for money so thought I'd try a price comparison site. Mr Lawyer seemed like as good a place as any to start.
I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about these silly cartoon 'lawyers' all over the internet and the Mr Lawyer homepage hasn't helped me make my mind up.
The artwork is not particularly strong and the calls to action not particularly clear, which might leave the average punter a little underwhelmed.
Thankfully, the mechanics of the site are simple and the site is pretty intuitive to use. Hitting the Find a Lawyer Free button takes you right into the action with simple and well-explained areas of law to choose from. The design is not amazing but it is user-friendly and you'd be hard-pressed to steer yourself down the wrong channel.
Choosing the area of law your're looking for a quote for is easy.Once you've been guided through the type of legal service you're after and submitted your request, along with a few extra details on your job requirements, you're taken to your personal dashboard with a summation of quotes pending/quoted and a selection of 'recommended lawyers'.
Notice anything about the recommended lawyers? Yup, they're all star-less, which either suggests their is nothing to recommend them or that there aren't enough paying Mr Lawyer customers just yet to make this a valid selection criteria. Or at least not enough who have reviewed. This will always be an initial problem with sites of this ilk: price aside what are the consumer's selection criteria based on?
And so to price and quotes. I waited a just about acceptable 24 hours to receive a block of quotes via email. That they all arrived at the same time was slightly odd as this has not been my experience with similar sites like MyBuilder.com. The quotes themselves ranged from £199 to £1900 (more like my actual quote to be fair). Of course, one is inclined to immediately dismiss the lowest and highest but I found my main selection criteria falling back to simple things like i) has the lawyer used his surname ii) does he have an avatar/picture iii) can he/she spell properly, i.e. who is this person and what can they do?
As you can see, some lawyers don't even bother with a surname and none have been reviewed so I'm left with price as the sole determining factor. The lawyer profiles are not particularly exciting either and offered no real insight into the personality of the lawyers and firms involved - this is an area that Mr Lawyer is going to have to work on: encourage lawyers to at least complete their profiles and give them the means to shine. And encourage reviews!
Mr Lawyer is a promising site with a good structure. It needs some design improvements, a slightly slicker look, and definitely some improved lawyer information.
We wish them well and look forward to seeing how it develops. Now, back to my over-priced solicitors.
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