Dear colleagues, in this article, I wanted to address some of the most common questions lawyers pose to me when considering to sign up to Enloya. I’ll answer them publicly here and I invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn to discuss any other questions you may have.
We could also have a demo tour during which I will show you how the platform works and how to optimize your profile. I hope this article will clarify your concerns. Please let me know how I can help.
Manuel Sanchez is the founder of Enloya and a practicing lawyer specializing in international trade law. He supports governments and Fortune 500 companies with issues related to digital trade, digital platforms, tariff and non-tariff barriers, trade facilitation, etc. He’s currently working on his PhD project at the Graduate Institute in Geneva on the law of evidence in WTO dispute settlement.
Here are my answers to the most frequent questions about Enloya platform.
A: This is a very good question. Indeed, reputation is everything for a lawyer. Having a license or having completed a law degree are evidently the first precondition to starting a legal business. But reputation comes right after, and the need to protect and build a good reputation permeates the entirety of a lawyer’s career. The problem with today’s world, is that reputation is difficult to build up, it’s cooked in very slow motion, and not necessarily because that’s how much time it takes for a lawyer to become skilled. There are incredibly talented and skilled young lawyers, who do not have a platform to grow a reputation faster than they deserve. The thing is, unless a lawyer is ranked by one of the big ranking institutions (Chambers & Partners, Who’s Who Legal, Legal 500, etc.), which only a handful of lawyers are, the reputation of a lawyer is primarily built through word of mouth, which typically spreads slowly. It can take 10-15 years for a lawyer to find that sweet spot where he’s recognized as a respected legal practitioner.
That’s one of the beauties of Enloya; it allows lawyers to build a reputation fast. In the Enloya platform, when the lawyer delivers a service, the client can review him/her (and vice versa). And these reviews become publicly available because they will appear in a lawyer’s profile and stay there forever. So, the next time a new potential client lands in his/her profile, these reviews will be displayed and hopefully taken into account when hiring him/her. A series of good reviews represents a positive digital footprint of a lawyer’s reputation, of how powerfully a lawyer is able to perform based on actual client reviews.
One good or bad review in itself is not representative of a lawyer’s reputation, but if you see that a lawyer has 100 customer reviews and 90 percent of them are positive, that’s indicative that that lawyer is pretty good, even if he/she didn’t do well in one case.
Offering a review system is also a legal requirement. As per EU law, platforms have an obligation to enable the reviewing of clients, buyers, and sellers; so, for the ecosystem that’s being built in Enloya, this legal requirement plays in our favour.
A: A client can give a qualitative rating to clarify his assessment. He can share in free text about his experience with a particular lawyer. We also give the lawyers the opportunity to defend themselves, to rate the client as well, and both reviews will appear in parallel. It is a big challenge for the lawyers, especially at the beginning, when they’re building up their profile. So, what they want to do at the beginning is to deliver perfect services. That’s what I would recommend to the lawyers when signing up: deliver perfection especially during your first transactions in Enloya.
A: I think this is what they have to do – create their own company-specific Enloya. This is something we would love to see.
Now, the beauty of Enloya is that, because we are independent, we can put together all the offerings from any law firm. So, for us, it would be beneficial because you can sell your services, the legal packages, through your own platform, but then if you want to reach a global audience, then you can also sell them, in parallel, through Enloya. We can enable the simple importation of your package into the Enloya platform so that it’s super easy. I actually see it as a great idea that traditional law firms do this.
A: Enloya is the perfect fit for corporate lawyers, especially, and IP lawyers, immigration lawyers, and anyone who could predict legal costs and commoditize legal solutions.
The main type of lawyers that have joined the platform so far, are corporate lawyers. We have some IP lawyers and we have some immigration lawyers. Those are the three main groups.
For litigators it is not that easy. Selling services through a platform is not that easy because they have to create packages. To be found in the platform, you have to create a package – that’s the way our search engine works. People don’t search for lawyers per se; they search for legal solutions, so if you don’t create packages, then you won’t appear in the search results. If you are a litigator, you can create some packages, but perhaps it is not that obvious.
A: Currently, you are on your own. Basically, if you’re a lawyer, you want to seek for business on your own. At this point, we don’t have this social network algorithm that Amazon might have: they have a lot of data so they already know how their users behave. We’re not there yet. We would love to be there, and that’s where we would like to head but currently, if you’re a lawyer you basically have to participate in the community and gain visibility, create as many packages as you possibly can, so that you have more chances of being found.
Of course, if you do a good job, then you will have more chances of future clients hiring you as well. The reviews will work for you.
A: We do verify every lawyer who signs up to Enloya. The lawyers that are allowed to create their profile have been verified by us. We also make sure that we impose restrictions on username and the email that you used to sing up, so that you don’t commit fraud. We have some other restrictions as well. As a platform and a marketplace for finding a lawyer, we don’t want fake lawyers – this is our main rule. Basically, our guarantee is that every lawyer that a client hires through the platform has been verified. We verify it against the respective government databases. For example, if you are from Romania, we go to the Romanian Association database and we verify that you are listed there based on the information you provided to us. And then, up to that point, you are allowed to go into the platform… but not before.
I think a challenge for us in the future would be to get ready for situations in which, for example, someone is paid to join the platform and somehow resells their account to someone else to commit fraud. I think that this kind of scenario is unlikely, but these things can happen, so we have to make sure we’re ready for that.
So, at this point, we’re being very careful with the process of onboarding: we’re hand-picking lawyers, sending personal invites to the lawyers that we think are a good match for us.
A: The most critical point for us is encryption. The communications between the lawyers and their clients have to remain encrypted, and we’re walking towards that point. Today, the communication that you have, that private users have, is similar to LinkedIn: it’s private to them but it’s not encrypted. We’re working towards having an encrypted environment very soon – by the end of 2020 we will have it. Then, once it’s encrypted, that current account lowers the risks for us, because we cannot have access to the data ourselves, and if someone has access is because you lost your key – you have to be careful with your key.
The second thing is the servers where our data is stored. We use top-of-the-line cloud solutions and, to that extent, we rely on them to comply with an operational standpoint that the data will remain secure. We’re talking about Amazon now… these guys know their stuff. Even though they might have some problems every now and then, they know their stuff: they’re reliable companies. However, once you use cloud services, inherently there’s a risk of data breach, even if you work for a law firm yourself. Law firms face phishing attacks or phishing threats all the time, and you have to be sure that you don’t click on a link that a random person sends you. You have to be really careful about that. Also, we have a few people playing a role in maintaining your data secure, but overall, I think it’s a huge component of our regulatory strategy.
Of course, this is the legal profession, what you share with the client is confidential, and sometimes you’re dealing with life or death, or millions and millions of dollars, so we are very aware of that. We’re getting ready and pumped to delivering an excellent data encryption feature.
A: I think the future of the legal industry is going to be driven by social networks, by data and the ability of lawyers and legal technology companies to deliver legal solutions. This is exactly what Enloya is focusing on and this is what Enloya is trying to bring to the world.
Thank you for your interest in Enloya!
If you’re a lawyer, please submit your application to join Enloya.
If you are a business owner, check in what areas Enloya could be helpful for your business at enloya.com
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