Bits & Bytes: Nifty site helps connect family lawyers to target market

With online advertising, it can be challenging to wade through all of the noise. So how can you be sure your advertisement is really reaching your potential clients?

Even if you use Google AdWords and target keywords, you’ll never really know if you’ve chosen the right terms. At the same time, it can be difficult to secure those No. 1 and 2 positions on Google’s search ranking. But for those of you who have experienced this frustration, there’s an innovative legal site that provides a solution when it comes to connecting family lawyers with their clients.

My Support Calculator gives lawyers exposure to their exact target market. I learned about this very nifty and interesting online calculator a little while ago. When a user visits the homepage, it asks them to provide their postal code. This allows them to find a family lawyer in their area.

Users have three options to choose from: child and spousal support, child support only or spousal support only. The site then asks them to provide the following information:

•    Name
•    Province
•    Date of birth
•    Annual employment income
•    Date of marriage or cohabitation
•    Date of separation
•    Number of dependents

Once they’ve entered these details, they get a results page that summarizes the details. It also provides an estimate of support.

The site informs users through a disclaimer that this is a basic calculator. The disclaimer states: “This calculator is intended to provide a starting point or ‘ballpark’ figure, to be adjusted in accordance with the many other factors not considered by this calculator that could dramatically affect these results.”

Furthermore, the disclaimer notes some lawyers offer unbundled legal services to assist clients with a specific part of their case. Unbundling of legal services, of course, is something lawyers are quite familiar with. However, it’s not a term the general public may know much about. By publicizing this new delivery of legal service, it brings it to the public’s attention of the public.

In the meantime, the right-hand side of the web site lists local lawyers by names and rates. It notes whether they provide free consultations, accept legal aid or offer unbundled services.

Sites like My Support Calculator do a great job of removing uncertainty from the act of seeking legal services. Many people hesitate to contact a lawyer because they aren’t aware of the cost and don’t want to enter into a situation where they invest a lot of their time and effort and end up with little choice but to pay more than they’d like to. My Support Calculator takes that guesswork out of the picture and thus is helping improve accessibility for a wider range of people.

Monica Goyal is founder of My Legal Briefcase. She’s available on Twitter at twitter.com/monica_mlb.

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