The tag line on the site of Overture Regulation suggests, “Unlock concealed profits in your exercise.” But I believe this really undersells what Overture does. It is not so substantially that it helps you come across earnings concealed in your follow, as that it helps you capture profits you would never ever have had in the initial position.
Most solo and tiny agency attorneys are fully acquainted with the predicament Overture aims to solve. A customer or previous shopper will come to you with a authorized issue outside your exercise spot or jurisdiction. You want to enable the consumer to keep that romance, but you do not know a further law firm who fits the bill well adequate to confidently make a referral.
Overture is a law firm-to-lawyer referral system that is designed to focus on this specific situation. It lets you to refer matters to vetted, qualified attorneys in various lawful apply regions and ethically get paid the associated referral service fees.
It is a classic acquire-earn: You have the pleasure of assisting your clientele get the aid they will need and, at the similar time, you create extra earnings that you if not would have turned absent at the door.
On top rated of that, when some other attorney in the community has that consumer occur in with the subject they just cannot deal with, it just could possibly get referred to you, and help expand your observe.
Although there are other attorney-to-attorney referral platforms, Overture seems to be the 1st to area its target on enabling the moral sharing of referral charges among the legal professionals in lesser firms.
It was founded final calendar year by Brian Liu, one particular of the original founders of LegalZoom and its chairman till 2018 Arya Firoozmand, a cofounder collectively with Liu of BizCounsel, a system that gives membership lawyers for smaller firms and Curt Brown, who was also a cofounder of BizCounsel.
Former founders and executives of LegalZoom also make up significantly of Overture’s advisory board, which include LegalZoom cofounders Eddie Hartman and Brian Lee, its previous normal counsel Chas Rampenthal, its former vice president of authorized and govt affairs Ken Friedman, and its previous vice president of legal professional expert services Sally Robertson.
A System to Simplify Referrals
The strategy for Overture came out of the pandemic, Firoozmand informed me in an job interview, when quite a few solo and compact agency lawyers ended up coming to BizCounsel inquiring for assistance in producing referrals. They resolved to create a system that would make lawyer-to-attorney referrals easier and that would facilitate the sharing of fees.
The platform allows attorneys to post referral requests and connect with vetted lawyers who satisfy the skills. It has billing options to make it less complicated to collect fees, rely on accounting to manage customer funds, and immediate deposit of earned fees to both of those the referring and dealing with attorney.
“My philosophy in creating this was that this is an additive system to your follow – this doesn’t replace nearly anything you’re at present undertaking,” Firoozmand stated. “So I necessary to make it as uncomplicated as humanly feasible, these types of that even if our provider crew wasn’t here to help you at any point in the system, you could figure it out.”
No Demand to Be part of
Very last January, Overture commenced bringing attorneys onto the platform, on an invite-only basis. Much more just lately, it began advertising to legal professionals more broadly and is now accepting programs from any attorney who is interested in taking part. Its goal industry is legal professionals who invoice hourly or on a flat-fee foundation, not all those who demand contingency costs.
When I past spoke to Firoozmand, the system had additional than 300 legal professionals on it and the company was operating all around the clock to overview several hundred more purposes it had obtained. Its coverage is deepest in states with the major population facilities, he said, but not yet deep plenty of in any a person follow spot or point out to transform away certified applicants.
Overture critiques attorneys to make certain that they have at minimum 5 years’ working experience in a observe region, no bar issues, and no unfavorable online assessments. Those who go that evaluate are then interviewed by Overture’s membership staff members.
Firoozmand reported that they are on the lookout for attorneys who are not only competent, but who will be responsive and shopper-targeted.
“If we care about the high-quality of the referrals, the good quality of clients that we share, if we deal with other people’s clientele as we would our personal, then we have a excellent neighborhood,” he claimed. “So much, we’ve been capable to keep that heading.”
There is no cost for an lawyer to be part of the network. Overture makes its income by taking a proportion of the charge compensated by the consumer. The lawyer who handles the matter gets 65% of the price, the referring attorney receives 15% and Overture gets 20%.
To address moral challenges, Overture is established up as a legislation agency in California, functioning as the co-counsel liaison among attorneys who want to refer cases to other attorneys in different states and exercise places, whilst complying with state ethics rules. All of the belief accounting is accomplished through Overture’s affiliated regulation business.
(To read through more about the ethics of all this, stop by Overture’s knowledge foundation, which presents guides to the referral rate policies in each U.S. condition apart from Hawaii and Wyoming, the place the regulations do not allow it to operate.)
Platform Handles Referrals and Billing
When attorneys are accepted as aspect of the Overture network, they get access to the system, wherever they can article referral requests utilizing a straightforward kind. Referrals are posted for only two causes: The subject is exterior the attorney’s follow region or it is outside the house the attorney’s jurisdiction.
Lawyers who match are notified of the listing and can reach out to the referring legal professional to convey their curiosity. The referring legal professional makes the final decision about which legal professional, if any, will get the referral, and the referring legal professional will make the introduction to the consumer.
When an lawyer accepts a referral via Overture, the lawyer uploads the attorney’s engagement arrangement to deliver to the consumer for signature. Overture routinely attaches its addendum that incorporates the needed consumer disclosures to allow for ethical referral service fees.
Lawyers who take referrals monitor their time inside the system. The managing legal professional then invoices the consumer via the system to a trust account managed by Overture’s legislation agency. When the expenses are earned, Overture directly deposits them to the referring lawyer and the dealing with legal professional.
“The dealing with lawyer doesn’t have to get worried about reducing checks, or any of that element of it,” Firoozmand explained. “It’s mechanically taken care of and their resources are immediate deposited to their lender account.”
Firoozmand thinks that the ordeals of him and his cofounders with BizCounsel and LegalZoom have enabled them to create a system that serves a critical need to have for solo and tiny firm legal professionals in an age of digital lawyering.
“It’s awesome for me when I see any individual post a referral on Friday morning, and by Friday afternoon they’ve gotten two, three people, and by Friday evening it’s on its way. I mean, that knowledge is environment class irrespective of what company you are at.”
[Disclosure: Overture Law is a paid sponsor of my LawNext podcast.]