I was a late adopter of the iPhone, but now iLove it. And I am constantly on the lookout for the newest app. Earlier this week, I was mesmerized by SceneTap. This app allows lonely singles to maximize their efforts to get laid. Through facial recognition software, SceneTap enables users to hone in on the bar with the best scene (i.e., more women than men, more men than women, percentage of pretty young things, etc.).
With apps changing the way we date, diet, read, and generally function, I wondered how apps were affecting the way in which small-firm attorneys practice. Thanks to a tweet from @LarryBodine, I found my answer. Well, at least I found the answer for one small-firm lawyer….
Glen Lerner & Associates is a Las Vegas small firm that specializes in personal injury and criminal matters. The firm is well known for its television ads that feature a catchy chorus — “Glen Lerner is the way to go, call 877-1500 (pronounced oh oh).” The firm has received some harsh criticism for its use of the phrase “heavy hitter”, but these ads have made Lerner one of the most recognizable “celebrities” in Las Vegas. Take that, Criss Angel.
Lerner has taken his marketing efforts to the next level with the Glen Lerner App. This free app features a main page that offers several important features to potential automobile accident victims (or perpetrators, I guess) in the Las Vegas area. There is a link to “call 911″ with a legal disclaimer that reads: “If you were involved in an accident, please make sure emergency services have been contacted and notified.” There are three options: (a) connect to 911, (b) 911 has been contacted (which takes you to the “new case” screen), or (c) emergency contact that provides the contact information for Glen Lerner and a link to find a tow truck.
The “new case” screen is where the person involved in the accident can start building his case. If you select “I’m at the scene of the accident,” you are asked to take photos and audio of the accident scene and fill out the “accident menu” which asks for the numbered of injured, witnesses, details, and property damage. Then, you are able to “send your case info to Glen Lerner App now,” although you must first acknowledge that transmission does not constitute an attorney-client relationship between you and the Glen Lerner App (odd).
There is even a “manage cases” option for those people who are involved in multiple accidents. And there are several important tips. For instance, you are encouraged to get medical help, call the police, and report the accident to your insurance company. You are discouraged from panicking, discussing the accident with anyone, or waiting to get legal help.
I think small-firm attorneys should follow Lerner’s lead and create relevant apps for their firms. Unfortunately, this will mean that most firms will be replaced by super-smart cell phones, but that is a small price to pay for progress.
Email me if you know of any (or are developing any) small-firm apps. May I suggest a hybrid app that (a) offers legal assistance, and (b) incorporates Angry Birds.
When not writing about small law firms for Above the Law, Valerie Katz (not her real name) works at a small firm in Chicago. You can reach her by email at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ValerieLKatz.