Small Law Firms

New From Florida: Mall Lawyers

I hate this man's movies, but he'd make an excellent mall lawyer.

Here’s the movie pitch: Matthew McConaughey plays a slick business man with a law degree. More like his character from Tropic Thunder than Lincoln Lawyer, but with a little bit of Two for the Money thrown in, and none of the Time to Kill earnestness.

Anyway, McConaughey comes up with this idea of renting a kiosk at the mall and putting lawyers there. It’s bringing the law to the people. It’s a straight money grab, and the only way it’ll turn a profit is if he hires the cheapest lawyer available.

Enter Kevin James, a laid off autoworker who went to law school at night and still doesn’t have a job. Via chance, they meet, and McConaughey has his guy. Hilarity ensues as mall lawyers becomes insanely popular, but because James is telling regular people that they don’t need a lawyer to handle most of their issues.

Wouldn’t you watch that? I mean, I wouldn’t because I only watch good movies, but I bet I could get that script greenlighted by Paramount or somebody.

And trust me, the movie would be way more fun than “The Law Booth” at the Boynton Beach Mall in Palm Beach….

Here is this week’s sign of the apocalypse. From the Palm Beach Post:

The Law Booth at the Boynton Beach Mall was opened Nov. 1 by three Palm Beach County attorneys who said they saw a need for legal counseling outside normal business hours and the traditional office setting.

Founded by Melva Rozier, Richard Carey and Paul Burkhart, the stand, which sits outside American Eagle Outfitters, is typically open from about 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with “Walmart”-priced advice on legal matters including foreclosure, bankruptcy, estate planning and family law.

They were even open at 4 a.m. on Nov. 25 for Black Friday shoppers.

Here’s the picture of their booth — a picture that should make somebody at the ABA get fired. Can you imagine there being a doctor’s booth at the mall? Even the school nurse has an office:

Here’s the positive spin on this from the South Florida Lawyers blog:

It’s true you’re not at a large law firm on Brickell, getting paid a lot of money to service a client who would have no idea whether or not you got fired the next day.

You’re where your clients are — at the mall, shopping of course — but you’re providing immediate help to real people with real legal problems.

And you’re working.

It’s the notion of “immediate” help that I think bothers me most of all. Legal actions should only be undertaken after careful reflection — you shouldn’t be buying legal services on impulse. “Ooh, we need some potholders, a new step ladder for Uncle Jim, and we should buy a lawyer to sue your bitch of an ex-wife!”

But hey, that’s why my Kevin James movie would work so well. A lawyer who helps people avoid impulse litigation, at a mall? Gold, Jerry.

Yes, they’re real lawyers: Booth at Boynton mall peddles foreclosure advice [Palm Beach Post]
Would You Want to Work Here? [South Florida Lawyers]

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