Last year, I wrote here about LawZam, a website (and, later, an iPhone app) that aims to connect consumers with attorneys by facilitating free, face-t0-face consultations via live videoconferencing. Now there is another site that does something similar, only this one uses Google Hangouts for lawyers and clients to meet by video.
This new site, LawyerCams.com, is the creation of Thomas P. Finley Jr., a sole practitioner in Dallas. It is designed to facilitate face-to-face initial consultations between lawyers and potential clients using the videoconferencing capabilities of Google Hangouts.
Unlike LawZam, which allows consumers seeking consultations to connect instantly with lawyers who are online, LawyerCams.com requires users to contact the lawyer and schedule a time for the video consultation.
In fact, LawyerCams.com is primarily a lawyer-listing service, not a videoconferencing service. Lawyers can list a profile on the site without agreeing to participate in video meetings online. If they do agree to participate in video meetings, they are free to decide whether to charge an initial-consultation fee.
With regard to its lawyer listings, the site says it is different from other such sites in its emphasis on social media. It encourages lawyers to list all their social media profiles and sites — including Google+, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs — so that potential clients can better evaluate the lawyer.
The site was only recently launched and, as far as I can tell, not a single actual lawyer has listed a profile. (There are several sample profiles.) Also, I could find no information on the site about the cost of a lawyer profile. However, when I clicked on the option to buy a profile, it took me to a shopping cart that indicated the price was zero dollars.
An interesting footnote is that founder Finley says he had the idea for the site long before the technology was available to implement it. He actually bought the domain name “lawyercams.com” back in 2005, along with “attorneycams.com” and “legalcams.com.” “The founder strongly believes that face to face online video consultations, cams, and chat are what the public will begin to demand to save time and money in handling their legal matters,” he writes.