Many people may find the idea of hiring an online lawyer intimidating simply because they’re not sure how it differs from a traditional, local lawyer who you’d normally meet with in person. What’s the process? What are your responsibilities? Is it the right choice for your claim?
This article will help strengthen your knowledge on what exactly happens when you hire a lawyer online. I will also address how this type of representation — as opposed to hiring a traditional law firm — may be beneficial for an individual combatting a disability.
While the benefits and considerations can apply widely, the process described is drawn from Resolute Legal’s online hiring and onboarding methods. After all, not all law firms are the same and I can only write what I know.
This article is part of our Ultimate Guide to Disability Lawyers in Ontario.
Benefits to an online lawyer
- You do not need to leave the comfort of your home to meet with your lawyer and case manager. Most of the time, individuals dealing with disability claims have a hard time getting around. Not having to commute to an office on a regular basis removes disruptions to the client that can cause flare-ups or financial hardships.
- Living in remote locations no longer limits you in finding the right representation.
- Wait times are cut shorter when using online secure client software. The firm can upload documents for you instantly and vice versa. The quicker you can send documents back and forth with the firm will end in significantly less time waiting for mail to travel between you, potentially saving you weeks of waiting.
- Costs are also cut down by reducing the amount of packages that need to be couriered back and forth between the client and the law firm.
- Documents that require your signature can be signed immediately through online secure signing software.
Things to consider before you hire
- You need to be comfortable with a computer — or have someone who can help you use one regular basis. Online law firms heavily rely on communications and sending of documents via online secure software, so you will need to be willing and able to use the necessary technology.
- You need to be comfortable not meeting face to face or interacting with your representation in person. Sometimes you might never meet them in person or see their face at all throughout your entire claim; other times you might not meet in-person until it’s required for mediations or trials.
- You need to be comfortable with emailing, submitting documents online, and taking telephone calls on a regular basis to stay up to date with your representatives.
Now you know how to determine if hiring an online law firm is the right fit — but what happens after you make the decision? There are a few things that generally have to take place.
Typically, the process goes as follows:
Step 1: Request
The first step is to request to speak to them through their consultation platform — typically this is via telephone. Sometimes the law firm will need to review some of your documents to better understand your situation and determine if they can be of assistance with your specific claim. They should let you know what they need and how to send them.
Don’t delay contacting your chosen law firm so you have time to get them the information they need to confirm if they can represent you in your claim. You’ll also want to give yourself time to assess if you think they will be a good team to work with, and time to ensure you do not miss any important information or deadlines that could potentially damage your claim.
Step 2: Consultation
The next step is the consultation itself. The advocate will inform you what you need to do and provide you with advice as to how they believe you should proceed. If the firm is able to represent you, they will tell you at this point. You should also have the opportunity to ask follow up questions about the advice they have given you or how representation would work moving forward.
If they say they can represent you, they should review the typical outline of what their representation contract looks like and the associated costs. You will be able to review the contract and ask any questions you may have about the information within it before signing. Once you confirm you have no further questions and are in agreement, you should be sent the final contract to sign.
Step 3: contract
We use secure online secure signing software such as HelloSign for our contracts. As soon as you receive the contract and use the software to sign it, you will have signed off on representation to hire the firm. They will get started working on your case as soon as there is a signed contract.
Step 4: Onboarding
Typically, onboarding a client will take anywhere from 24-48 hours (1-2 business days) after the contract has been completed and signed. You will have a file opened within the firm’s client software and receive an email with detailed instructions on what the next steps will look like.
Within a week, the firm will gather information from you and set up phone calls to introduce themselves and explain the rest of the process. Once everything is completed and documents are received, the firm will have a game plan. Your lawyer and case manager will provide you with those updates as they are confirmed.
Now that you have a team working with you, you are that much closer to having an approved claim!
If you are more open to the idea of hiring an online lawyer after reading this article, I would highly suggest that you get in contact with the firm you are evaluating and book a free consultation.
What I’ve detailed above is a simplified version of what Resolute Legal offers through being an online firm and our onboarding process. If you’re curious for more details, we would be happy to answer your questions. If you still have any looming questions specific to your situation — whether you want to move forward with confidence representing yourself, or in the hiring process — the right law firm will always be able to answer them or will do the research to find you an answer.
Do you think you have a claim but need help winning your benefits that have been wrongfully denied? Our goal is to help every disabled Canadian to win the disability benefits they are entitled to.
You can contact us so we can better understand your situation and see if we can help you along your journey. Feel free to call us toll-free at 888-732-0470 .