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Intro to Legal Products & Pricing


Intro to Legal Products & Pricing

Table of Contents

Productizing is on the rise. Here are the market levers changing the future of legal service delivery.

What Are Legal Products and What Does it Mean to “Productize" Legal Services?

Legal service productization refers to the conversion of legal services into a legal product that can be sold to the public online.  At Gavel, we believe “productizing the law” is part of the future of legal service delivery.

Building legal products can be done by standardizing client deliverables, usually through document automation, chatbots or "robot lawyers", allowing those deliverables to be scaled, marketed, and sold like products.  While services are usually delivered in a bespoke manner, attorneys can build a single software tool and sell it at scale.  This is sometimes called "unbundling" the law, because legal services can now be packaged as several separate steps.

Productizing the law allows attorneys to democratize the law, because they can now market to a segment of the population who never would have been able to afford their hourly rates, but who can afford a smaller fixed flat fee that is also cost-effective for the attorney.


Why is building legal products so popular right now?  A few reasons:

  1. Demand for certainty through alternative fee arrangements (AFAs), because clients want to know how much they're going to pay for legal services (particularly where these legal services are predictable and process-oriented for the lawyer).
  2. The "more for less" challenge (as Richard Susskind calls it).  Clients are asking their attorneys to do more work, at the same quality, for less money.
  3. Rapid technology improvements through the growth of computing power and AI.

How Do You Start Selling Legal Products?

First, identify a specific legal problem or issue that occurs with sufficient frequency such that many customers will want the solution you are offering.  By focusing on areas in demand, this allows you to scale the product.  A simple example would be custom or bespoke documents that can be generated by the client using your product.  The possibilities are endless. 

Second, market your productized legal services.  Here, you want to show the value of your product to the potential buyer.  Third, take advantage of automation, particularly document automation.  This allows you to minimize your transaction costs by using technology every step of the way, from creating the legal product to handling sales through your website.

What Are Some Reasons For Productizing Legal Services?

Fundamentally, there are two categories of good reasons to productize legal services:  Client benefits and attorney benefits.

Client Benefits of Building Legal Products

Tangible, certain, credible, and easier to commit to.

Many clients, both individuals and entities, prefer to purchase legal services that are readily definable.  Typically, legal services are intangible, relatively open-ended, and measured by time, making it difficult for clients to know what they are getting for their money.  In contrast, by productizing your services, clients are able to easily identify, define, and evaluate your tangible legal product, which facilitates their trusting it and buying it.

Many clients also prefer to know, upfront, what their costs will be.  The costs of traditional legal services are often opaque and unknown because they are usually billed as a function of time.  By productizing your service, clients have an upfront flat price that makes it far easier for them to commit to purchasing your product.  The upfront flat price also puts the buyer’s focus on the value of your product:  Because the client knows the price at the start, the client evaluates your product in terms of its utility, not in terms of how long it might take to accomplish the work.

Attorney Benefits of Productizing

Freedom, higher potential profits, ability to sell while you sleep, and reduced risk.

For the attorney, creating process-driven documents and workflows can be efficiently automated, which frees the attorney’s time for higher-value work.  Creating standardized legal products through document automation is also likely to generate higher profits – among other things, such products can be sold 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, because they are sold online.  Creating standardized yet customizable legal products also results in more consistent quality, less risk, and the ability to train staff (instead of junior lawyers) to monitor the automated service delivery of the products.

Revenue Models for Legal Products

With the move to standardization and systematization of legal services, alternative fee arrangements are being requested more frequently by customers.  So how can you structure your fees for legal products?  Here are a few ways to think about:

1. Fixed fee. This model charges clients based on the actual usage of the legal product. For example, a client could be charged based on the number of legal forms downloaded or filled out. This model is beneficial for clients with varying needs, ensuring they only pay for what they use.

(e.g.,  set of 5 estate planning documents will cost you X dollars)

2. Subscription based. Clients pay to license your legal product for a specified period, providing them with flexibility and ensuring ongoing revenue for your firm.

(e.g., you will have access to a forms site for a recurring monthly fee of X dollars). Read more about subscription legal services here.

3. Product + Service. Combine elements of different pricing models to suit various client needs and preferences. A hybrid approach can offer the flexibility of subscription models with the predictability of fixed fees, for instance, by allowing clients to subscribe to a base service level while purchasing additional services as needed.

(e.g., you can generate your documents for X dollars, and additional hourly services above that will be X/hr, or a discounted package rate).

These are just a few examples of the benefits of turning your legal services into legal products through “productizing the law.”  The great part is that there are easy no-code tools like Webflow and Gavel that can help you rapidly prototype and build your products.  In our other articles we discuss this topic in more detail, including specifics about how legal products can be built and the thought process that goes into building them.

The Future of Legal Productization

As the legal industry continues to evolve, the future of legal productization is poised for significant transformation. Driven by advancements in technology, changing client expectations, and the growing acceptance of alternative legal service delivery models, legal productization will increasingly become a cornerstone of modern legal practice. Here are key trends and developments that are likely to shape the future of legal productization:

  1. Increased Integration of Technology: The integration of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and blockchain technology will enable more sophisticated legal products. AI and machine learning can enhance document automation, legal research, and data analysis, making legal products more efficient and accurate. Blockchain could revolutionize contract management and compliance through smart contracts, offering self-executing contracts as standardized products.
  2. Expansion into New Legal Areas: While legal productization initially focused on more straightforward services like standard contracts, wills, and simple legal advice, the future will see its expansion into more complex areas. This could include productized offerings in compliance management, dispute resolution, and even specialized areas like intellectual property and mergers and acquisitions.
  3. Customization Through Modular Design: To accommodate varying client needs while maintaining the benefits of productization, law firms will increasingly adopt a modular approach. This method allows clients to customize their legal products by selecting specific modules or components that meet their unique requirements, combining the advantages of standardization with personalized service.
  4. Greater Client Empowerment: Legal productization demystifies legal services, making them more accessible and understandable to clients. In the future, this trend will empower clients further by providing them with tools and platforms to directly interact with and customize legal products, enhancing client engagement and satisfaction.
  5. Collaborative Ecosystems: The future will likely see the development of collaborative ecosystems involving law firms, legal technology companies, and other service providers. These partnerships will facilitate the creation of comprehensive legal products that incorporate a wide range of services, from legal advice to financial consulting and beyond, offering clients a holistic solution.
  6. Regulatory Evolution: As legal productization grows, regulatory bodies will need to adapt, potentially leading to new frameworks that support and regulate productized legal services. This evolution will aim to ensure quality and accountability while encouraging innovation in legal service delivery.
  7. Focus on Access to Justice: Legal productization will play a crucial role in enhancing access to justice by making legal services more affordable and accessible to underserved populations and small businesses. This democratization of legal services can help bridge the legal gap, ensuring that more people and organizations can benefit from legal protection and advice.

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