Facing strong opposition from state and local bar groups, the American Bar Association has quickly backed away from a pilot project aimed at helping small business owners find lawyers for a reasonable price.

The project, ABA Law Connect, was launched last October in partnership with Rocket Lawyer, a company backed by Google Ventures (now GV) that takes a mass-market approach to helping consumers consult with lawyers and create legal documents. In an Oct. 1 press release, ABA president Paulette Brown lauded the program as an “exciting opportunity” to provide small businesses with affordable legal services, while offering lawyer members a chance to serve new clients. Customers would pay just $4.95 to ask an ABA-member lawyer a question online and a follow-up question. The lawyer and client could negotiate for further services.

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