Hell may have just frozen over. After years of outright hostility, the organized bar is not only acknowledging the role of Web-based self-help, lawyer referral services, and lawyer marketing but is about to actively participate with one of the most visible providers. On Aug. 8, at the 2014 annual meeting of the American Bar Association in Boston, the ABA and Rocket Lawyer, a San Francisco-based online legal services provider, announced in a press release that they are “teaming up to explore innovative solutions to a vexing legal paradox—the difficulty small businesses face finding affordable legal services at a time when many lawyers would welcome expanding professional opportunities.”

Translation: Solo and small firm lawyers serving individuals and small businesses are having trouble running their shops profitably, while 80 percent of Americans can neither find nor afford routine legal services (wills, real estate, medical directives, incorporations, trademarks, personal injury, etc.).

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