In Jail? Please Hold For The Next Available Legal Ninja

I haven’t always been kind to the Future of the #ReinventLaw of the New Normal crowd, sometimes calling their much adored baby ugly. Or worse.

But Bitter Lawyer’s Gregory Luce surreptitiously recorded this telephone call in the future, which helps to explain my reluctance to jump aboard the train.  I apologize for the inconvenience.

Please be advised that this conversation may be
recorded for quality control and training purposes.

WWL: It’s a great day at WorldWiide Legal Services, where we  always have two “i’s” on your legal issue. My name is  Darby and I’ll be your Legal Ninja today. Welcome,  how can we help you?

THOMPSON: Uh, did you say Ninja?

WWL: Yes, Mr. Thompson, I’m a certified Legal Ninja prepared to help in any practicable way with your issue. What can WorldWiide Legal, the global leader in innovative legal services, do for you today?

THOMPSON: I, um, got arrested for DUI, for drunk driving.

WWL: I’m sorry to hear that, Mr. Thompson. I’m sure that is a difficult thing for you.

THOMPSON: I’m calling from jail.

WWL: That is unfortunate, Mr. Thompson, being in jail must be hard on you and your loved ones.

THOMPSON: Yeah. I need a lawyer.

WWL: I understand from our conversation that you are calling to talk to a lawyer, is that correct?

THOMPSON: I think I just said that.

WWL: Good, thank you for clarifying that, Mr. Thompson.  Because of your value to us, we need to escalate your  matter to one of our legal Ronins, who should be able to help immediately with your issue. Please hold while
I escalate your matter.

THOMPSON: I, I only—-

WWL: Please hold—-

WWL: Hello, Mr. Thomas—-

THOMPSON: Thompson.

WWL: I am sorry, my apologies, Mr. Thompson, let me make  a note of that so we don’t make that mistake again.

THOMPSON: Thanks.

WWL: My name is Alisa and I am your Legal Ronin this morning. I understand that you are calling from jail.

THOMPSON: Yes, I told that to the Ninja.

WWL: Good. I just need to go over a few things first as  your Ronin level legal provider. Were you or any loved ones  injured in the accident?

THOMPSON: I wasn’t in an accident. I was pulled over by the cops.  I’m now in a drunk tank and I want a lawyer to get me out.

WWL: Thank you, Mr. Thompson, for clarifying that matter  for me. I understand that you are in jail and in a drunk  tank and that you called WorldWiide Legal for legal help  related to drunk driving. Is that correct?

THOMPSON: Yeah.

WWL: Good, thanks. Just a few more questions, Mr. Thompson.  Have you seen a chiropractor?

THOMPSON: I’m in jail. I’ve been arrested.

WWL: Thank you, Mr. Thompson. I understand that you are in jail.  Just a couple more questions. Has anyone talked to you recently  about a Living Will?

THOMPSON: I’m sorry, I’m calling about a lawyer. Can I please speak to a lawyer?

WWL: Yes, Mr. Thompson, at WorldWiide Legal we take your  matter very seriously. Unfortunately, I am not a lawyer. I am a Ronin level service provider. You need either a Samurai  or Shinobi level provider. Would you like to upgrade to Samurai for only $19.99 more per month? Our first month  is always free and Samurais offer unlimited texting.

THOMPSON: Jesus Christ, whatever. Yes, just get me a lawyer.  Now, please.

WWL: Thank you, Mr. Thompson. Let me connect you immediately  to one of our Samurais. Please hold for a moment.

THOMPSON: Hello? Anyone there? There are people here . . . there’s a line for the— I don’t—

WWL: Good morning, my name is Gareth and I am Legal Samurai number 292991-2, this is matter number 3302-49RP, that’s R as in Randy and P as in peanuts. How can I help you, Mr. Tonsil?

THOMPSON: Thompson, you shithead.

WWL: I’m sorry, Mr. Thompson, it must be difficult for you that I mispronounced your name.

THOMPSON: No, it’s difficult because I am in jail, I’ve now pissed my pants, and I have one phone call, to you shitheads, of all my luck. Are you a lawyer?

WWL: Thank you for that information, Mr. Thompson, it may be useful for your matter. I am a Samurai level service provider at WorldWiide Legal, a global innovator in online and real-time legal solutions.

THOMPSON: Honestly, why did I call— did you even go to law school?

WWL: Mr. Thompson, all of our Samurai and Shinobi level legal representatives receive extensive training in civil and criminal law, both in the United Kingdom and in the United States.

THOMPSON: Let me be clear. Are you a L-A-W-Y-E-R? A lawyer, a fucking attorney who knows, I don’t know, maybe something about being drunk, in jail, getting real people out of jail? Huh? Yes? No?

WWL: Thank you for spelling lawyer, Mr. Thompson. I have made that notation in your file. But, no, Mr. Thompson, I have not been in jail nor drunk and in jail. It must be difficult for you to be drunk and in jail, but let’s see what we can do to help. Please wait a moment while I consult with another Samurai.

THOMPSON: Hello?

THOMPSON: Hello?

WWL: Thank you for waiting, Mr. Thompson. What province are you in?

THOMPSON: What?

WWL: What province are you in?

THOMPSON: I’m not in a province. I’m in fucking jail, in Tucson.

WWL: Thank you for clarifying that for me. You said you are in Tucson. What province is that in?

THOMPSON: What the? I, I’m— It’s in the province of fucking Arizona. Yeah.

WWL: Please hold for a moment.

WWL: I’m sorry, Mr. Thomke, but Worldwiide Legal does not currently provide services in Arizona provincial law.

THOMPSON: I’m shocked. Just give me a refund or do I have to talk to an emperor or something like that?

WWL: I’m sorry, our Emperor level service is still in beta, but I can add you to our prelaunch —-

THOMPSON: [Hangs up]

Are you sure you want non-lawyer ownership, a more “business-like” approach to the practice of law and corporate-based access to justice?  Are you really sure?

19 comments on “In Jail? Please Hold For The Next Available Legal Ninja

  1. Sarah Glassmeyer

    Yes. Yes I am really, really sure.

    The nice thing about capitalism is that a company that treated prospective clients that way would not long be in business. If anything, and I hadn’t actually considered this until this hyperbolic post, but bringing in people that treat a legal services company like a business would likely have as much emphasis on customer/client satisfaction as traditional lawyers. Most lawyers get business through client referrals – no reason to think non-lawyer owned legal services would behave differently, plus their educational backgrounds probably included training on customer service.

    This example is of what could go wrong. But it’s as likely it would go incredibly right and an automated service like this could perform what librarians call a “reference interview” and direct the prospective client/customer to the appropriate resource/assistance that they would have not otherwise realized was available, as well as assist the attorney/service provider with information they need in order to decide to accept the case or do what is necessary, all at a savings of time and energy.

    1. SHG Post author

      I would think this was brilliant satire, but I know it’s not. There are a few hundred million Americans whose experience differs from yours, but then they aren’t viewing the world through the eyes of an information liberator.

      1. Sarah Glassmeyer

        Satire? No. Hilarious? Yes, although my defense of capitalism is only funny if you know me in real life and realize that I’m actually pretty much a socialist. :)

        I admit to being cautiously optimistic about the future, especially the future possibilities of technological enhancements and proposed changes to the practice of law. I’ve seen first hand the failures of our system, especially to those on the lower end of the economic and social spectrum and know that something has to change. I like to think I’m realistic, though, and try to read the ingredients before drinking the kool-aid.

        1. SHG Post author

          Capitalist or socialist, your position is so off-the-charts naïve and contrary to real-world experience as to defy credulity. We’ve all seen the “failure of our system” first hand, but we don’t all believe in rainbows and don’t expect unicorns to save us. Sorry to be hyperbolic, but your arguments don’t register on the spectrum of realistic.

    2. Tim Knowles

      This type of thing already happens, and the market doesn’t entirely correct it. I occasionally see clients who have dealt with assembly line style personal injury firms. The clients rarely, if ever, talk to their lawyers. They speak to a new paralegal each time they call. It is not much different from the situation in the post. I suspect that the market has trouble correcting this situation because the firms advertise heavily and their websites are misleading about expected results. I have no doubt that, with things like non-lawyer ownership, this will only get worse.

      1. Sarah Glassmeyer

        So the problem already exists. Why is the advent of non-lawyer ownership going to make it worse? As I said in my reply to Mattdog, consumers/clients/customers that care enough about customer service will seek out those companies/firms that make it a priority. Mostly, though, unhappy clients remain in situations because of apathy or not realizing there are options out there.

    3. mattdog

      Sarah Glassmeyer says, “The nice thing about capitalism is that a company that treated prospective clients that way would not long be in business.”

      Are you kidding? Have you been to a bank lately? Do you subscribe to cable tv? New capitalism requires this type of behavior. Companies/firms that deliver focused, personalized value are the ones threatened by tweet capitalism

      1. Sarah Glassmeyer

        I have and I do! I also have noticed people leaving cable companies to become cord cutters, although the near monopoly that cable companies enjoy makes it hard to avoid them for the internet providing part of that equation. I also know of many people leaving traditional banks for credit unions. With a lot of things, it’s consumer apathy keeping them in unhappy situations. If it turns out that customer service is important to a consumer/customer/client, they will seek out companies/firms that provide it.

    4. C. N, Nevets

      There are a whole lot of companies that I work with in the tech industry who have been just like this for ten years, and there is no corrective market force acting to make them better. If anything, each year companies become more like this rather than less.

  2. Donald

    Profit motivations in the legal profession are screwed up enough as it is, I shudder to imagine corporatized law practices.
    Capitalism isn’t necessarily evil in and of itself, but it just plain isn’t the answer to everything.

  3. UltravioletAdmin

    A few services seem to already be doing stuff like this under the gauge of self help with ‘consults’. It’s a huge problem with IP and small inventors who are unsavy and get a worthless service for a worthless provisional patent.

      1. UltravioletAdmin

        Heh, I’ve seen plenty of those guys ripped off.

        On the other hand, I’ve also done billing audits for traditional firms that found questionable results and moved some of that to a corporate legal services provider. But we were savvy enough to know we didn’t need the premium of a real lawyer for what was essentially a billing service.

  4. John Barleycorn

    And behold the pale horse?
    They called him the legal triage technician?

    You scardey cat. Where is your faith in humanity?

  5. Maria

    Sad they can’t just phone an on call public defender. That is what happens in King County (mostly) and I think it’s pretty effective. I think it is obvious that an unbiased attorney is going to give you better advice than some blood sucking “ronin” whose number you got off a billboard on Drunkards Avenue.

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