Last Sunday, while I was walking in Megamall, I was shocked to see a soon-to-open “store” at the 5th floor. I wouldn’t mention the name anyway but its motto was “Speedy and Affordable Legal Services in the internet and in the mall”. Sharing a space with it was a similar store providing for resolution of disputes. Both also provided a list of services offered. If this is true, then a lot of lawyers will be in danger of losing their jobs. Imagine, “SPEEDY” and “AFFORDABLE”- both terms are contradictory to the very essence of lawyering.
I know that in one of my blogs before, I mentioned having “e-counsels”. I thought that such an idea is coming but not as fast as I expected it would.
Anyway, I’m thinking what would be the effect of it? For example, then the lawyers would then have to work even during Sundays, then maybe they will be stressed. Also, the load of cases might be too much for them. They will also have to make sure that they cover the rental fee for SM. The lawyers should also make sure that their target market is that which passes 5th floor Megamall. Another question is that legal services will not be personalized and safe. In case of a midnight sale, then that store will still be open because they will be penalized by SM Administration if they close. Will they also offer discounted services in a midnight sale? Will real lawyers man the stall? Will notaries public really notarize or merely delegate it to store staffs who are not lawyers, which are, by the way, done in many establishments. Most importantly, what does “legal services in the internet” really mean? Will it make full use of the current law such as the e-commerce law?
Anyway, this is both an interesting development in the field of law which we should take a look into. It does not only threaten the existence of traditional lawyering but also seems to delineate the line between what is legal and what is ethical.
John Joseph S. Parco