Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Will the Divorce Chatbot Steal Your Clients?

Bad news divorce lawyers: Your easy cases might be harder to come by after February 2018. That's because the maker of the DoNotPay chatbot has turned his focus to uncontested divorces.

In a few months, a free service for divorce papers preparation will be available to couples that qualify and agree to an uncontested divorce. Like the DoNotPay chatbot (that handles parking tickets), an individual will go through various chat prompts and then receive filled out court forms. All that's really left after that in an uncontested divorce is getting the papers signed and filed.

Uncontested Marketing

For divorce lawyers that rely on uncontested divorces to keep the lights on, the new chatbot could be real trouble. It's hard to compete with free services, and the creator has absolutely no plans to monetize the service. As such, you might want to start searching for and marketing your je ne sais quoi a.k.a. the reason people will pay you for something they can get for free.

For example, you may want to have a short elevator speech ready for when a client asks why they should hire you instead of using a free chatbot. For no asset/no debt/no kids/no property situations, this might be really challenging. But experienced practitioners will likely be able to regal potential clients with tales of woe where clients started the process on their own and suffered serious consequences.

A Robot of Your Own

While you might be looking at the chatbot with trepidation, you might actually be able to get some use out of the chatbot. Though it still has not been released, and thus, we don't know how helpful it will be, if it's as good as the DoNotPay chatbot, it could be actually be useful to help cut costs for both lawyers and clients.

Rather than paying a paralegal or admin to sit on the phone or sift through endless emails in order to get the needed information to fill out the divorce forms, you can potentially just have your client use the chatbot. Once the chatbot generates the pleadings, you can then review and edit the generated pleadings (just make sure you get your retainer paid first), and then have them filed.

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