The Montgomery Bar Association (MBA) is teaming-up with MONTCO.TODAY to launch a new pilot program called “Ask a Real Lawyer.” The new program hopes to provide a safe platform where county residents and business owners can pose questions to real, local lawyers who have first-hand experience working in our courts, and familiarity with local rules, procedures, ordinances, and decisions.
According to MBA Executive Director Nancy Paul, “The Ask a Real Lawyer pilot program is one of several homegrown initiatives aimed at protecting area consumers from false and misleading legal information frequently found on the internet, and the epidemic rise of RoboLawyers,” a pet name used to describe a culmination of deceptive, pay-to-play attorney-rating services, for-profit referral sites, and “self-help-legal” sites that invariably promise a quick, cheap fix to important legal matters.
The process is rather simple: Questions sent to AskaRealLawyer@montgomerybar.org will be received by an MBA help desk specialist, then posed in confidence to a group of qualifying panelists who are members of the Bar Association.* Vetted responses from panelists will appear in future editions of MONTCO.TODAY and will be archived on the Bar’s website, montgomerybar.org (coming soon in their “For the Public” section). No contact information will be shared by or about the individual(s) posing questions; however, information about the responding attorney will be provided. In some cases, a brief bio may also be included. This format will provide a viable platform for consumers to ask questions of local attorneys, without the constraints of an attorney-client relationship being established for either party. Participating attorney panelists will be uniquely qualified to answer questions, as participation is limited to those whose primary practice is based right here in Montgomery County.
Paul explains further, “Bar associations are deeply-rooted in public service, education, reputation, and professional relationships — among each another, their members, and esteemed members of the bench. Montgomery Bar remains at the forefront in all of these areas. Unlike other professional associations, which have struggled since the emergence of the internet, bar associations remain uniquely valuable to the professionals they serve. This holds especially true in Montgomery County where the standards attorneys must maintain to remain active and in good standing with both the state and county bar lends a level of credibility unto itself. Here in Montgomery County, being a member of the Bar Association means something. In addition to being one of our nation’s most respected bar associations, the MBA also happens to be one of our nation’s oldest; established in 1885, so many of its 2,100+ member-attorneys have been setting and adhering to standards long before robolawyers or the internet entered into the equation.”
With programs like “Ask a Real Lawyer,” Montgomery Bar Association hopes county residents and businesses will continue to look beyond celebrity spokespeople and search engines, and realize the value that qualified members of the Bar — real [local] lawyers — bring to the table. Moreover, when it comes to navigating our legal system and their important legal matters, residents and businesses in Montgomery County will know that their local Bar is here for them, with plenty of free resources, and is uniquely qualified to help. Learn more at MontgomeryBar.org.