A website called LawBidding.com aims to lower legal costs for businesses by giving them a forum to solicit bids from attorneys.
The service is free to both lawyers and prospective clients. Here's how it works: Companies post a description of a legal problem that will be viewed only by lawyers registered with LawBidding. Posts can be anonymous, though a location is required. Lawyers can browse case descriptions and make bids based on a flat fee, hourly rate, or contingency. Prospective clients can check out each bidder's profile page, including information pertaining to state licenses, and communicate with lawyers over public and private threads. There is no obligation to accept a bid.
LawBidding, which was founded by corporate attorney Nick Cronin, currently has more than 300 open cases related to a variety of issues, including employment law, partnerships, and trademarks. There are more than 1,000 lawyers registered on the site. Even if a company doesn't find the right fit, the site could, at the very least, be a good resource for pricing out legal representation.