Business

Legal Hero launches in Miami

Legal Hero is a New York-based on-demand legal services provider for startups and small businesses that want to find quality lawyers at reasonable and fixed prices. The startup announced this week it is launching its services in Miami.

The founder and CEO,  Annie Webber, grew up in Coral Gables and went to Harvard for her undergrad and JD-MBA degrees. But she said the seed of Legal Hero was planted much earlier, talking business around the dinner table with her parents about their family's flower importing business. "I was really cognizant of how difficult it was to get good legal help at reasonable prices, but most importantly at fixed prices. It is just so hard for small businesses to manage their legal budget when they are billed by the hour," said Webber, who spent a couple years as a lawyer before launching Legal Hero.

Founded in November, Legal Hero offers services in New York, Massachusetts and now Florida. So far, the network has 60 attorneys; 15 of them are in Florida with most of them in South Florida, Webber said. They handle issues from entity formation, business contracts and employment agreements, to immigration and intellectual property concerns, she said.

Unlike most legal services providers that rely on retainers and hourly billing, Legal Hero shows the full price of 30 common projects on the website. After a customer chooses a project, the customer is provided a selection of vetted lawyers to complete the project at that price. Legal Hero will manage a bidding process for other services; the prices may vary lawyer to lawyer, but the fee will be fixed.

Webber says her biggest competitor by far is traditional law, and she also considers do-it-yourself advocates like Legal Zoom a type of competition. But there are also a number of online startups nationally going after a slice of the $60 billion small business law services market, including Court Buddy, a Miami-based startup that launched recently and chose South Florida as its initial market.

Legal Hero secured startup funding last fall from a group of angels that includes Jose Rasco of Miami’s STRAAT.

"There is a different energy in Miami now than there was 10 to 15 years ago and I love the ecosystem that has spring up to support entrepreneurship," said Webber, who has started to work with startup groups in the area. "We’re so excited to be a part of it, and that is why we decided to come here."

For more information, visit www.legalhero.com/miami.

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