Can’t make it to court? There’s an app for that. No, really.
Every day in Ontario courts, paralegals find themselves scrambling to find a replacement for an appearance. Car trouble, illness and scheduling conflicts wreak havoc with the best-laid plans. Paralegals are too-often left running through their lists of colleagues who can make an appearance in their place. In the meantime, others find themselves with unexpected downtime on their hands. New paralegals struggle to get court experience under their belts. City-based paralegals try to find someone reliable to handle referrals for out-of-town matters they can’t tend to personally.
Connecting those who need a matter covered with those who want subcontract work — this is where a new legal app comes in.
StandIn provides a smoother, more reliable alternative to the hit-and-miss appearance solutions cobbled together by paralegals. The legal minds behind the app are Peter Carayiannis, a Toronto lawyer, and Andrew Johnston, a law school graduate. The pair launched StandIn last July, and it has gained wide attention for bringing “sharing economy” technology to the legal community.
StandIn tackles the all-too-common scheduling problem, with an agile solution. Its motto: “Connecting Legal Professionals.”
The location-based app that matches lawyers and paralegals with other legal professionals for court appearances. StandIn processes payment in the application and allows users to leave reviews based on their experience in the transaction. StandIn has proven particularly beneficial for the paralegal community. For new licensees, it offers an inexpensive way to find work, gain experience, and build a reputation as a reliable legal professional. The app is well-suited to procedural and administrative appearances, where paralegals have traditionally made agent appearances.
“Paralegals in Ontario are a crucial part of how the court system functions, and because of that, we wanted to create a solution that worked for them as well as lawyers,” Carayiannis says. The app has already won-over the paralegals who adopted the system early. “Suddenly, a slow day can become a very lucrative one where both experience and money are earned. On the other side of things, we have had a paralegal with a full practice express that she was most excited about being able to find someone to appear for her in out of town appearances that would otherwise take up an exorbitant amount of time in travel alone.”
StandIn gigs come as both direct requests and open-end offers. Lawyers and paralegals log in and see who is available near the courthouse they need to be at. They can sort by experience, expertise, and availability. The app is completely free to download. Each legal professional signing up to act as a StandIn sets their own price for an appearance. And, great news – the contracted paralegal always gets paid. After the referring paralegal or lawyer sends the sub the necessary court documents and the appearance is completed, payment is automatically sent via credit card. The app takes a $7.50 transaction fee out of whatever the stand-in charges.
Want to schedule a stand-in? Use this exclusive code to get $15 off your first booking: SCOPE15