Getting Started with a Legal Insurance Network

How Attorneys Can Make Money with Legal Insurance Plans

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Despite the prevalence of health insurance today, most Americans are unaware that historically we were not always entitled to the benefits, rights and protections it offers today. In fact, during the 1920s, individual hospitals began providing medical services to individuals on a pre-paid basis. The first employer-sponsored hospitalization plan was created by teachers in Dallas, Texas, in 1929. At the time, the plan only covered members' expenses at a single hospital, so it is viewed as the forerunner to modern-day health maintenance organizations (HMOs).

Sounds very familiar to our current legal insurance plans, doesn’t it?

Much like health insurance, legal insurance offers benefits, rights and protections for everyday legal issues. I started my law practice in Dallas in 2002 and from the beginning I have worked with ARAG and other legal plans because I have always believed they provide easy and affordable access to justice for all Americans at a reasonable cost. Affordable legal care is a good thing. If you think about it, what are the reasons more than half of Americans don’t have a will? Access and cost.

Okay … to be completely honest, along with access to justice, I joined because I wanted more clients and I wanted to grow my practice.

Legal plans helped me grow my practice and make money by:

  • Establishing a volume of business. In fact, the volume allowed my firm to develop a system to identify coverage, provide the covered service, deliver the service product, get paid and close the matter. We have just recently adopted a billing profile for each client to help bring clarity to billing and alternative fee arrangements.
  • Offering alternative fee arrangements for clients: These give the client the benefit of covered services while allowing us to provide additional non-covered services.
  • Exposing the firm to numerous individuals we would have never met and opening the door to long-term client relationships.

Although my firm accepts multiple plans, the support and services offered to attorneys by ARAG are excellent and include guides and marketing material, benefit coverage materials (e.g., CaseAssist® Welcome Packets, CaseAssist Confirmation Forms) and even an online ARAG Education Center™

Plus they host networking and educational events for local attorneys. With these tools, an individual attorney or firm can leverage the resources of a national organization.

Another benefit of working with ARAG? Billing submission is easy thanks to ARAG’s online case management and payment systems. In light of the volume, like a medical practice we have devoted one firm member to billing and issues related to legal plans. We have also established policies and procedures around each legal plan and cover plans during our firm retreats.

Long-Term Benefits of Being on the ARAG Network

Legal insurance plans continue to help my firm by creating a passive stream of business. In effect, belonging to ARAG adds additional business that initially we spend little or no time and almost zero marketing dollars to develop. The long-term benefits, in addition to free cash flow, are:

  • More client referrals.
  • Repeat business, both using and not using the plan.
  • Outside client referrals.

Being a plan attorney can also act as a force multiplier for your practice, if done right. It forces you to become a quicker and more efficient provider of legal services. It forces you to take an honest look at how you are delivering legal products and services. For example, think about this statistic: ARAG plan members dealing with a legal issue save an average of $1,945* in attorney fees per legal event because of the legal plan.

Personally and professionally, working with ARAG has benefited me greatly. I love working with ARAG clients. Being part of the ARAG attorney network creates new opportunities for me to meet great clients, network with ARAG employees and ultimately aids a guy who grew his law practice from the kitchen table of his house to a firm with more than thirty employees, three physical offices, and a variety of legal services. I even serve on the ARAG Advisory Board now.

Legal plans and technology allow access to justice in ways that previous generations could never imagine. Like prepaid medical insurance in Dallas in 1929, today ARAG is at the forefront of the movement to affordable access to justice and legal services. It can grow your business, provide professional growth and, along the way, you’ll meet a lot of wonderful people.

*Average amount saved calculated by multiplying average hours spent for top ARAG claims by the average attorney rate in the United States of $343 per hour for attorneys with 11 to 15 years of experience according to Survey of Law Firm Economics, The National Law Journal and ALM Legal Intelligence, November 2016.

Photo of Paul F. Wright

Paul F. Wright

Paul F. Wright is the founding partner of The Wright Firm, L.L.P., where he practices in the areas of estate planning, probate and tax. Mr. Wright is a licensed Texas Attorney and a Certified Public Accountant. Mr. Wright is Board Certified in Estate Planning & Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is a frequent lecturer on tax, estate planning and probate, business succession as well as how technology impacts the practice of law. Mr. Wright is a member of the Texas Society of CPAs, the AICPA, the Dallas Bar Association (member, Business Litigation, Tax, Estate Planning and Probate sections), the State Bar of Texas (member, Real Estate, Probate and Trusts & Computer and Technology sections), the American Bar Association (member, Real Estate, Probate and Trusts section) and the College of the State Bar of Texas. He is recognized in Super Lawyers in the category of trust and estates; and Best Lawyers in Dallas in the category of tax, trust and estates. Mr. Wright earned his B.S. degree in accounting from the University of North Texas, his M.S. degree in taxation from the University of North Texas and his J.D. degree from South Texas College of Law.


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