Search engine Trademarkia, which launched at TechCrunch50 in 2009, is rebranding as LegalForce to offer a comprehensive legal services platform. The new company is also opening of LegalForce BookFlip, a brick-and-mortar retail store in downtown Palo Alto to provide retail access to licensed U.S. attorneys on a walk-in basis without appointments.
Originally launched as an online database for trademarks, LegalForce has helped file more than 23,000 U.S. trademarks. Now the startup allows you to query its legal community for answers, similar to recently-acquired LawPivot. With the retail storefront, LegalForce is aiming to allow clients to meet with prospective attorneys in-person, which founder Raj Abhyanker (who is an attorney) says is important when talking about sensitive matters such as criminal cases, or divorce and custody issues.
Clients can also book LegalForce attorneys online through the website’s “Chat-torneys” feature, which delivers access to a California-licensed attorney privately via video chat, telephone, or instant messaging. LegalForce will also sell legal books and Google Nexus tablets online and in-stores. And the storefront will offer free classes on legal topics including entrepreneurship, business, and law.
Going offline is an interesting play for LegalForce. Companies like RocketLawyer and LawPivot have made major businesses out of bringing legal services online, but the startup appears to want to provide both options. Whether that can prove to be a success model is still a big question.