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35 UCLA Pac. Basin L.J. 97 (2017)
Platform Economy in Legal Profession: An Empirical Study of Online Legal Service Providers in China

handle is hein.journals/uclapblj35 and id is 105 raw text is: 


     An Empirical Study of Online Legal Service
                      Providers in China

                             Jing Li*

     Platform economy breaks into the legal profession by pooling law-
yers with different specializations into a simple user-friendly platform,
consolidating the lower-tier supply side of the legal market and generating
an economy of scale. This paper is the very first empirical piece looking
into China's online legal service portals. It shows that the intermediary
functions of the portals as the matchmaker between the supply and the
demand side are often comingled with certain substantive legal services
that cannot be easily unbundled from each other. Given the grand infor-
mation asymmetry in legal service provision and the potential importance
users may attach to the portals' recommendations, the quality of such
intermediation and matchmaking still leaves much to be desired. However,
the portals do help to improve the access to justice in China by virtue of
offering an extra channel for acquiring and comparing potentially useful
information, which is made available at a much lower cost than visiting a
physical law firm. Thus, the regulators of China's legal profession should
strive to improve the quality of rather than block up the source of the
information. To that end, this paper proposes, based on the inspiration of
the ABS regime, an alternative license for these online legal service provid-
ers, which imposes minimal regulation and leaves room for new innovative
business structures to evolve.

        Jing Li is Assistant Professor of the Business Law Department at Tilburg
University, the Netherlands. Earlier versions of this paper have been presented at the
12th Europe China Law Association Conference (Leiden, Aug. 25, 2017), and a Tilburg
Law and Economics Center Work-in-Progress Meeting (Tilburg, Jan. 24, 2018). I am
grateful to Ronald Brown, Francisco Costa-Cabral, Panos Delimatsis, Susan Finder,
Zlatina Georgieva, Sergio Goldbaum, Yincheng Hsu, Benjamin Liebman, Wenting
Liu, Norbert de Munnik, Jens Prtifer, Flora Sapio, Florian Schuett, Ivona Skultetyova,
Moritz Suppliet and all other participants at the conferences, for their helpful com-
ments on the paper.

    @ 2018 Jing Li. All rights reserved.

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