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Startup to connect small businesses with lawyers

A Manhattan startup's portal to connect small business owners with the right lawyers is now available on Long Island.

The service, Priori Legal, acts as the middleman between a small business and lawyers. Business owners fill out a questionnaire about their required legal services on Priori's website, and Priori offers them a list of potential attorneys from its network. The business owner and lawyer can then set up a free 30-minute phone consultation, with Priori managing the paperwork and payment if the lawyer is hired. The businesses also pay a small management fee if they hire a lawyer through Priori.

All attorneys in Priori's network are vetted and have agreed to work at below market rates for small business clients sent from Priori, said co-founder Basha Rubin.

"Small businesses have found it's helpful to talk through the legal issues with us .?.?. and lawyers have been pleased with the quality of clients," the other founder Mirra Levitt said of the service's feedback from a test run in Manhattan. "We're excited to bring [Priori] to Long Island."

Priori is currently building its network of attorneys on Long Island and is in talks with about 20 individuals to join. On the small business side,  Levitt and Rubin have been marketing the service through local chambers of commerce. The expansion into Long Island is concurrent with a move into Westchester.

Rubin said the service has appealed to smaller law firms since Priori's payment and processing system also takes strain off their back offices and administrative expenses. Thus, many are willing to offer discounted rates.

Rubin and Levitt, who are former classmates at Yale Law School, founded Priori in 2012 with funds from family and friends.

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