“Almost everything that goes into human activity is within the law,” declares Owings Mills-based attorney Irwin Kramer.
Recognizing a need for public information, Kramer, along with Daniel Tayag, developed Legal Television Network (LTN). Launched in 2006, LTN is hosted online at www.clientelevision.com, and is designed to make the law user-friendly. “We are just trying to simplify what is complex,” explains Kramer. “We are here to provide real help, not just lip service.”
The site features simplified legal education, leading the public in the right direction when it comes to legal issues. The network uses short video clips that explain a situation and what direction a person should pursue.
“Legal Television Network uses videos to engage online visitors, with the ultimate goal to help the people,” says Kramer.
The network also has goals of helping other websites become more enjoyable for the visitors. “We want to integrate videos to websites,” notes Kramer. “Many websites don’t offer anything except contact information. We want to give content.”
LTN is set up to not only help visitors towww.clientelevision.com, but to be able to link the video to any other website where it can be helpful to the public. Whether it is a law firm, public awareness group, association or any other website, the videos are able to be linked.
“Legal websites don’t offer anything,” says Kramer. “People want information, not advertising.” He also notes that his video clips do not give direct legal advice, but rather offer a pathway to the advice. “We want to focus on the well-established fundamentals,” he adds.
The website features videos on everything from automobile accidents to starting a business to insurance. The programs are broken into two groups. Case-in-Point videos, LTN’s initial series, offer lessons about the law from real-life cases. Law-on-Demand videos provide more documentary-style cases.
Kramer has drawn upon other attorneys and experts in the network’s videos, including University of Baltimore Professor Byron Warnken, attorney Andrew Radding and entrepreneur Matthew Lesko, as sources in videos of their respective expertise.
The videos can be featured on a website using simple HTML code. The videos then link directly and are able to be used at will. “We are here to provide content for the websites,” said Kramer.
The videos are to also be used to serve existing clients as well. For example, if the client already has a basic understanding of the law before coming into an attorney’s office, the process can go more smoothly for both parties involved.
The videos initially came from educating reporters and journalists. “We had a journalist’s tool,” Kramer explains. “We went from educating reporters to getting correct information to the public.”
Kramer then talked to fellow lawyers to develop further understanding of common misconceptions among the public. “The focus was to be on everyday issues of practical importance, with an additional goal of teaching the public about the legal profession in a positive way,” he adds.
Focusing on these issues, the videos are produced in-house. Kramer and Tayag do almost all of the filming, editing and producing.
As the legal profession branches out onto the Internet, Irwin Kramer is hoping that Legal Television Network can provide a stepping stone for the public.