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Online Legal Services Finder

Valuable legal advice is only a few clicks away.

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Our top pick: Rocket Lawyer

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  • 7-day free trial
  • Personal or business legal advice
  • On-call attorneys
  • Create custom legal documents
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The legal industry is evolving to offer businesses and individuals more options when it comes to legal services. Instead of hiring a traditional lawyer that may charge a retainer and then an hourly fee, online law firms now present a cost-effective and convenient alternative. These virtual firms provide hundreds of legal document templates, access to a huge pool of online lawyers and a rich library of legal articles and guides.

We’ve taken the liberty of checking out the different options available online, so you know exactly what’s out there for your legal needs.

Whether you’re looking for a quick-fix legal document template or an experienced lawyer to help with a more complicated situation, chances are that you’ll be able to find something to help you online.

Online lawyers

Did you know there’s such a thing as a virtual lawyer? An online lawyer doesn’t work in a traditional office-based environment, but rather offers their services online and usually on a fixed-fee basis. In fact, there has been a new wave of online retainer-style legal services cropping up all over the place, including LegalShield and LegalZoom, which asks for a monthly subscription fee in return for access to a vast online marketplace of virtual lawyers and other legal services.

Legal documents and templates

A quick Google search will reward you with pages and pages of online legal documents and templates. While legal services, like LegalZoom, sell these à la carte, you’ll also find monthly subscription services, like Rocket Lawyer, that bundle legal documents and enable you to ask legal questions and have personal conversations with a lawyer into one neat package.

Legal guides

Legal guides are a great place to start if you’re trying to figure out next steps or if you want to make sure you’re operating within the law. These documents can be useful and are generally found across the Internet and provide a broad range of topics such as employment, property and family law. A good place to start might be Nolo, which offers a free library of legal articles, books and comprehensive guides.

Name Product Pros Cons
Rocket Lawyer
  • Instant access to a library of user friendly legal documents
  • Fast access to a network of certified lawyers
  • Free 30-minute consultations
  • Reduced rates in select services
  • Services can get expensive
Rocket Lawyer gives you access to legal documents, legal advice and representation seamlessly — plus, they offer a seven-day free trial.
LegalShield
  • Coverage for you, your spouse, partner and dependent children
  • Legal advice and representation
  • Letters and phone calls on your behalf
  • Legal document review
  • Add ons can get expensive
LegalShield aims to make comprehensive legal coverage simple.
Nolo
  • Legal information all in one place
  • Free searches for attorneys
  • Software and documents to streamline legal operations
  • Advice for do-it-yourself legal work
  • It may be difficult to know where to start
Legal forms and online documents, books, & software.
LegalZoom
  • Access a database of licensed lawyers based on your legal needs
  • Positively reviewed by customers
  • User-friendly interface
  • Wide range of legal support categories
  • Free review by a document specialist
  • Services can get expensive
LegalZoom provides a simple and quick way to get legal services from qualified attorneys.
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Almost everyone needs legal help. But it doesn’t mean you need to have a full-fledged lawyer on retainer. People face legal issues every day, such as if you rent a property, get divorced or start a business.

A few common situations that may benefit from an online legal service include:

  • Estate planning. Write a will, a trust or appoint a power of attorney.
  • Divorce. Start your divorce online with state-specific documents.
  • Trial defense. Get legal representation if you’re named in a civil suit.
  • Form a business. Incorporate your business to separate your business and personal assets and liabilities.
  • Debt collection. Your attorney can write up collection letters to help your business collect outstanding debts.

Many of these online legal services do not provide actual legal advice or offer legal representation. Instead, they’re a good starting point for consumers and businesses that have a straightforward situation or need to be connected with an actual law firm.

Consider these things before signing up for an online legal service:

  • Simple situations. Online legal documents are best suited for straightforward circumstances that don’t need any special clauses or customizations.
  • State-specific. Make sure that your legal forms are applicable to and follow your state’s laws.
  • Fee structure. Several online legal services cover short conversations with attorneys in its monthly membership or as an add-on. If your situation calls for more than what’s covered, be sure to understand your attorney’s fees and any discounts your membership might include.
  • Attorney selection. Some services offer pre-vetted lawyers, while others show a directory that law firms may pay to advertise on. Read reviews from former clients and confirm that you’re using a reputable attorney.

Should I use an online lawyer?

Every situation is different, it could be valuable to weigh whether using an online lawyer is worth the cost in your specific circumstance. Here are a few things worth considering:

Pros

  • Virtual lawyers usually use fixed fees, which can work out cheaper than traditional hourly rates.
  • Fixed fees mean you know what you’re going to pay — no surprises or hidden costs on the bill at the end of the project.
  • With most meetings held over the phone, via video calls or email, online lawyers are much more flexible to work with.
  • You’ll generally get a quicker response from an online law firm that can connect you to a lawyer within a few hours.
  • Most online marketplaces let you browse lawyers and compare quotes so you can find the right person to suit your situation and budget.

Cons

  • Working with someone you’ve never met and building up trust can be tricky, especially if it involves creating a long-term relationship.
  • Traditional lawyers are considered to be much more effective at practicing law in court and settling more complex legal matters.
  • Some legal matters will require face-to-face meetings and paper handling, which can be hard when you use a virtual lawyer.
  • To maintain low costs, some online lawyer services will require you to do some of the admin yourself, while a traditional lawyer will typically take care of everything for you.
  • Online lawyers won’t always be familiar with the specific local laws in your state or county.

The best place to look for free legal advice in the US is online. Low-income individuals and families can qualify for free and low-cost legal advice through organizations such as Legal Services Corporation and the American Bar Association. You might also qualify for programs where lawyers volunteer to answer your legal questions for free.

For consumer issues, check out your state’s consumer protection office. Although it can’t represent you personally, your state consumer office helps mediate complaints, conduct investigations and prosecute offenders to protect your consumer rights.

Bottom line

Using online legal services can be a quick and cost-effective solution to your legal problems, but it doesn’t always suit everybody. Make sure you compare online legal services to find a service that best fits your legal needs.

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