Our top pick: Rocket Lawyer
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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.
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.
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 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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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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