The main benefit that sites such as Legal Zoom, Nolo and Rocket Lawyer claim is that they are able to prepare simple legal documents for a fraction of the cost of using an actual lawyer. This can be a great way for someone (even a small business) to save a lot of money on legal services. Of course, these services do not include every type of legal document available. In fact, given the fact that these use form letters and fill in the blank options, many will argue that their utility is limited. However, how exactly do these services work? Which one is the best of the bunch?
Range of Services Offered:
The first area to consider when evaluating these legal services is how large their selection of documents seems to be. After examining each of the three companies listed above, it is certainly clear that all of them will provide you a quality product. This would be much better than attempting to draft your own legal documents, according to a recent Consumer Reports review. Of course, if your needs are more or less standard and straightforward then this could be a great option. When you examine all three, Legal Zoom versus other legal services is clearly a standout. It seems to offer a better overall range of the types of documents that you may purchase and execute.
If you ever need help while attempting to complete your purchase order, there should always be the possibility of reaching customer support. Once again, in this area Legal Zoom is the clear winner. The site makes it incredibly easy to contact someone if you ever need to find help or even if you have a simple question. While some of the other sites also offer customer service, it is much more limited.
Legal Zoom even allows their users to connect with live representatives, rather than simple canned help screens and pop-up windows. To be sure, they also have a guided help system, but nothing else can replace a real live human voice. Their representatives are also very educated and knowledgeable. It is a quick process to actually reach someone. Sometimes, the other companies seem to be understaffed, and it can take a while to get through to customer service.
Cost of Services:
The biggest benefit of using an online legal document site is the cost saving, according to the Ten Top Reviews website. Each of the three competitors came out looking very good in terms of prices. In all cases, you are going to save quite a lot of money if you decide to go this route. This has been estimated at up to an 85 percent discount over what a lawyer would likely charge. Of course, this might depend on the specific document being requested and the area in which you are located. Obviously, a higher cost city will see a more impressive discount than someone who lives in further away.
An interesting phenomenon is that many times actual lawyers will take advantage of this price differential. In other words, if they charge $3,000 for a will but these websites only charge about $300 or so, they use this to their advantage by taking your information and then executing the document with the online service. This way the lawyer ends up pocketing the difference without doing a whole lot of work or providing an extra value to the service.
Legal Resources Offered:
These three sites also offer a variety of different legal resources that can come in handy at times. For example, all three offer preparation services, but only one (Rocket Lawyer) offers a legal dictionary. On the other hand, Legal Zoom does include their “Speak to a Lawyer” feature and has state specific results. They will even suggest recommendations for lawyers in your area if you should need more advanced consultations or have further questions.
Ease of Use:
Also consider how easy it is to use the site. The best of the bunch are indeed very easy to navigate and use. They will have specific legal forms clearly labeled and be easy to find. Not to mention that completing the form should also be a no brainer. In this regard, Legal Zoom has a number of pop-up windows and a system that more or less guides you through the process of completing these documents. So do the other two, although it seems that Legal Zoom is bit more easy to use.
Recognizable Industry Name:
Each of these three companies has a lot of name recognition in the legal field. This is particularly true for Legal Zoom and Nolo. In fact, Nolo has been widely regarded as a great legal advice site for a number of years. Even before they made the transition to the Internet, they were producing a large collection of fill in the blanks paper legal documents.
Another service provided by Legal Zoom that seems to help them stand out from the crowd is that they include a free document review by a document specialist. This happens with each and every order, and it happens automatically. This is an effective double-checking service that ensures you have the right information included and that everything matches up. The final test of your legal document is whether or not it will be effective when it is needed; this step helps you to anticipate that eventuality and ensures that everything will work.
Which Service to Use?
Ultimately, you should go with the legal document service that you feel the most comfortable with. Perhaps you like the idea of being able to easily reach out for help if it is needed? Or maybe you are only looking for a particular type of document? In that case, you should first check out exactly what is offered to first narrow down the choices.
Share small business news, blogs and social media tips with Project Eve's community of small business owners and entrepreneurs today. Our contributors come from a wide range of backgrounds; so whether you are a small business owner, social media strategist, financial adviser, serial entrepreneur, or write an amateur blog we urge you to contribute a blog to our 500,000+ community today. For more information, please refer to our Content Submissions Guidelines.