In thumbing through the September 2012 issue of Consumer Reports, my “thumbing” came to a halt, somewhere between best values on cars (my Toyota Highlander ranked high, as did my wife’s Camry) and televisions (I could have done better), when the monthly money column headline “Legal DIY sites no match for a pro” stopped me in my tracks.
Would CR tell its readership that the do-it-yourself web sites for legal information (not “advice”, because we know they can’t do that) would suffice when it comes to the “simple”–a will, a trademark, forming an LLC, getting a divorce, a real estate lease. Of course, if you are an IP attorney, a real estate lawyer, a family law attorney–you would (and should) take offense at the idea that your practice can be replaced by a cyber-lawyer (and I don’t mean a lawyer doing cyberlaw, I mean an automated machine). And thankfully for most of us, CR agrees. You probably need a lawyer to review and/or draft anything that goes beyond the extremely mundane.
The article leads by saying that for a fraction of what you’d pay a lawyer, websites such as LegalZoom, Nolo and Rocket Lawyer can help you create your own will, power of attorney, etc. ..and those sites are full of pleased customers that have avoided dreaded attorney fees from the comfort of a desktop.