How Good are the “Self Help” Legal Websites? Consumer Report Verdict

In a September Report issued by Consumer Reports entitled Legal DIY websites are no match for a pro, the verdict was that unless your legal needs are very simple it would be best to consult a lawyer as doing it yourself can lead to “unintended consequences”.  Consumer Reports evaluated the three big Do It Yourself Legal Websites – LegalZoom, Nolo, and Rocket Lawyer to create a will, a car bill of sale for a seller, a home lease for a small landlord, and a promissory note.

Three law professors—Gerry W. Beyer of Texas Tech University School of Law, who specializes in estates and trusts; Richard K. Neumann of Hofstra University, a contract specialist; and Norman Silber, an expert in consumer and commercial law at Hofstra and Yale—to review in a blind test the processes and resulting documents.

Bottom line. The sites offer basic legal advice that might help save you money spent on a lawyer. If you use them for document prep, at minimum get all needed signatures to preserve your rights and prevent disputes, Silber says. But many consumers are better off consulting a lawyer. The websites let you search for one and provide such information as education, background, and licenses.


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One thought on “How Good are the “Self Help” Legal Websites? Consumer Report Verdict

  1. I have seen lots of useful items on your internet site about personal computers. However, I’ve the judgment that netbooks are still not nearly powerful adequately to be a good option if you generally do projects that require lots of power, like video touch-ups. But for web surfing, word processing, and a lot other frequent computer work they are all right, provided you never mind your little friend screen size. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

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