There’s a reason the art of law is portrayed as a complex and elusive legislative labyrinth. It’s because it is. Law is hard and riddled with complicated rules and unexpected twists and turns. More and more clients have been asking me about LegalZoom. And why shouldn’t they? LegalZoom rests upon a lofty foundation: Making Legal Help Accessible to All Americans. This is a mantra I wholeheartedly support. It’s true that the law only works when everyone has access to the same tools.
However, the idea that you can offer legal assistance without a lawyer is a difficult concept to swallow. If my television is on the fritz, I would rather talk to a human than a robot. When it comes to law, most people would rather trust that a human, with years of education and experience, to carefully assess their legal documents and protect them from future lawsuits.
Most importantly, it’s reckless to promise all Americans the same access to legal documents if the quality of the document is lower than industry standards.
What is LegalZoom?
LegalZoom is an online legal organization that helps its users generate an array of legal documents without having to hire a lawyer. These documents include wills, living trusts, business formation documents, copyright registrations, trademark applications, etc.
Short Term vs. Long Term Benefits
The average price for a business contract on LegalZoom is, as advertised, less than the cost of hiring a lawyer to draw up a contract or legal document.
The price range varies for a living, breathing business lawyer. Costs often depend on the attorney’s hourly rates, experience and the contract’s complexity.
Although there is a price difference between LegalZoom and a Legal Firm, the biggest differentiation is in the quality of work. A legal contract should be modified to suit your specific needs. An online generator cannot predict future roadblocks and write clauses based upon experience.
It is less expensive, short term, to use LegalZoom. It is more expensive, long term, not to have an attorney in your court.
Here’s what this means: Apples and Oranges
With LegalZoom, if an organization spies a hole in your contract, it will be extremely expensive to rectify the gaps in your contract the additional for restitution or repairs could be exponential.
It’s like “Apples and Oranges.”
If two traders write an exchange of goods contract to legitimize an exchange of one apple for one orange, the traders should both leave the exchange happy.
However, if the sneaky Apple seller promised a Granny Smith apple and instead provided a Red Delicious, nowhere in the basic contract would the Orange trader be able to contest the Red Delicious. And, as everyone knows, you can’t bake a good pie with a Red Delicious.
It’s a lighthearted example outlining a serious issue: how easy it is to overlook a loophole. Attorneys are less likely to overlook loopholes that could potentially cost you time and money.
What You Should Look for in a Business Attorney
First and foremost, go with someone you trust.
A good business attorney will consider every element of your operation before suggesting content for your next contract. From an exchange of goods to a last will and testament, you need someone you trust to consider your lifestyle, financial situation and family before making contractual suggestions that affect your life.
Make sure your attorney is completely forthright with all the documents he or she provides for you. A good business lawyer will want to sit down with you and explain the ins and outs of each contract and how the customized clauses will benefit you and protect your interests.
Because at the end of the day, your attorney is on your side. Your attorney wants you to succeed, honestly, because that means you’ll stick around longer as a client. With online applications, contract buyers come and go. With an attorney, you form a long-term relationship.
Call Edward J. McCloskey Today!
Do you have a contract you’ve been itching to have revised? Call Edward J. McCloskey and get your next big (or small) project underway.