Best Online Legal Services
Everyone needs a lawyer at some point or another. This is especially true if you’re running a business or launching a startup.
From setting up your business entity to settling disputes and reviewing contracts, getting assistance from a legal professional is a necessity.
But not everyone has a lawyer on retainer. For those that do, your lawyer might not specialize in the type of legal practice you need for all of your business and personal needs.
That’s why online legal services are so helpful. With just a few clicks, you can access legal documents, find an attorney nearby, set up your business, and seek legal counsel.
Whether you need an attorney now or you’re planning for the future, I’ll show you how to find the best online legal service for your business and personal needs.
The 8 Best Online Legal Services of 2020
The Internet is flooded with different legal resources. But when it comes to something this important, it’s crucial that you find a reputable legal service.
After extensive research, these are the top eight online legal services that I’d recommend:
I’ll highlight the top features, benefits, use cases, and considerations for each one as we continue through this guide.
Best Online Legal Services Reviews
LegalZoom is the most diverse online legal service on the market today. This website can accommodate your personal, professional, and business needs.
Over four million people have used LegalZoom’s services. More than two million of those people trust LegalZoom to help start or run their business. The platform has facilitated 500,000+ attorney consultations as well, with a network of lawyers in all 50 states.
LegalZoom’s online legal services can be segmented into four main categories. I’ll give you a quick summary of some of the top legal services and features within those categories below.
Wills, Trust, and Family
In addition to these categories for specific needs, LegalZoom offers six-month and annual plans for businesses and individuals. Individual plans start at $9.99 per month with an annual contract, and business plans start at $31.25 per month with a one-year commitment.
Overall, LegalZoom is a top choice to consider for one-time services as well as ongoing legal needs.
LegalNature is an online service that offers legal documents and templates. It’s fast, reliable, and easy for anyone to use.
The legal document templates on LegalNature’s platform are extensive. They have legal documents for businesses, landlords, and individuals. Here’s a quick overview of some of LegalNature’s top categories:
Here’s how it works. Simply choose a legal document type that you need to create. LegalNature will give you step-by-step guidance throughout the entire process as you complete the document. Once you’re done, it’s easy to download and store your documents.
Let’s take a closer look at the plans and pricing options for LegalNature:
As you can see, there’s a plan available for everyone. Whether you need legal documents for a single use or an ongoing basis, LegalNature has you covered.
Incfile is an online legal service that specializes in business formation. Since launching back in 2004, Incfile has helped over 250,000 business owners get started.
Simply choose your entity type (LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp, or Nonprofit) and select your state of formation to proceed. If you’re not sure what entity type is best for your startup, Incfile will help you select the best option.
Incfile has three different packages. The rates for each one vary by state.
All plans include:
You can get the basic plan for $0 plus the cost of your state’s registration fee. However, you’ll have to pay extra for things like that EIN/Tax ID, IRS From 2553, operating agreements, and more.
So I would not recommend that entry-level plan (Silver). You’re much better off with the Gold or Platinum packages.
To find the exact cost for your startup, just select an entity type and choose your state. You can get a quote in seconds.
Rocket Lawyer specializes in legal documents. This online legal service helps individuals and business owners create legal documents for a wide range of use cases.
Here are some of the popular document types segmented by category:
Family and Personal
There are two ways to use Rocket Lawyer. You can pay a monthly membership fee of $39.99 per month to access free services and discounted documents. Alternatively, you pay per use based on what you need.
For example, Rocket Lawyer charges $39.99 per document. So the monthly membership pays for itself with just one of these.
If you know you’re going to need multiple documents at once or need legal documents created on an ongoing basis then the monthly membership is definitely worth it.
I like Rocket Lawyer because they have an exceptional mobile app. This gives you fast access to your documents from anywhere. You can even sign agreements directly from the app.
Avvo is a bit unique compared to some of the other online legal services on our list.
The platform has an extensive lawyer directory to help you find an attorney in your area. But it also serves as a way to get free legal questions answered online.
You can browse questions that were asked by other people or post your own question and get responses from multiple lawers.
Popular questions and legal advice on Avvo are related to:
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Overall, there are hundreds of legal topics related to your personal situation on Avvo.
In addition to the lawyer directory and free Q&A, Avvo also has tons of free articles, resources, and guides with legal advice. For those of you who need legal questions answered online but don’t want to spend money on an attorney consultation, Avvo will be your best option.
UpCounsel is another well-known online legal service. It has a network of more than 5,000 lawyers to meet all of your needs.
From one-time personal legal consultations to an entire freelance legal department for your business, UpCounsel has it all.
Over 10,000 businesses trust UpCounsel for legal needs. It’s used by top brands like Airbnb and Visually.
Popular legal categories offered on UpCounsel include:
Here’s how it works.
Take a minute to post the job related to your business and legal needs. All of the information you share on UpCounsel is strictly confidential.
The UpCounsel algorithm will automatically match you with qualified attorneys to handle your specific needs. Those lawyers will send you proposals, and you can schedule a free consultation without any obligation.
Once you’re ready to proceed, you can hire your lawyer. All of the pricing is straightforward, so you never have to worry about hidden fees. Collaborate with your lawyer online, directly through the UpCounsel platform.
UpCounsel makes it easy for you to manage all of your communications in one place. The platform offers time-tracked phone calls and free document management.
You’ll also be able to manage all of your invoices, track your spending, and benefit from flexible payment options. If you worked with a lawyer in the past that you liked, you UpCounsel makes it easy for you to connect with them again.
As the name implies, LegalMatch is a platform designed to match you with an attorney. It’s the best choice for those of you seeking legal counsel in your local area.
The process is simple, quick, and straightforward. Just provide your location and choose a category from the following list of options:
LegalMatch will automatically connect you with a high-rated licensed lawyer near you. The best part? The entire process is free to you.
More than four million cases have been posted on this legal website. LegalMatch has been helping people find local lawyers for the last 20 years.
You’ll have a response within 24 hours of posting your case. So it’s a great option for those of you with a time-sensitive matter.
After you’ve been matched, you’ll have full access to the attorney’s profile and background information. You’ll also have access to user ratings and reviews from previous clients to help you make a decision. LegalMatch provides a complete breakdown of each lawyer’s fee structure.
It’s an ideal option for finding lawyers without any pressure. Simply choose which lawyer is best for your needs after reviewing the options provided by LegalMatch.
You’re never under any obligation to hire a lawyer or sign a contract when you’re matched with an attorney through this platform.
Atrium is probably the most unique option on our list. This platform offers a wide range of online professional services—including legal.
The legal services offered by Atrium can be segmented into four different categories:
For legal assistance in any of these categories, you can request a meeting through Atrium’s professional services platform.
In addition to legal counsel, Atrium offers professional services related to fundraising, HR, company culture, and hiring. For those of you who are in need of these other services, you can get it all from the same platform.
How to Choose the Best Online Legal Service For Your Business
With so many different online legal services to choose from, it can be tough to narrow down your options. How can you find the best online legal service provider for you?
This is the methodology that we use here at Quick Sprout. I’ll go through each factor in greater detail so you can understand what matters the most as you’re going through this process.
Legal Practice Category
There are certain online legal services that specialize in specific areas of law. It’s important to find one that has a category based on your needs. For example, someone going through a divorce wouldn’t need the same attorney as a business owner drafting legal documents.
Some platforms offer online legal services for both businesses and individuals. Others specialize in one or the other.
Business Stage and Size
If you need an attorney for your business, the size and stage of your organization will play a significant role in your decision.
For those of you who are launching a startup, you could benefit from an online legal service like Incfile for registering your company. But for larger organizations that need an entire legal team or outsourced department, you’d be better off with something like UpCounsel.
Frequency of Use
Some of you might need an attorney for just one event. Whether it’s filing paperwork, drafting a contract, or settling a dispute. In these instances, you can find an online legal service with options for this purpose.
Others need ongoing legal assistance. This is especially true for business owners. You might want the ability to contact a lawyer on-demand whenever a problem or question arises. If you fall into this category, look for an online legal service with ongoing plans.
In many cases, online legal services can stay online. Meaning you’ll never have the want or need to meet with an attorney in person.
However, that’s not always the case. Some of you might need to find an attorney near you. Getting matched with a lawyer that’s across the country won’t be ideal in these scenarios. So look for a platform that allows you to find a qualified lawyer based on your zip code or state.
Price and Process
The pricing structures for online legal services vary from platform to platform. Some charge an ongoing fee for a membership, while others charge on a per-case or per-use basis.
There are even some online legal services that offer free legal consultation and matching.
You’ll also need to consider how time-sensitive your matter is. Some platforms will match you with an attorney within a few hours. Others can take 24+ hours.
Getting your question answered for free on an online legal forum isn’t the best option for those of you who need to speak with a lawyer within the next few hours. Make sure you find a platform that’s easy to use and allows you to choose a lawyer without any pressure or obligation.
Online legal services are growing in popularity. These platforms give you access to legal help without having to leave your home or office. Plus, you won’t always be limited to attorneys in your area.
If you need to find a lawyer, start a business, or get legal advice, these are the top platforms to consider:
No matter what kind of situation you’re in, there’s an online legal service for everyone on this list.
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March 18, 2020 at 01:11PM