I see advertisements on the web, television and even know a client or two that have tried the do it yourself legal forms from companies like Legal Zoom and Rocket Lawyer. Please do not get me wrong, these sites serve a very valuable service and segment of society. However, while do it yourself legal seems to save money and maybe time, there are a number of perils that come with these forms.
Do it yourself legal are canned forms made for the average typical and simple legal matters. Ask yourself, are you average? Are you typical? Are you simple? How about the company that you are starting up. Do you want it to be average? Legal issues are seldom average, typical or simple. Do it yourself legal may allow a person to get started but with growth, customers, clients, income and profits personal and business legal issues can become complicated quickly. Consider whether you want your legal issue to be handled by someone average or simple. What happens when the average becomes extraordinary or the simple becomes complicated. Do you have the faith in the do it yourself legal forms to be ready for such change? I have yet to find a client that started with this approach that would tell me that it was better than hiring an attorney to have it prepared for the next stage.
But Jason, don’t you just use forms to prepare your documents too? Sometimes, but I have multiple forms and have legal training and business training to anticipate the future issues so that I can pick the right form. If something does not fit my “form” then I am able to modify my form to be specific to your legal issue. It is not just as simple as printing out a document and handing it over to close my eyes and wish my client luck. I keep track of my clients. Check in on my clients and make sure that nothing has changed that requires changes to their legal documents. I am here for my clients as legal issues arise, business issues arise or personal issues complicate things. The nice thing is there is very little time needed to get up to speed because I already know your legal matter and already know what is set up. With do it yourself legal forms, me or any other lawyer is going to have to see what you have done, what was not done and whether the forms have complicated what was expected and has now arisen.
I remind corporate clients often that it may cost $500.00 to do something on their behalf, but if that $500.00 is saved and a problem arises then it may cost $2,000.00 or more to fix the problem. This is not a good return on the use of do it yourself legal. In fact, a recent client that had started with the do it yourself legal forms sites found that the contract she was using was not even legal in the State of Indiana as it was a form based on California law. Issues may arise, but addressing those issues should be half the cost of starting from scratch and fixing the problem created by the do it yourself legal forms that are for the average, simple and typical. Reality is there are extremely few black and white legal issues and do it yourself legal forms are made for the black and white.
Don’t get caught up with the hype and the “savings” that are touted by do it yourself legal forms. Legal issues are gray, they often expand beyond the primary issue and are complicated. Call our office or any attorney’s office to make sure your legal matters are set up right from the beginning and you will find that the “savings” will be far greater in the long run as things take off!
Call Wischmeyer Law Office at 317-429-0210 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and start your legal issues out with an experienced attorney and avoid your legal issue or company from being treated as average, simple or typical.