LegalZoom can even help you establish a copyright for original creative work or a patent for an invention or product. They’ve worked with creators to establish more than 650,000 IP filings and processed more than 90,000 copyright applications.
On the other hand, platforms like Avvo and LegalMatch are primarily used for finding an in-person lawyer to assist you in your area. Think of them as the Craigslist of legal services (only without the creepy, sketchy posts).
Also, consider whether or not you have business or personal legal needs. Some platforms offer online legal services for both, while others specialize in one or the other.
Business Stage and Size
This doesn’t apply if you need an online legal service for personal matters like immigration or divorce services. If that applies to you, I recommend skipping this criteria.
However, many of you will be using these services for your business. If that applies to you, there are two things you need to consider when researching:
- Size: How big is your business? A small mom-and-pop business isn’t going to need the same thing as the 1,000+ employee corporation.
- Stage: Where is your business in its lifecycle? For example, entrepreneurs just starting out are going to need services like business formation solutions. Whereas, established businesses might need contracts and assistance for hiring employees.
For those of you who are launching a startup, you could benefit from an online legal service like Incfile for registering your company.
Midsized companies might only need infrequent legal services to help with issues as they arise. A service like LegalMatch connects you with a good attorney on demand. And if your company needs specialized advice, Rocket Lawyer is a great option.
Larger organizations that need an entire legal team or outsourced department would be better off with something like UpCounsel, which will connect you to the attorneys you need to represent your business. They specialize in helping you outsource your entire legal department.
Frequency of Use
How often you expect to actually use the online legal service should play a big role in your ultimate decision.
Some of you might need an attorney for just one event. Whether it’s filing paperwork, drafting a contract, or settling a dispute, we suggest Avvo or LegalMatch to find a great attorney for you.
This is especially true for business owners, who can’t necessarily afford in-house counsel, but still want to feel like they have a lawyer on their business team. Or, you might be in a specific legal situation where you need to have a lawyer on retainer or for a prolonged period of time. like if you’re involved in a lawsuit.
You might want the ability to contact a lawyer on-demand only when a problem or question arises. If you fall into this category, look for an online legal service with one-off plans like RocketLawyer or LegalZoom. These services connect you with lawyers who will work with you to quickly resolve your issue.
The pricing structures for online legal services vary from platform to platform. Some charge an ongoing fee for a membership, which may be great for a business that anticipates regularly needing legal help. Other services charge on a per-case or per-use basis, which is helpful for one-off type situations.
Speed of Assistance
Timeliness is crucial when it comes to legal assistance. After all, emergencies can pop up that require legal help as soon as possible.
Avvo works a lot like Quora, allowing you to post a question and have it answered by lawyers on their website. You can also jump into a history of questions other users have already asked to find answers to situations similar to your own.