LegalZoom is a legal document preparation web site. This means that a non-lawyer reviews your documents for spelling errors and other minor inconsistencies but because it is not a law firm LegalZoom cannot provide you with legal advice. You pay a high price for a review service that simply checks to make sure that you have answered every question and that you have spelled your name correctly.
The forms that you purchase from SmartLegalForms are the same forms you would get from LegalZoom except the price is substantially less. The legal form content of our forms are drafted by attorneys and our forms are also used by attorneys in their practice throughout the United States.
We stand behind our legal forms with a 100% guarantee. If you are not satisfied with the legal form or document you purchased, please let us know within three (3) days of the date of purchase, and we will promptly refund your money, no ifs, ands, or buts.
We provide our legal forms to thousands of law firms and also to non-lawyer providers such as NextGenJustice through our other marketing programs, but the lowest price is through this Web Site.
We call our legal forms "smart legal forms" because they are powered by a proprietary artificial intelligence engine that selects the correct text based on the answers to your questions in an on-line questionnaire. Once you complete answering the questions, your documents are instantly created ready to download. There is no waiting or further delay.
Our forms include detailed execution or step by step instructions to enable you to represent yourself where it is appropriate to do so. This is the lowest cost way for you to solve your legal problem.
A Florida based law firm, IceLegal, has created a series of how to do it videos for its self-help law web site at http://www.legalyou.com These videos were designed for Florida residents who represent themselves in court, but they are useful for any jurisdiction.
Here are some of the most useful videos for self-represented litigants:
For "unbundled" and "limited" legal services from a Florida law firm for a fixed fee - check out: LegalYou. LegalYou has an innovative approach to the delivery of legal services- lawyers helping consumers gain access to the legal system as a price they can afford.
An increasingly popular – and controversial – category of service providers are those that supply customer-specific documents over the Internet, using interactive software and/or human resources, without purporting to be engaged in the practice of law. There are literally hundreds of these legal documents Web sites. More of these legal document Web sites launch every month, if not every week on the Internet.
The Task Force believes that there are common principles that ought to guide these legal document sites, and practices that consumers should be able to expect. The eLawyering Task Force also recognizes that consumers have different levels of knowledge in meeting their documentation needs. Some believe, for instance, that it is simply a matter of getting “the” right form, and pay little attention to careful drafting and appropriate execution. Others have a more sophisticated understanding of options and implications. Nevertheless there should be baseline expectations that meets the needs of all kinds of users. The goal is not to issue a "seal of approval" of these legal document Web sites. The objective is to encourage these Web sites to use acknowledged "best practices" in the development and delivery of their services.
There are now thousands of legal web sites on the Internet that range from non-lawyer web sites that offer legal information and legal forms to law firm web sites. To help users evaluate the quality of the legal information offered by these web sites, the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association approved in 2003, best practice guidelines for legal information web site providers. These guidelines apply to both law firms and non-lawyer web sites, from state-wide legal information web sites operated by public agencies, to court web sites, to legal sites run by profit-making companies.
The guidelines can be found here. Many legal information information providers embrace and support the guidelines either explicitly or in principle. Even though the guidelines were published 9 years ago, they have stood the test of time and are common sense rules to guide non-lawyer users on how to evaluate the quality of a legal information web site.
Here is a quick summary of the best practice guidelines:
Full and accurate contact information should be available on the site.
The date that substantive legal content material was prepared or last review should be available.
The jurisdiction to which the site’s content relates should be clear.
There should be a disclaimer that legal information is not the same as legal advice.
There should be links to other resources that will help a user solve their legal problems, and where appropriate citations to relevant case law and legislation should be available.
Where appropriate, site should provide users with information on how and where to obtain legal advice and further information.
Providers should obtain permission to use content from other providers.
There should be a clear terms and conditions of use available on the site.
Sites should clearly and conspicuously provide users with their privacy policies and policies on security of communications.
These best practice are really minimum standards. Credible legal information web site providers will satisfy these standards whether they explicitly state their support for the ABA Guidelines or simply incorporate these principles into their Web site design and publication process.
We would be wary of legal information web sites that don’t at least try to comply or support these these best practices.
To these best practices, we would add the following:
Look for a BBB – Better Business Bureau Seal which will act as a verification of the business practices of the vendor and an avenue for registering complaints.
If services or information is sold from the site, in must be from a secure web space. Look for https:// in your web browser to make sure that you are in a secure web space that requires a user name and password for log-in. Look for the display of an SSL Certificate which means that all communications between the web site and the server are encrypted and secure.