Business Owner Deciding on Local Lawyer or Online Legal Services

Who do you turn to for legal advice? Online legal services like LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer are popular resources, but are they the best option? Or are you better off reaching out to a local lawyer?

In most situations, meeting face-to-face with a great lawyer gets you the best results. This post will cover the main reasons why that’s true as well as examples of common situations where online legal services simply can’t offer the same quality of service.

LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer Are Not Law Firms

While both LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer offer the option to speak to an attorney, they don’t offer the same experience as working with a lawyer or a law firm. Both companies explicitly state in their disclaimers that they are not law firms and are not a substitute for an attorney or law firm. They also both say that they do not provide legal advice.  And while you will likely have lots of contact with a sales rep when they are seeking your online business, they may be less interested in calling back if you discover a problem later.

The Importance of Trust

If you’re seeking important legal advice for yourself or your business, it’s crucial that you really trust the person advising you. It’s much easier to build this kind of trust in-person. Similarly, it’s much easier to tell when someone sincerely has your best interests in mind if you’re speaking face to face.

This is especially important if you’re starting or running a business. You’ll need a local lawyer who understands your business and values so that you have someone to rely on to provide ongoing legal advice and support as your business grows and changes over time.

Local Lawyers Are Experts on Specific Local Laws

The best way to choose a lawyer is to find someone who is licensed to practice in your state and who specializes in the type of legal services you need.  Online services tend to offer standard templates that may not take state or local legal requirements into account.

When it comes to life-changing decisions like launching a startup or even selling your business, you want to work with someone who can develop a customized legal strategy based on your business goals that will improve your bottom line and avoid unnecessary risk.

Less Work, Less Hassle, and Less Risk

Most online legal services advertise themselves as a lower cost option. This is often because they’re offering a large number of do-it-yourself services, in which you’re responsible for creating your own legal documents. Online forms can be helpful starting points, but they are no substitute for a carefully prepared legal document that addresses your specific needs.

James M. Hillas, P.C. is an experienced legal business consultant and transactional lawyer, who helps local businesses with decisions and documents that are too important — and often too complex — to make without the help of a skilled lawyer. Some examples of these kinds of decisions include:

  • Entity formation
  • Contract drafting
  • Employment advice
  • Lease negotiation
  • Collection of slow paying accounts
  • Licensing agreements
  • Corporate restructuring
  • Many more

Online legal services just can’t offer the same level of service as a local lawyer when it comes to creating large documents and legal contracts where the consequences of errors are significant. A great lawyer can guide you through these processes smoothly and efficiently, so you can focus on what you do best.

Talk With James M. Hillas, P.C.

Are you looking for a local lawyer to answer all your legal questions and help you develop a customized plan for success? Jim is an experienced business lawyer in Portland who provides legal services for startups, existing businesses, and business owners looking to buy or sell a company.

Reach out to Jim for a complimentary consultation today!