I keep hearing that lawyers are becoming irrelevant because most people can do their own legal work using inexpensive online forms. I may have said this once or twice myself. But the reality is that many online legal forms are disastrously insufficient.
Local lawyers Gregory Luce and Karen Lundquist recently took a close look at two forms they bought online. Luce bought a $69 will from LegalZoom, and Lundquist bought a $15 employment agreement from LawDepot. They wanted to judge these services on the facts, not the rhetoric.
Lundquist is an employment lawyer, so she came to her LawDepot employment agreement with some expertise. She found the agreement actually contained illegal provisions, harmful terms and was “in sum, . . . a mess.”
The problem with online legal forms is that most consumers do not have sufficient knowledge to spot the same problems Luce and Lundquist did. And some of those errors — such as the illegal terms Lundquist found — could wind up costing many times the cost of paying a competent lawyer to draft a similar agreement.