The online law sector is revolutionising the way the legal profession operates and helping more and more Americans get speedy and cost effective access to legal services. After something of a slow start, e-lawyers and legal service software is now growing fast and branching out into more and more areas of law. The online law service provider Nolo is leading the pack and widely regarded as one of the country’s premier e-lawyers on account of their extensive legal library of draft documents and competitive pricing. You can read more about Nolo, the online legal service and the online will maker services they provide.
An Online Legal Service? Is That Even A Thing?!
Online shopping, online dating, online banking are well established and deeply entrenched in our day to day lives. But are online lawyers even possible?!
Well, the online law sector has been around for a few decades now but did take time to really get moving. Basically, a lot of customers were just not comfortable trusting delicate and sensitive legal matters to the internet. And furthermore, the legal profession and its regulators were also pretty guarded and directly opposed the market disruption that online lawyers could unleash.
The legal profession is held in such reverence that a lot of people don’t appreciate that a lot of what a lawyer does is kind of straightforward. Functions like drafting basic contracts and even wills are largely a matter of following a very basic template – there is some legal language that needs to be used but hiring a lawyer to draft a will or a standard tenancy agreement is nevertheless ultimately a very expensive cut and paste job.
Nolo Legal Service Software Vs Lawyers
Let’s be clear. There will always be a place for lawyers. Criminal prosecutions, litigation and family matters are all issues that still require personal, bespoke and wildly expensive advice and representation.
That said, it is clear that Nolo and the other e-lawyers are making serious inroads into the market share when it comes to things like wills, contracts and company incorporation.
Rise Of The Online Will Maker
Will making is one area where online lawyers are especially useful. Last Will and Testaments are by and large, very simple and uncontroversial documents to draft but nevertheless, lawyers still tend to charge anywhere between $300 – $1000 for wills and estate planning documents, whereas the Nolo Will maker packages start at just $79. It is for these reasons that Online wills were amongst the very first legal documents to be available online. Online will makers are now posing as a very serious rival to traditional, estate planning lawyers.
However, in some cases it is still wise to use a lawyer to make a will. For example, individuals with extensive, high value savings portfolios or assets should seek both estate and tax advice from a lawyer. Furthermore, anybody who enjoys an especially complicated or acrimonious familial situation should definitely consider seeing a lawyer in order to prevent the will being contested by angry siblings, spouses or children following their demise.
Nolo Vs Other Online Legal Services
We have mentioned Nolo a few times so far, but there are other online law services out there some of which are both more established and offer more comprehensive services. Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom are perhaps the leading names in online law – rocket lawyer alone boasts over 25 million users and last year raised over $300 million in financing. Since posting its first document (a living will) in 2008, Rocket Lawyer now offers over 1,000 different legal documents that its users can download and use.
Still, Nolo does have over 50 years of experience in the DIY law space. The company began life as publisher of DIY legal manuals after publishing the groundbreaking and controversial How to Do Your Own Divorce in California in 1971. Nolo’s document library is also growing fast and they offer nearly as many templates as their big rival Rocket Lawyer.
Another example of where e-lawyers are really excelling is with LLC (Limited Liability Company) filings. America is a nation built on the back of entrepreneurs and small businesses and an estimated 600,000 are formed each year. Traditional lawyers chage between $1k – $3k for advice and filing which can make achieving the American dream that bit harder for those with big ideas with small pockets.
However Nolo’s LLC formation packages range from $49 – $299 (+ state fees) and LegalZoom’s range from $79 – $349. RocketLawyer operates on a subscription model and members can access their entire library for $29.99 per month. Of course, like with the will making services there are still some situations where seeing a lawyer is advisable when forming an LLC. For example, anybody who wishes to form a company with a particularly complex structure or with a business partner they don’t quite trust, may still wish to pay the money and see a lawyer.
Final Thoughts on Nolo Will Maker
There we have it. Nolo and other online legal service providers are making access to justice easier and cheaper than ever before. The cutting edge legal service software they use is pioneering and is truly disrupting the market. Whilst the online will maker packages are the most well known for now, the online legal service profession will surely evolve to offer more and more as it continues to win the trust of law abiding Americans.