The Trouble with LegalZoom

Walter Devins, Attorney

The debate is tempting: lower legal costs versus sound legal advice?  LegalZoom has attracted hundreds of thousands of customers across the U.S. since its inception in 2001 by its ability to offer legal help at a lower price compared to the average American attorney.  However, there is inevitably something wrong when it is “too good to be true.” For the many do-it-yourself documents LegalZoom provides, it cannot provide the research, knowledge base, experience, and protection offered by a licensed attorney. It does not guarantee to stay up-to-date on changes in state-specific laws, and it does not provide individualized advice for those who may have special circumstances not addressed in their boiler-plate forms.  In fact, the North Carolina State Bar thinks LegalZoom does such an inadequate job of protecting its customers in NC that the Bar issued a cease-and-desist letter stating that the company was engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.  For this reason, LegalZoom has filed a lawsuit against the  NC State Bar, which you can read about here on the News & Observer website.

If you have used LegalZoom to generate documents and have questions about their legal soundness, please consider letting Harrison & Devins Law Firm review these documents for you.  If you are considering using LegalZoom be sure to carefully read the company’s disclaimer on its limitations and to weigh the cost of questionably valid DIY documents compared to those compiled by an attorney who has researched the matter and applied the law to your specific facts.

Walter Devins,

Harrison & Devins, PA