By Stephen McDonough, Massachusetts divorce lawyer and mediator serving the Lexington, Medfield, and Worcester areas.
The September 2012 issue of the trusted Consumer Reports magazine did an interesting piece about some of the web-based do it yourself services that claim to allow people to complete their own legal documents.
So what did Consumer Reports think about service such as Legal Zoom, Nolo, Quicken’s WillMaker and Rocket Lawyer?
In a nutshell they were not impressed and concluded that many consumers would be better served by consulting with their own lawyer. Yeah, I know. I am a lawyer so you expect me to say that, so go read the article.
To reach this conclusion, Consumer Reports evaluated simple documents including a will, a residential lease agreement, and a promissory note. They had a panel of three experts, all law professors evaluate the documents in a blind test.
What I thought was interesting was that all of these documents are more simple than a Massachusetts divorce agreement. If they had reviewed more complex documents, I suspect the results would have shown the limitations with these services even more. Of course, all these services do is provide blank forms designed for the masses, so it is not surprising really.
So, whether you need a Massachusetts divorce lawyer or divorce mediator, or an education or special education attorney, or maybe you want your will drafted, you should get quality legal advice and work with an attorney to not only get the documents done right, but to get advice for your specific situation.
Attorney & Mediator Stephen McDonough owns The Divorce Collaborative, a Massachusetts law firm concentrating in the areas of divorce and family law, and education and special education law. The firm works closely with families from their offices in Bedford, Franklin, and Shrewsbury, MA. For a confidential and informative meeting with an attorney or mediator in the Lexington, Medfield, or Worcester areas, please call The Divorce Collaborative at (877) 842-1199.