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Public Legal is a privately held subsidiary of Maximilian Ventures, LLC. The company was founded in 2003 and is based out of Wilmington, DE. Besides its legal form business, Maximilian Ventures works exclusively with talented Internet entrepreneurs, providing legal services. Their firm's areas are primarily online services for businesses and legal consumers. Public Legal helps organizations throughout the stages of their business development, including investments and buyouts. If your company needs assistance, Maximilian provides operational expertise, financial support, industry expertise, and access to legal best practices.

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The Good

  • Legal Resources
  • Affordable Forms
  • Business & Personal Forms Available
  • Educational Resources
  • Real Estate and Rental Paperwork 

Legal Resources

Public Legal is essentially an online marketplace to buy personal and business online legal forms. There are several thousand legal documents available and include a listing of individuals who can provide business and personal legal advice. Additionally, there are also resource links to find articles and other case studies that are currently happening in law. In addition to the document library, there are links for investigating law schools if you are looking for a law degree program as a law student.

Affordable Forms

There are several useful free legal documents on the website. Other legal forms can be purchased at a reasonable price. Individuals can also download and reuse a form as many times as they would like after the initial purchase.

Business & Personal Forms Available

If you are starting a business, there are a few resources for getting an LLC up and running, such as articles of business, and joint venture agreements. These forms are drafted specifically for practice areas within the United States. Other online legal forms provided are as follows:

  • Buying & Selling
  • Borrowing & Lending
  • Business Ventures
  • Credit & Collection
  • Employment
  • Leases & Real Estate
  • Protection of Legal Rights
  • Transfers & Assignments

For those needing legal documents and/or legal assistance, Public Legal offers a variety of free and low-cost forms. Personal legal questions can be answered through articles, testimonials, and it's customer service line.

  • Estate Planning
  • Marital & Family
  • Name Change
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Health Care
  • Domestic Violence

Educational Resources

The Public Legal website is also a great resource for doing legal research. In addition to information for potential law students, there are links to online legal journals, supreme court case studies, and answers to a variety of legal questions. Prospective users can also take advantage of LawRunner, which has access to more than 3+ billion archived web pages.

Real Estate and Rental Paperwork

One of the main free legal documents available is real estate and rental paperwork. For example, a deed of trust is available for $9.99. In addition, there are several other documents for landlord and tenant relationships, including evictions, and rental agreements.

The Bad

  • Poor Website Navigation 
  • Form Types and Descriptions
  • Storage Subscription

While there are a number of features and services that will assist users in their legal endeavors, there are also a number of limitations to the platform as a whole. These disadvantages can create problems for prospective users and include:

Poor Website Navigation

The platform is extremely dependent upon links for navigation. There is a search option, but it often doesn't rank the most useful legal forms for each type of legal situation. You may find that the navigation flow on the website can make for a difficult search when looking for specific legal advice.

Form Types and Descriptions

The website claims to offer over 2,000 legal documents online, but there is no way to determine which forms are free and which ones will cost. This is problematic because potential customers have no way of knowing which "free" forms are available to them. The website also doesn't offer a good preview of its forms. The "free preview" of the forms is limited to HTML text that is directly written on the pages of the website.

Storage Subscription

There currently is no resource or feature that includes a subscription for storage. Other platforms provide this service, for instance, including an option to pay $4.99 to store your documents in a cloud. Public Legal does not offer storage at this time.

The Bottom Line

There are better options out there for online legal document use than Public Legal. There is simply not enough support on the website to help customers select the legal forms they might need for their legal situation. To find the free forms, there should be a direct indication as to which forms are free within its directory.

There are some good research listings provided on the website. This is a great resource for investigating potential law schools if you are interested in law. In addition, there is a listing to the top 250 law firms within the United States. This tool has the potential to help individuals find legal help and/or representation.

Lastly, the website is too heavily driven by web links. You have to go pretty deep into the website to find the form that you are looking for. In addition, the form directory is pretty hard to navigate. Finally, there should be a preview of the forms in their actual format, such as a Word file or PDF, rather than just embedding a sample of a form on the web page as HTML text.

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