Best Online Legal Services

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  • Get Access to Hundreds of Legal Documents
  • Get a Single Document or Get Access to All Products
  • Receive Help with Leases, Renters, or Other Business Documents

Important Things to Know About Online Legal Service

McCall Martin
McCall Martin | Senior Editor

Legal services are essential for business owners and individuals because laws affect every aspect of life. Seeking professional legal advice and help from a lawyer can be expensive. Online legal services provide help with fundamental legal matters, legal forms, and processes at an affordable price. This guide will help you understand more about obtaining legal assistance from online legal services websites and help you make the best choice for you.

The Basics

The practice of law is multifaceted. Law governs how communities large and small operate. Online legal services generally focus on helping with legal documents and forms. They also give legal advice and specialize in certain areas like business legal advice, business formation, wills, trusts, or intellectual property. Some providers offer a wide range of legal services, although on occasion some may offer expertise in a specific area.

Customer support

Online legal services provide customer support to consumers in many ways. For example, they have directories of attorneys who will review legal forms and case documents for clients. Most online legal services call this "attorney review." A client can also meet with an attorney to ask for legal advice and receive additional aid with the individual’s legal matter. Online legal service companies also have customer service staff who have been trained on these forms and can help answer legal questions. Often providers will have templates of legal forms that you can use for rental contracts (tenancy agreements), writing a will, or starting a business.

While most online legal service providers offer the opportunity to speak with an attorney, if a client requires legal assistance with more complex legal matters or requires legal representation in court, it may be best to seek out a law firm or hire an attorney.


The cost of online legal services can be separated into two parts, per document fee, or monthly subscription.

  • Monthly subscription
    Many small business owners and families are becoming members of online legal services to ensure they have the right documents, legal forms, and have a portal for legal advice. These subscriptions are very useful and will give access to most of the features an online legal company offers. Clients don’t have to worry about expensive retainers or the high hourly cost for a lawyer.

    Monthly subscriptions work best for potential clients who are starting a small business, have large families or people who often find themselves needing access to legal documents. The monthly subscriptions can often cost between $20-$40 per month, and usually give you access to attorneys, legal forms, and 24/7 online assistance or customer support.
  • Per Document fee
    The other option online legal services offer is a Per Document fee. To gain access to a single legal form or document, you can pay a smaller fee to access it without signing up for a monthly subscription. This feature will often restrict access to the company's attorney services or legal assistance.

    The Per Document fee is best for customers looking to use a single document without paying hundreds in a membership fee or going through an attorney. The price of getting these forms can cost between $9-$40 per document.

Online legal services vs. law firm

Online legal advice can be expensive but nowhere near the cost to hire an attorney. Depending on your legal situation, an online legal service can save you thousands of dollars.

So how do you decide between using online legal services or a law firm?

  • Legal questions
    With the cost of lawyers being so steep, online legal services will give you all the answers to your legal questions. Most online legal companies have attorneys who have trained customer service representatives to answer legal matters. If your issues are complicated or customer support can't answer your questions fully, the online attorneys would be able to answer your questions.

  • Businesses, apartment rentals, or contracts
    Whether you are creating an LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp, or Non-Profit, beginning to rent out an apartment, or creating a contract, it is often cheaper to use an online legal service. These online legal companies will not only give you the needed documents but will also teach you how to fill them out and often have basic spreadsheets already created for your legal situation.

  • Patents or trademarks
    Online Legal Services takes the cake for this one. The average cost for a patent attorney is $300 an hour, whereas most of the needed documents and legal advice are available through these online legal services for less than $40 per month.

  • High profile cases
    If you are involved in a big car accident, domestic violence, or anything that may require additional legal resources or need representation, hiring a lawyer is best. Why? Lawyers have greater access to documents, they will provide one on one attention to your case and they have the resources to fight your case in court. For example, if you're involved in medical malpractice, you could be entitled to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Lawyers working for insurance companies and doctors will try to pay you as little as possible. A law firm will have the resources to fight for you and ensure that you will get paid what you were owed.

Before hiring an expensive attorney or subscribing to a monthly online legal service provider, take a look at your situation to determine how much legal assistance you need.

See our top-ranked online legal services companies.

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Online Legal Services Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of legal services do online providers offer?

Legal services offered online vary by the provider. Some offer the aid nationally. Others are specific to certain states. Their primary focus is on legal documents. Most offer help with business law, finance law, and wills. Some also offer help with family law and representation in criminal and civil cases.

Do the online legal document libraries make documents available in translation?

Some online legal service companies do offer documents in other languages. However, most offer documents only in English.

Are online legal services helpful for small businesses?

Online legal services can be especially helpful for businesses just starting. The document templates and document review are helpful resources. Being able to talk to an attorney also helps new business owners understand what their legal obligations are and how to fulfill them. The services are affordable and help to ensure that your business meets all its legal requirements.

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