With a world of information at our fingertips, it’s easy to think we can get all the news and advice we need in just a few easy clicks. In fact, there are so many opportunities to get free information concerning legal situations that you might trust these online sources for legal expertise vs. talking to an experienced attorney.
Risks of Using Free Legal Websites
There are two fundamental risks you take when you rely solely on online legal advice:
- Depending on the source, you may still be required to pay a certain fee. What we mean is they usually will offer “some” information about your legal standing, but you’ll need to pay a fee to get more details on next steps.
- You often get what you pay for (i.e., cheap advice) or a one-size-fits-all solution.
Let’s use the example of contract drafting. If you’re a business owner and need to draft a contract before you start work for a potential client, you could be tempted to go online and find a template (whether free or for a small fee). You may even find one that closely resembles the type of agreement you’re entering into with this other party.
The problem is these documents almost always include additional terms and conditions that either don’t apply to your individual situation or create confusion and misinterpretation between you and your client.
It’s better for you and your business to have a real, experienced attorney help you draft and review the contract with you, so you understand your rights and what happens if the other party breaches their side of the contract.
Are Free Legal Websites Ever Helpful?
As long as you treat free legal websites as a “starting point”, in your research, they can be helpful. Free legal sources can provide information, such as state laws, resources, and links to important forms that you may need to fill out. They often help you gain a basic understanding about a particular topic.
Some may even provide a guide to help you determine what type of case you have; what your state requires in terms of filing; and a directory to help you find the right attorney for your case.
However, free legal sites are limited on what they can actually do for you. Legal advice is best left to the professionals who have legal expertise and experience.
In fact, it is illegal for a non-lawyer or unlicensed attorney to offer legal advice. Only attorneys can draft legal documents or contracts, represent you in court, or negotiate on your behalf. They are also a better source for advice on lawsuits, interpreting contracts, and getting advice tailored to your specific situation.
Think You Need a Real Lawyer?
Contact KTF law firm today! Our team of experienced lawyers offer free consultations to help you determine the best course of action for your specific situation. If you do need a lawyer, we can provide legal counsel for both individuals and businesses.