This article was contributed by Cynthia Madison who works as an author at SmallBizClub.

Given the nature of the activities it comprises, the legal field has been traditionally resistant to change and innovation, so unlike other industries and sectors, it’s fallen behind in embracing digital solutions and transitioning to the online environment. However, with more than half of the world’s population having access to the internet and using online tools on a regular basis, it was only a matter of time before legal services would catch up and make their way into the virtual realm.

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These days, online legal services have made it easier than ever to find a lawyer or a licensed professional to help you deal with all sorts of legal issues. From creating legal partnerships and reviewing documents to drafting business contracts or making personal injury claims, the legal advice and assistance you require are just a few clicks away, so you can handle these tasks and situations without having to leave the comfort of your home.

But are online legal services all they’re cut out to be? A lot of people have questions regarding the advantages and disadvantages of using such services compared to working with a traditional law firm and visiting a lawyer’s office in person. Therefore, it’s important to analyze both the pros and the cons, so you can make an informed decision when you’re faced with choosing between these two options.

The Pros

Online legal services have been gaining ground in recent years due to the numerous benefits they provide. Although some people are still reluctant about using them since they’re still a relatively new addition to the legal industry, these services wouldn’t be so popular if they wouldn’t provide certain perks.

Cost-effectiveness 

One of the aspects that people worry about the most when looking for an attorney or a legal professional is the fees that they have to pay. It’s a well-known fact that legal services aren’t exactly cheap. Usually, the bigger the law firm, the higher the fees they charge. Fortunately, online legal services provide a much cheaper alternative to brick-and-mortar law firms whose services often come with a hefty price tag.

Services such as Accident Claims provide completely free legal advice and function on a no-win, no-fee agreement. They are ideal for those who are on a very tight budget and can’t afford to hire an attorney, keeping legal expenses to a minimum.

Accessibility

Convenience is another major advantage that online legal services provide. Between making an appointment, adjusting your schedule, taking the time to meet face-to-face with a lawyer, and gaining access to legal services via an online platform, it’s obvious which option is most comfortable. As long as you have a smart device and access to the internet, you can get instant legal advice and support from qualified professionals.

Great source of information 

Not everyone requires extensive legal advice or support. If the issue you’re dealing with is not very specific or complicated, and you only need some basic guidance and information on a certain topic, online legal services can definitely give you what you’re looking for. You’ll have access to a variety of sources and materials that can explain and facilitate different legal procedures for you, and simplify the whole process.

The Cons

There are plenty of reasons why you should give online legal services a try, but unfortunately, they’re not free of flaws. There are certain shortcomings to take into condensation before you decide if these services are right for you or not.

Limited services

First of all, online legal platforms don’t cover a wide range of services as traditional law firms do. Their offering is limited to basic advice and services, often in the form of generic contracts, or filing templates that can be used in different circumstances. Many of these services use simple or customized questionnaires to help clients with what they need. So, if you’re dealing with a more complex issue that requires the help of an expert who can provide bespoke advice, online legal services may not be of much help to you.

They’re not a replacement for legal firms

Even though online legal services are on the rise and continue to become more popular by the day, they are by no means a threat to traditional law firms. It’s true that they can fill certain gaps in the industry and be extremely useful in certain circumstances, but that does not make them a substitute for brick-and-mortar law firms. There’s nothing that can replace the face-to-face interaction with a lawyer and the relationship that results from it. Besides, some people will always feel more comfortable talking to a professional in person rather than via virtual means. 

You have to do your due diligence

This one might be obvious, but it has to be said – not all online services are created equal. If you want to avoid poor legal services or even potential scams, you have to do your homework and research legal service providers beforehand. As with all things that take place in the online environment, there are certain risks and hazards associated with these types of services. So, if you want to keep risks to a minimum and make sure that you’re going to receive the level of service you’re looking for, proper preparation is key. Reading online reviews or asking family members and friends who have used online legal services for recommendations is a smart way to go about it.

Final thoughts

A lot of people opt for online legal services when they have to deal with basic legal issues and choose to hire a lawyer to handle the finer details. So, if we were to predict how legal services will look in the future, it’s probably going to be a mix of the two. Online legal platforms are probably going to continue their expansion and enhance the quality of their services, while traditional law firms are going to adapt and embrace digital solutions as well.

About the author

Cynthia Madison is an author at SmallBizClub with a solid technical, business, and financial foundation. She’s responsible for providing share-worthy articles that deliver value straight to the point. Cynthia enjoys watching thought-provoking TED talks on technology advancements in her spare time. She lives a “never stop learning” life.

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