Written by: Katie Henning
The Internet and its Impact on Your Legal Experience
Lawyers are expensive. Between the cost of consultations, document drafting, dispute resolutions, or court costs, seeing an attorney for any reason may run upwards of thousands of dollars, if not more. Rightly so, legal services require an experienced professional to understand an issue and apply the correct solution, but time, availability of resources, and constantly overloaded court calendars can quickly cause a client’s bill to skyrocket.
Is it possible to get the best of both worlds—inexpensive advice that is also good advice? It’s starting to look that way. The legal field is slowly moving online to reach out to and assist the 3.2 billion recorded individuals who regularly use the Internet. State government websites are now offering free downloadable documents with complimentary instructions for simple legal issues that span multiple areas of law, such as business formation, marriage and divorce, or landlord-tenant problems. Most states also have online versions of statutes and most city web pages have information on local ordinances. Additionally, almost all law firms have easily accessible websites that include links to presentations or blogs that offer legal advice at no charge. Even courts have begun to provide video conferencing for hearings.
The Internet is a great place to start looking for legal resources because it will save both you and your lawyer some time, and it may help keep your legal fees down as well. But it is still important to follow-up with a practiced attorney to ensure all laws are followed correctly and all paperwork is filed accurately. Furthermore, a lawyer helps streamline court procedures and minimize further delays and costs for individuals who have never appeared before a judge. Finally, a lawyer is beneficial for situations that still require personal attention, such as tender family matters or sticky divorce disputes.
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