We live in the information age, and today we have unprecedented access to any information we want. With so much knowledge right at our fingertips, our society has changed the way we research information and do business. The advancements in technology and information sharing have caused two questions to frequently rise in the minds of people who need legal help. Does the Internet really serve as a suitable replacement for a lawyer? Why do I need an attorney when I have access to vast amounts of legal information from my smartphone or home computer?
If It’s on the Internet, It Must Be True!
The first reason you need an attorney should be a no-brainer. You know as well as I do that a lot of information on the Internet isn’t always 100% true. From hoaxes to misinformation, there are a lot of ways to easily become mislead. In fact, many of these types of websites clearly state disclaimers that free the owners of liability.
Take LegalZoom for example. On their site disclaimer they specifically state,
"...LegalZoom cannot guarantee that all the information on the site is completely current."
Let’s be honest with ourselves—legal matters carry significant outcomes and consequences that shouldn’t be left hanging on the risk that the website you used for research is up to date. The notion that you can save a few bucks on attorney’s fees by using the Internet to do research is laughable at best. Believe it or not, many people fail to notice the biggest red flag on LegalZoom’s website which clearly states:
"LegalZoom and its services are not a substitute for the advice of an attorney."
The Dynamic Nature of the Law
Even reputable websites that exist solely to provide access to legal information may not be up to date with the latest laws and court rulings. Try as they might, website administrators have a hard time keeping up with attorneys who eat, sleep, and live their specialized facet of the law. Attorneys are simply in the know and can provide much higher quality advice and counsel than a website. It’s just too risky to bet the outcome of a legal matter on website content that is riddled with disclaimers and may not reflect the latest changes in the law. Instead, you need to turn to an attorney who has access to the latest and greatest legal information to protect your future.
Protecting the Future of Your Loved Ones
Instead of blindly trusting legal content found on the web in lieu of hiring an experienced professional, you and your loved ones are better off doing your due diligence. Trusting information on the Internet that isn’t verified or reputable could lead you astray and set you down a path of financial ruin. Whether you're wrestling with criminal charges or the creation of a will or trust, your future and your loved ones’ futures are too important to leave to chance. Small errors can lead to big consequences down the road, so make the prudent decision to work with a respected and reputable attorney that knows what they’re doing.