I have always had the greatest respect for Consumer Report Magazine, and its commitment to standing up for the little guy in their dealings with the providers of products and services.
I was disappointed to see that the current September issue, which reports on “Legal DIY Sites No Match for a Pro,” at page 13, failed completely to tell consumers of the wide availability of free non-profit information and forms on the Internet, accessible directly through LawHelp and others, and the courts themselves.
The main focus of the short article is to assess the quality of the tools from LegalZoom, Nolo and Rocket Lawyer. The conclusion:
The sites offer basic legal advice that might help save you money spent on a lawyer. . . . But many consumers are better off consulting with a lawyer. The websites let you search for one. . . .
The articles use of the word “advice” for what the sites provide may lead to additional ongoing consumer confusion, and the lack of reference to the access to justice network of sites is unfortunate.
The omission might provide an opportunity for state courts, legal aid, and access commissions to do media outreach pointing out the availability of free nonprofit comprehensive online access services.
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