Web-Based Solutions for Faster Legal Help

The legal industry enters the 21st century.

Technology entering the market around the turn of the century allowed business owners to accelerate their growth like never before. Unfortunately, as Eric Schmidt wrote in “How Google Works,” the pace of change in the legal industry is “several orders of magnitude” slower—making it hard to quickly find high-quality legal help for your business.

Fortunately, many law firms are catching up and using modern technology to help clients. Additionally, some new and innovative solutions are available to help. Here are a few.


Shake (shakelaw.com) is a free smartphone app used to create simple agreements in minutes. The app has a large library full of stock agreements such as landlord-tenant agreements, employment agreements and even loan documents.

Users simply select the agreement they need, answer some quick questions, fill in the blanks and sign the agreements directly on their phones.

It is as easy as it gets, but you get what you pay for.

While the app is beautifully simple, the contracts are very cut and dry and template-driven. As any attorney can tell you, every situation is different and using template documents can land a company in a lot of trouble if things go wrong. At the same time, several business owners say they enjoy the ability to weigh the risks involved with a deal against the costs and delay involved with hiring a normal attorney.


UpCounsel.com might be my favorite of all the new players in the market because it is not trying to cut attorneys out of the mix. Rather, the UpCounsel platform allows users to post a legal need on the site so qualified attorneys (handpicked by UpCounsel) can bid on providing legal services to solve the user’s issue.

The user can then pick the right attorney, enter into an attorney-client relationship with him or her and pay the attorney through the platform. The user also pays UpCounsel a fee to use its platform.


MightyMarks is a digital trademarking firm. Users fill out a simple form on the website and pay a fixed fee (currently $495), and the company will research whether your mark is likely to be approved or denied in the application process. If you decide to move forward, you pay the government’s application fee and the company files your application.

MightyMarks can also help with denials and other trademark issues, but the company’s focus on providing a simple, clean and user-friendly experience really puts it at the forefront of legal service providers.

That’s Not All

Companies like Lawdingo, LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer and others also are trying to help people find legal help. While there are a lot of legal regulations in the way, I predict the legal regulations will eventually catch up.

While services like these can be a great help, there are also risks that needed to considered. Business owners must weigh
the danger of a deal falling part against the associated liability with the cost of the service. Oftentimes, a free template-driven service is adequate. But many times it is not. A one-on-one relationship with an attorney in your jurisdiction will often be the safest option for your legal needs; it will likely just cost more and take longer.

This article is very general in nature and does not  constitute legal advice. Readers with legal questions should consult with an attorney prior to making any legal decisions.