Friday, August 12, 2011

Do Online Legal Document Services Provide High Quality Work?

It is hard these days to turn on the TV and not see ads for various online legal document services – especially for LegalZoom. But recently another company, Rocket Lawyer has been making waves and according to has recently surpassed LegalZoom in total unique visitors.

Rocket Lawyer recently raised and investment round of $18.5 Million and according to Forbes has around 70,000 users per day. A recent search in Google also shows that there are around 429 Million results for the search term “online legal document forms” and 90.6 Million results for “online legal document service.”

What about Quality?

One of the biggest questions surrounding the use of these low cost alternatives to legal documentation is how good is the quality of work? Consumer reports recently went out to three of the leading online document service providers (LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer and Quicken WillMaker Plus) to create a will and here are the key findings from their test:

  • Although the results were better than having no will at all, they were very simple and typically not a good fit for many complex legal needs and guidance.
  • Many of the wills produced potential pitfalls and lacked important and timely information ranging from outdated tax laws, little guidance on state laws, ability for the user to modify and add potential conflicting provisions, limited abilities to create special needs trusts and little or no tax guidance.

What Consumers Need To Know

When it comes to good legal service and documentation, you get what you pay for. Many years ago, I tried filing taxes on my own only to learn that a good accountant will save me far more money than they cost due to their expertise, service and thorough understanding of the tax code. A good attorney should provide the same type of value.

If you are initially concerned about the costs involved with the legal documentation you need, ask a number of lawyers for quotes and be candid with them about your budget and what you are willing to spend. In many cases, a good attorney will work within your budget or recommend somebody who will. In addition to providing legal documentation, a good attorney should also provide you with guidance and a better understanding of state laws and tax issues that may be lacking with the low cost online alternatives. Once you have exhausted the potential attorneys at your disposal, then you can consider these online alternatives.

Contact the SEO Consultant Firm if you would like to generate more clients for your law firm

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Missouri Becomes First State To Ban Facebook Friending Between Teachers and Students

Missouri just became the first state to prohibit teachers from creating a "friend" relationship with their current or former students. In what has raised a number of eyebrows in the social media world, the Missouri law now states:

"Teachers cannot establish, maintain or use a work-related website unless it is available to school administrators and the child's legal custodian, physical custodian or legal guardian,"..."Teachers also cannot have a non work-related website that allows exclusive access with a current or former student."

This is most likely the beginning of many legal issues surrounding the use of Facebook and who you become friends with. We are already seeing a growth of conflicts arising from "friend" associations between judges, attorneys and jurors in the legal community.

If you are an attorney, you need to become aware of the growing number of laws and ethical implications of social media use - even if you don't use social media yourself.

If you would like to learn more about Facebook Page Optimization and how we can help you manage your social media policies, please contact the SEO Consultant Firm

Monday, August 1, 2011

Google’s Market Share in NYC

It is commonly stated that Google has around 66% of the search engine market with Bing and Yahoo picking up most of the remainder. But just how accurate is this number?

A recent article by search engine land sparked my interest to once again review data from a number of law firms here in New York City to determine what percentages I am typically seeing. This is certainly not scientific by any means by here is what I found across all my attorney websites and practice areas:

  • Google: 83.8%
  • Yahoo: 6.1%
  • Bing: 5.2%
  • All Others: 4.9%

Again, this data is not scientific but is was surprising how little this data varied from one attorney website to another – no matter the practice area or authority of the site. Clearly from an SEO and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) perspective, Google remains the 10,000 pound gorilla for search engines in NYC.

Contact the SEO Consultant Firm if you would like to learn more about how we can help your law firm internet marketing online.