I am often asked, “Why shouldn’t I just use Legal Zoom or some other discount provider, or just not even use a lawyer?” My normal response is, “You definitely can, especially if you like high risk,” which is sometimes met with groans or skepticism. But here is the truth behind the response.
Imagine you board a plane for your dream destination. You have planned this trip for a long time. You are on the plane, seated in first class, and get your glass of champagne. You buckle your seat belt and beginning thinking about where you are going, the sights and sounds that will soon greet you. The flight attendant comes on the intercom and goes through the normal checks and gets to a part about parachutes. The flight attendant simply says, “This is a parachute, use it if the plane hits trouble and we need to jump out of plane. It is here to protect you.” You think nothing of it - what are the chances anyway? The plane takes off, it hits a nice cruising altitude, and you are feeling good. The plane begins to bump around and the Captain announces on the intercom the plane is in trouble and you must jump out immediately. You look at the frayed parachute next to you and realize you have no idea how to put it on or how to use it. It looks intuitive but in practice it is confusing and it does not look safe. You look up to ask the Flight Attendants and realize they are all gone. The cabin door is open and you realize the Captain and Co-Captain have left as well. All of your resources are gone. You look at the parachute and think – why did I ever think it was a good idea to go with the cheapest option?! Just like many others who have experienced the disappointment that can come with Legal Zoom products - you realize the faults with choosing a discount airline when the plane crashes. Not exactly the payoff you were expecting by taking on a high risk, is it? And just as with the airline – there are no do overs.
Anyone can draft an agreement for you or you can do it yourself. In most states, anyone can file the necessary paperwork for forming an LLC or you can do it yourself. You can file your own trademark and copyright applications, or use a service. But once the work is complete, what value do you have if you do not understand why you needed the work in the first place? How to use the work for protection? How to continue to receive protection? An attorney skilled in preventative legal methods will provide the counsel necessary to provide a complete package with the legal work performed.